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Will virtual reality grocery shopping become the new norm?

Virtual reality technology continues to expand into new markets with a presence in gaming, counseling, business, the military and more. Is the next step with virtual reality to replace megastores with simulated shopping experiences?

According to recent United States Patent and Trademark Office filings from the Walmart corporation, the answer may soon be yes. Two new patents detail a virtual shopping experience that could eliminate the need for trips to physical locations to purchase goods from the major retailer.

Understanding how deceptive advertising affects the consumer

When consumers get excited about new products that are advertised in California, they may become so distracted by the potential benefits of that product that they fail to identify misleading statements or even obvious lies the company may make during advertising. At the same time, there are companies that are exceptionally successful at describing a product in a way that makes it seem to be something that it is not. As such, consumers may misunderstand the message and end up being the victim of false advertisement. 

According to the Federal Reserve, unfair practices are those that could potentially cause harm or injury to consumers that is not avoidable. Deceptive practices include those that result in a consumer being misled as to the intention, purpose or benefit of having or using the product that was advertised. Both practices are punishable and can cause detrimental consequences for any business that is involved. 

Assessing responsibility and liability for developers

When consumers invest in a product, they are relying on it to function as advertised. Additionally, they are counting on the company who makes the product to deliver thorough and honest information about how the product works, what it is used for and how it should be maintained. As a result, they expect the outcome to be as the seller describes and to not suffer any serious malfunctions. While many California companies are careful to complete thorough product testing and analysis before launching, there are times when defects can cause inconvenience or in serious cases, injuries to unsuspecting consumers. 

An interesting concept that has been discussed in recent months is just how responsible software developers should be when they recommend a product that turns out to be defective later on. The concept is called "AI-Facilitated shopping" which refers to algorithms that have been created to recommend products to online shoppers based off of previous purchases they have made or interest they have shown in other products. 

What should I look out for when choosing a client?

No matter the industry, California business owners rely on their clients to grow and succeed. While most of the people you work with will be eager to hear your input on their project, other clients will be more difficult to assist. Not only can this create frustration, it may also lead to legal issues if your client disputes your work. If you're concerned about the impact of working with a so-called "problem" client, Forbes offers the following advice to identify issues before they occur.

Complaints about past working relationships

Tips on protecting trade secrets

Trade secrets are often essential for the success of your business, which is why so many small business owners in California are concerned with protecting them. In order to safeguard important information, you'll need to know what steps to take, from how trade secrets are defined to filing a civil suit if a breach occurs. The following is a guide to the protection of trade secrets to make sure they stay out of reach of your competitors.

Know what a trade secret is

Protecting your rights to your trademark in foreign countries

At Wang IP Law Group, P.C., we understand that the name of your business becomes its brand and defines the company. The U.S. Small Business Administration notes that in the United States, you have the option to register your company's trademark by state, or you could choose to register it through the federal government. But what if you plan to take your company global? 

In the U.S., you automatically have the right to your company name if you are the first one to use it, although registering the name provides you a better chance of defending your rights in court. However, the situation is likely to be different in other countries. You will probably need to be the first company to register that particular trademark in order to have legal protection in a dispute.

How to safeguard lucrative business ideas

For entrepreneurs in California, innovative ideas can bring about a great deal of success. That's why many business owners have concerns about their ideas being stolen by competitors and used for financial gain. There are steps you can take to prevent this from happening however, as illustrated by Inc.

Put Things In Writing

How can I prevent contract disputes from occurring?

If you're a business owner in California, the prospect of contract disputes can be daunting. Binding agreements are an essential part of doing business no matter the type of goods or services you provide, and avoiding disputes can save both time and money (while also ensuring your business is able to thrive). Inc.com offers the following advice in this case, which will ensure any agreements you enter into are valid and legally binding.

What cannot be patented in the United States?

If you invented a product or process in the United States, it would be wise to protect it. By patenting your invention, you hold the rights to its process and application.

Exceptions to the rules of patentability exist. It is essential for you or your business to understand the patent procedure, or you may end up engaged in a lawsuit against a perfectly legal matter.

Ways to create a strong trademark for your business

Your trademark is invaluable. It acts as a brand for your company, projecting an image that your customers will instantly recognize as the image for your business. But if you want to create the right trademark for your California business, you must be careful that your trademark is not too weak or runs afoul of the law. Missteps in crafting and registering your trademark can have repercussions that could damage your business in the future.

Entreupenuer.com advises you to make your trademark simple, but specific. Stay away from a word that is too generic. If, for instance, you manufactured blank paper and sold it in packs, and you chose to call your paper simply "Paper," the word would do nothing to distinguish your product from other brands. Additionally, do not expect a court to support your trademark if it is challenged. Trademarks made up of generic, weak and undistinguishable words will be ruled ineligible by a court.

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