Illinois becomes the second state to pass a social media privacy law prohibiting employers from requiring applicants or employees to allow employers access to their social media accounts. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2013. It does not prohibit employers from obtaining information about applicants or employees in the public domain and it specifically excludes email from its definition of "social networking website." Maryland was the first state to pass such a law, and at least 14 othe... Continue reading »
More than 1,200 companies have applied for more than 2,000 new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) to compete with .com, .org, etc.1 Might any of those new gTLDs infringe your intellectual property rights? You can find out soon enough.
On June 13, 2012, the public portions of all new gTLD applications, including applicant information and character strings will become available. If you believe that an applied-for character string infringes your intellectual property rights you may object b... Continue reading »
Upcoming SBA matchmaking conferences for business owners who would like an opportunity to win federal government contracts:
Los Angeles, Calif. (March 21)
Houston, Texas (March 27)
San Antonio, Texas (March 29)
Chicago, Ill. (April 5)
Denver, Colo. (April 11)
Boston, Mass. (May 10)
Newark, N.J. (May 23)
Seattle, Wash. (June 7)
Kansas City, Mo. (June 21)
Sacramento, Calif. (July 24)
Cleveland, Ohio (August 7)
The news isn't necessarily good for entrepreneurs who will turn to venture capital funds in the future for capital.
According to Thomson Reuters, 38 funds raised $5.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 -- a healthy boost in dollars committed, but a 41% decline by the number of funds involved. This means that a few funds will seek bigger deals from a few big idea companies. Overall, don't expect VCs to be the big job producers for the economy.
For business owners that manage their payrolls in house or for budgeting purposes, here are changes to state wage rates:
Arizona : Minimum wage increases from $7.35 to $7.65 an hour. Minimum wage for tipped employees increases from $4.35 to $4.65 an hour.
Colorado : Minimum wage increases from $7.36 to $7.64 an hour. Minimum wage for tipped employees increases from $4.34 to $4.62 an hour.
Florida : Minimum wage increases from $7.31 to $7.67 an hour. Minimum wage for tipped employees increas... Continue reading »
On December 21, 2011, the SEC finalized its amendments to the individual accredited investor net worth standards under Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933. Issuers that conduct private offerings of securities under an exemption from securities registration usually rely on the exemption found under Regulation D that permits sales of the securities in the offering to persons who are “accredited investors,” as defined under Rule 501 of Regulation D. One way an individual investor may qualify... Continue reading »
From the USPTO...
USPTO Director David Kappos has launched a pilot program that will give small entity inventors having two or more patent applications currently pending greater control over the priority in which their applications are examined while also reducing the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO. This pilot will allow a patent application from a small entity to receive special, accelerated status if the applicant is willing to abandon an application th... Continue reading »