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Houston Business & Commercial Law Blog

Jury in Texas frees Apple from patent infringement case

Every business in Texas has the right to protect its intellectual property in order to steer clear of unfair competition. Therefore, the state allows its businessmen and entrepreneurs to file a business litigation claim in the event of an intellectual property dispute. In 2012, a Canadian-based patent licensing firm sued Apple Inc. for allegedly using its patents in iPhones and iPads without its consent. However, recently, a federal jury in Texas has announced that Apple did not infringe on any patents owned by the firm.

When the license firm first filed the lawsuit, it claimed that Apple allegedly infringed more than twelve of its patents. However, some of the patents were eventually excluded from the business litigation in order to streamline the case. The trial focused on five core patents.

Business development programs for entrepreneurs in Houston

The city of Houston, Texas, offers several business development programs. The Bonding Education Program is one such program, which was initiated to help contractors improve their work capacity. The participants are offering various tips and tricks as to the best practices of the industry.

Contractors get to know the challenges and how to meet them. Small contractors also get to meet the bigger players and interact with them as a result of this business development program. These contractors can learn about the latest developments in the construction industry.

Texas landlord-tenant agreements help evade contract disputes

Business owners in Houston, Texas, know that for a new or expanding business, leasing a commercial space is a most cost-intensive task because contract disputes between landlords and tenants can have detrimental effects on a business's prospects. Therefore, it is important for business owners to have a foolproof landlord-tenant agreement, so that future disputes arising from tenancy agreements can be avoided.

The first and foremost point for negotiation is rent. Business owners must keep in mind that rent escalates with time. Therefore, the cost-increase factor must be considered before finalizing a lease agreement. To keep calculations simple, the Small Business Administration recommends that small businesses enter into one or two-year agreements with provisions for renewing the lease. One way of ensuring that a contract is failsafe is by engaging the services of a reputable real estate agent and lawyer, who can guide a business owner through the process.

Have you prepared a business exit plan for exigencies?

Business families of Houston, Harris, Texas often make plans for their businesses to expand and earn higher profits. They may have dreams such as going public, selling their businesses to the highest bidder, or preparing and training the next generation to take over the family business.

However, unfavorable or unforeseen conditions such as illnesses, business losses, debts, disabilities, or retirement or death may impact a business financially, causing the business owner to encounter difficulties running the business. To tackle the issue, one needs to have a business exit plan or strategy in mind. Sadly, many small business owners and family owned businesses do not have their business exit plan in place.

Austin among top cities for entrepreneurial growth

The state of Texas has always been known for its Texas-size hospitality to visitors. Likewise, Texas provides a supportive environment to help local entrepreneurs grow the state's small business sector. Small businesses seem to thrive due to the strong local economies of many cities, including Houston, the availability of well-educated workers and local community support from residents of the state.

According to a recent report, the entrepreneur-friendly environment in the state is being noticed because the state's capital city, Austin, was selected as one of the best cities in the United States to start an entrepreneurial venture. The other cities featured in the list are Arlington, Virginia, Denver, Colorado, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As the report suggests, several factors have allowed Austin inclusion on this list.

We help protect businesses' intellectual property rights

Establishing a business anywhere in the United States, including in Texas, requires that a person or company fulfill various legal requirements and then engage legal guidance to protect its ongoing interests.

Our law firm has been serving small and midsized businesses for the last 25 years. We protect the interests of our clients by helping them resolve their disputes through negotiation or by trial if necessary. We have helped various businesses achieve their goals across a wide category of business disputes, including contract disputes, business formations, mergers and acquisitions, contract and agreement drafting, intellectual property rights and more.

Texas policies and programs help small businesses grow

Many Texans believe that the real engines of the national and local economies are small businesses. In Texas, there are more than 2.2 million small businesses, and the number continues to grow. One reason is that the state's small-business policies offer advantages that are not available in some other states. In addition, some of the geographical conditions and the ready availability of workers are factors that seem to be helping new businesses to grow in the state.

Various state government programs and workshops help entrepreneurs get the tools and training they need to grow their businesses. Among them are the Historically Underutilized Business Certification Program, the Governor's Small Business Forums and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

Houston-based firm acquires oil tycoon Hamm's Hiland Partners

Most businesses in the country, including those in Texas, dream of growing, expanding and exploring new opportunities. Mergers and acquisitions are among the tools that can help them do this. Sometimes extraordinary events present opportunities that businesses would be foolish not to take advantage of. One such recent acquisition was perhaps made possible by one man's financial considerations after his divorce.

Kinder Morgan Inc., one of the country's largest energy resource companies, has purchased Oklahoma-based Hiland Partners for $3 billion from its owner, oil billionaire Harold Hamm, and certain Hamm family trusts. The deal will give Kinder Morgan, based in Houston, a major presence in the oil market that has developed from the Bakken shale oil formation in Montana and North Dakota. Hiland Partners' assets are primarily based on fees it assesses its customers for gathering and transporting large volumes of crude oil, as well as its gas gathering and processing systems that primarily serve production from the Bakken formation.

Privately held corporations: understanding the basics

The right to choose the type of incorporation process of privately held corporations is usually given to the corporation itself or its managers and board of directors. Texas law provides various forms of internal business models that may be incorporated in order to run the company on a daily basis.

Many companies consult professional legal help in order to facilitate incorporation of privately held corporations. In the past, many privately held corporations were criticized for the way in which they executed manager-run policies. The corporations used to allegedly make policies that benefited the managers of the company and were detrimental to the shareholders, especially the minority shareholders.

Resolving contract disputes through legal measures

Any dispute or litigation that may arise in a corporation, whether between two entities or between employers and employees, may form parts of a contract dispute. The attorneys at Manfred Sternberg & Associates, P.C., have decades of experience addressing such contract disputes and defending the rights of the parties in lawsuits.

Breaching a contract is one of the most common grounds for business litigation and contract disputes. In cases where an employer or a business owner is sued for a contract breach, seeking legal guidance to understand your rights and options is one of the first things most businesses prefer to do. With more than a quarter of a century's experience in contacts disputes, our firm has litigated a diverse caseload.

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Manfred Sternberg & Associates, PC
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Houston, Texas 77027
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