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Tax rates and other innovation levers

Taxation specialist, Anton Joseph, a good friend of our firm, writes on tax for CCH, one of the leading publishers for lawyers and accountants in Australia. In August 2009 he penned a blog post titled Murky world of tax cuts and deficits.

Anton looks ahead. He queries the potential financial impact on government revenues from any lower tax rates in current circumstances.

Anton also looks back, and notes the follow remarkable fact about increases in government tax revenues in the U.S. and Australia:

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Future of collaboration

The cover story of this week's BusinessWeek is on corporate R&D in the United States. Four videos stand out as overviewed here.

An audio interview with Steve Hamm, the lead journalist, pulls together thinking behind the stories. BusinessWeek confusingly splits the text, video and audio content.

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Public rights to copyright material

Recommendations have recently been made for improved engagement with Wikipedia by galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) in Australia and Zealand.

They arise from the "GLAM-WIKI: Finding the common ground conference held at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 6-7 August 2009.

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Law firm value for money

Yesterday LexisNexis broadcast its latest newsletter. It contained a link to its online  "White Paper". That was literally its title, and it's a clue to its quality of thought.

That's a little unfair. The topic is a difficult one, and kudos to LexisNexis for revisting it.

The newsletter said the White Paper addresses this question: "Is the GFC a catalyst for change in the legal sector?" GFC stands for global financial crisis.

As much as that question is somewhat short-sighted, it is probably true. That is to say, the GFC is a catalyst for change in the operations of law firms in places like Sydney, New York and London.

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Internet business models debunk The Long Tail theory

An internet business model riddle exists for content creators, owners and publishers. It's a riddle about how to make money when so much information is free on the internet.

Prominent in all this is Google which in 10 years has shaped a perfect market for itself. Google brings net users to publishers (Google search) and sells them to advertisers (Google Adwords). For many publishers there is a business model riddle left for them, and little money. Some would like to shoot the messenger, Google.

The thirst for answers to the publisher's riddle of how to make money on the internet is so great that catch phrases or unproven theories have been taken up as assumed truths. Repetition has made them appear to be credible. It's time to debunk a couple of those catch phrases and theories.

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IP - contract door, lock and key

Intellectual property and contracts interact as business laws in many practical ways that escape the attention of journalists, legal academics and younger lawyers.

Experienced IP lawyers focused on transactional and advisory work (less so on IP litigation) come to realise something.

To overstate it for emphasis, the thing they come to realise is -

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IP licences and software licences are business collaboration tools

A prospective new client asked me yesterday about whether I was the right lawyer to advise on or draft a software licence. The client is seeking to take his business to the next level.

I smiled and got on with preparing an email in reply. I smiled because I guess people want to hear it direct from a lawyer. It isn't enough that on the Dilanchian website there is a heap of substantive articles on software licences and licensing. The site also has an advanced article search facility and a tag cloud. No, that's not enough, customers want you to customise responses for them.

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Free letter of demand template

It is an illusion to believe that results can be achieved by using a free letter of demand template. Complexities exist that a simple cease and desist letter does not usually deal with.

Templates are useful, the more the better. However, at least in Sydney all need to be heavily customised to convince recipients to respond as desired. Thirty years ago people respected a "solicitor's letter". Today they need to be convinced by one.

A writer of a demand letter is in the behaviour modification business. It requires cunning and craft to convince people and businesses to change their position or behaviour on demand.

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IT commercialisation hints

Today I advised a new client via email on IT commercialisation for a software program. The client is an individual and his core business is not software development. His program is useful for management of technology used in the live events sector, eg theatre and concerts.

Here's my email reply to him focusing on practical considerations for making money from software or IT commercialisation. I've extracted confidential information and added a bit more information to clarify the circumstances.

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Entrepreneurship elevator speech

Welcome to this rap on entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship brings to life an idea or an opportunity, whether it is founded on intellectual property, a product or process innovation. New business ideas are born all the time, it seems especially so in an economic downturn.

This is a three minute elevator speech on entrepreneurship. It records my take gained as a specialist over 25 years in intellectual property, the law for innovations.

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Forming a business partnership agreement

Listen in as we meet with a client who has requested that we assist in forming a business partnership. Our instructions are to prepare a contract, form a venture company and provide or obtain tax advice for the venture.

Preparing a business partnership (we'll use our broader term, "collaboration") is complex, challenging and rewarding work.

We'll open the meeting by responding that rather than focusing on any particular type or species of contract it is best to discuss the plans for the venture and practical considerations. The client smiles and replies: "That's why I'm here Noric, I want your advice." If you're still reading, remember this is not legal advice to you too, for that you too have to call me!

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Lawyers blocking social media is not a policy

Legal problems have arisen since the begining of publishing from ill-considered publications, statements and comments. Unsurprisingly nowadays email comments and advertising statements frequently raise legal issues. However, the crowd noise is now all about social media.

There's been a debate brewing on whether employees, especially during work time or in association with their employer's activity, should be allowed to use social media or should be blocked from using it.

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E-commerce contracts and revenues

What are the revenues of carsales.com.au? We'll answer that and then turn to an anecdotal story on the continuing shift online of buyers and sellers even for expensive products.

The conclusion we'll reach is that the trend stands on a foundation of law in Australia which enforces online contracts, including online auction contracts.

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8 legal tips for e-commerce and websites

E-business, e-commerce and websites are modern magic, including for the bottom line of many businesses.

As you spin your online magic (see photo), ensure your online presence is grounded in law.

The sage advice of the Australian eBusiness Guide (CCH, 2nd Ed.) is: “the pace of change is now so great that all businesses must constantly monitor their activities and their business models, and those of their competitors, to ensure that they do not get left behind”. The same applies to law for e-commerce and e-business. To avoid getting left behind move forward with confidence based on solid legal foundations.

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Futuristic_landscape_istock

8 legal tips for e-commerce and websites

E-business, e-commerce and websites are modern magic, including for the bottom line of many businesses.

As you spin your online magic (see photo), ensure your online presence is grounded in law.

The sage advice of the Australian eBusiness Guide (CCH, 2nd Ed.) is: “the pace of change is now so great that all businesses must constantly monitor their activities and their business models, and those of their competitors, to ensure that they do not get left behind”. The same applies to law for e-commerce and e-business. To avoid getting left behind move forward with confidence based on solid legal foundations.

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