Newsbreak: Alanis Morissette Sued by Nanny [Video]
(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
If you’re concerned about patent trolls, here’s good news. The Federal Trade Commission recently launched a study on how these companies operate. Patent trolls, often called “patent assertion entities,” are companies that do not produce goods and services. They acquire rights to patents, then sue other companies, which use patented technology, to produce goods and services. The FTC will subpoena information from 25 patent trolls on how they obtain patents, demand and collect licensing fees, litigate cases and make money.
The study could be used to assist Congress in passing laws to stop patent troll abuses.
In California, a new green chemistry law just went into effect on Oct. 1. The state Department of Toxic Substance Control has prepared a list of 164 chemicals, potentially harmful to health or the environment. In April, the agency will select five “priority products” that contain these chemicals. Companies that manufacture or sell these products in California, will have justify their formulations or find greener alternatives. Some examples on the chemicals list include benzene, chlorine dioxide, silica, and what’s known as the “toxic trio” in nail polish–toluene, dibutyl phthalate and formaldehyde.
Business owners should check out this list to evaluate their products.
Finally, when you’re busy minding the shop, be sure to pay your nanny minimum wage and overtime. Just ask Alanis Morisette. A former nanny is suing the singer-songwriter. She’s seeking $130,000, claiming she worked 12-hour shifts, without breaks and without overtime pay. In California, the governor recently signed a bill to protect domestic services workers. The Federal Labor Standards Act also requires minimum wage and overtime for domestic services employees, including full-time babysitters, living outside the home.
Keep on checking out Lawyers.com for legal tips and news for the entrepreneur.