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Portland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Former exec wins partial victory in business litigation appeal

It is not unusual in Oregon and elsewhere for former executives to be pitted in litigation with the companies that they previously served, and in some instances, by the companies that they founded. This type of business litigation is currently occurring in several high-profile cases. One of the cases from another state involves the former chief executive and founder of Cirrus Aircraft.

Alan Klapmeier, who founded Cirrus some 30 years ago, departed from the company in 2009. He sued Cirrus in 2012, claiming that the company disparaged him in violation of an agreement signed by both parties after his 2009 departure. He said that the former CEO of Cirrus defamed his reputation in the industry and made it difficult for him to raise funds for a new aircraft venture.

Gucci starts business litigation case to stop trademark use

Trademark disputes are a common aspect of business litigation in Oregon and nationwide. Sometimes it is a battle of giants, where a company claims that one of its competitors has used a trademark that is deceptively similar to its own. It can be a small company being challenged in a business litigation case by a large company claiming that the startup has tried to use the larger company's own special brand identification to its own use. There may be a claim for damages for the lost profits caused by deceiving the public into buying the product with the pirated trademark, and a request for an injunction.

In one case that has recently attracted attention, the Italian luxury fashion brand, Gucci, has sued Forever 21, an American fast fashion chain. It claims that Forever 21 has usurped its trademark of multi-colored stripe webbing that appears on certain products. The complaint alleges that Forever 21 has challenged Gucci's most valuable and widely known marks. 

Understanding sole proprietorships

For many people, the notion of "going into business for themselves" probably seems like an inherently complex, intimidating, or even impossible undertaking. After all, there would be demand to generate, production to manage, orders to fill, and a host of other arcane tasks that only an MBA or experienced entrepreneur would seem equipped to handle.

While this mindset is understandable, it may come as a surprise to many people to learn that starting a business might be easier than they imagine or, perhaps even more surprising, that they may have taken this step already.

How To Pitch Your Business To Investors

For business startups, outside investment can be very important. However, getting investors on board is not always as simple as having a great product or idea. What it often comes down to is how you pitch that product or idea.

You have to captivate your audience while also being realistic and prepared. Following a few tips can help you succeed in winning over potential investors.

Construction Defect: Faulty Insulation Leads to Hot Homes

Congrats! You've survived your first week of summer weather in the Pacific Northwest. If you're like me though, 90+ temperatures mean you're actually spending more time inside, mooching off whoever is wise enough to pay for air conditioning. Though the winter is where construction defects become the most apparent, the hot summer months can be just as revealing.

I 502 Marijuana Law Update: Taxation Legality Challenged

One of the most widely used arguments for recreational marijuana legalization is now being challenged as violation of federal law. A lawsuit recently filed in Washington asks whether Washington State can legally tax an activity that is illegal under federal law.

Migration Boosting Construction, Reducing Vacancies in Oregon

Have you noticed that Oregon is changing? In the metro areas anyway, the apparent influx of people to Oregon in recent years has seemingly changed everything from the landscape to the traffic. But change isn't always a bad thing, especially for local rental and construction industries.

Portland, Seattle among top Small Business cities in the US

Sometimes big cities don't seem like the most welcoming places. In the Pacific Northwest, however, our cities offer much of the big city accessibility while maintaining a small-town quality of life. It turns out those welcoming qualities extend to small businesses, where both Portland and Seattle were recently rated among the top cities in the country for thriving small business.

Marijuana Law: Oregon Court to Weigh State vs. Federal Law

A few weeks ago we wrote about local moratoriums on medical marijuana sales in Oregon. As with Washington's recreational marijuana regulations, cities in Oregon were given the choice to enact local one-year bans on medical marijuana dispensaries. As the deadline to enact the bans passed yesterday, Oregon's resistance to medical marijuana became clear. More than 150 cities and counties decided to enact the bans. Though some chose to ban the dispensaries reluctantly, others were firm in their opposition, even claiming the moratoriums do not go far enough.

Construction contractor's obligation to pay subcontractors

Generally, it's safe to assume when someone does work on a construction project, that person will expect to be paid. How soon that obligation to pay arises, however, is likely determined by the contract between the parties. In some cases, when it comes to a prime contractor paying its subcontractors, that obligation might never arise.

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