Operating a company is a complex endeavor. Even when Oregon business owners do their best to ensure that their companies run smoothly and on the up-and-up, it is likely that claims against those companies will come about. Business litigation can stem from claims from customers, clients or even individuals in other companies. Fortunately, parties can do their part to lessen the likelihood of legal claims.
Many Oregon business owners employ the use of certain types of legal agreements to protect the interests of their businesses, including noncompete agreements. Frequently included as part of employment contracts, noncompete clauses are intended to protect the interests of the employer in the event that the employee leaves the company, lowering the risk of business litigation. This prevents a former employee from taking proprietary information to a competitor or disclosing information about the company.
One of the most important steps for an Oregon business is to protect its intellectual property through strong trademarks. Having trademarks in place gives a business legal grounds to pursue recourse in the event of any type of copyright infringement. Infringement is a particularly serious issue for companies involved with industrial design, significantly increasing the chance of business litigation.
Shareholders are an important part of many big corporations in Oregon and elsewhere. These individuals often have input into certain decisions regarding company actions, and meetings allow for issues to be presented and for votes to take place on applicable subjects. Of course, there are also instances in which shareholders may take issue with company actions or lack of action, and disputes could lead to business litigation.
Mediation can play a valuable role as an alternative to bitter and protracted business litigation in Oregon and elsewhere. Mediation is less formal than arbitration and does not include an attempt to litigate the issues between the parties. Instead, mediation is a search for common elements of agreement that the parties can use to bring about a potential peaceful resolution of their differences instead of quickly resorting to business litigation. A business will want to include in-house counsel or outside business law attorneys in the process so that all rights are protected and a business solution is formalized without detriment to either party's legal position.
Disputes between top executives and their former companies often occur in Oregon and elsewhere. Sometimes, an individual who was instrumental in founding and creating a company is deactivated by the board of directors for improper or inadequate performance issues. This can lead to bitter business litigation regarding the right of the board to take such action against a key corporate executive.
Disputes between a company and a former founder are not uncommon in Oregon and other states. Founders and creators of a company do not always stay compatible with the other leaders of the company as it grows and moves forward. A recent case in another state is an example how such events can occur and be resolved after the initiation of business litigation.
Oregon has its share of intellectual property disputes that arise in a wide variety of factual circumstances. One common area of business litigation involves disputes over royalty payments to artists, inventors and other claimants. These disputes often involve an entertainment setting where musicians, actors or writers claim that they are not getting paid their due royalties from a contractual relationship. Such claims are generally framed in terms of a breach of contract allegedly committed by the defending party.
Customer satisfaction is often a top priority for Oregon business owners. Without being in their customers' good graces, many companies may not hope to succeed. However, even successful companies can land in hot water when their customers believe that they have been duped. In fact, those customers could file lawsuits, but business litigation could get underway.
Have you found yourself at odds with a business partner or an employee? Business owners in Oregon may find that resolving internal company problems is not always easy. If not handled the right way, it could affect the bottom line of your business, your other employees and your personal financial situation. When dealing with problems within your company you may find that alternative dispute resolution methods or business litigation are necessary to settle the conflict.