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Austin TX Business Law Blog

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pros and Cons of Buying a Franchise


Is purchasing a franchise a good idea for you?

For people who want to start businesses but are worried about the risk involved, franchises may sound like the answer to their prayers. Theoretically, franchises follow well-established, successful models that have already proven to be effective. The franchisee is supposed to be supplied with the appropriate quantity of tried and true products and accessories necessary to create a successful business. He or she feels assured of customers because production, pricing, advertising, and marketing strategies are already in place.

Unfortunately, while starting a business from scratch is risky, purchasing a franchise can be risky too.


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Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Primer on Buy Sell Agreements


How can I ensure the continuity of my small business?

Launching a small business involves a number of critical decisions such as selecting the right business structure and putting in place agreements that clarify the relationship among the owners and/or partners such as partnership and shareholder agreements. If the business is structured as a partnership or a small LLC, it is also crucial to institute a buy sell agreement.

This legal document specifies how the ownership interest will be redistributed in the face of unexpected events such as the death, disability, bankruptcy, or divorce of one of the owners. In short, a buy sell agreement affords the surviving owners with a means of redeeming the stake of the departing owner.

Types of Buy Sell Agreements

There are three types of buy sell agreements: cross-purchase agreements, stock-redemption agreements and hybrids.


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Non-Compete Clauses Under Scrutiny


Should my business include non-compete provisions in its employment agreement?

Many businesses rely on non-compete provisions in employment agreements to prevent job changing employees from taking proprietary information to competitors. These provisions allow trade secrets and other sensitive information to be shared with insiders while minimizing the risk that the information will be misappropriated.  In light of a recent report by the White House, however, the use and effects of non-competes are being questioned.

Some employment law observers argue that these provisions unfairly restrict employees' mobility and their ability to advance in their field. Moreover, state and federal regulators are becoming increasingly concerned that these provisions are being used inappropriately for low wage workers who do not have access to sensitive information.


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Significance of Intellectual Property


Why is intellectual property important to my career?

All aspects of intellectual property (IP), including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets  have become central to moving ahead in nearly all professions. While in the past intellectual property was normally the purview of only research and development teams, inventors, and lawyers specializing in the field, today IP is often the focal point of business, and even science, the arts, and other professions. This is because in a world moving forward at exponentially increasing speed, new ideas and innovations, rather than labor, raw materials or capital investment, are the driving economic force.

Reasons IP Is Crucial

There are several reasons you should consider IP as central to your business.


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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Medical Marijuana Business Expected to Grow in Texas


What is the state of the medical marijuana industry in Texas?

For some time it has been known that marijuana has many medicinal uses. Over the past couple of years there has been huge support for legalizing marijuana for medical use. Legislators finally listened and many states have passed laws that make it legal to use certain forms of the drug in these instances. So what are the business implications of legalizing pot? We can get a good idea by examining the happenings in our Southern most state.

One state that has recently passed a


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Saturday, June 25, 2016

No Money for Patent That Becomes a Military Secret


Can the government make you keep your invention a secret without paying you?

When presented with a matter related to patents,it is always advisable to consult with an experienced patent attorney to clarify issues and pursue options. The world of patents can be a strange one, especially if you trespass into the realm of military inventions. This became very clear to Jim Geer when he filed a patent application in 2000 for an innovative technique for tracking stealth aircraft.


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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Austin Food and Beverage Start-Ups Attract Venture Capital


Start-ups based in Austin, Texas have faced some headwinds in the past year, with reports showing a decline in new venture capital investment. In the first quarter of 2016, Austin start-ups suffered a 49% decline in investment. Experts say venture capitalists lost enthusiasm because of economic unease and high valuations on untested start-ups.

But there has been at least one bright spot: the food and beverage industry. Start-ups offering consumer packaged goods ranging from healthy snacks to gourmet cider have attracted new investment interest even as others have suffered setbacks.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Meaning of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) for U.S. Businesses


What is the Defend Trade Secrets Act?

Now that Congress has passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), it will almost certainly be signed into law. This new legislation is innovative in that it will allow businesses to file claims under federal law against those who misappropriate their confidential information. This will be beneficial to U.S. companies in several ways.


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Monday, May 2, 2016

Partnership Dispute Over YouTube Channel Offers Lessons for Start-Ups


What basic mistakes should entrepreneurs avoid when seeking investors?

A recent case decided in a Dallas, Texas courtroom shows that YouTube videos can be big business — and that traditional legal rules still apply to an area of the web that may seem like a free-for-all. The losing parties' response to the case also suggests that conduct that is commonplace online may not play well in court.

Avoid making unrealistic contractual commitments

The litigation centered on a partnership between two outside investors, David T. Moss and Brandon Keating, and YouTube channel owner/operators Brian Martin and Marko Princip, who were seeking funding for their videogaming channel. The outside investors signed a contract agreeing to put up $1500 in exchange for 30% ownership and 30% of the profits of the partnership for each of them.


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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Copyright of "We Shall Overcome" Called into Question


Does the song "We Shall Overcome" now belong to the world?

Recently, the copyright of "We Shall Overcome," the theme song of the civil rights movement and one of the most emotionally powerful songs of more than one generation, has been called into question. A lawsuit filed by the nonprofit group known as the We Shall Overcome Foundation is seeking a judgment claiming that the song in not under copyright and belongs in the public domain. The suit, filed on behalf of a group that works with orphans and the poor, was filed at Federal District Court in Manhattan and seeks class-action status.


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Monday, April 4, 2016

Lawmakers Consider Enhanced Protection of Trade Secrets


What is the status of The Defend Trade Secrets Act?

American companies have been faced with a wave of infiltration by domestic and foreign industrial spies who steal valuable trade secrets and leak them to competitors. Now lawmakers on Capitol Hill are taking steps to enhance the protection of trade secrets. The Senate Judiciary Committee recently voted in favor of The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). The proposed law is designed to fight trade-secret theft by creating a harmonized, uniform, federal standard to protect


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