What Everybody Ought to Know About Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property law is the law that governs rights in creative works and inventions. The most common such rights are patents, copyright and trademarks.

COPYRIGHT
Copyright is a right which gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it. This right extends to most literary, dramatic and art forms. Copyright is not indefinite, but rather last for a limited period. This period will vary depending on the type of work, and ranges from 25 years from the date of publication to 70 years from the date of death of the author. Copyright exists automatically, and does not require any form of registration for the creator to have copyright protection.

PATENTS
A patent represents a series of rights granted by a national government, which effectively grants the patent holder protection and exclusive exploitation rights in connection with an invention. Not everything can be patented; patents will only be granted for something which is an invention, and which are novel, inventive and useful or industrially applicable.

Where a difficulty arises in UK law is in deciding whether something is an “invention”. For any invention involving a tangible, physical object, this is rarely an issue, but the law is reluctant to apply to the status of “invention” to intangible processes or systems. This is usually extended to computer software, which is notoriously difficult to patent (although it will be subject to copyright).

Patents can be obtained in the UK and other countries. There are also international patent-granting authorities, such as the European Patent Office and the International Patent Office. Many countries around the world accept the validity of internationally granted patents. Patent registration is a highly specialised area and is generally handled by expert patent attorneys.

TRADEMARKS
A trademark is a distinctive indicator used by a business to identify itself. This may simply be a word or phrase, but it may also be a logo, sign or image. Trademarks can be registered for extra protection, but even if a trademark is unregistered the owner still has significant protection against its use by a third party, if the trademark owner can demonstrate established use and the perception in the eyes of the public of the association of that trademark with the trademark owner.

There are also rights in UK and European law to protect rights in designs. This can be useful for a business producing goods which are of a specialist or distinctive appearance.

All of the above is collectively referred to as intellectual property rights. Such rights can generally be sold or transferred permanently or, if the original owner wishes, to remain the owner, but is willing to allow others to use the rights, they can be licensed permanently or for a finite period, with the licensee acquiring exclusive or non-exclusive rights, as agreed between the parties.

Intellectual property rights can often be significant in corporate mergers and acquisitions; it is common for the main imperative behind the acquisition of a company to be the securing of the intellectual property rights owned by the company. It is therefore important for any business which is reliant on intellectual property to take the necessary steps to protect and secure that intellectual property, in order to preserve the value of the business.

When looking for an intellectual property solicitor it’s advisable to seek out a law firm that has extensive experience and expertise in dealing with intellectual property matters, including in the licensing and transfer of rights and handling disputes around alleged infringement of rights. A good intellectual property solicitor will take a realistic and commercial approach to your needs and ensure that they understand your business and the way it operates, in order to understand the value of the intellectual property right to you and best methods for protecting it.

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Energy Efficiency Pays Best

In some parts of the Northeast, the skyrocketing cost of oil could cause residential winter heating bills to climb as high as $7,000. Oil reached $145 a barrel in late May, and many analysts are predicting $150-200 per barrel oil within two years. With heating oil averaging $4.71 a gallon, natural gas rates headed for a 20 to 30 percent rise. Add that to electricity bills up, some municipalities are shifting to four-day work weeks, and moving aggressively into renewable energy & energy efficiency.

Utah made headlines in July by becoming the first to put most state employees on a four-day week of 10-hour days. About one-third of the state’s 3,000 government buildings will be closed on Fridays, with expected savings on heat and air conditioning to hit $3 million a year. Commuters will also save on gasoline. Utah’s Governor Jon Huntsman said, “The reaction from the public has been very much a willingness to give this a go.”

Energy efficiency is happening in all sectors. Behavior is changing rapidly in light of higher prices; SUV and light truck sales have dipped 30-60% (depending on the brand) over the last year. Small car sales are up. Total “vehicle miles traveled” dipped for the first time since 1979. Yet, in the 1970s after the oil embargo prompted conservation habits for about a decade, U.S. Americans returned to wasteful ways, as oil prices dropped, ignoring past lessons.

The difference this time is that higher prices are prompted mostly by fundamental supply and demand issues. Peak oil production is either already here, or will be sometime between 2010-2015 at the latest. When global peak oil production is reached, prices will be far higher than today’s.

In order to lessen our dependence on oil, and keep our economy moving, energy efficiency is essential. This past July, U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman met with the energy ministers from the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized countries, plus China, India and South Korea, to discuss ways to enhance global energy security while simultaneously combating global climate change. The G8, which includes Canada, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the US, established the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). It states that energy efficiency is one of the quickest, greenest and most cost-effective ways to address energy security and climate change while ensuring economic growth.

Meanwhile, financial support for the federal assistance “weatherization” program here in the US, which helps low-income families be more energy efficient, has dramatically declined. President Bush proposed eliminating the program entirely. An Energy Dept spending bill before the Senate, would provide $201 million for the fiscal year beginning in October ($40 million less than was supplied in 2007), while winter heating costs have soared. Bush, and GOP presidential candidate John McCain, and Republicans in Congress have touted drilling as the primary short-term solution to rising energy prices, despite the fact that opening offshore areas to production wouldn’t lower gasoline prices until about 2030 — if it does at all.

Currently, the average price for natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) shows an increase of 33% this year. New Jersey customers will pay another 18% based on an increase requested by NJ Natural Gas to take effect this coming October, and another 15% or more expected next year. Between 2002 and 2007, the price of natural gas nearly doubled, according to the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU), with corresponding increases in the price of electricity and heating fuels in New Jersey.

To address the steadily rising prices of energy, New Jersey created an Energy Master Plan. Its primary goal is to maximize energy conservation and energy efficiency. Reducing energy consumption through conservation and efficiency is the most cost-effective way to help lower utility bills, increase reliability, and lower the state’s contributions to global warming and other air pollutants. Reductions of energy use by at least 20% by 2020, as Governor Corzine has directed, would yield annual electricity savings of 20,000 GWh per year and annual heating savings of 119 trillion BTUs, and result in substantial cost savings, thereby promoting economic growth in the state.

Actions to this goal include the following:

- Redesign and enhance the State’s current energy efficiency programs in all sectors of the economy to achieve desired results, while remaining cost-effective. This redesign emphasizes a whole-building approach to energy efficiency.
- Increase energy efficiency in new buildings with a statewide building code, which will make new construction at least 30% more energy efficient than buildings under current code by July 2009.

The market is willing to pay premiums for Energy Star buildings, says Stuart Brodsky, from the EPA’s Energy Star program, as identified in the CoStar study. “The business case for energy efficiency is indisputable,” he said. Green-built buildings have higher prices per square foot but have lower operating costs. Energy Star buildings are selling for an average of $61 more per square foot than conventional buildings. LEED buildings are selling for an average of $171 more per square foot, the study found. Operating costs are 10-20 percent lower in Energy Star-rated buildings, improving operating income significantly. The study also revealed that green buildings achieve higher rents and have higher occupancies.

New Jersey currently offers several programs in the way of incentives for energy efficiency:
Cool & Warm Advantage Programs – Cash rebates for energy efficient heating and cooling equipment (e.g., central air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, boilers or water heaters).
New Jersey for Energy Star – Offers rebates on ENERGY STAR clothes washers, room air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
New Jersey Energy Star Homes – Rebates for energy-efficient new home construction that target Smart Growth Areas. Energy Star Homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than conventionally built homes.
New Jersey Comfort Partners – Improves energy affordability for income-eligible households. If you qualify, a contractor will assess the energy savings opportunities and install the measures at no cost. Personalized customer energy education and counseling is also provided.
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPWES), administered by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, uses a whole house approach to energy-efficiency, lowering energy costs by up to 30 percent or more. This program covers renovations only, not new construction. Participating contractors are accredited through the Building Performance Institute (BPI), a national resource for building science technology that sets standards for assessing and improving the energy performance of homes.

Where To Start
Call in an expert that can show you the “biggest bang for your buck” when it comes to paying for energy efficiency upgrades. A specially trained and certified technician will conduct a Comprehensive Home Assessment, which has two phases.

Phase one consists of the technician taking inventory of, and reporting on, the current conditions in your home, including the following:
- Health & safety check (carbon monoxide levels, moisture, and indoor air quality problems)
- Overall comfort level (cold/hot spots, indoor air quality stuffiness/stale odors)
- Air infiltration rates
- Insulation levels
- Heating and cooling systems efficiency
- Domestic hot water system efficiency
- Major appliances
- Lighting

Certified technicians use a number of diagnostic tools during the first phase of your Comprehensive Home Assessment. Some of the tools they use are:
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) Analyzer: important health and safety tool
- Blower Door: measures the air tightness of a home and assists in identifying areas where air leakage is occurring

Phase two consists of contacting a BPI certified contractor to receive pricing on the proposed improvement work. They test carbon monoxide levels and potentially dangerous gases in the home before and after performing energy improvements. You will receive a detailed plan with recommended measures, costs and payback analysis. Many owners use home equity loans to finance the upgrades.

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Adventure Travel Planning

Travelling is really a wonderful experience, it helps us relieve from stress and allows us to relax and enjoy ourselves away from our work. But don’t get too excited, before you can actually go on vacation, it needs thorough planning before you can actually enjoy.

Do you know why planning is a very important thing if you want to go on adventure travel? Carefully read through this paragraph to know why. First of all, if you plan to go on hiking to an unknown area, you should see to it that all of your paraphernalia are complete and intact including boots and other safety materials. And before setting of to unknown remote areas make sure to contact at least one tour guide that knows very well the local language so that you and your team won’t have any problems communicating with the locals, in case they don’t know how to speak English.

Are you aware that an adventure travel is more expensive as compared to an ordinary vacation? Yes of course, here are the reasons why is this so. First of all, there are few only a little number of people these days who are expert in the field of adventure travel thus they can demand the price they want to guide you to your adventure travel, but they will do all the planning, and guide you through correct and safe route and book you a safe and comfy place to stay during your whole travel adventure. And these people are really in high demand nowadays so this is the reason for the high prices. And we all know that in remote areas transportation is really difficult to find. Hence, you need to plan each and every single detail ahead of time. And you can do this all online and it might be helpful if you research a little bit about the place where you will have your adventure travel.

It might help if you ask your friend or family member who are also into adventure travel because they might give you some useful information regarding the place you are about to go.

Before going on traveling you need to know or ask yourself what type of traveling do you want to experience. Most of the people today, want to relax in a high class hotel and just stay there and relax in order to help them relieve from the everyday stresses they encounter in their work place. On the other hand, some individuals or families really want to go on adventure travel like hiking, caving, zip line, exploring the forest and many more.

The first choice is the easier one to do because hotels are very accessible and you can easily book online for reservation. We all know that adventure travel is really a challenging one, you really need to do is to plan ahead of time for the adventure travel.

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Improve Your Poor Credit Score and Secure Yourself a Loan

So you are thinking of getting some extra money to make some urgent home repairs, the porch door needs replacing, along with a new hot water system. Unfortunately you do not have the money in the bank, but neither do you have a secure porch door or any constant hot water.

Have you considered personal loans? A lot of people take out personal loans for this type of repair. Car repairs and even holidays are used by people with their newly acquired finances. Most people have heard that a poor credit score is not a good thing (However even those that have a poor financial history can still get loans). But how do you make a good rating?

One of thing major pieces of advice from experts, before you apply for finance it is best to get a credit report completed from a reputable source. This will give you an idea of the chance of getting your application approved. In the United States of America there are three levels of credit rating, basically the higher it is the better it is.

An excellent rating is above 760, a good rating would be between 700 and 759 and a poor rating would be between 640 to 699. if you are at the top end, 760 and above then there is no point in making your rating any better. However with other ratings it is worth trying to improve as it will help your chances of succeeding in the application.

There does seem to be a bit of a chicken and egg situation sometimes, you need finance but have a poor score,but to improve you need a lender to give you a chance. Well, luckily there are things that you and your family if you have one, can do to improve your rating.

Having a poor rating does not mean you have to be stuck with it, starting to pay the bills on time instead of late or not at all will start to get you on the right path. Some lenders will still give applicants loans even with a low score, but the total given will be lower than usually and the percentage rate will be considerably higher. So you will pay more over the period of the finance.

Families can help too. If a member of your family has a good rating then some credit card companies can add you to that family members credit card as an authorized user, this will help with any poor credit score. Also having a family member with a good rating co-sign the loan could help you get what you need.

Finding the correct lender for your score is a good way to make sure that you are getting what you deserve, if you have a high score you deserve some of the best deals on the market. Instead of going to your bank or card company you can go online and search for a matching company. Companies like this are a good place go to make sure you achieve the best deal.

What are a matching company and what do they do? You enter your details on their online program and your information will be fed to several of their approved lenders, in turn the lenders will then return to the matching company with a list of loans that they are able to offer.

Once the offers come back it is then up to the applicant to choose one and complete all the necessary paperwork. A check will then be received within a matter of days and your new boiler and door fitted soon after.

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Payment Options for Shopping All the Way

Everyone is busy. Busy in shopping online and in the malls. Popular online portals are breaking and making new sale records! All thanks to the convenience and the availability of easy payment options and funds!

Here are few of the factors that are making online businesses a success

Credit Cards: A credit card is plastic money. It is one of the easiest form in which a person gets a personal loan.

All online portals as well as retailers in malls accept credit cards issued by various banks.
Online payment becomes very simple and safe, thanks to the one time passwords generated for such transactions.
A PIN is sufficient for shopping using a credit card at any retail store.

Personal loans for shopping: When we apply for a personal loan, we don’t have to provide the financier with the details of what we want the loan for.

Thus these days’ personal loans are being used to finance shopping.
They can also be used as wedding loans, vacation loans and educational loans.

Payment Processing: As far as payment processing is concerned, the following factors matter to both the consumer and the online retailer.

Uncomplicated manoeuvring on website: It is important for the payment process to be step-by-step and easy to understand. Most websites work on this section very carefully and thus the online shopping experience is satisfactory.

Processing Costs: Processing costs matter to the retailers. More the processing fees they have to pay to providers of payment gateways like Visa, the lesser are their margins. So to have an effective business the processing costs need to be low.
Number of payment options: Multiple payment options should be available for the customer to make payment. This makes the shopping a convenient proposition.
Time taken to process transactions: Processing time not only tests your patience but sometimes also the strength of your internet connection!

Cash on Delivery: This is also known as “collection on delivery.” This is a very popular mode of making payments for shopping in the developing world.

It enhances impulse purchases.
A credit card is not an essential possession for the buyer.
The buyer can check the quality of the product and then pay

So this festive season, do not hesitate to shop and to gift! The availability of funds for shopping is not difficult anymore. Also the convenience of online shopping has brought various retailers to our doorstep. So let us shop all the way!

An easy way of shopping is using a credit card. It forms an integral part of most people’s financial planning. When used in the right manner, it helps reduce financial liability and optimizes financial resources.

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Are Online Personal Loans Good For People With Bad Credit?

While the rise of online lending in itself makes it more convenient for people to apply for finance, is this development a good thing for those who are already struggling? There are companies out there who charge expensive annual percentage rates (APRs), leaving many people in more trouble than when they first started.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the last few years, online lending has earned itself a bad reputation. The internet leaves many people vulnerable to fraud, so you should always exercise caution when inputting your financial details. The best way to make sure your information remains safe is to find a secure, reliable lending platform.

There is an unfair irony attached to lending today. Those with bad credit are often led to believe they have no financial options if they have made mistakes in the past, often making their situations seem more desperate than they actually are. This can result in people making bad decisions and can lead to borrowing through unstable sources.

Meanwhile, any lenders that do accept you with bad credit will charge extortionate interest rates because of your history, making it more difficult for you to meet your monthly repayment obligations – thus worsening your situation. This is a trap that many people fall into, and it gives online installment lenders a bad name.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case. If you can find yourself a reliable lending platform, you will be connected to a secure network of trustworthy lenders who can offer sensible solutions to your borrowing needs. Many of these lenders will assess your application, even if your credit file isn’t perfect or your income is lower than average.

Instead of (or in some cases, as well as) running credit checks, these lenders will take other factors into consideration, including your income and employment circumstances, and how long you have lived at your current address. They may even ask for references they can contact who will vouch for your character personally.

Even those who receive benefits as a form of income will be able to apply, giving everyone a fair and carefully considered chance of borrowing money. In these cases, applicants won’t be accepted for higher loans than they can afford to pay back, and interest rates will be low, meaning there is a better chance of managing repayments.

If you have poor credit and need to borrow money, consider a personal installment loan, but make sure the APR is advertised between 5.99% and 35.99%. There should also be a number of options in terms of flexible repayment, offering you the chance to pay the money back anywhere between six months and six years, depending on what you can afford to pay per month.

Small, carefully considered personal loans could actually help you build a financial profile making you eligible for better future borrowing. As long as the lender is responsible, and offers reasonable interest rates, online lending platforms can actually give people with more opportunities than many other lenders in terms of improving their situation.

With this in mind, personal loans can be beneficial to those hoping to improve their credit score, but only if some caution is exercised by both parties, and you only apply to borrow an amount you can afford to pay back.

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Five Reasons for Refusal of a Personal Loan

Don’t you wish personal finance were a mandatory course in college? Unfortunately, too many of us learn by mistake. When you need a personal loan and are rejected, you might be baffled as to what went wrong- and how to fix it. Here are some clues.

NO CREDIT

No credit is a situation where you have never used credit and therefore have no credit history for the bank to review. They have no way of making an educated decision on whether or not you will pay back a personal loan based on your credit history. No credit is worse than bad credit. Qualifying for and making regular payments on these types of introductory forms of credit can overcome a “no credit” score:

· Student Loans

· Secured credit card (includes a down payment amount)

· Being added to a parent’s or spouses good credit: card, car loan, etc.

LOW CREDIT

Low credit takes on several forms. If you’re using more than 30% of your allowable debt, it can negatively impact your score. Too many inquiries from shopping around for loans will also hit you hard. Lapses in payment, defaults, or bankruptcies are giant red flags and can take a long time to rebuild from.

Other things that lenders may look at are whether or not you have sizeable assets should you default on the loan. They also check to see if your debts are diversified or if you are only carrying one type of debt.

INCOME

Proof of income is generally required when applying for a personal loan. If you are unemployed or underemployed, it can work against you in the loan approval process. Lenders may also require a work history to see how long you have been with your current employer, and to determine if you typically have job stability. Frequent job loss or change will tell a creditor that your payments may not be reliable.

PURPOSE OF THE LOAN

Believe it or not, your application can be rejected due to your proposed purpose for the loan. Financial institutions have the right to set up the parameters surrounding their disbursements and can accept or reject your application based on what you want to use the money for.

BLACKLISTING

If you’ve defaulted on debt before, your name may be put on a list of whom not to loan to,’ also known as a “Blacklist.” This will follow you around for a long time and is difficult to erase. If you do resolve the debt issues, get documents to prove the resolution.

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How Can A Personal Loan Improve Your Credit Score?

When it comes to a personal loan, you have to first learn to use it responsibly. Because if you miss a repayment, your credit score will be impacted adversely. And remember, that a credit score is an indicator of how well you manage your personal finances. Also, it plays a defining role when you apply for any kind of loan – secured and unsecured. It is suggested to apply for a loan slightly larger than what is needed so that you will be assured to have enough money to pay all bills necessary and still have some money left over to ensure that your bank account stays current.

A credit score can be defined as a number which reflects the financial situation of a person. If the person is well-off when it comes to financial matters, then he or she is said to have a high credit score. On the other hand, if a person is the exact opposite of this, then they possess a low credit score. There are a lot of factors that are considered by financial institutions for the purpose of evaluating a person’s credit score – usually, the credit scores of people vary from 300 to about 850.

A personal loan is a type of loan that is given by digital lenders, banks and credit unions to aid you in your plans, be it starting a small business, or making a big purchase. Personal loans tend to have an interest rate(s) lower than the credit cards; however, they can also be put to use for combining several credit card debts together into one monthly lower-cost payment.

Now, your credit score is built by keeping in mind various parameters from your credit reports. These reports serve the purpose of trailing your history of utilization of the credit across the duration of seven years. These credit reports are comprised of information, including how much credit you have utilized to date, the type of credit in your possession, the age of one’s credit accounts, whether one has put in for bankruptcy or liens filed against them, actions of debt collections taken against them, one’s total open lines of credit as well as recent inquiries for hard credit.

Like any other type of credit, personal loans are very capable of affecting your credit score. This can be done through the process of applying and withdrawing a personal loan. If you are curious as to how personal loans can end up affecting your credit, then read on to find out more about the context. There are many ways in which your credit can be affected by personal loans and some of them are listed below:

The ratio of your debt-to-income and loan

Debt-to-income ratio is considered to be the measure of your amount of income that you spend on the debt repayments. In the case of lenders, the amount of income that you receive is said to be one of the major factors proving that you are able to repay your loan.

Some of the lenders have come up with their own debt-to-income ratio so that their proprietary credit scores may make use of it in the form of a credit consideration. Do not fall into the kind of mindset that possessing a high amount of a loan would hurt your credit. The most damage it can do is raise the ratio of your debt-to-income so that you won’t be able to apply for loans anymore without it getting rejected or denied.

Paying loans on time will make credit scores soar

The moment your loan is approved, you have to make sure that you settle the payments of each month on time and in full. Delay in repayment may significantly impact the state of your credit score. However, on the other hand, if you make the payments on time every month, then your credit score will soar high, leading to an overall good score. This will not only make your name to the preferred borrower’s list, but it will prove to be beneficial for you in the long run.

Since your payment history is comprised of almost 35% of your credit score, paying loans on time is essential in cases like these so that your credit score can maintain a positive status.

Variety is built into your credit type

There are about five factors that are responsible for determining your credit score. These are composed of the payment history, the length of the credit history, the utilization ratio of the credit, the credit mix and new inquiries of the credit in accordance with FICO®.

The credit mix only accounts for about 35% of your total credit score, whereas when it comes to a personal loan you can have a varying mix of the credit types. This mix of all types of credit is viewed at a high level of approval by the creditors and lenders.

Origination fee charged by loans

Most of the lenders end up charging you an origination fee. This fee cannot be avoided at any cost and is instantly taken off from the amount of the loan payment. The amount of origination fees depends upon the amount of the loan you are about to borrow. Late payments can lead to an overdraft of fees and late expenses. Therefore, make sure that you pay complete repayment for each month before the deadline.

Avoiding penalties when it comes to payments

Some of the credit lenders tend to charge an additional fee if you end up paying your part of the loan earlier than the agreed date. This is because they are looking for moderate amounts of interest on your loan. Now, seeing that you have paid off your part of the loan before time, they will miss out on that interest that they could have possibly made if you had not cleared the debt soon enough before the deadline.

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