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Detroit & Chicago Business Organizations Legal Blog

Terminating contracts for convenience

When executing contracts in Detroit, most would think that those party to them cannot simply walk away from these agreements for no reason. Yet depending on the type of company or agency involved (or the exact terms of a contract), the law may allow one to do just that. 

The concept of "termination for convenience" applies to all government agencies (as well as private organizations that qualify). This allows such parties to terminate contracts if they do not believe them to be in their best interests. Indeed, Section 52.249-2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (as shared by the Cornell University Law School) reaffirms this fact. It states that any government entity can cite convenience when terminating a contract in whole or from time to time. 

Understanding unfair business competition

As many business owners in Detroit and Chicago are well aware, the advantages to bringing a company idea into fruition can be endless. By the same token, owning a business can come with a long string of challenges and confusion. When a business owner suspects that a rivaling company has presented an unfair competition, there are many aspects to be aware of. 

It is no secret that competition is simply part of the business game. No matter the size of the company, Forbes shares that it is easy for business disputes to arise after an idea appears stolen. Rather than allowing oneself to become immediately defensive, Forbes urges business owners to take an opportunity of competition as a innovative challenge. For example, similarities between businesses are natural; Forbes shares that adding an extra oomph to a product is just one way businesses can stand out from the rest. In addition, maintaining an awareness of competitors' strategies can also prove beneficial. While keeping too close of an eye on another business can be harmful, there is a healthy way of staying in the know of surrounding business methods in order to execute the best ideas.

IP lawsuit potentially connected to takeover attempt

Businesses in Illinois and Michigan who must carefully guard their intellectual property know that this may take many forms at different times. In fact, it is even possible that at times what appears to be a dispute over an intellectual property infringement may actually be just a tactic to another outcome. An example of this can be seen in a lawsuit that has recently been filed by a software app company.

Reports indicate that the Match Group owns multiple dating and social connection apps, one of which is Tinder. Bumble is currently a competitor with which Match Group was said to have been discussing a buyout so that Bumble would become part of the Match portfolio. Talks about a takeover or acquisition were said to have ended after Bumble reportedly refused a $450 million purchase price offer from Match.

Understanding patent protections

With the midwestern portion of the United States being a key region for domestic manufacturing, it stands to reason that many businesses in Michigan or Illinois might need to seek intellectual property protections for certain inventions or developments. The World Intellectual Property Organization indicates that the goal of such protections is to encourage the ongoing innovation and creativity that furthers societal advancements. 

Copyrights, trademarks and patents are common types of intellectual property protections and each is used in select situations. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, there are actually three types of patents that may be applied for. One of these is for the invention of a new design for an item to be manufactured and another is for the invention of a new process for manufacturing something. The third type of patent relates to botany for the asexual reproductive invention of a new type of plant.

Employee accused of violating noncompete agreement

Company owners and executives in Chicago, Detroit and other cities around the midwest know that their employees are among some of the most valuable assets they have. The knowledge that people can amass after working for a company for a long time can include very sensitive and competitively essential data. For this reason, the development of noncompete agreements is somewhat a common practice in many industries.

These contracts are designed to prevent employees from leaving one company and immediately going to a competitor where their knowledge of their former employers can help their new employers. In the event that a person does make such a job transition, the noncompete agreement may allow the original employer the right to pursue legal action. An example of this can be seen in a case in which a man once worked as a high-level strategist for a beer company with a noncompete agreement for one year in place.

What should you know about unfair competition?

Chicago business owners like you deserve a fair chance at being able to make your business grow and prosper. While competition is a natural part of the business cycle and should be expected, there are some instances in which that competition can become unfair for you.

The Legal Information Institute defines unfair competition as a business with practices that are deceptive, wrongful, and intentionally confusing for customers. A popular common example is the intentional copying of a famous brand's trademark, signature, or other identifiable markings, used to trick customers into thinking that their own brand is associated with the famous one. Other examples include:

  • Trade libel
  • Substituting one brand for another without authorization
  • Stealing trade secrets
  • Using confidential information to get ahead
  • Falsely representing the service or product

What should you know about business-building basics?

As a Chicago resident who's looking into forming your own business, it's important to have a strong team supporting you. Pentiuk, Couvreur & Kobiljak PC can step in when you need legal help, acting as your guide in the often-complex world of business litigation.

First of all, when you're starting a business, there are a lot of legalities to get into. Actually filing your business is one of the simplest steps, but there is a lot of paperwork to go through, and there will likely be terms you aren't familiar with. For example, do you want to file your company under a sole proprietorship? What about a limited liability corporation? Based on that decision, you'll have different legalities to look through. This can affect your taxes, your federal and state-level compliance standards, and your distribution of stock.

Re-evaluating S and C corporation benefits

Like their counterparts around the nation, business owners, entreprenuers and executives in Michigan and Illinois are likely very interested to learn how the new tax plan might change some of the decisions they make about their ventures. One of these key decisions often faced is whether to establish a business as a traditional C corporation or as an S corporation.

As explained by Inc. magazine, many small businesses in particular have historically been able to benefit from an S corporation structure over a C corporation structure largely due to the difference in taxation and the high tax rate associated with C corporations. Now that this tax rate will be cut dramatically, it might be time for people to re-evaluate the type of structure used.

Basics of confidentiality agreements

If you run or own a business in Michigan or Illinois, you know that there are times when your work with other entities requires you to share some information about your business that may be sensitive. If you believe this is something you should do, it is important to know how to protect your business so that this sensitive data is not stolen, inappropriately shared or used against you in some way.

As explained by Forbes, a confidentiality agreement or a non-disclosure agreement as it is also called, is a special type of business contract that protects you and your company when you must disclose information to another entity. These contracts can stipulate information shared between the parties must remain confidential and not be disclosed to any other parties. It is important that an NDA be appropriately clear as to what data must be kept private including the format in which the information is shared such as in writing or orally.

What is a limited partnership?

As business-minded folk in Chicago like you work toward making your entrepreneurial dreams a reality, you're likely to run into questions of whether or not to get other people involved in your plans. There are plenty of different partnerships you can look into, and each offers its own benefits. Let's take a look at limited partnerships first.

The Balance sheds light on limited partnerships and their use, starting off with the telling nickname that limited partnerships are also known by: silent partners. This is because every limited partnership has one general partner and one or more limited partners. In this style of business, the general partner is the one that makes all of the decisions. This means you don't have to answer to anyone else when you run the daily management; all choice-making is in your hands.


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