A patent, along with copyright laws, trademark and the state trade secret laws, is the U.S. legal system’s way of providing protection for all the original works of authors, artists and inventors. A patent, specifically, is a federal government-issued document that protects an original material invention from being exactly copied, and used and/or sold by another; it also gives the inventor the legal right to prohibit anyone from using the patented original work without his or her authorization or consent. 

Like any other properties, the sole rights of an inventor provided by a patent (which lasts for 20 years, beginning on the day the application for the patent was filed), may also be sold, mortgaged, rented, transferred through inheritance or taxed. As a patent expires or becomes invalid, the prohibition against anyone from using the invented thing also ceases.  

The U.S. legal system recognizes three types of patents: 

  • Plant patent–the patent that protects varieties of asexually reproduced and hybrid plants;
  • Design patent –the patent for the unique appearance of manufactured objects; and,
  • Utility patents – the patent meant to protect an invention, such as a technological device, a machine or a chemical, which has a specific purpose.

A particular invention gets patented only after an inventor’s application for patent has been filed with, and approved by, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Only then can an inventor start making profit from his/her patented invention, while simultaneously prohibiting or excluding others from using it. 

Inventors, however, shouldn’t just sit in amazement of their accomplishment, for in September of 2011, the America Invents Act (AIA) was passed into law and made policies that overhauled the U.S. patent system. One of the major changes that the AIA made was the implementation of the “first inventor to file” (from “first to invent”) rule to merit those who actually push to safeguard their invention; the change took effect on March 16, 2013.

Infringement, or the unauthorized use of intellectual properties, is one unlawful practice that the intellectual property laws protect original works against. As the provided protection allows the works’ creators to notify the public about their works and their (exclusive) right over their works, people who may have intentions of using them are somehow prevented from doing so, as they become cautious of the probable legal consequences their illegal act might result to.  

An infringement case, however, is quite costly and there are risks, even for the inventors of the original works. Winning a case, though, will stop further unauthorized use of the works; it will also enable an inventor to earn the royalties that he or she may have been denied of.    

According to the law firm Williams Kherkher, Patents are a commonly used legal tool to protect your intellectual property. Unfortunately, even with a patent in place, intellectual property may be threatened by infringing individuals or companies. When someone uses, produces, or sells a patented product, they are guilty of patent infringement. Patent infringement can cause serious financial harm to your business. Federal law governs patent infringement, making the legalities of patents difficult to navigate without the help of an experienced lawyer.


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Risks Faced by Bicycle Riders due to Uncaring and Irresponsible Motor Vehicle Drivers

More American now choose to leave their car in the driveway and cover the pavement instead on their bicycle, whether to go to work or to run an errand. This choice is not healthy and environment friendly, but can also be faster and much cheaper. Despite these and the many other benefits of riding a bicycle, however, one must not forget of the dangers that a bicyclist can be exposed to, such as pollution (especially if you ride on very busy roads) and the many kinds of road hazards, like defective roads and, most especially, uncaring motorists, who do not see you or those who think you should not be sharing the road with them.

In 2013, there were 900 bicyclists who died in traffic accidents, while an estimated 494,000 were rushed to emergency department after collision with another motor vehicle. In 2014, the number of fatal bicycle accidents went down to 720, 20% lower compared to the previous year, thanks to the educational Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety programs introduced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Separate studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveal the following facts:

  • Adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 29 and adults 45 years and older are the most common victims in fatal bicycle accidents.
  • Children aged between 5 and 14 and those between 15 and 24 years old have the highest rates of non-fatal bicycle-related injuries.
  • The top two cities where the highest number of male cyclists get killed every year (in accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles) are California and Florida. Add Illinois, New York, Michigan and Texas and all six cities account for 54% of all cycling fatalities from 2010 to 2012 which total to 2,023.
  • The two major contributing factors to bicyclist deaths are failure to wear a helmet and alcohol-impairment.

Many states implement the bicycle helmet law for children and adults due to the added safety that a helmet can provide, which is reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in the event of a crash. Despite wearing a helmet or being extra careful, however, some motor vehicle drivers are not just too concerned for the safety of bicycle riders, thus, not bothering to check for the possible presence of one when they are driving.

According to the law firm Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., “Because bicycles offer little to no protection, bicycle riders are often seriously injured when collisions occur with other vehicles. Unfortunately, vehicle operators do not always drive safely around bicyclists, and accidents are not uncommon. Some of the dangers of bicycle accidents include: broken bones, head and neck injuries, heavy bruising, skin infections, spinal injuries, or death

The medical costs and recovery time associated with these injuries can be significant. Fortunately, however, you do not have to face this situation alone. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be able to seek financial compensation from the liable parties with the help of a personal injury attorney.”

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Reckless driving is one of the major causes of car accidents in the United States. Unlike mechanical failures, reckless driving seem to be intentional. It is as if Americans are willingly putting themselves into danger because they believe they are immune to car crashes. We all know that they are not, especially because traffic accidents are well-documented in day to day news.


The most common form of reckless driving is speeding. A faster vehicle is harder to control, not to mention that the fastness itself can make the impact worse. You can’t easily avoid the impact because a speeding vehicle takes longer to stop. Though swerving can prevent a collision, you can still hit another object in your new trajectory.

Excessive speed can also cause the driver to lose control during a turn, sending it spinning on the road or rolling over the embankment. Rollover accidents can be very fatal. Drivers end up trapped in the vehicles or ejected.

Sometimes, speeding is not just about going over the speeding limit. The road conditions are also to be considered. If the road is wet because of rain, drivers should be extra careful.

Improper lane changing

If a driver fails to signal before changing lanes, he is giving others around him very little time to react. This could potentially cause an accident. At its worst, it can be a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles. Not because a driver signals that he is about to change lane he already has the right to do so. There are instances where unsafe lane changes have caused accidents as well.

Improper passing

Reckless drivers also have the tendency to pass other vehicles in an unsafe manner. This is a similar idea to improper lane changing. Reckless drivers are giving the motorists around them a few seconds to react, and a mistake in those seconds is enough to cause an accident.

The worst cases of improper passing involve vehicles that veer into the opposite direction just to pass the vehicle in front of them, resulting into a head-on collision with oncoming vehicles.

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, reckless drivers can be held liable for their actions. That is perhaps the only good news we can hear about reckless driving, because it’s always about injury, death, destroyed properties, inaccessible roads due to debris, and stalled traffic. It is mind-boggling why Americans continue to drive recklessly when the consequences are clearly devastating.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of unintentional injuries and deaths among children in the U.S. are falls, drowning, burns, poisoning, suffocation and motor vehicle accidents. These unintentional accidents injure at least 9.2 million children, with ages ranging from 0 to 17, every year, while causing the death of at least 12,000 more.

Falls are mostly due to riding toys while suffocation is caused by small parts in toys (riding toys are actually the no. 1 cause for toy-related deaths). Aside from these, toy nails, pegs and rubber balls also cause fatalities and severe injuries. In 2005, about 20 children died due to toy-related injuries, while another 217,000 required treatment in emergency rooms; in 2006, toy-related fatalities went up to 22, while injuries, to 220,050 (about 165,100 of these injuries, which included lacerations, bruising and abrasions, with the head and face as the most affected areas, happened to children under the age of 15).

Children’s toys and nursery items, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), have always been named as cause of injury and death in children, especially those aged 15 and below. From 2007 to 2010, millions of toys were recalled by the CPSC due to the dangers these presented, like sharp edges that could cause laceration injuries, small parts that were considered as choking hazards, and toxic substances and chemical contents that exceeded the limits set by the federal government. The CPSC is the agency charged with enforcing toy safety standards laws; these laws set the guidelines on the required size of children’s toys, the inaccessibility of the toys’ batteries and magnets to small children, the noise and toxicity limits, and the display of labels containing the possible risks of choking hazards.

Unlike food items and medicine, many local and foreign manufacturers do not state information regarding any possible harmful elements in the label of their toys. This leaves American consumers without any clue regarding the actual safety of the toys that they buy for their children.

The Toronto personal injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates PC explain that, in litigations seeking damages for injuries committed against children, the best interests of the child should always be kept in mind. This means ensuring maximum financial compensation which will allow the child to receive the best rehabilitation possible so that he/she can focus on treatment and recovery. Based on the severity of the injury, treatment may include pediatric neurologists, specialists in education, speech language pathologists and other physicians.

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One of the most important criteria in selecting the right candidate to fill up vacancies is job knowledge. During the interview, the recruiter will ask questions to help them determine whether the candidate is knowledgeable about the job they are applying for. For most organizations, it is important for their employees to know about the job assigned to them. In order to assess job knowledge of an applicant, a recruiter will perform a series of tests.

Job knowledge provides an employer with a wide range of productivity benefits. From time to time, the responsibilities that an employee may perform may change or evolve. New procedures may be added as well as new technology may be integrated into the workflow. For this reason, it is important for management to keep track of the quality and accuracy of an employee’s job knowledge. This will help them in evaluating their job performance and compare it with company benchmarks.

Functional employment testing can help employers gauge job knowledge of a prospective employee. The knowledge, expertise, and skills of an employee play a vital role in the success of the job. The application of these attributes to their work can also contribute to its success. When evaluating job knowledge, it is the job of the employer to determine how close the current job description is with the assigned task of a worker.

In most instances, training in job knowledge may be mandated and regulated by government agencies. If a worker thinks that their responsibility to accomplish a task that may fall under safety regulations but is not certified or trained for them, the employer may face stiff fines or penalties. Thus, employers are ethically responsible for conducting a fair and accurate match of a job description with the required job knowledge. This could also result to the employee getting fired for failing to carry out the duties of his job description.

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Workers who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos dust in the workplace may decide to file a legal claim to possibly get benefits to cover the high cost of treatment they need to prolong their lives. However, there are times when potential claimants do not know exactly whom to blame for their illness.

When a worker developed mesothelioma, he or she initially may file for workers’ compensation benefits as he or she is not allowed to file a lawsuit in court against the employer. As a person may only file workers’ compensation claim when he or she sustained injuries in the workplace, the situation is difficult when the injured person is a contractor employee. It is critical for a mesothelioma patient to actually determine his or her direct employer. For example, in a construction setup various contractors work in one place in constructing a building. A construction worker exposed to asbestos by default may only file workers’ comp against the company that pays his or her wages. The injured worker cannot get benefits from the building owner or from other contractors even they are negligent. It is even more complicated when a company employee had worked in different workplaces for several years.

Unfortunately, workers’ comp benefits has limitations and it may not cover all the treatment expenses of a worker who developed mesothelioma cancer. Mesothelioma patients are often required to undergo surgery procedures and various maintenance therapies to alleviate their condition. Mesothelioma, according to the lawyers of Williams Kherkher, is a highly lethal cancer in the malignant state. Workers who believed that there are other companies are also liable for their mesothelioma, they may file a separate lawsuit against them. Unlike workers comp claim that is often filed administratively, injured workers may file a lawsuit against negligent companies in general court. Holding other companies or contractors liable after an asbestos exposure is difficult as the law for secondary asbestos exposure continue to progress.

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The Basics of Divorce Law

Ending a marriage through a divorce is a mentally-draining expertise for anyone, much more as it pertains to selecting about breakup-linked issues, the team of resources and properties, such as alimony, child custody, child support and visitation rights. If the divorcing partners don’t get to an agreement on issues, they will have to be satisfied in court, in front of spectators, and based on a judge; a conclusion is obviously final. Over the span of period, however, a choice created, state about alimony, if there’ll also be improvements inside the circumstances of the former spouses may be petitioned for changes.

With a divorce, it triggers worries and worries, especially for the financially dependent partner, who may have abandoned professional opportunities for the cause of his/her accomplice and household, in general. Because breakup, lifestyle might alter, of as well as the vocation that certain has walked from will today need to be embraced once again, to be able to have the ability to afford a good dwelling, in addition to if needed pay child-support.

Houses and possessions in a divorce’s department are usually a fiercely contested matter the method. Acquiring the maximum amount of income or as many properties as one could, is obviously the interest of numerous folks because the more financially steady one is, the reduced fear in the immediate future after divorce /her regarding economic matters, at least for him.

Nonetheless, he or she will first have to ascertain which will be not and which the main prosperity is marital before a judge may start separating possessions and qualities. Low- possessions and marital homes consult with whatever the couples has held possibly prior to marriage’s time. Therefore, these are exempt from being divided. Any earnings after the union, perhaps these resulting from low- success that is marital, nevertheless, are up for the team. Currently, when it comes to actual earnings, several husbands and wives before, particularly the prosperous kinds, have been known to employ means that could maintain their spouses from knowing how much they obviously have, rationalizing they are the only real ones who have the correct to take pleasure from the things they labored so difficult for.

In several US states, qualities and assets are similarly split between each spouse. According to the website of the Raleigh divorce lawyers at Marshall & Taylor PLLC, reasonableness and fairness will be the flash in several different states’ guideline. This means of split is based by way of a family court judge to the following aspects:

  • Period the marriage
  • Revenue and residence that the spouses each have contributed into the union
  • Age and health of each partner
  • Standard of dwelling during the time of relationship
  • Generating income and opportunities of each spouse
  • Needs of the custodial parent for that youngster/children (if you will find any)

Since the procedure for a split is definitely intricate, having a lawyer who’s well-versed in family legislation and who is of creating a tough defense for a spouse’s capable hobbies and rights is not often unnecessary. Numerous judge decisions’ outcome generally depends also on how properly legal counsel could tell a decide about his/her client’s needs. Ensuring that the attorney that is right is hired by one must, therefore, become a matter in divorce’s event.

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The United Nations Road Safety Collaboration found that 22 percent of all traffic fatalities around the world involve victims that were pedestrians. They also estimate that more than 270,000 pedestrians die in global road accidents every year. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Department of Transportation reported 4,743 pedestrian deaths in the year 2012. Such incidents are only expected to continue without active efforts to curb pedestrian accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that majority of pedestrian accidents tends to occur in urban areas. As expected, traffic activity is always greater in highly populated cities. This, however, doesn’t mean that rural areas are free of similar accidents. In fact, there are more cases of severe injury and death in rural settings. Because roads are less crowded, vehicles can run at higher speeds and cause greater force at impact.

The IIHS also found that accidents involving pedestrians commonly happen at night time, between 6 p.m. and midnight. The data also suggest that pedestrians are most likely to be struck by vehicles on Friday and Saturday.

While children are often vulnerable to pedestrian accidents, data shows that children younger than 13 only comprise of 3 per 1 million fatality victims. Elderly victims are actually more vulnerable to injuries caused by such accidents. Even when individuals aged 70 and older are involved in less pedestrian incidents, the death rate for elderly pedestrians is at 24 per 1 million victims.

Injuries incurred from pedestrian accidents differ on the strength of the impact and the type of vehicle involved in the collision. According to the IIHS report, larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs could throw the victim forward and leave them vulnerable to get run over. Meanwhile, smaller vehicles like passenger cars could a pedestrian at hit at knee or thigh level and cause them to fall over the car’s hood.

In all these situations, the damage will depend on the strength of the impact. Vehicles running at higher speeds will cause greater impact at collision, leaving pedestrians more vulnerable to serious injuries such as concussions, spinal cord damage, and internal trauma.

Both drivers and pedestrians should always be reminded that even their slightest mistake could lead to catastrophic outcomes. Everyone should keep in mind that there’s no room for negligent behavior while out on the road. Always follow prescribed traffic rules and safety precautions to mitigate the risk of accidents and injuries.

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Until the late 1970’s, asbestos based materials were widely used in building homes due to their heat resistant properties. However, since it has been found to cause mesothelioma cancer and other diseases, it has been banned from use. People renovating their older homes sometimes find asbestos in their homes when taking down walls or completing other projects, which can pose a great danger if dust with asbestos fibers is breathed in. There are steps you can take if you find asbestos in your home.

The simplest thing you can do is not touch anything possibly contaminated with asbestos. If the materials in your home containing asbestos are in good condition and have not been touched, they often do not pose any health risk. But if the materials begin showing signs of wear and tear or deterioration, take the proper precautions to ensure you are not exposed to asbestos fibers.

Precautions include not using power tools, high pressured hoses, cutting tools, or compressed air. If the asbestos is found while working on a roof, do not attempt to walk over it as you may risk falling through the roof and releasing the fibers into the air. If you must work around the asbestos fibers, ensure the materials are thoroughly wet down to minimize release into the air.

One of the best precautions you can take is to have the specific materials tested for asbestos by a professional lab, who can also inform you on how to correctly remove and take a sample safely. If it is found that materials in your home do contain asbestos, it is important that you hire a professional to remove it. Although it is permitted to remove asbestos on your own, removing them can risk releasing more asbestos fibers into the air putting you, your family, and even your neighbors in great danger. Exposure to asbestos fibers can not only cause the disease asbestosis but mesothelioma cancer that is often fatal to those diagnosed with it. This is why it is crucial to hire a professional to properly remove and dispose of asbestos containing materials.

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Road Reminders

Sometimes, avoiding a car accident is as easy as all of the public service announcements say it is. Most of the things they say not to do while driving are not only highly publicized, but also illegal. In case you forgot or have become desensitized to the ad campaigns that state the obvious, here’s a refresher.

Do not text while driving. It does not matter if you are late to an outing and your friends angrily keep texting you wondering where you are. The sad part is most of the time that is not even the case. Many people are responding to a casual conversation while driving. Knowing “what’s up” with an old high school friend is not worth getting into an accident.

Now that ride-sharing companies are taking off everywhere across the country, there is no excuse to drive under the influence anymore. If you know you and your friends are going to drink heavily, get an Uber or Lyft and avoid driving altogether. Better yet, if someone in the friend group is not up for drinking that night, carpool to save some money.

Surely you have heard of the click it or ticket campaign, and so has your local police officer. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a ticket is given out for not wearing your seat belt every other second. Not wearing a seatbelt is more trouble than it is worth. Newer cars make hard to tolerate beeping sounds if the driver or passenger does not fasten his or her seatbelt.

Speed limits are put in place for a reason. They are not arbitrary, no matter what your friend that gets a speeding ticket every other month says. Instead of looking at speed limits as a nuisance, try thinking about all the time and money you will save by going a few miles slower.

Click here to read about the consequences that come with irresponsible driving.

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