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Houston Business & Commercial Law Blog

Texas beverage company sues over soft drink trademark

Trademarks are often key to a business's success and revenue. Litigation sometimes ensues when a business believes their intellectual property is being misappropriated. A recent lawsuit filed by a Texas-based company in federal court in Dallas against a smaller competing business over allegations of infringement of trademark highlights this situation.

Austin-based beverage company Big Red filed a lawsuit against a small beverage company from Pennsylvania, the Catawissa Bottling Company. Big Red accuses Catawissa of selling a product that is very similar to Big Red's flagship beverage. Big Red alleges that Catawissa's Big Ben beverage is "diluting" Big Red's trademark.

Essential information in a certificate of formation

Residents of Texas who are planning to form a new business should understand exactly which details a certificate of formation should contain. A certificate of formation is the required document that must be filed with the appropriate government state agencies when forming a limited liability corporation. The certificate should contain the name of the corporation that is being formed, along with the type of corporation that the entrepreneurs wish to build.

This certificate also should contain the address of the initial registered office of the corporation, as well as the name and address of all owners, partners or trust managers, depending on the type of corporation being established. If the corporation is formed after a merger or conversion, supporting documents should be provided with all other necessary information. Information on a prior form of organization and jurisdiction of formation of the converting entity also should be provided. If the organization is not a limited partnership, the owners need to provide an estimated period of existence, unless the intent is to have the organization exist permanently.

Merger and dissolution of non-profit corporations

For business owners in Texas, mergers and acquisitions are common. Many people may be aware that the regulations and provisions regarding mergers are different for non-profit and for-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations generally refer to those organizations in which the income is not distributed to any of its members.

According to the law, a merger is possible between two or more domestic non-profit organizations. The organizations also can merge with one or more foreign non-profit organizations. A domestic non-profit organization may endanger its charitable status if it merges with any corporation other than another non-profit organization. Every merger is subject to approval by the board of directors and other members who have voting rights. The merger plan needs at least two-thirds of the votes to pass. A domestic non-profit organization may merge with another organization only if the domestic corporation doesn't cease to exist.

Texas company files lawsuit over two-year-old contract dispute

Business owners in Houston, Texas, are aware that mediation and arbitration are often the more effective ways to settle a contract dispute. However, certain contract disputes demand that the case be litigated because of the irreparable damage that the dispute caused the two parties involved. A recent lawsuit filed in a Texas court by a chemical manufacturing company against another chemical company from Michigan centers around a manufacturing dispute began in 2013.

According to news reports, TM Chemicals Limited Partnership of Galveston County, Texas, has filed a lawsuit in its local court against SPE Wax Technologies LLC, a company based in Michigan. The lawsuit involves a dispute that began in 2013 when those two companies entered into an agreement to process tolls for certain products at TM Chemical's Texas laboratory by using the process and technology provided by SPE Wax.

Providing strong advocacy for business owners in Houston

Business owners in Texas are prepared to confront new business challenges every day. Business litigation can be a legal challenge entrepreneurs face if there has been a dispute between business partners or businesses that work together. However, businesses can receive assistance in settling legal disputes with the help of an experienced business litigation attorney.

Our law firm, Manfred Sternberg & Associates, PC, has experience in handling various business litigation cases over the years. We have provided comprehensive legal services to small and medium-sized firms.

How strategic thinking can help business people forecast growth

Most entrepreneurs have some vision of what they want to accomplish when they set up new businesses. To realize these visions, they must learn to think strategically and solve problems effectively. Both skills can help them see the way toward their long-term goals and manage the resources that will move their businesses forward.

Thinking strategically allows the committed businessperson to develop five key skills: organizing, observing, seeing the business from different viewpoints, determining the business's driving forces and envisioning an ideal position.

Five ways to merge small businesses in Texas

Small businesses mergers in Texas are becoming more common business practices. Typically a company seeks a merger to gain access to new markets and to strengthen existing market position. Five common types of company mergers exist: product extension merger, vertical merger, market extension merger and conglomerate merger.

A product extension merger is conducted between two companies that manufacture related products. The main purpose of this kind of business merger is to gain access to a much larger customer base in order to increase profits substantially.

How crowdfunding can help Texas startups

Business owners everywhere, including in Texas, know that the toughest days for most businesses are in the first year. During this period, owners must successfully complete critical tasks that will set the pillars on which future successes will be built. Meeting legal requirements, formulating a business plan and acquiring required capital are three tough but essential tasks that are essential to success.

When it comes to raising capital, crowdfunding has recently emerged as one of the most popular methods around. It allows people from all backgrounds to invest in a business if they feel it has potential. There are no restrictions on investment, so a crowdfunded enterprise can take investments from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. The entrepreneur, however, must be sure to follow good accounting practices and follow all relevant federal and state regulations governing investments.

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.

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