Laura I. Shidlovitsky, Attorney at Law, Discusses how Establishing and Protecting Intellectual Property Rights are not Beyond Reach of Small Entrepreneurs

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Piracy, counterfeiting and the theft of intellectual property pose a serious threat to all U.S. businesses to the tune of $250 billion and 750,000 jobs per year. Small entrepreneurs find themselves at a disadvantage because they often lack the resources familiarity with the process of protecting their intellectual property. Laura I. Shidlovitsky, commercial and real estate attorney, discusses how small business owners can protect themselves.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office research recently concluded that only 15 percent of small businesses are aware how essential it is to protect their intellectual property in the U.S. and what is protected once they do.

“I am not sure that I agree that the loopholes themselves have affected small business,” says Laura. In fact, Bank of America, Capital One, and other major issuers have voluntarily extended some of the CARD-related reforms to their small business consumers.

Some argue that the passing of the legislation has had a negative impact on both the price and the availability of credit for small businesses. For instance, in July 2010, only 59% of the members could get financing. 2010 National Small Business Association (NSBA) Mid-Year Economic Report. That number has dropped from 78 percent in August 2008, 67 percent in December 2008, 62 percent in July 2009, and 61 percent in December 2009. Id. Moreover, 63% of the members of the Association reported an interest rate increase and 41% experienced a credit balance reduction. Id. These numbers have of course been exacerbated by the recession.

The credit crunch is in turn hurting small business, since business owners are faced with a tightened credit market in a time when they are most dependent on credit. Among small-business owners for whom capital availability has been a problem, 44 percent state that they have been unable to grow their business, and 20 percent state that they have been forced to reduce their number of employees. Id. Small businesses have further reported an inability to increase inventory to meet demand. Id. Accordingly the credit crunch is preventing growth opportunities that would otherwise be available to small businesses. And until and unless business owners are able to gain access to credit, unemployment will continue to be high.

Under the law Credit cards are permitted to report business credit card accounts to consumer credit reporting agencies, as long as they have the consent to check the personal credit report of the consumer. Accordingly, if a small business owner personally guarantees the corporate debt, then the lender can report this on the individual owner’s credit report. Most business cards further contain a personal liability waiver in their terms and conditions. By opening and using the card the user agrees that should the account become delinquent the issuer can come after the personal assets of the individual.

Laura I. Shidlovitsky, Esq., owner and founder of the Law Offices of Laura I. Shidlovitsky, is a Attorney who tailors her legal counsel to meet the unique needs of her clients in all aspects of business, commercial and real estate transactions and negotiations. She has extensive experience representing individuals and publicly traded corporations in a variety of industries, including metals distribution, commercial real estate, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, restaurant, media and entertainment, transportation, and consulting. Ms. Shidlovitsky is also an active member in many professional organizations, including the LACBA Business and Corporate and Real Property Sections, the ABA Business and Litigation Sections, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Century City Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on issues to consider when purchasing an upside down property or to interview Laura I. Shidlovitsky, Esq., please call (310) 684-3843.

Laura I. Shidlovitsky, Esq.
Law Offices of Laura I. Shidlovitsky
640 S. San Vicente, Suite 340
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 684-3843
(323) 782-8388 Facsimile


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