Tuesday, September 28, 2021

How Effective is an NDA or Provisional Patent Application in Protecting Your Invention

    When it comes to protecting inventions, it’s no secret that patents are the gold standard. A patent gives the owner the exclusive right to make, use and sell the subject matter of the patent for a defined term (in Canada, 20 years from the filing date of the patent application). Inventors, however, aren’t always immediately ready to prepare and file a full patent application. It may be that the invention is still under development, or perhaps that its marketability needs assessing before investing in the patent process. If that’s the case, it is imperative that the inventor protect their invention in the interim.


If an inventor ever hopes to secure a patent, their invention must be kept confidential until such time as they file a regular patent application. In some countries, an inventor’s own disclosure of their invention benefits from a grace period, meaning the patentability of the invention will not be negatively impacted by the disclosure so long as an application for the invention is filed within that grace period (for example, in Canada, the grace period is 12 months). However, in many countries, including Germany, the UK, and France, that’s not the case. In these countries, as soon as an inventor publicly discloses the invention, they forfeit their right to a patent for that invention. 


That isn’t to say that an inventor, to maintain the patentability of their invention, must either file a full patent application or tell no one about it. Inventors typically have two options for protecting the patentability of their invention in the interim: an NDA or a provisional patent application.


An NDA (non-disclosure agreement) is a contract between a party disclosing confidential information (in this case, the inventor) and a party receiving that information. The agreement will set out the terms on which the disclosure is made and identify the information that is intended to be kept confidential. If an NDA does its job, the disclosure of the invention to the receiving party is not a “public” disclosure so as to impact the patentability of the invention. However, if the receiving party breaches its obligations under the contract, and divulges the confidential information relating to the invention to one or more third parties, such that it becomes public, the consequences for patentability are irreversible. Although the inventor may certainly seek compensation for breach of contract, there is no putting the genie back in the bottle so to speak. This is the major disadvantage of the NDA – having one in place does not guarantee that those bound by it will comply.


A provisional patent application is a feature of U.S. patent law. It is often described as an “incomplete” patent application. A provisional patent application has substantially fewer formal requirements than a regular, non-provisional patent application. The catch, however, is that a provisional patent application never issues to a patent – for that, an inventor will have to file a subsequent non-provisional application. A provisional patent application safeguards an invention by securing a filing date. The filing date of an application is critical because patent systems operate on a first-to-file basis. Simply put, “first-to-file” means it’s not particularly important who was first to invent something, but rather who was first to file a patent application for that same thing. A filing date essentially secures one’s place in line for patent eligibility, and most people can appreciate that being at the front of the line is a very good thing. 


Another related reason your filing date is so important is that an invention’s patentability is assessed as of its filing date. Recall that one requirement for patentability is that the invention is novel – in other words, that the invention has not previously been publicly disclosed. The earlier your filing date, the fewer public disclosures you have to worry about undermining the novelty of your invention and consequently your right to a patent.  


A provisional patent application is assigned a filing date just like a non-provisional application, and, if the applicant files a non-provisional application for the same invention within one year, that application will benefit from the same filing date. Note, however, that any new matter in the non-provisional application which was not described in the provisional will not benefit from the earlier filing date. Thus, applicants should take care to fully described their invention at the time of filing the provisional. Having filed a provisional application, an inventor can disclose details of the invention (provisional patent applications are held confidentially by the U.S. Patent Office), further develop the invention, and even sell the invention without needing to worry that the disclosure will be held against them, or that someone else will file for the same invention first. Further, filing a provisional patent application entitles the applicant to mark their product “patent pending”, which may deter potential copycats.


In summary, both an NDA and a provisional patent application are good options for safeguarding an invention in the period prior to filing a full, non-provisional patent application. A choice between them is likely to be made based on an individual’s risk tolerance, in that an NDA provides less fool-proof protection than a provisional patent application, as well as their preparedness to file provisional and non-provisional patent applications within the next 12 months. 


This article was co-authored by Christopher Heer and Annette Latoszewska, Heer Law.


How to Avoid and Report Medicare Fraud and Abuse

As we all know, Medicare fraud occurs when someone intentionally exploits the federal healthcare program for their personal benefit. Physicians, healthcare service providers, or just anyone whose line of work is related to healthcare are usually the culprit behind these.

If you are one of them or should you happen to know one of them, then this article can be your brief guide on how to avoid and even report them.

 

Get a Good Grasp of the Law

For physicians, it’s worth taking the time to learn the laws surrounding Medicare fraud and abuse. To make it easier for you, here are the five important federal laws that are applicable to physicians and professionals in the medical field.

 

False Claims Act (FCA)

Like other laws, you may face civil penalties, criminal penalties, or both. Depending on the severity of your false or fraudulent claim, you might be liable to pay a huge amount of penalties, damages, and even imprisonment.

An example of an FCA violation is when you knowingly file a claim to Medicare for the services you never provided or rendered.

 

Anti-Kickback Statute

Through this statute, any remuneration (e.g. cash, rent, meals, trips, etc.) you willfully receive, pay, or solicit for a referral is considered as a crime or a violation. Penalties can range from fines, damages, to imprisonment as well.

An example of an AKS violation is when you pay lower rent for your clinic in exchange for referrals.

 

Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark law)

The Stark Law prohibits physicians to refer patients to a “designated health services” payable by Medicare in which he or she has a relationship with.

An example of a Stark Law violation is when you refer a patient to a clinic you have invested in.

 

Exclusion Statute

The Office of the Inspector General can exclude you from participating in any Federal healthcare programs. This means that you can no longer practice or enjoy the benefits of healthcare programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and others.

You can be excluded from any Federal healthcare programs if you abuse or neglect your patient, have been charged for felony convictions related to any medical practice, and many more.

 

Civil Monetary Penalties Law (CMPL)

Defrauding or abusing any federal healthcare programs means you are liable and would automatically face criminal CMPL. This means that any violation can cost you between thousands to millions of fines, fees, and damages.

 

Avoid Medicare Fraud All Together

As a health service provider, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your practice or clinic is in compliance with the law.

To give you an idea of the things you should do, here are a few tips that you should follow in order to foolproof your clinic from any healthcare fraud and abuse

  • Routinely conduct an audit in your clinic

  • Have a manual or practice standards in place

  • Appoint a specific person in charge of all compliance

  • Immediately correct or report any detected offenses

  • Establish transparency and form open lines of communication for all your staff or employees

  • Routinely attend and conduct training on all your employees, including yourself  

It’s worth highlighting that training and education programs are important for everyone who is working in the healthcare industry. There are some instances where unintentional fraud can happen due to the lack of knowledge as well as an understanding of the law and how the healthcare system works.

For instance, upcoding or under coding is a violation that can sometimes be unintentional. Upcoding is misusing a code for higher reimbursement while under coding is the opposite. The best way to combat and avoid these violations is to keep yourself as well as your employees informed and up-to-date with the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes.

 

Report Medicare Fraud

If all else fails and you happen to find yourself at a crossroads, then you should report to the authorities or get help from a healthcare fraud attorney immediately. 

Keep in mind that you can anonymously report to the Office of the Inspector General Hotline. There are also Whistleblower Laws that would protect you if the alleged chose to retaliate against you. On top of that, the OIG, Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services also established the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team to aid and strengthen the existing law combating fraud.

With that said, you should not sweep any healthcare fraud or abuse under the rug. Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, you should immediately report or respond with corrective action. This way, you can mitigate the risk and solve the problem before they even get bigger.

Keep in mind that almost everyone relies on these federal healthcare programs. So abusing or letting anyone abuse the system would just put pressure on the entire healthcare system, making it harder for everyone to receive the proper care they deserve. 


How to Do Well in Law School: An Ultimate Guide

What is the Application Process for Law School?

The law is a tricky career path, even more so with the growing complexity of the profession. Many are turned off by the high cost of law school and the lack of job prospects.

This is the ultimate guide on how to do well in law school. It includes everything you need to know, from finding colleges and choosing a major to applying for scholarships and studying for your LSAT's. This guide will help you become a successful lawyer and overcome the difficulties of this prestigious profession.

Along with professional academic writers from law school essay writing service we've compiled all the information you need in one place — we've made it as easy as possible so that you can be well-informed and do well in law school.

The Importance of Having a Strong Personal Statement

Personal statements are a crucial part of a university or college application. They are a way of introducing yourself to colleges, and they give the admissions officers an insight into what the applicant is all about.

The personal statement is your chance to let them know you have what it takes to succeed at their school. It should be well-written and focused on why you want to attend that particular school, not just another school. It should also be structured to make it easy for the admissions officers to find out more about you if they want to.

If you want to perform well in law school, you should put into practice the points below:

  1. Do your readings throughout the term

This section will help you learn how to manage your workload when you are in school.

As a student, it's essential to keep up with your readings during the semester. The lessons can come in many forms, such as textbooks, articles, and lectures. When reading, make sure that you read the article or chapter thoroughly and take good notes. It would help if you also tried to read the same article or chapter multiple times to solidify what you've learned.

  1. Pay attention to the main points when note-taking

When taking notes, it is essential to focus on the main points. Many note-taking techniques can be used to help students recall material better and do more in-depth research.

The most common techniques include: using emoticons, using abbreviations, and using secret language.

  1. Get ready for exams early

There is nothing as stressful as a last-minute rush. When in law school or any other school for that matter, exam preparation should begin early. Ensure that you have grasped all the concepts and refresh your mind with the ideas. When exams are near, you will only need to check what you have forgotten, as most of the work is already implanted in your brain. 

  1. Have a strategy in exam preparation

A strategy is not a set plan that will guarantee your way to success in the exam but is a process in which you're going to make decisions in a coordinated manner.

The right exam preparation strategy will help you perform well in the exam. You can develop a plan by following these steps:

  • Make a timetable for the exams

  • List down the topics to be studied for each exam

  • Develop a revision schedule, so you know what needs to be revised when

  • Work on your weaknesses first, then revise your strengths

  • Make sure you understand what is going to be asked in the exams

  1. Organize your outlines the intelligent way

A skillful writer can produce a paper that is well-organized and easy to read. They do this by following the guidelines set out in an outline.

There are different formats for outlines, but the main idea remains the same. The first sentence of each paragraph should be a topic sentence that summarizes what will be discussed in that paragraph.

  1. Take lots of practice exams

The only way you can know you are getting better at something is by practicing. Do not do this on your own. Consult with the professors and let them give you feedback on how you are progressing. 

  1. Consider investing in supplemental readings

As a copywriter or content writer, it is essential to invest in supplemental readings. These readings will come in handy when you are looking for inspiration and ideas. Here are a few of the most popular additional reads for copywriters:

  • The Copywriter's Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells, 20th Anniversary Edition by Robert W. Bly [2018]

  • On Writing Well: The Classic Guide To Writing Nonfiction By William Zinsser [33rd edition] [2018]

  • On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King [1999]

  1. Create a concise and helpful attack sheet

This is an attack sheet for a fictitious attack vector.

Attack Vectors:

  • A spear-phishing email with the title "password change" leads to a fake login page for the company's website.

  • A malware that hides inside an image, which is downloaded from the company's website. Once opened, it asks for admin credentials and gives nothing in return.

Prevention Measures:

- Don't use links with shortened URLs or links from suspicious emails. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! Check out the link before clicking on it. Always go to your company's website by typing in its domain name into your web browser's address bar or by using its bookmark on your home screen.

If you follow the steps in this article, you will be assured that you will do well in your exams. Read throughout the semester, take notes, consult with your professors, and most importantly, take plenty of rest and avoid stress. 

If you are unsure of what to do, use the essay writing service to write your law school essays because they will speed up your work and consult you as they go. They will give you tips on handling different things, and let's face it, they will save you a ton of time because they have been doing it for a long time.

Friday, September 10, 2021

The Benefits of Hiring an Employment Lawyer

The launch of your business involves several elements. Some are very easy, such as seeking personnel, while others, like the perks you should provide to each worker, are complicated and extensive. That's why you need to recruit specialists in employment law.

For example, professionals in employment law give vital guidance and insight on some of the significant business problems. They realize that these topics should not be addressed with a single-size strategy. They get to know your organization from within and discover possible difficulties arising from your rules and practices.

Here are the five advantages for your company for employment practitioners:

Creating and examining contracts

One crucial area where employee lawyers are required is the creation and editing of contracts that you submit. These papers are legally enforceable, and you must ensure that all the provisions cover the protection of you and the welfare of the other party.

In addition, you need a lawyer's experienced eye to examine the contracts that you get. These specialists can decide if the file has been done in good faith or a terrible bargain for you.

In recruiting personnel, contracts are of significant importance. The following criteria must be explicitly stated in these texts and adequately defined:

  • Description of employment - new contractors, need to know what they are expected to perform, and that information should be found in their contracts. The job title and the department should be included.

  • Benefits - You have to break the employee's pay calculation, in particular, so no space for ambiguity may be left. Its advantages should also be shown in this section.

  • Leave rules - The contract must also describe the time off paid for sick leave and vacation days. Employees should be adequately informed, as is a real emergency, regarding policies for sick days.

  • Classification of employees — You must be able to decide if the staff is your company's full-time employee or an employer. Knowing their grade helps you meet their employment bracket's tax and insurance obligations.

  • Employment duration – The contract should also include whether a new hire's employment is project-oriented or is continuous until retirement unless it resigns or is dismissed. In the longer term, this avoids absence.

 

Help you meet public standards

It would help if the government recognized you as an employer before employing workers. This implies you must register and fulfill the criteria of your state or locality.

An employment lawyer can simplify the procedure for you since they know what it's like. You can provide you with a list of papers you need to prepare for your company. In addition, you may also be assisted by job attorneys to submit tax forms and get the license to operate.

Protect yourself and your workers against legal proceedings

Legal concerns that influence the connection between employees and employers are usually canceled, harassed, discriminatory, and violated employee benefits. You may draw up a contract that includes the legal terms you are required to fit with the help of an employment lawyer.

In this approach, the expectations that workers should have once they're working for you are avoided by misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and potential litigation.

Represent you

Negotiations are also a crucial part of the company, especially if you desire a wide-ranging staff. To guarantee that you and the applicant get the greatest deal from the scenario, legal representation is required.

An employment lawyer can assist you in preparing paperwork before the discussions. During and after the session, they might give legal advice. 

Restructuring and scaling assistance

You need to modify your organization as your firm expands, including lateral moves and promotions. A lawyer may make the procedure easy and hurdle-free by reviewing current contracts and offering them a new contract with their up-to-date job descriptions and other pertinent information.

Conclusion

A specialist in employment law is essential to companies since legal regulations and paperwork must be complied with. They can provide you experienced guidance on contract creation, government registration, and what to do during negotiations.


6 Reasons Why You Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer

There is lots of documentation to file, police officers' questions, and evidence to collect. Any minor mistake with these methods could compromise your case and make your record a bigger sentence, fine or tough load. You ought not to take chances.

Employing an experienced criminal lawyer can eliminate excess stress and boost your chances of winning the case dramatically. Unless you know your way around the legal system, it is unsafe and uninformed to travel alone to a criminal court.

A criminal lawyer will evaluate your case, construct the best defense to defend you, and safeguard your rights. Here are the key reasons why it is beneficial to hire a criminal attorney:

They can fight for your future

A lawyer with a lot of expertise can protect you and fight for your future. Good criminal lawyers may lower your charges, minimize your punishments, or perhaps drop your case if there is sufficient evidence. Reducing your charges and penalties can assist keep your criminal record offense and obviously save you from losing your career. Case dismissal could prevent you from negatively affecting your life and future as a result of a criminal charge.

You are following the procedures

Every action you take in the battle against a criminal charge is examined and may be penalized. A skilled lawyer won't allow you to compromise your own defense even before you put your foot in court. There is a lot of paperwork and just one correct way to handle it.

These legal obstacles are often an artificial impediment prohibiting the poor from accessing courts. Many prosecutors will take advantage of this reality. This may clearly be seen in the appeal procedure that allows the accused to enter into litigation and documentation.

They are good negotiators

Even if your case seems uncomplicated, it can be helpful to recruit a strong defense counsel. For example, they can help shorten the time you are serving. In some cases, your case may even be rejected.

They can save you money

It's contradictory to believe that a more costly lawyer can save you money, but history has proven that it's nearly always worth paying the extra money on a senior criminal lawyer. You may receive the greatest possible sentence for your case to help you maintain your employment or prevent your professional license from being lost. How many months would you lose if tomorrow you lost your job? How many years of realistic income potential would be destroyed if a professional license were removed? Even without fire, financial pressure can be averted if the work for prisons or expanded courts is not worked.

Constitutional issue

If the case investigation has breached your constitutional rights, a criminal lawyer can ensure that you are protected. This could include incidents such as searches that do not have an adequate warrant or reasonable cause. Your lawyer will have the expertise to argue correctly in court. If you defend yourself, you may be unfairly treated, but a defense lawyer might argue that the evidence acquired in such a way is unacceptable in court. This could perhaps lead to the prosecution lacking the required evidence to proceed with the case.

Understanding Lawyers How the Courts Work

A lawyer stays in court for most days. A lawyer regularly works with other lawyers when they are not in court. It is a fantastic opportunity for your lawyer to work with the prosecutor who handles your case and presumably has appeared before the judge who has been appointed to your case before. This expertise and knowledge depth will help you construct a stronger case.

Everyone's main concern is what it will cost when hiring a criminal lawyer. While it is true that criminal lawyers are not inexpensive, you saw the advantages of having legal expert advocacy. The financial factor does not compare to the effect that a belief might have on your future.