The Necessity of Obtaining an Export License

Why apply to the U.S. Department of Commerce for an export license? There are many restrictions on exports, including the destination country and materials that can be exported. Exporting certain materials or to certain countries or entities can lead to criminal prosecution.

Last week an Iranian national was sentenced to just over four years in federal prison for illegally exporting items to Iran. Iran, like many countries, is an export destination that is heavily restricted by the U.S. government. The Iranian national did not have and did not apply for an export license and also did not apply for approval by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Whether you are exporting restricted materials, exporting to a restricted destination, or are exporting unrestricted materials to any other destination, it is important that you obtain an export license and approval from the U.S. Treasury Department. The process can be complicated and there are numerous ways to have your application delayed or denied.

International exporting can be lucrative and because of that much of the exporting can be time sensitive. That is one reason it is important to have the help of an attorney when filling out and filing your application for an export license. An attorney can aid you in completing your application, making sure that every question is answered correctly and with sufficient detail so that your application is not delayed or rejected.

Applying for an export license is only the beginning of the international exporting process. Call Boyer Law Firm and let us help you navigate the waters of international exporting. We are here to help.

USCIS Expands Self Check System to Spanish

USCIS Expands Self Check System to Spanish: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expanded its Self-Check system. The USCIS started its Self-Check system in March 2011 in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The Self-Check system is an online system offered through E-Verify. E-Verify allows participating employers to check the status of workers before they are hired. The Self-Check system is similar in that it allows employees, ages 16 and older, to check their eligibility status before they seek employment.

USCIS Expands Self Check System to Spanish The new developments of the Self-Check system are important because it has expanded to include California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington. What is of further importance for potential workers is that the system is now available for Spanish speakers in order to simplify the process. The system also allows for potential workers to make sure that their information on the site is the same as it is on their Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), which employers check through the E-Verify system.

The Self-Check system can be utilized by visiting the USCIS website, and clicking on the Self-Check link on the far right of the page under the heading “Employment Verification”.

Call Boyer Law Firm for any questions you may have regarding U.S. Immigration, we will be happy to help.

Copyright v. Trademark: What’s the Difference?

Everyone has heard of something being copyrighted or trademarked. However, people often use these terms synonymously when in fact they mean very different things and have very different implications. Although I explain the difference between a trademark and copyright, most of my focus is on explaining a copyright.

Let us begin with defining a trademark. A trademark is a name, symbol, design or logo which is used when goods are traded to indicate the source of those goods. A trademark distinguishes one good from another. For the purposes of this article, I will use the Mickey Mouse character to better illustrate the differences between a trademark and copyright. The Mickey Mouse character has been trademarked as a design of Disney. Using the character to sell goods would be an infringement of the trademark.

If you are interested in protecting a title, slogan, or other short word phrase, a trademark is better suited for your needs. Copyright law does not protect a bare phrase, slogan, or trade name. For example, Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” would need to be trademarked in order to be protected.

A copyright, on the other hand, is a form of protection to the authors or creators of original works of music, art, literature, motion pictures and even architectural works. Ideas, procedures, processes are NOT eligible for copyright protection. A copyright is distinct from a trademark in that a copyright is a tangible form of expression. The Copyright Act of 1976 allows the owner of the copyright to reproduce the work, distribute copies of the work, perform the work (piece of music), and display the work (art). Let’s look at Mickey Mouse’s character. Mickey Mouse has been copyrighted as a cartoon character and one would infringe the copyright by using the character of Mickey Mouse is one’s own cartoons.

It is important to remember that a copyright protects a form of expression, not the subject matter of the work. For example, if Steven Spielberg made a movie about aliens invading the Earth in 2525, that particularly movie and the text of the movie would be copyrighted. James Cameron can just as easily make his own movie with original text about the exact same subject matter.

A work is copyrighted at the very moment it is created. No registration is required to secure a copyright, however, there are advantages in registering a copyright. One of the advantages is that the copyright becomes part of public records. Another advantage is that an infringement suit can only be filed with a court once the work is registered.

Furthermore, using trademarked or copyrighted names, symbols, logos or artistic work would not lead to an infringement of the trademark or copyright if one receives the author’s consent or permission.

If you are interested in trademarking an item or creating a copyright, please contact Boyer Law Firm, and we will be happy to assist.

How to Enforce a Foreign Arbitration Award

How to Enforce a Foreign Arbitration Award: Boyer Law Firm knows how difficult it can be to receive a favorable arbitration award. We also understand that having such an award enforced can be a troublesome process. There are a number of Conventions, Acts and treaties that may apply to the enforcement of such awards.

Know How to Enforce a Foreign Arbitration Award

In the U.S. alone, when attempting to have a foreign arbitration award enforced, the Panama Convention, the New York Convention, and U.S. domestic law under the Federal Arbitration Act may all apply. In most instances, the Conventions are controlling, however, in some cases they may conflict with one another. For example, some countries that are a party to one Convention may not be a party to the other Convention, thus creating a conflict between the applicable Conventions. There may also bilateral or multilateral treaties that are also applicable depending on the parties to the arbitration. In such a case, the knowledge and experience of a seasoned attorney is necessary to pursue the enforcement of your award.

It can be just as tricky enforcing a U.S. Arbitral Award in another country. The same or different Conventions, Acts and treaties may apply. Boyer Law Firm has knowledge and experience in fighting to have arbitration awards enforced, in the U.S. and abroad. Contact us today with any further questions we will be happy to assist you in this process.

Great Foreign Investments in the US and Florida

Great Foreign Investments in the US and Florida: A foreign investor in the United States enjoys the same flexibility in financial arrangements as U.S. citizens:

• There is no need to obtain formal approval from governmental authorities to set up a company.
• Foreign exchange controls are generally absent.
• The foreign-owned company may freely transfer U.S. profits abroad, and its owners may freely repatriate their investment.

Great Foreign Investments in the US and Florida

The United States is open for business!

It is important to contact an attorney regarding the different laws and regulations relating to each foreign county and the United States. Boyer Law Firm’s foreign investment practice focuses on advising businesses and investors on cross border investments in the United States. We advise clients on foreign business transactions, acquisitions, and tax issues. Our focus is on efficiently assisting clients in various foreign investment matters. We navigate our clients through the foreign investment process and guide them in making appropriate investment choices.

Practice areas include international transactions, tax effective financing, minimizing of foreign tax, overseas transactions and tax planning. Please contact us today regarding any of your matters in which we will be able to assist you.