Patents vs. Trade Secrets: What You Should Know

A patent can be an excellent way to protect an invention. Machines, processes, compositions of matter, and manufactures can all be protected by a patent. Having a strong patent gives the patent owner a virtual monopoly on his or her invention for 20 years. Patents, however, are not the only way to protect an invention. Depending on the... Read More

2023 Iowa Legislative Session - Week 14 Summary

This week, the Senate focused on advancing a number of the Governor’s appointees through Committees, including: appointees to the Iowa Autism Council, the Department of Education Director, and appointees to the Iowa Higher Education Loan Authority through the Education Committee; appointees to the Board of Veterinary Medicine Board through the... Read More

2023 Iowa Legislative Session - Week 13 Summary

On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced four budget bills that will eventually establish the state general fund spending for the fiscal year beginning on July 1. The bills that were passed do not yet include specific budget numbers, but those figures will later be amended into the bill. The Senate’s work continued on Tuesday when... Read More

2023 Iowa Legislative Session - Week 12 Summary

Friday marked the end of the second legislative funnel week. Bills must have cleared the Chamber of origin and the other Chamber’s Committee by the close of business. Those bills that did not meet this deadline are now considered “dead” through the end of session. The main exceptions to this deadline are bills that deal with taxes, spending, and... Read More

How Your M&A Escrow Can Go Wrong

In the world of M&A transactions, there is always a large debate between buyer and seller on proper security for certain liabilities that the buyer may experience after the closing. A solution very commonly used is to place a certain percentage of the purchase price into escrow with an escrow agent, such as a bank, to hold the money post-closing... Read More

NLRB Returns to Previous Precedent for Employee Severance Agreements

On February 21, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision in McLaren Macomb, returning to previous precedent holding that employers may not offer employees severance agreements that require employees to broadly waive their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The decision involved severance agreements... Read More

What is "Virtual Patent Marking" and Does It Make Sense for Your Business?

Have you ever seen a product with the words “Patented” “Patent No.” Pat. No.” or similar language printed on it? If you have, you have seen an example of patent marking. The purpose of patent marking is to provide notice to the public that the product is patented. A patent owner is not required to mark a product as “Patented.” However, there are... Read More

2023 Iowa Legislative Session - Week 11 Summary

On Wednesday, the Senate approved a bill to limit the use of mobile devices while driving. Senate File 547 makes the use of mobile devices while driving a car illegal unless used in a hands-free or voice-activated mode. The bill passed the Senate by a 47-3 vote. The bill’s floor manager, Senator Mark Lofgren (R-Muscatine), said the bill will... Read More

2023 Iowa Legislative Session - Week 10 Summary

A bill proposed by Governor Kim Reynolds that seeks to streamline state government through reorganization was approved by the House on Wednesday and will head to the Governor’s desk for her signature. The bill, which is over 1,500 pages in total, seeks to cut the number of cabinet-level state agencies from 37 to 16 and would eliminate hundreds of... Read More

OSHA's New Plan for Workplace Safety in 2023

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency responsible for ensuring safe and healthy working conditions for employees across the United States. In January 2023, OSHA announced an aggressive new plan to address workplace safety, including several key initiatives aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities in the... Read More