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Showing posts from May, 2014

How Can You Protect Your Intellectual Property?

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Guest PostAre you designing a new product? Have you written a book or produced a musical album? Without protection, your intellectual property could be used by others and exploited for commercial gain. The experts at Vannin Capital spoke to us recently to share the following advice;In the UK, intellectual property – whether it’s the plans for a new technology, a film script or a computer game – is protected against unauthorised use, modification or theft by trademarks, design rights, patents and copyright.While these four categories of intellectual property protection may seem similar to each other, they each serve a different purpose. Copyright protects creative works like music, literature or visual art from piracy and imitation.Patents, on the other hand, protect new technologies and inventions from copycats to protect their original inventors. Images and phrases that represent brands can be  protected through trademarks, while unique designs are protected by design rights.If you u…

Law Society Practice Note: Consumer Contracts Regulations

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The Law Society have published a practice note relating to the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (the “Regulations”) which come into force on 13 June 2014. As the practice note succinctly puts it: [The Regulations] regulate most contracts made between a "trader" and a "consumer". The regulations are likely to apply to a wide range of contracts made between solicitors (as traders) and their clients (as consumers). Whether they apply will depend on the nature of the client and the circumstances in which the contract was made. This practice note explains when the regulations will apply to contracts between solicitors and their clients, and explains the consequences.Commercial lawyers have doubtless been busy during the last few months, prepping and advising clients on the impact that the forthcoming Regulations will bring. However, some of those who specialise in other areas might not have spotted the fact the Regul…

Hyper-sensitivities and sensibilities: the real damage done by the Beeb’s handling of the Clarkson and Lowe incidents

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From the London Evening Standard 12/05/14 | Sam Leith | "Hang the DJ? It’s panic time at the BBC" [Would you expect to be sacked] if you thoughtlessly played an old record that contained th[e] [n] word on local radio? You’d think not. But that’s what happened to BBC Radio Devon DJ David Lowe, 68, after he broadcast a 1932 recording of The Sun Has Got His Hat On. Mr Lowe says he didn’t know verse two contained the jaunty couplet: “He’s been tanning n****** out in Timbuktu./ Now he’s coming back to do the same to you.” But it did, and it was broadcast, someone complained and Lowe was dished for a word sung by someone else a decade and a half before he was born. What we’re seeing is the news entering a weird sort of Clarkson n-word postmodern death-spiral. It seems pretty clear it’s not the PC-gone-mad brigade who claimed Lowe’s scalp. Rather, it was BBC managers panicking, precisely because of the Clarkson coverage, about the terrifying power of the PC-gone-mad brigade. The BB…

Remote working versus office hell

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From the Guardian 30/04/14 | Donna Ferguson | "Whatever happened to remote working?": Squashed, squeezed and stressed: if you've struggled into work today and are reading this in a crowded office, surrounded by distracting noises, machines, smells and colleagues, and are dreading your commute home, then you are certainly, literally, not alone. Despite the many advances in remote working technology, latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that 87% of us still work primarily at the office. Of course, as a commuter, you don't need to be told that – especially if you work in London. Of the 3 million people who commute daily on the London Underground, it is estimated as many as 75% had to battle into the office today, despite the strike action that has ground most of the public transport network to a halt.A 30 minute stomp from Paddington during the tube strike last week allowed me to get a head-start on my exercise quota for the week some exercise for …

Fracking and the Legal Challenges: what the UK can learn from US precedents and practices

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Guest PostFracking ventures in the UK are several years behind such developments in the USA. As every country of the world struggles to produce energy resources that are both ethical and at the same time efficient, today is a salutary moment to consider what the UK can learn from the US example. Fracking is controversial. Its supporters cite its cheapness and contribution to economic expansion. Its critics emphasise its environmental negatives, especially the threat to local water contamination and increased heavy traffic disruption. Economists celebrate its contribution to economic growth and savings in US fuel costs. At this moment, the UK is years behind the USA in exploiting its potential shale gas/fracking resources. However, it seems likely that the same environmental and legal debate will follow the US precedent. This article will consider what lessons the UK might learn from the US precedent. So why today to ask this question? Only because today it was announced that the late…

Using Trusts To Protect Your Estate: An Easy Guide

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Guest Post

Unfortunately, many people consider trusts a rich person’s domain. It’s actually easy for anyone to benefit from a tax-saving trust (and avoid probate).
How Trusts Work An owner of an estate can protect their assets in a trust by handing over the legal title to a trustee. This is to benefit one or more people detailed in the trust (the beneficiaries). There are two types of trusts: revocable/irrevocable.

Revocable Trusts A revocable trust can be…you guessed it…revoked. The government then considers this fair game for taxation. You may have to pay estate taxes on any assets that are left behind upon your death. During your lifetime, you might have to shell out for income taxes on any revenue you make inside your revocable trust.

Irrevocable Trust
All assets are permanently removed from an estate and transferred into a trust. Usually, these assets are exempt from estate taxes, as they aren’t considered part of the grantor’s estate, upon their death. Many revocable trusts become ir…

Above The Law: How The Rich Can Buy Themselves Out Of Trouble

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Guest Post
Image from: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8110/8496877807_4089b9864e_o.jpg
16 year old Ethan Crouch attained notoriety when he killed four people and seriously injured two in a devastating drunk driving incident. Instead of receiving jail time, Crouch was sentenced to spending an undefined amount of time in a luxury rehabilitation facility. His probation is limited to 10 years, during which he has to refrain from consuming drugs or alcohol and cannot drive.
Psychologists blamed the wealthy, privileged parents for overly coddling and letting the kid run wild without restrictions. The judge maintains that this assessment didn’t play a part in her ruling.
The rehabilitation centre, which costs a massive $450,000 a year, will be paid for by Crouch’s parents. If Crouch breaks the terms of his probation, he could face up to ten years in jail, but otherwise, he won’t have to spend any time in a juvenile prison.
Crouch obviously had some top motoring lawyers, working on his case.
Irrepa…