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Houston Business & Commercial Law Blog

Texas business litigators offer help

Texas commercial disputes that arise during the course of business transactions can be a big problem if large amounts of money are involved, which is often the case with contracts between companies and between individuals and companies. Frequently, these matters become the subject of legal disputes and are governed by the rules of business litigation. Such litigation covers everything from contract disputes with employees or clients to tenancy issues.

The attorneys at Manfred, Sternberg & Associates can help in every area of corporate law and know how to deal with corporate legal disputes, including buy-sell agreements, licensing agreements, employment contracts, partnership agreements and shareholder agreements. Our firm also understands business operations.

Do you understand Texas trademark laws?

Trademarks are defined as the unique proprietary logo, symbol or slogan that an entrepreneur may use to brand products to identify a company's goods. Product trademarking is also closely linked with the reputation of a business. Many Texas consumers may identify products of a company merely by their logo or slogan. These trademarks help local businesses and are protected under Texas law.

Trademarks are considered intellectual property, which refers to all intangible unique designs, copyrights or trademarks owned by a person or a business. Ideas are, however, not addressed or governed under intellectual property right laws. The Lanham Act is the basic federal law that safeguards an entrepreneur's trademark rights to his or her products or goods.

Baylor University, Texas, rewards closely held family businesses

Family businesses are often closely held corporations. This is because the shareholders and members of the corporations are usually members of the family that often spans generations. Family-owned businesses help generate great wealth and are important to the economy. Members of these corporations may be members of the family by birth or by marriage.

Recently, Baylor University in Texas announced the 25th year for their Family Business of the Year Awards. The award is given each year to family-owned businesses that have shown good employee benefits, community initiatives and have displayed a commitment to the industry and to society. Every year, the university hands out awards to small family businesses that in the university's view also promote communities, families and the economy.

What are the benefits of reverse mergers?

Reverse mergers, often called reverse takeovers, are conducted when private companies, including corporations with headquarters in foreign countries, gain access to U.S. capital markets by merging with a public company based in the U.S. In a reverse merger the private company is acquired by an American public shell corporation.

In most cases, even when a private company merges with a public U.S. company, the members of the private company gain a controlling interest in the public company. The private company's shareholders may also gain a controlling interest reflected in the board of directors of the public shell company. The private company's assets then become the primary assets of the post-merger company.

What are the different types of ADR methods?

Contract disputes refer to any and all disagreements that may arise in a company or partnership as a result of a breach in contract. In this situation, all parties have the right to go to court for resolution of the dispute. However, some methods of alternative dispute resolution are gaining popularity in Texas. Engaging in alternative dispute resolution is usually cheaper and less time-consuming than heading to court.

Voluntary participation in arbitration or mediation can occur in the case of a contract dispute. Arbitration provides a neutral third party, known as an "arbitrator," who meets with the disputing parties. After hearing both sides of the dispute, the arbitrator makes a decision, which is binding on the parties who have agreed to enter into arbitration.

Texas Attorney General and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act

Business owners often come across the mention of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act while operating their day to day business. The DTPA deals with false claims that many businesses make in order to further their business interests. The false claims can include supplying used products and claiming them to be new, making false accusations against a competing business, untrue or misleading advertisements and more.

In order to address these issues, the Texas Attorney General's Office files civil enforcement actions under the provisions of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act in order to protect consumers and businesses from these unfair trade practices. In addition to the Attorney General's Office, a consumer or business can also file a complaint, which can form the basis of a state-conducted investigation. All products and services are in the Deceptive Trade Practices Act ambit except for professional advice.

Olive oil is now a favorite with Texas entrepreneurs

Texas is well-known for oil. However, now a different type of oil is setting many entrepreneurs' cash registers rolling. Olive oil. And this is news to many, as the owner of an olive orchard confirms, saying many people are surprised when she says that olive oil is growing in Texas.

The new business is slowly taking roots. Even as early as 15 years ago, the owner was the sole olive oil entrepreneur in Texas. Now it is believed that there are over 100 orchards in the state. The business concept has taken root due to droughts in Spain that have spelt the doom for olive oil in the regions. Exports have decreased dramatically, and the decreased supply in grocery stores in Texas has been the main trigger for native cultivation.

Don't let a landlord-tenant dispute harm your business in Houston

Many business owners in Houston operate from rented properties spread across the city. These business owners would likely agree that disputes with the landlord over rent, breach of the lease and other problems are not uncommon. Unfortunately, some of these disputes have the potential to severely affect the prospects of the business that operates out of the disputed property. Property owners are also affected during these disputes.

In such situations, a business or a property owner can consult a lawyer to understand the implications of a breach of contract. Disputes over commercial properties often arise from the lease agreement and its interpretation by both parties of the contract. Such contract disputes can often be resolved if both parties sit and discuss their issues and reach a mutual agreement over the lease. A lawyer can guide the business owner or property owner through the negotiation session.

A brief overview of statutory merger procedures in Texas

One of the many ways a Texas-based business can expand is through the acquisition of smaller, but potentially valuable, businesses. Business mergers and acquisitions are among the options available to entrepreneurs who want to diversify their businesses and move into new market sectors without having to create necessary infrastructure from scratch.

Whichever option is chosen, it is very important to note that the structure of this kind of transaction is critical to success since it will likely affect the new form and liabilities of the businesses as well as any tax implications for its owners. Therefore, these matters should be handled delicately and, ideally, by a legal professional.

Texas oil company locks horns with Russian competitor

Contracts are the heart of some of the most important deals struck by Texas businesses, whether they be big or small. These legally binding documents are used to outline the terms, conditions, duties, responsibilities and rewards for the parties involved.

However, in certain cases, one or more parties may fail to adhere to the terms laid out in the contract, which ultimately leads to a contract dispute. In some cases, the contract dispute cannot be resolved through arbitration, so the problem may be presented to a judge for a fair ruling. Such seems to be the current scenario as one of Russia's largest companies has now requested a U.S. judge to compel a Texas-based oil company to follow a mediation clause in an old contract, amid allegations that the Russian company divulged trade secrets worth billions.

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Manfred Sternberg & Associates, PC
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Houston, Texas 77027
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