How to Manage Intellectual Property to Create Wealth For Your Business

Establishing awareness of Intellectual Property amongst staff of your company is essential for early maximizing the value of your Intellectual Property and the wealth of your business and reducing the possibilities of accidental non-confidential disclosures, that could prejudice successful patent applications and negatively affect the value of your Intellectual Property and ultimately the wealth of your business.

Regular training sessions of staff on Intellectual Property are key and should include the following:
• How to Identify and Protect Intellectual Property;
• How to use Patents to Improvements of Technology;
• Understanding Patent Process,
• How to deal with Confidential Information (see some examples in the Scenarios below);
• Record keeping of Intellectual Property, including laboratory notebooks and Policy on Intellectual Property; and
• Who to contact in case of need.

The record keeping procedures and manuals will address the following questions:
• Has the inventor kept the idea confidential?
• Is there a written description of the idea? And has been kept safe and confidential?
• How the idea has been generated? If during a collaborative programme, then was it agreed beforehand who owns what?
• Is the idea a new product, a new material, a new process for making something? If so, is it patentable or protectable in any other way?
• Is the idea a variation in a product or material or process? If so, it is still likely to be patentable or protectable in any other way?
• Who generated the idea? The answer to this question is very important in the event self-employed or other third party consultants are involved in any research and development or collaborative project.

The main object of this record keeping is to track, protect and maintain all relevant Intellectual Property rights of the business so that Intellectual property can be licensed, assigned or exploited to the fullest extent and benefit of the company.

The record keeping procedures should also include a form upon which, potential inventions should be recorded identifying the following:
• Who: department and research area;
• Named individuals: inventors and authors.
• What: technical description;
• Why: perceived novelty;
• How to use the information: potential applications/markets;
• What else is needed: background or third party intellectual property and information; and

The correct use of laboratory notebooks by staff, is also essential. In the event of a dispute laboratory notebooks may be required to be presented as legal evidence.

It is therefore recommended that:
• permanent bindings are used on notebooks (loose leaf books should be avoided to prevent possible removal or substitution of pages);
• pages should be numbered and any additional drawings cards or computer printouts should be permanently attached to the notebook clearly identified and have reference made to them in the notebook;
• all projects related and other activities, such as breaks in research due to secondment or holiday should be recorded factually; and
• the notebook should be reviewed regularly by someone who understands the technology involved, each page should ideally be signed by a witness and again the choice of the witness is important and should not be someone who may be nominated as core inventor. The witness should also sign and date and graphs, chart, printouts, which are inserted into the laboratory notebook.

In addition, to the use of appropriate record keeping procedures and notebooks, an evaluation of IPR policy should be adopted. Such an evaluation should include factors, such as potential market, market, impact, competitive products, timing, Intellectual Property protection available and experience in the field concerned.

Finally, once relevant Intellectual Property rights have been identified, protected, exploited and enforced, it is advisable that, regular audit of such rights is undertaken to ensure that, the Intellectual Property rights reflect the current needs of the business and that expenditure is limited accordingly.

How to take care of Confidential Information:

Scenario 1 – What to do, if receiving confidential information (under a mutual confidentiality agreement).
• Have you been asked to sign a confidentiality undertaking? If so, please check that it is only confidentiality restriction and not a transfer of intellectual rights.
• Obtain express confirmation from the discloser, that the information is not confidential, where possible, before disclosure.
• Make a written record of what was disclosed, by whom and when.
• Please remember that, an obligation, to keep information confidential, includes the obligation of not disclosure or not use of the information, without the permission of the person to whom the obligation is owned.

Scenario 2 – What to do, if giving out confidential information.
• Put in writing or some other permanent form.
• Mark any documents with appropriate confidentiality and IPR disclaimers.
• Keep a copy of what is disclosed and a record of when and to whom.
• If an oral disclosure is made in confidence, confirm in writing what was disclosed and what was given in confidence.
• Have the recipient sign a confidentiality undertaking in advance of the disclosure.

Scenario 3 – If publishing or presenting technical papers:
• Consider whether anything in the paper describes a new device, chemical compound or manufacturing process or a significant improvement or modification to any such matters.
• Do not disclose anything, without first considering the possibility of the content of the papers being patentable in whole or in part
• Consider whether there are any restrains, under any relevant agreements (including research and development or collaboration agreements).
• Keep an eye on any relevant timetable for confirming publication.
• Request that, the publisher confirms confidentiality on receipt of paper pending decision on publication.
• Please, always remember that, any document exchanged, should be clearly marked as being confidential.

Scenario 4 – If starting discussions on a collaborative project:
• Consider what background IPR, if any, are free from obligations of confidentiality and may be introduced to the project.
• Prior to disclosing any information to third parties, have a confidentiality agreement signed. Such agreements, may take many forms and the terms should be adjusted in accordance with the particular circumstances.

You should always include the following:
- identification of parties; – -what information is to be kept secret; and – for – for how long.
If in any doubt, consult your legal adviser

Maria is an intellectual property expert and founder and director of Anassutzi & Co limited a specialist legal and business strategy consultancy having previously held a number of senior positions including being partner and head of IP/IT in London. Maria speaks fluently Greek, Italian and has basic knowledge of the French language.

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Home Improvement Help: Lower Your Monthly Electricity Consumption With These Ideas

There are different home improvement help techniques that you may use not only to improve the over-all appeal of your home but also to make your everyday living more eco-friendly. Formulating your own energy consumption plan can only do so much, with the various rising costs and fees that homeowners now have to face. Here are some techniques that you may use to lower your monthly electricity consumption, all of which will also allow you to improve various aspects of your everyday life. With these secrets, you do not only revolutionize the way that you use your house but you also save a few dollars in the process.

If you wish to lend a new look to any room in your home, you may consider changing the windows that you have. Various home improvement help involves changing a couple of things in your home, and this one is no exception. However, you should see to it that you choose window materials and equipment that have more efficient designs. Make sure that you also choose ones that have the right types of glazing to avoid allowing light to come out and to improve the insulation in the area.

While you are in the process, it will do you well to perform various home improvement help renovations to your doors as well, more specifically to the ones that come in contact with the outdoors. Most of the time, regulating the temperature of the indoor portion of your home can be pretty hard because the hot air seeps out through door connections and seals. There are various energy-efficient designs that you may install, all of which will allow you to heat your home in a more efficient manner. Buying these replacements will cost you a certain amount of money, however, so try to save up enough money for this renovation tasks.

If you do not think that you have enough funds to cover the aforementioned home improvement help changes, then you should look into cheaper options that you may use to make your home more insulated. Installing weather strips on your doors and on your windows, for example, will make them more efficient in maintaining the temperature inside your home. You may also invest on cheap rugs and carpets to make your floorings more energy-friendly. Make sure that you stick to using cheaper options to avoid having to break the bank.

Finally, assess the various appliances that you have in your house and find out which ones are performing in a bad rate. While replacing certain appliances will definitely make a big dent on your bank account, there is no doubt that investing on newer and more efficient models will allow you to save on your monthly energy consumption. Yes, this type of home improvement help will require you to shell out a certain sum but there is no doubt that you would be able to save money in the long run. Perform the appropriate amount of research that will allow you to choose the best replacements that are available in the market.

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Do You Need IDX for Your Real Estate Website?

You’ve probably come across many articles, bloggers, and some internet marketers saying you don’t need IDX on your real estate website. Their reason is that the top 10 real estate websites led by Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, account for about half of all website traffic, and therefore, it is “useless” and “a waste of money” to try to compete with them.

The term IDX gets thrown around a lot. When people hear IDX, they automatically think it’s just home search for your real estate website. While property search is the main component of IDX, many don’t realize how to utilize it to the fullest and the valuable lead-generating tools it provides.

Besides providing home search on your website, I’m going to explain some reasons why IDX is a must-have for any real estate website.

“Product” of Your Business

When speaking to real estate professionals, I always make this analogy. As a real estate professional, you are a business. You can think of your real estate website as your “store”. The MLS listings on your website are your “inventory”. The listings are all the products that exist in your “store” where visitors can browse around and purchase. What happens when you have somebody visit your “store” but you have no product to offer? That person would do exactly what you and I would do… leave and go somewhere else where there is a product to look at and possibly purchase.

These are valuable leads you will be losing if you don’t have IDX on your real estate website. Unless you are solely generating business on referrals, your website (store) must have IDX (product).

You Can Build Listing Pages

IDX gives you access to all the hundreds to thousands of listings in your MLS. Like I mentioned above, this is your inventory, and it’s like having thousands of products on your website.

Having access to all the listings, you can create listing pages that focus on specific search criteria. For example, you can create a listing page that shows all listings under a specific price. Or you can create a listing page that displays listings in a specific subdivision, area, community, or school district. These listing pages provide a better experience for users in that they help direct your real estate website visitors to listings they are looking for. Even more valuable is that these listing pages are search engine friendly which is what I will talk about next.

Generate Leads from Google Search

All of your IDX pages that a platform provides are SEO friendly and are indexed by Google, Bing, and all other major search engines. This means all the listing pages within the IDX system are indexed by Google and is an excellent source of organic leads. For example, for one of our clients, we created an IDX page that displays homes for sale in the school district of Squires Elementary.

Look at what happens when you Google

“Homes for Sale Squires Elementary School District”

Yes, our client using our website with IDX is ranked #1 out of 1,640,000 Google search results above Zillow and Realtor.com!

With IDX you can build hundreds of these real estate listings pages and all of them will appear in Google search results! Do you still think you can’t compete with Zillow?

Platform and Tools for Your Clients

IDX is much more that just property search for your real estate website. Many oversee or are unaware of the valuable tools that you will be providing to your clients. IDX takes your real estate website to the next level by providing a platform for your clients. Your website visitors can create an account right on your real estate website to utilize the IDX tools such as saving favorite listings and favorite searches. It’s an experience that your clients expect and will always come back to.

Automatically Email Latest Listings to Your Leads

An IDX system will be able to send your leads the latest listings automatically by email based on their search criteria. You can think of this as lead nurturing with listings. The user can define searches themselves right on your website in which they want to receive the latest listings for. This is a completely automated process that will stay in touch with all your leads. When they see a listing they are interested in, they just contact you.

A Place for Your Existing Clients to Come Back To

If you’ve built a relationship with your existing clients, they will use your real estate website when they are looking to purchase a home again. They already trust you and your website is familiar to them. They will already have an account within your IDX system where they can just log in to perform their searches and utilize the tools you provide. If you don’t provide home search on your real estate website where will all your clients go? Yes… somewhere else.

Landing Pages + IDX = Powerful Lead Generation

Utilizing landing pages is a very popular method of generating leads especially on Facebook. When you combine landing pages with IDX, you create a very effective and powerful lead generating system.

You can create listing pages within IDX and utilize those pages for your landing pages. For example, you can promote a landing page that gives users access to all homes under $600K in the city of Clairemont. When a lead completes the form of your landing page, you can direct them to a listing page in your IDX system that displays these listings. Without IDX on your real estate website, a system like this would not be possible.

Offering a Much More Personal Experience

Large real estate websites such as Zillow and realtor.com are very commercialized and can be intimidating to a user. Your website is much more personable and offers trust and a level of comfort. Since your website will be focused on an area, this will also be much more familiar to your website visitors as they will know you are a real estate expert in the area they are looking to purchase.

Do you need IDX on your real estate website? YES. IDX is a must-have for your website for all the reasons mentioned above. The cost of having IDX on your website is very minute compared to all the benefits you will get from it. Closing just one deal generated from your website with IDX can pay for your IDX and website service for 5-10 years!

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Improve Your Poor Credit Score and Secure Yourself a Loan

So you are thinking of getting some extra money to make some urgent home repairs, the porch door needs replacing, along with a new hot water system. Unfortunately you do not have the money in the bank, but neither do you have a secure porch door or any constant hot water.

Have you considered personal loans? A lot of people take out personal loans for this type of repair. Car repairs and even holidays are used by people with their newly acquired finances. Most people have heard that a poor credit score is not a good thing (However even those that have a poor financial history can still get loans). But how do you make a good rating?

One of thing major pieces of advice from experts, before you apply for finance it is best to get a credit report completed from a reputable source. This will give you an idea of the chance of getting your application approved. In the United States of America there are three levels of credit rating, basically the higher it is the better it is.

An excellent rating is above 760, a good rating would be between 700 and 759 and a poor rating would be between 640 to 699. if you are at the top end, 760 and above then there is no point in making your rating any better. However with other ratings it is worth trying to improve as it will help your chances of succeeding in the application.

There does seem to be a bit of a chicken and egg situation sometimes, you need finance but have a poor score,but to improve you need a lender to give you a chance. Well, luckily there are things that you and your family if you have one, can do to improve your rating.

Having a poor rating does not mean you have to be stuck with it, starting to pay the bills on time instead of late or not at all will start to get you on the right path. Some lenders will still give applicants loans even with a low score, but the total given will be lower than usually and the percentage rate will be considerably higher. So you will pay more over the period of the finance.

Families can help too. If a member of your family has a good rating then some credit card companies can add you to that family members credit card as an authorized user, this will help with any poor credit score. Also having a family member with a good rating co-sign the loan could help you get what you need.

Finding the correct lender for your score is a good way to make sure that you are getting what you deserve, if you have a high score you deserve some of the best deals on the market. Instead of going to your bank or card company you can go online and search for a matching company. Companies like this are a good place go to make sure you achieve the best deal.

What are a matching company and what do they do? You enter your details on their online program and your information will be fed to several of their approved lenders, in turn the lenders will then return to the matching company with a list of loans that they are able to offer.

Once the offers come back it is then up to the applicant to choose one and complete all the necessary paperwork. A check will then be received within a matter of days and your new boiler and door fitted soon after.

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Payment Options for Shopping All the Way

Everyone is busy. Busy in shopping online and in the malls. Popular online portals are breaking and making new sale records! All thanks to the convenience and the availability of easy payment options and funds!

Here are few of the factors that are making online businesses a success

Credit Cards: A credit card is plastic money. It is one of the easiest form in which a person gets a personal loan.

All online portals as well as retailers in malls accept credit cards issued by various banks.
Online payment becomes very simple and safe, thanks to the one time passwords generated for such transactions.
A PIN is sufficient for shopping using a credit card at any retail store.

Personal loans for shopping: When we apply for a personal loan, we don’t have to provide the financier with the details of what we want the loan for.

Thus these days’ personal loans are being used to finance shopping.
They can also be used as wedding loans, vacation loans and educational loans.

Payment Processing: As far as payment processing is concerned, the following factors matter to both the consumer and the online retailer.

Uncomplicated manoeuvring on website: It is important for the payment process to be step-by-step and easy to understand. Most websites work on this section very carefully and thus the online shopping experience is satisfactory.

Processing Costs: Processing costs matter to the retailers. More the processing fees they have to pay to providers of payment gateways like Visa, the lesser are their margins. So to have an effective business the processing costs need to be low.
Number of payment options: Multiple payment options should be available for the customer to make payment. This makes the shopping a convenient proposition.
Time taken to process transactions: Processing time not only tests your patience but sometimes also the strength of your internet connection!

Cash on Delivery: This is also known as “collection on delivery.” This is a very popular mode of making payments for shopping in the developing world.

It enhances impulse purchases.
A credit card is not an essential possession for the buyer.
The buyer can check the quality of the product and then pay

So this festive season, do not hesitate to shop and to gift! The availability of funds for shopping is not difficult anymore. Also the convenience of online shopping has brought various retailers to our doorstep. So let us shop all the way!

An easy way of shopping is using a credit card. It forms an integral part of most people’s financial planning. When used in the right manner, it helps reduce financial liability and optimizes financial resources.

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Are Online Personal Loans Good For People With Bad Credit?

While the rise of online lending in itself makes it more convenient for people to apply for finance, is this development a good thing for those who are already struggling? There are companies out there who charge expensive annual percentage rates (APRs), leaving many people in more trouble than when they first started.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the last few years, online lending has earned itself a bad reputation. The internet leaves many people vulnerable to fraud, so you should always exercise caution when inputting your financial details. The best way to make sure your information remains safe is to find a secure, reliable lending platform.

There is an unfair irony attached to lending today. Those with bad credit are often led to believe they have no financial options if they have made mistakes in the past, often making their situations seem more desperate than they actually are. This can result in people making bad decisions and can lead to borrowing through unstable sources.

Meanwhile, any lenders that do accept you with bad credit will charge extortionate interest rates because of your history, making it more difficult for you to meet your monthly repayment obligations – thus worsening your situation. This is a trap that many people fall into, and it gives online installment lenders a bad name.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case. If you can find yourself a reliable lending platform, you will be connected to a secure network of trustworthy lenders who can offer sensible solutions to your borrowing needs. Many of these lenders will assess your application, even if your credit file isn’t perfect or your income is lower than average.

Instead of (or in some cases, as well as) running credit checks, these lenders will take other factors into consideration, including your income and employment circumstances, and how long you have lived at your current address. They may even ask for references they can contact who will vouch for your character personally.

Even those who receive benefits as a form of income will be able to apply, giving everyone a fair and carefully considered chance of borrowing money. In these cases, applicants won’t be accepted for higher loans than they can afford to pay back, and interest rates will be low, meaning there is a better chance of managing repayments.

If you have poor credit and need to borrow money, consider a personal installment loan, but make sure the APR is advertised between 5.99% and 35.99%. There should also be a number of options in terms of flexible repayment, offering you the chance to pay the money back anywhere between six months and six years, depending on what you can afford to pay per month.

Small, carefully considered personal loans could actually help you build a financial profile making you eligible for better future borrowing. As long as the lender is responsible, and offers reasonable interest rates, online lending platforms can actually give people with more opportunities than many other lenders in terms of improving their situation.

With this in mind, personal loans can be beneficial to those hoping to improve their credit score, but only if some caution is exercised by both parties, and you only apply to borrow an amount you can afford to pay back.

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Five Reasons for Refusal of a Personal Loan

Don’t you wish personal finance were a mandatory course in college? Unfortunately, too many of us learn by mistake. When you need a personal loan and are rejected, you might be baffled as to what went wrong- and how to fix it. Here are some clues.

NO CREDIT

No credit is a situation where you have never used credit and therefore have no credit history for the bank to review. They have no way of making an educated decision on whether or not you will pay back a personal loan based on your credit history. No credit is worse than bad credit. Qualifying for and making regular payments on these types of introductory forms of credit can overcome a “no credit” score:

· Student Loans

· Secured credit card (includes a down payment amount)

· Being added to a parent’s or spouses good credit: card, car loan, etc.

LOW CREDIT

Low credit takes on several forms. If you’re using more than 30% of your allowable debt, it can negatively impact your score. Too many inquiries from shopping around for loans will also hit you hard. Lapses in payment, defaults, or bankruptcies are giant red flags and can take a long time to rebuild from.

Other things that lenders may look at are whether or not you have sizeable assets should you default on the loan. They also check to see if your debts are diversified or if you are only carrying one type of debt.

INCOME

Proof of income is generally required when applying for a personal loan. If you are unemployed or underemployed, it can work against you in the loan approval process. Lenders may also require a work history to see how long you have been with your current employer, and to determine if you typically have job stability. Frequent job loss or change will tell a creditor that your payments may not be reliable.

PURPOSE OF THE LOAN

Believe it or not, your application can be rejected due to your proposed purpose for the loan. Financial institutions have the right to set up the parameters surrounding their disbursements and can accept or reject your application based on what you want to use the money for.

BLACKLISTING

If you’ve defaulted on debt before, your name may be put on a list of whom not to loan to,’ also known as a “Blacklist.” This will follow you around for a long time and is difficult to erase. If you do resolve the debt issues, get documents to prove the resolution.

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How Can A Personal Loan Improve Your Credit Score?

When it comes to a personal loan, you have to first learn to use it responsibly. Because if you miss a repayment, your credit score will be impacted adversely. And remember, that a credit score is an indicator of how well you manage your personal finances. Also, it plays a defining role when you apply for any kind of loan – secured and unsecured. It is suggested to apply for a loan slightly larger than what is needed so that you will be assured to have enough money to pay all bills necessary and still have some money left over to ensure that your bank account stays current.

A credit score can be defined as a number which reflects the financial situation of a person. If the person is well-off when it comes to financial matters, then he or she is said to have a high credit score. On the other hand, if a person is the exact opposite of this, then they possess a low credit score. There are a lot of factors that are considered by financial institutions for the purpose of evaluating a person’s credit score – usually, the credit scores of people vary from 300 to about 850.

A personal loan is a type of loan that is given by digital lenders, banks and credit unions to aid you in your plans, be it starting a small business, or making a big purchase. Personal loans tend to have an interest rate(s) lower than the credit cards; however, they can also be put to use for combining several credit card debts together into one monthly lower-cost payment.

Now, your credit score is built by keeping in mind various parameters from your credit reports. These reports serve the purpose of trailing your history of utilization of the credit across the duration of seven years. These credit reports are comprised of information, including how much credit you have utilized to date, the type of credit in your possession, the age of one’s credit accounts, whether one has put in for bankruptcy or liens filed against them, actions of debt collections taken against them, one’s total open lines of credit as well as recent inquiries for hard credit.

Like any other type of credit, personal loans are very capable of affecting your credit score. This can be done through the process of applying and withdrawing a personal loan. If you are curious as to how personal loans can end up affecting your credit, then read on to find out more about the context. There are many ways in which your credit can be affected by personal loans and some of them are listed below:

The ratio of your debt-to-income and loan

Debt-to-income ratio is considered to be the measure of your amount of income that you spend on the debt repayments. In the case of lenders, the amount of income that you receive is said to be one of the major factors proving that you are able to repay your loan.

Some of the lenders have come up with their own debt-to-income ratio so that their proprietary credit scores may make use of it in the form of a credit consideration. Do not fall into the kind of mindset that possessing a high amount of a loan would hurt your credit. The most damage it can do is raise the ratio of your debt-to-income so that you won’t be able to apply for loans anymore without it getting rejected or denied.

Paying loans on time will make credit scores soar

The moment your loan is approved, you have to make sure that you settle the payments of each month on time and in full. Delay in repayment may significantly impact the state of your credit score. However, on the other hand, if you make the payments on time every month, then your credit score will soar high, leading to an overall good score. This will not only make your name to the preferred borrower’s list, but it will prove to be beneficial for you in the long run.

Since your payment history is comprised of almost 35% of your credit score, paying loans on time is essential in cases like these so that your credit score can maintain a positive status.

Variety is built into your credit type

There are about five factors that are responsible for determining your credit score. These are composed of the payment history, the length of the credit history, the utilization ratio of the credit, the credit mix and new inquiries of the credit in accordance with FICO®.

The credit mix only accounts for about 35% of your total credit score, whereas when it comes to a personal loan you can have a varying mix of the credit types. This mix of all types of credit is viewed at a high level of approval by the creditors and lenders.

Origination fee charged by loans

Most of the lenders end up charging you an origination fee. This fee cannot be avoided at any cost and is instantly taken off from the amount of the loan payment. The amount of origination fees depends upon the amount of the loan you are about to borrow. Late payments can lead to an overdraft of fees and late expenses. Therefore, make sure that you pay complete repayment for each month before the deadline.

Avoiding penalties when it comes to payments

Some of the credit lenders tend to charge an additional fee if you end up paying your part of the loan earlier than the agreed date. This is because they are looking for moderate amounts of interest on your loan. Now, seeing that you have paid off your part of the loan before time, they will miss out on that interest that they could have possibly made if you had not cleared the debt soon enough before the deadline.

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