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Business Law Articles - April 2009

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The following articles were gratefully supplied by Dilanchian Lawyers and Consultants - Intellectual Property and Innovation Professionals.

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IP Law

Encyclopaedia content licensing and contracts

Microsoft's announcement in March 2009 that it will discontinue Encarta provides valuable business strategy and management lessons. Encarta is an encyclopaedia offered from 1993 on a CD-ROM disc and subsequently on the web. All will end in 2009.

While money was not the motivator, the crowd that clouds at Wikipedia and elsewhere on the internet has helped starve the business out of Microsoft's Encarta. That crowd are computer users and they cloud in the sense that they are part of cloud computing sending content by them or others to external hosted servers.

This article is a case study on 250 years of business and legal history relevant to three encyclopaedias - Encarta, Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia. It is structured by three historical periods, or Acts, as we've called them here. Our focus is on content licensing for these three publications. Their content includes images, text, video and other data. Like them, others with an interest in methods for making money from content include business consultants, authors, creators, and various intermediaries.

Which franchise group has the most outlets, 36,000 restaurants?

QUESTION: What is the biggest franchise group in the world in terms of its number of sites or outlets?

CLUES: (1) It is a franchise group, ie it owns more than one brand. (2) Its sites are restaurants, there's 36,000 of them in more than 110 countries. (3) It had total revenues in 2008 of US$11 billion (A$15.3 billion). That includes revenues in Australia of A$1.5 billion. (4) It is the world's second biggest franchise group in terms of market capitalisation, after McDonald's. So it's not McDonald's.

ANSWER: The group is the owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, both operating in Australia. Of the 36,000 sites mentioned above, 14,000 are KFC outlets. The group also owns Taco Bell, A&W and Long John Silvers - all untried or unsuccessful in Australia. With all these brands, this is why it is a franchise group. The group is the United States-based YUM! Brands.

Further reading: Franchising legal services. See also this Insight Guide for franchisors: Insulating Franchises from Failure [PDF].

IP law experts recognised by WIPO

The Dilanchian website received substantial international positive feedback yesterday. One of our articles was included in the March 2009 "SMEs Newsletter". That e-newsletter is published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation. WIPO is a United Nations agency based in Geneva.

Dilanchian has had WIPO's positive feedback twice before, for example here. Yesterday's mention is as follows:

The Most Successful Product Ever Marketed in America
This article by Noric Dilanchian narrates the story of Chester Carlson's invention and development of xerography, based on the original book, "Copies in Seconds: Chester Carlson and the Birth of the Xerox" written by David Owen. In providing 14 commercial axioms, it analyses the key success factors from the perspective of collaborative entrepreneurship.

People Contracts - Contractor or Employee?

This video is an introduction to legal distinctions between "employees" and "independent contractors" under law in Australia and many other common law jurisdictions.

It recommends creation of a set of integrated template forms and contracts for dealings with employees and independent contractors.

Contracts for Business Collaborators

A video discussion of 9 types of COLLABORATIONS formed with CONTRACTS -
(1) Co-operative,
(2) Licensing,
(3) Distributorship,
(4) Joint Venture,
(5) Franchising,
(6) Outsoursing,
(7) Strategic Alliance,
(8) Co-production,
(9) Partnership.

The video ends with a recommendation that you consider business and management needs and only then legal needs.

Sell Your Concept

This is a video on legal protection available for pitching ideas. The protection usually involves CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION LAW and a CONTRACT.

This video sets out a legally-informed three step process to define, develop and make a proposal for a concept.

Website Business Planning

A retailer with a poor web presence is like a white wall watching commuters pass by.

Noric was struck today by the clarity of a retailing client's email to him. It helps anyone understand website development, e-commerce, branding online, and other elements of an effective online presence.

Electronic litigation mandated

It's crunch time to get serious about electronic document management and retention if your company or organisation wants to win in litigation.

Recently expanded Supreme Court and Federal Court rules put huge pressure on litigants to have documents in an ordered and electronic format for inspection and examination in the litigation process. For example, the Federal Court's requirements are in its January 2009 Practice Note 17. It can apply when there are more than 200 documents in a litigation matter.

5 ideas for business reinvention

At midnight on 27 February 2009 the news staff of the Rocky Mountain News commemorated the death of their 150 year old newspaper by uploading a video on the free video sharing website, Vimeo. In 2009 that says it all.

This is a story about a failure to sufficiently innovate or re-invent a business to avoid closure. It ends with 5 ideas to avoid business death by making proactive improvements and changes.

Founded in 1859, the Rocky Mountain News called Denver, Colorado its home town. The other local paper was the Denver Post.

Copyright licensing 101 for the almost famous

Seeking fame off the back of other people's content is a risky business. If the content belongs to others you may need a licence, permission or consent, preferably in writing.

The Rin on the Rox story this week illustrates the risks. They are an LA amateur vocal duo. They recorded karaoke-style music videos in their bathroom and uploaded them to YouTube. They attracted millions of viewers singing their Beyonce-style stuff. It landed them a gig on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

Copyright Notice, RSS Feed and View the Articles The articles in our Business Law pages are reproduced with kind permission from Dilanchian Lawyers and Consultants. If you wish to reproduce any of the information in any format, either electronic or written, you must first contact Dilanchian and obtain permission in writing.

You may freely subscribe to the Dilanchian RSS feed by following this link. Before acting on any information you read, you should first consult a Business Law Professional.

You are able to view the complete articles briefly mentioned above by visiting the Dilanchian Library.

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