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Denver Complex Litigation Blog

Construction defect litigation: Foundation problems

The foundation of a home needs to be strong and in good shape in order to maintain structural integrity. Unfortunately, foundation problems are found in roughly 25% of homes in the United States. Most home insurance claims are made because of foundation problems, but Colorado residents should not have depend on their insurance or spend a fortune fixing a builder's mistake. Through construction defect litigation, those dealing with foundation defects may be able to get the problems fixed at the builder's expense, or they may recoup any money they have spent or lost due to repairs or loss in property value.

There are several signs that a home's foundation is defective. The first thing most often noticed is cracks around the base of the house. Other signs include:

  • Uneven flooring
  • Gaps in the floor
  • Gaps in the walls
  • Doors and windows failing to close properly
  • Leakage around the fireplace or in the crawl space

Intellectual property litigation: A bit about trademarks

Trademarks exist to protect a person's work. When a Colorado resident finds his or her trademark has been violated, an attorney with experience handling intellectual property litigation may be able to help one seek compensation for any resulting losses and put an end to anyone else using one's property. These cases can take time to resolve, as they are often complex and require extreme attention to detail.

Trademarks protect things like company logos, words, symbols, phrases and designs -- among other things. Their purpose is to distinguish one's product. It is different from a patent or copyright in that it does not protect things like inventions or original works of authorship -- such as novels, movies, computer software and songs.

Construction defect Q and A

Homeowners in Colorado expect their houses to be safe and free from defects when they take ownership. When it comes to new construction, this means they expect the builder to have done everything to code and to have used good quality products; and when it comes to existing homes, they expect the former owner to have been honest about the condition of the property. Unfortunately, these things do not always happen, construction defects are found, and those defects can be quite costly. When dealing with a construction defect, one might have a lot of questions that need answering. This week, this column will address just a few of them.

Question number one: What are the most commonly seen construction defects? There are many. Mold, drainage problems, electrical issues, structural failure and foundation cracks are just a few. All of these, and many others, can significantly reduce the value of one's home and be insanely expensive to fix.

Federal IP protection for state-approved substances

Historically, many patents relate to products aligned with state and federal regulations. However, entrepreneurs involved with industries related to the growth, manufacturing and distribution of a substance approved on the state level may question how to register and maintain their intellectual property (IP) rights.

Nationwide IP protection may be difficult to retain for a federally illegal substance with variable approval across state lines, such as cannabis. Meanwhile, courts in the Centennial State have recently faced the first allegations of related patent infringement. Yet, as with any patent application, doing your due diligence may open doors to other opportunities to protect your interests.

Have an intellectual property litigation question?

Do you have an intellectual property problem that you are not sure how to fix? If you do, you are not alone. This is something that numerous business owners in Colorado and elsewhere will face over the course of their careers. Unfortunately, intellectual property litigation can be complicated, which scares some people away from taking their problems to court.

Intellectual property is your ideas that you have had patented, copyrighted or trademarked. When you've taken one of these steps to protect your property, you have the right to take legal action if anyone uses your ideas without your consent. Now, similar ideas are not uncommon, so trying to determine if someone stole and used your property can be a bit of a challenge.

Construction defects Q and A

Building a home is an exciting, albeit expensive, and stressful process. When all is said and done, the hope is to have a house that is safe, well-built and meets one's needs/wants. Unfortunately, every year, numerous Colorado residents find construction issues with their homes that lead them to ask questions about construction defects and litigation. Here are some of the top questions asked about this topic.

Question number one: What qualifies as a construction defect? This is any construction-related problem that reduces the value and safety of one's home. Common defects include faulty drainage, mold, dry rot, electrical issues and structural failure -- among many others.

How to make sure a trade secret is actually a secret

The theft and misappropriation of a business’ trade secrets can be extremely harmful, potentially resulting in millions of dollars in damages. It’s important for anyone involved in operating a business to understand what actually constitutes a trade secret. Just because information is valuable to your enterprise does not mean it has the legal protections afforded to trade secrets.

While this area of the law can be quite complex, there are two key principles you should be familiar with. Both underscore an important trait: a trade secret must be secret.

How do you stop someone from stealing your intellectual property?

When you work hard to develop innovative ideas, you want to protect them. In fact, there’s a good chance your ideas may be the most valuable part of your business.

As Forbes noted a few years back, intellectual property (IP) accounts for more than 80% of the worth of U.S. public companies. As of 2015, tangible assets represented only 16% of their value. That’s an astonishing turn, considering that tangible assets represented more than 80% of all business value just a few decades back. It also illustrates how important it can be to protect your IP. So, here are five things to consider as you decide how to defend your IP.

The question of white collar crime and jail time

Here is a riddle: one man steals $100 in quarters, while another hides millions of dollars from the IRS. What's the same in the two cases? The answer, frequently, is the sentence.

Sentences handed to white collar criminals have once again become a newsworthy topic thanks to the recent sentencing of top Insys executives. Five of the top executives at Insys Therapeutics were found guilty on racketeering charges, in connection with their company's actions regarding the opioid epidemic. This led to the question of their sentencing.

White collar crime: Accused of money laundering?

Money laundering, which is the process of making money earned from criminal activity appear clean, is a serious crime in Colorado and the United States as a whole. Those facing charges of money laundering may find themselves facing severe consequences if they are ultimately convicted. A white collar criminal defense attorney may be able to help one fight the charges or at least find ways to minimize the penalties if convicted.

There are three steps to a money-laundering scheme. Those steps are placement, layering and integration. These steps involve putting dirty money in a clean financial system, concealing the source of the funds and then withdrawing the funds, which are now in a legitimate account.

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