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.

Speeding

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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