Texas music fans may be interested to learn that on May 27, a judge ruled that a class action lawsuit against the satellite radio company Sirius XM could go forward. The lawsuit deals with songs recorded prior to Feb. 15, 1972 that Sirius XM has not paid royalties for because those songs are not protected under existing federal copyright laws.
Texas football fans might remember InVinceable, which was trademarked during the college career of quarterback Vince Young. It is an example of a trademark arising from an image or phrase that suddenly becomes part of the public consciousness, in contrast to planned marks which are more common. Indeed, intellectual property rights often represent the combined efforts of business sales gurus and marketing personnel. In either case, they must be protected.
Texas residents who are familiar with Life Alert products that are marketed to elderly consumers may be surprised to learn that the company is being sued for age discrimination and sexual harassment. On May 6, a former employee of Life Alert Emergency Response Inc filed a $7 million lawsuit after he claims he was fired for his age, cancer diagnosis and objections to sexual harassment.
There are numerous decisions that Texas entrepreneurs must make when they start businesses, and one vital decision is the legal structure. This decision affects the amount the individuals or companies owe on taxes and has an effect on how they are liable for the businesses debts.
Walmart is facing a lawsuit from a labor union after closing five of its stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and California. According to the National Labor Relations Board claim that was filed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union on April 20, the retail giant closed the stores to retaliate against workers who were trying to organize.
Many Texas businesses have trade secrets, such as formulas, computer codes or others, that they have taken reasonable steps to protect. In the event a person or another business violates the business's trade secret protections, either by reverse engineering or through other means, the owner may take legal steps in order to obtain appropriate remedies.
In Texas, a limited liability company may consist of a single owner, two partners or many owners. These owners are known as members. For tax purposes, an LLC operates more like a partnership than a corporation in that members in most cases report profits and losses on their personal income tax returns. There is no federal tax on the LLC itself, and tax returns must be filed on the business as a corporation, a sole proprietorship or a partnership. There may be advantages to filing returns as an S-Corp.
Texas residents interested in running their own company may wish to know about some of the potential dangers of starting an Internet business. Due to the number of fraudulent business opportunities that are present, any proposal that is received should be carefully reviewed.
On March 16, a federal jury determined that Apple did not breach five patents regarding wireless technology. This decision follows a February ruling in a separate Texas case ordering Apple to pay millions for patent infringement.
Writing a business plan is a crucial step for those contemplating opening a new business in Texas. A business plan allows entrepreneurs to organize their marketing strategies, and such a document will often be required by banks or outside equity investors before financing is approved. However, writing a business plan should not be looked upon as a task that can be forgotten once completed, and there are a number of situations that may call for it to be reevaluated and updated.