How do I protect my idea? Do I need a patent?

People often ask me if you should talk to other people about what your idea is or should you have people sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). In 40 years of practicing law, I’ve only seen one lawsuit concerning an NDA. If you have a really good idea, meet with a patent attorney, see if there’s something you can file a provisional patent on, which will cost a few thousand dollars. You file that provisional patent,Read More…


California’s usury law regulates the maximum amount of interest which may be charged on any loan or forbearance of money. This Newsletter shall discuss the permitted rate of interest on various types of loans, which lenders and transactions are exempt from the usury law, and the penalties for making a usurious loan.


One of the principal reasons for conducting a business as a corporation is to ensure that the owners of the business are not personally liable for the debts of the business. However, the courts will “pierce the corporate veil” and hold the shareholders personally liable for corporate obligations when the corporation is merely the alter ego of the shareholders. There are two basic requirements which must be established before the corporate entity will be disregardedRead More…


Since a minority shareholder is not in control of a corporation, the officers and directors of the corporation can take most corporate actions without the approval of the minority shareholder. This Newsletter shall discuss the various rights of minority shareholders in a California corporation, and some of the ways a minority shareholder can protect his or her interests.


Any corporation may elect to be treated as a “close corporation” under California law. This Newsletter shall discuss the formation of a close corporation, and the advantages and disadvantages of being a close corporation. Formation of a Close Corporation. In order to be a close corporation, the name of the corporation must contain the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” or some abbreviation of these words. The articles of incorporation must contain an express provision that theRead More…


On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed the Jump-start Our Business Start-ups (JOBS) Act, which authorizes so-called “crowd-funding” which permits a company to raise small amounts of funds from a large number of investors over the internet. The new crowd-funding law is called the “Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act of 2012” or the “CROWDFUND Act.”