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Business Law Study Guide

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MBA 8030 – Professor Perry Binder, J.D.

Course Reading & Course Terms for Final

Topics/Cases to focus

Web Reading: https://binderonlinelaw.blogspot.com/

Textbook Pages: First # refers to 2nd Edition /Second # to 3rd Ed./ if only one #, it’s the 3rd

Podcast

Property

Real- land or buildings or homes

Personal- moveable – like cars

Intangible- can’t touch but has monetary value

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY/ DOMAIN NAMES ISSUES

Web – KFC case

Text: Grokster, 697/777;

US supreme. Court unanimously held that Grokster could be held liable for inducing copyright infringement and reversed the court of appeals ruling- Evidence of intent

Theory to Practice, 706/789;

Widget co and videos/QA training material- can they be protected and how?

Alice, 783 (3rd );

Alice holds patents issued to signature for a process that facilitated a method whereby several mutual funds pooled their investments into a dingle fund that achieved cost saving over many other funds. US supreme court ruled in CLS (against alice) holding that patents were too abstract and therefore invalid.

Mike Tyson, 789 (3rd )

The tattoo was different enough on Hangover 2 that they Warner Bros they could escape infringement, but Tyson was in the previous movie a lot, so that would be hard to prove.

Settled out of court

D2L – Skim: Perry Binder, New Top-Level Domain Names Add .Xxxtra Company Burden - Group Activities for Creating Effective Domain Registration Portfolios, 14 Atlantic L.J. 114-145 (2012)

Intellectual Property Business Application Module

ADDITIONAL VIDEOS on Website

Patents, TM, Copyright for IP material

IP Protection & Trade Secrets for IP material

New business idea? You may need an IP Attorney for IP material

Trademarks- A word, phrase, slogan or combination that identifies the source of the goods and services of one owner and distinguishes them from the goods and services of another owner

  • Trademark identifies a product like tangible goods such as shoes, where service mark identifies services such as landscaping
  • Typically name brands and logos
  • USPTO

Patents – typically protects an idea and inventions like solar panel - USPTO

Copyrights- typically protects artistic and literary works like songs movies and books- US copyright office

Protects different aspects of the same product

  • New vacuum cleaner
  • Patent to protect design
  • Trademark to protect the logo and brand name
  • Copyright for TV commercial to market product

Domain names/ Business names

  • Domain names: Web address that identifies a business
  • Registered through domain name registrar- does not give you trademark rights
  • Business name is just an entity name- a business name registration with your state does not grant you trademark rights- you must file a trademark application through USPTO to be entitled to that business name -you can register through state, but it is limited to that state- local secretary of state

BUSINESS ENTITIES

Text: Bosse, 308/327;

Chili’s teenagers skipping out on paying.  A patron followed them ensuing a crash. Bosse sued Chili’s claimed they did not know that ptron. MA superior court ruled that an (elements of an) agency relationship needs:

Consent, right of control and agent’s conduct in the benefit of principal in some way

It could not be proven that chili’s gave this person consent, so Chili’s won

Edgewater, 314/351,

Gatzke- fire in Edgewater hotel from lit cigarette in hotel room while filling out expenses

Edgewater sued his company- Walgreens- was this correct? – Yes, he was doing work in the scope of his employment- what if he had been filling out personal postcards?

Florence, 468/508. 

Corporate veil- unpaid contractor suing a company for their personal assets

Was allowed to do so because Shelby company had fraudulently falsified a statement for a bank loan

Look up Employees v. Independent contractors.

Ethics & Corporate Governance Module

ADDITIONAL VIDEOS on Website

Agency: Employee Accidents for Biz Entities material

Employee has to be acting within the course and scope of employment and an employee is driving to work, if he is in an accident, he would be liable but the company would not be.  But if the accident happens during work hours to do something for the business, then employee is acting in course and scope of work, so their employer would be liable.

Choosing a Business Entity for Biz Entities material Piercing the Corporate Veil for Biz Entities

Sole prop

Workplace Ethics as depicted in Steve Carrell’s The Office for Biz Entities material

Requesting employees to say things with “complete immunity”

TORTS

Web reading – The nets go up, Ford Explorer case

Text: Zeidman, 280/294;

Zeidman and Fisher golf tournament- Zeidman got hit in the face with permanent dmage by Fischer and it was not held as he had an “assumption of risk”

Superior court revers and Zeidman won because assumption of risk requires 3 things:

Fully understood specific task

Voluntarily chose to encounter it

Manifested a willingness to accept the know risk

Ziedman did not do #2 as he did not voluntarily choose to put himself at risk as Fischer was supposed to wait for him

Goran, 290/307

Products liability- Goran sued atkins after having a heart attack with a high fat diets

Burton, 291/308. Look up Respondeat superior.

Dangerous condition and comparative negligence

Burton- if it’s general and obvious- no liability- fell into an obvious pothole

We already completed the Products Liability Module

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