For the third year running, we are proud to announce Elana Bertram is recognized as a Super Lawyers(R) Connecticut Rising Star. More information on this honor here: https://www.superlawyers.com/about.html
For the second year running, Attorney Elana Bertram has been named to the Super Lawyers(R) Rising Star(R) list for Connecticut! See details here: https://www.superlawyers.com/connecticut/selection_details.html
Don't hesitate to call (203)491-0313 or email attorneybertram(at)HawleyLegalResources(dot)com to set up your free consultation. Booking now for December 2017.
Attorney Bertram joined her friend and colleague, SuperLawyer(R) Timothy C. Moynahan, at a ribbon cutting ceremony in March 2014 to open his new office at 60 North Street.
This award honors New York State Bar Association members who have completed 50 or more hours of pro bono legal services in one year. In the wake of the Sandy Hook School shooting in December 2012, Attorney Bertram was called to serve in a variety of capacities without compensation.
For more information, visit www.nysba.org/probono.
It's been a busy spring and summer here at Hawley Legal Resources. We've been fortunate to have the help of a summer associate to keep up with the influx of clients, and expanded our representation into the music industry. On a personal note, I also married to my law school sweetheart and took a refreshing honeymoon to Bermuda in June.
I did this right when all the business media was fawning over several major CEOs who "unplug" or eschew electronic and work communications during vacations. In contrast, think of the so-called average entrepreneur or business owner -- are you glued to your Blackberry? Do you check emails in between courses at fancy restaurants? Are you ever really "off the clock?"
As a small business owner myself, I definitely had the feeling that I was "on" all the time. Whether it was the always-welcome all-hours calls from nervous clients before a deal closed or trying to balance HootSuite with the bridal registry and thank you card manager, I was definitely burning the candle at every available end leading up to the wedding.
While away, I was happy every day with my decision to leave all my tech in the States and delegate office management to an assistant. It was worth every missed facebook status, every untweeted tweet, and certainly every phone call from an 888 area code.
When I returned, I'm finding I triage my time a bit better. There are "vitally important" communications and there are things that can wait until after 5 for a more thoughtful response. I'm also reducing the number of times I log in on weekends. It's still nervewracking to feel like I might be missing opportunities for new business, but realistically, I get the messages first-thing Monday morning, when I'm prepared to make the best of the opportunity, rather than when I'm trying to also eat ice cream or carry a beach chair.
What about in your business? Are you too important to the survival of your business to take time off? Are you insecure? Or are you just avoiding having fun because you don't think you've "earned" the time off yet? Remember, if you had a salaried job, you'd have a fixed number of days a year for which you'd be paid to NOT WORK. Can you unplug?
Sometimes, you just have to START. Whether it's your blog, your business, your career change, or your day, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take that step.
As often as some of my clients (or their predecessors in interest) may have plunged headlong into something they may not have been prepared for, I much more often find myself encouraging action rather than discouraging it. There is a fine balance between testing the waters and waiting until everything is perfect before taking a dip.
"Perfect" doesn't happen. Ever. You will look back on the first days and years of your startup and cringe. You will consider writing a book about how one epic, poor, pivotal decision blew up a good deal, or how you didn't listen to your gut, or how you DID and your gut let you down. You might even fail. And you will learn. You will survive. You will try again, or change directions entirely.
I can't promise you that trying is enough to succeed. In fact, no one can guarantee you anything; not a business partner, not a venture capitalist, not a federal regulator interviewing you about how your business model might not follow the rules, nobody. But just as clearly, life is finite. We get so many breaths here on earth to use as we choose, and today is your day.
What are you waiting for?
Today I gave a presentation on Intellectual Property Basics to a team of accountants. The practice has noticed an uptick in small business and startup clients, and they reached out to me to fill in some of the blanks about what makes the various types of IP valuable and best practices to protect said IP so that they have good answers when these clients look to them for advice.
Naturally, there are a variety of occasions when a patent attorney is the best resource for making decisions about an IP portfolio, but I appreciated the opportunity to share what I do for my clients and learn more about what they do for theirs. It turns out that we often serve the same types of entrepreneurs and small businesses, and so in the future we may collaborate.
You know the power of networking. You can't have success in business without a solid network of referral sources, mentors, and sounding boards to serve as a launch pad for your own career (and it's best when you play those roles for others, as well). As you start a new business, consider beginning a network of professional service providers such as accountants and attorneys. You probably don't need to hire all of them right away, but start scouting for your team while you are still in the minors, then when you want to go Major League, you have gotten to know the capacity and value of those service providers you will rely on.
Start off by finding one person you trust with sharing you ideas. It doesn't need to be someone you will ever hire -- it could be a friend, former professor, or even your real estate agent. After introducing your idea, ask specifically if they know someone who can do X. Ask for the referral. For the most part, people are happy to help their friends by introducing new potential clients, and the more people you can recruit to recommend resources, the more resources you have to choose from.
I'll be the first one to tell you that you don't need me. Any honest professional should do so. But just because you don't need me NOW doesn't mean I can't be a resource in the future. Build your dream team before you need them, and they will be ready when you call.
Recently, we blogged about a case where a judge ordered a disgruntled customer to remove her colorful Yelp and Angie's List reviews about a contractor's services pending a decision on the defamation claims by the contractor.
The Supreme Court of Virginia just backpedaled substantially, vacating the injunction as premature. In Virginia, at least, speech must be adjudicated defamatory before it can be silenced.
No word yet on whether the contractor is moving forward with his claims for defamation. Stay tuned.
The Wall Street Journal's Market Data Group joined forces with The Patent Board to rank major industry players by their IP impact on the market. The most recent breakdown of consumer electronics companies, for example, has Sony taking the lead on a variety of metrics, despite the fact that Sony has experienced a near-40% drop in stock value year to date.
Check out this new way to compare companies!
Forbes reports that a portion of Eastman Kodak's intellectual property portfolio will be sold in bankruptcy proceedings for just over half a billion dollars. The buyers are myriad -- Apple, Google, Samsung and Facebook are leading contenders. And the deal is brokered by Intellectual Ventures, a non-practicing entity widely reviled as a patent troll.
One wonders how the value of these patent monopolies will be diluted by divvying up these spoils among so many competitors. One also wonders why all these companies are getting in bed with Intellectual Ventures, which adds greatly to its credibility and clout.
Kodak's IP portfolio is deep and broad, as described by NY's Jewish Voice website. Kodak even argued during bankruptcy proceedings that Apple owed it over $1 billion in patent royalties, so it remains to be seen whether this purchase will be set-off against any of those alleged backpayments.
At one point, Kodak claimed its IP portfolio was worth as much as $2.6 billion. The deal must still be approved by the bankruptcy court, but it's looking good -- loans were extended to Kodak on the condition that its IP portfolio was sold for more than $500m, and it just barely made it.
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