Law Blog

Thoughts on The Open COVID Pledge

Thoughts on The Open COVID Pledge

Intellectual Property, Licensing
Like most of you, in the wake of the unprecedented (in modern times, anyway) COVID-19 pandemic, I have been spending the past several weeks working remotely from home and self-isolating.  Certainly when compared to the heroic efforts and sacrifices of our healthcare workers and first responders (and let's not forget those collecting our trash and re-stocking the grocery store shelves), there really is nothing quite like a deadly pandemic to make me and my law degree feel completely useless.  As I've been taking the routine conference calls, responding to e-mails, and completing other client work from the comfort of my home office, I have been trying hard to think of ways that I could make my decades of legal experience useful to the Arizona biotech, research, and medical device community in…
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Can Our Independent Contractor Claim Unemployment under the CARES Act?

Can Our Independent Contractor Claim Unemployment under the CARES Act?

Independent Contractor, Unemployment Insurance
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis affecting the country and specifically Arizona, our Phoenix law firm has been getting questions from business clients who have received notices of unemployment claims filed by their independent contractors whom they had to let go due to the impact of the Coronavirus. This article examines whether your former independent contractor can even apply for unemployment benefits and what you as their most recent "employer" should do if you receive a notice of their unemployment claim here in Arizona.  Can Independent Contractor's Apply for Unemployment in Arizona? It is not unusual for tech startups to use independent contractors to address companies' short-term needs for certain skills, without taking on the financial and tax obligations of a regular, "W-2" employee. Under normal circumstances (at least…
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USPTO Announces Extension for Trademark Responses Affected by Coronavirus

USPTO Announces Extension for Trademark Responses Affected by Coronavirus

Intellectual Property, Trademark, USPTO
In response to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on March 31, 2020 announced an extension of time to file certain trademark-related filings and fees. What Trademark deadlines are being extended? The announcement from USPTO Director Iancu explained that the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic prejudices the rights of trademark applicants, registrants, and owners. The announcement went on to provide that parties unable to meet trademark-related deadlines due to the Coronavirus outbreak would be granted a 30-day extension for certain deadlines falling between March 27th and April 30th of this year. How can a Trademark applicant request the 30-day extension? The USPTO has stated that the 30-day extension will be provided to any filing accompanied by a “statement that the delay…
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What Up, B? Is a Benefit Corporation Right for Your Startup?

What Up, B? Is a Benefit Corporation Right for Your Startup?

B Corporation, Corporations
It's hard to believe that five years have past since Arizona allowed new businesses to form as "B" corporations here in our State.  While the bulk of my work with startup companies still involves more traditional corporations and LLCs, lately I've witnessed an uptick in interest from startup founders asking about organizing as a B corp.  I believe this trend will continue as the appetite for ethical corporate governance and good corporate citizenship continues to grow.  So what is a B corporation anyway? The B Corporation: What It Is and Is Not For those that don't know, the "B" in B corporation stands for "benefit" (or, more specifically under Arizona Revised Statutes §10-2402, a "general public benefit").   Think of these entities as (with apologies to the late President Bush)…
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What Is My Liability as A Startup Co-Founder?

What Is My Liability as A Startup Co-Founder?

Contracts, Corporations, Start-Up
The forming and launching of a startup is an exciting, possibly life altering event.  However, if you and your fellow co-founders are not careful to take certain precautions, being a co-founder has potential to be life altering in a negative way.   In this post, we'll talk about an oft-posed question I get as a Phoenix startup company attorney: What is my liability as a co-founder of a startup? Ways Your Startup Could Be Liable When I talk to startup clients about their liability concerns, I find it helps to break the universe of potential liability into two main camps: tort and contractual.  Note: I will save a potentially large---but no less serious---third category of corporate tax, payroll tax, and pension liabilities for another day/blog post. In its most basic…
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