Law & Business podcast

Law & Business

Anthony M. Verna III, Esq.

The podcast about legal issues and how they affect your business

62 Episodes

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    Law and Business Podcast Episode 60 – with Polina Chtchelok – How to Define a Business vs. a Startup


    Coming aboard the "Law & Business" Podcast is Polina Chtchelok. Polina is an Australian lawyer and engineer. She started her career in the energy sector, where after having lived in 5 different countries and working on various investments and projects, she saw a business opportunity due to lack of specific legal services and she moved from working in-house to creating her own niche market law firm in a controversial and challenging business environment of Bolivia in South America. After completing Executive MBA from HEC Paris with specialization in finance end entrepreneurship her focus now is on development of financial and operational strategies for business growth. This episode on how to define a business vs. how to define a startup was fun to record and we hope you enjoy it, also. Anthony Verna: (00:02)All right. Welcome to the Law and Business podcast, the most blandly named podcast out there. With me today is Polina Chtchelok. Polina, how you doing?Polina Chtchelok:I’m good, and you? Anthony Verna:I’m well. How badly did I butcher your last name?Polina Chtchelok:It was actually quite well. Anthony Verrna:All right. Oh, good. Okay. That's because your last name is Polish in nature. Polina Chtchelok:Russian. Anthony Verna:Russian, I’m sorry, I keep making that mistake. I grew up near our Lady of Czestochowa, which is I believe a Ukrainian saint. So anyway, I've learned a little bit about trying to figure out some of the Eastern Europe… Polina Chtchelok: (00:53)The region of my last name is Ukrainian Cossacks. Anthony Verrna: (00:58)Okay. Okay. So, all right. Thank you for the diversion. Uh, Paulina is an Australian lawyer and engineer. Speaking of a diversion. You started your career in the energy sector after having lived in five different countries, working on various investment and projects. Polina, you saw business opportunity due to lack of specific legal services. And you moved from working with in-house to creating your own niche market law firm in a controversial and challenging business environment in Bolivia, in South America. And then after completing your executive MBA from HEC Paris, with specialization in finance and entrepreneurship, your focus is now on development of financial and operational strategies for business growth. So welcome because law and business is exactly where you and I collide and intersect and thanks for being on today. Polina Chtchelok:Oh, thank you for having me here. Anthony Verna:Hey, so we're going to talk a little bit about what you think of as an ongoing concern for a business versus a startup. And hopefully our listeners can take away some ideas for thinking about if you're a startup out there thinking about taking your startup, what do I need to do to be an ongoing business concern? Polina Chtchelok: (02:14)It's a very complex subject, and it's a very current subject because as you know, with COVID-19, there's a lot of businesses being impacted. You have to shut down, but at the same time, COVID-19 accelerated in entrepreneurship. It's accelerated creation of startups. Its accelerated people being innovative and creative because of their restrictions they've been under. They had to think of new ways of doing a business, implement changes to keep the business afloat and, and even the current customers, they change their habits. And you had to adjust to these changes in the habits of your customers. Anthony Verna: (03:06)I completely agree. And we see that as well. We're seeing a lot more trademark applications come through the door. We're seeing a lot of patent application inquiries, and a lot of people trying to figure out if their invention is something that they want to invest the time and the money to get a patent application. And, that really begins one of the thoughts, like how much have you invested of your own money in your business? Polina Chtchelok: (03:35)Well, before we get into this point in terms of how much we invest,
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    Law & Business Podcast: Episode 59 Musician Andromeda Turre has Copyright Questions


    It's always fun when your friends drop in for a podcast episode. My guest this time is my friend, the talented and lovely Andromeda Turre. Andromeda is a jazz singer whose latest project is called Growing up Jazz, a series about the influence of jazz on the American soul that runs parallel to her life story as the daughter of two jazz musicians. Andromeda had some copyright questions. These questions came from the musician's perspective, especially as we discussed the need for a copyright registration in the music and a need for a copyright registration in the sound recording (aka "sync license" when musicians license the recording). However, everyone who works in all media should find it informative and we want Andromeda back on soon. BTW - nobody is allowed to use "poor man's copyright" on the podcast anymore. That term is officially banned. Anthony Verna: (00:03)And welcome to the Law and Business podcast. I’m here with my friend Andromeda Turre. How you doing? Andromeda Turre: (00:09)I'm so good. And thank you so much for inviting me on to talk to you today. Anthony Verna: (00:13)Thank you for coming. Thank you for coming. And by the way, let's tell everybody listening. as Andromeda is a jazz singer and where can everybody find your stuff on the web? Andromeda Turre: (00:26)You can find it at I'm on Spotify. I'm on iTunes, wherever you download or stream music, you can find my music and, yeah, that's it. Anthony Verna: (00:36)Well, thank you for coming. And so let's talk a little bit about copyright stuff, especially for, for the musician, especially the musician inside. Well, you've got a musicians inside and outside of you, so… Andromeda Turre: (00:55)But there's so many questions about copyright that I think so many musicians will want the answers to, and I know that you can help us out. So, I've got some questions for you today.Anthony Verna: Hit me with the questions. That's what we’re here for.Andromeda TurreOkay. My first question is: Why do musicians need to copyright their music? It can be expensive. And I know that you can copyright things as a group or as an individual song. Give us the pitch as to why we should do this. Anthony Verna: (01:24)Sure. So, in the United States… Let's start here… In the United States, without any kind of registration, if there's infringement, you can't file a lawsuit. So, I always say with copyright law, number one, it's the entry for, for a lawsuit and really it's a catalog as well. So, if you register every single song, you will be filing the composer's name, the date that it was composed, chances are where. And so, in that particular aspect, as your career grows, as your catalog grows, your copyright catalog grows. So, you have that barrier court and you have a catalog. So this way, if somebody needs to license something from you… I'm sure a lot of musicians are also members of ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. And therefore, they've got to have that catalog in there for licensing as well. Having the copyright registration is kind of the glue to making all of that work. Now also, besides just entering court, if you have the registration before any infringement happens, you are entitled to at least the potential for more damages. So for example, if you've registered your song and somebody copies it, whether it's intentional or unintentional, but if somebody copies your song passes it off as their own, and you get no royalties from it, then you can file a lawsuit and you can ask for actual damages. In other words, the loss monies. You can ask for what we call statutory damages, which is an easier accounting of those monies. And you can ask for attorney's fees as well, and this way copyright infringements would be worth it. If you don't file that lawsuit, you will… I mean, if you don't, excuse me, file your copyright before the infringement, you are not entitled to a statutory damages and you are not entitled to attorney's fees...
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    Law & Business Podcast: Episode 58 Anthony Verna and James Kwon – Three Items Marketers Need to Know Now


    On Episode 58 of the "Law & Business" Podcast, Anthony sits down with James Kwon, the CEO and Executive Strategy Chef of Figmints, a digital marketing agency in Providence, Rhode Island. Figmints has cracked the code on creating, developing, and delivering the scalable, repeatable marketing, and sales models that create results, drive revenue, and keep its clients smiling. The conversation is about the Three Items Marketers Need to Know Now - right now, with the COVID pandemic hitting. Earlier, the podcast discussed why now is a perfect time for companies to continue to advertise - here are some thoughts on the strategy of how to advertise and market. A lightly-edited transcript follows: Anthony Verna: (00:02)All right, everyone. Welcome to the Law and Business podcast. With me is James Kwon from Figments. How are you doing James? James Kwon:I'm doing as well as I can be. Thanks, Anthony. Anthony Verna:You're feeling a little cabin fever lately? James Kwon:There's certainly the Groundhog Day scenario of repetition. I just had a great morning check-in huddle with the team and just reminding them to break the repetition and to stay sane. And that was my tip for this week. Anthony Verna:I think that's a very good, good tip for this week and I have to check in with my team as well. Our team is split between the East coast and the West coast. So I generally don't have like a one team phone call. James Kwon:That makes sense. Anthony Verna:Yeah. So James, tell us a little bit about yourself and a little about Figments as an agency. James Kwon: (00:58)Yeah, happy to. So, I run a digital marketing firm, full service digital firm called figments fig M I N T And, we do storytelling that actually proves revenue results. So start with brand storytelling, logo design, website design development, because of course we have to, but this last part where we're actually proving results for clients by setting up digital automation, content creation, thought leadership so we can drive traffic and see real results happen, and we actually do some of those calls on behalf of the client. So we're really trying to take as much of that funnel responsibility as possible. And I've been running an agency now for, it's our eighth year. We're about 20 full time employees. Since Figments I've started about nine companies so I'm a little bit of a serial entrepreneur. Have a little, some startups and some software companies and some subsidiaries.I just got invited to speak at Inbound. I’m not sure if you're familiar with it. Anthony Verna:I am certainly familiar. I'm certainly familiar with it. I mean, everybody listening is, sure. James Kwon:So Inbound, it's the largest marketing conference in the world. It's run by the software tool, HubSpot's, which is very fast growing. It's a hot stock to keep your eye on and just got invited to speak which is flattering. Anthony Verna:One particular question you certainly said that your agency helps with thought leadership, which is a buzzword, but I'm gonna have you break it down. What does thought leadership exactly mean? James Kwon:Yeah, great question. So this day… Anthony Verna:I only try to ask the great ones, man. I try not to ask stupid ones. James Kwon:Great job so far. So the thought leadership is a principle behind content marketing where today buyers are more informed than ever because they can go online, they can research blogs, they just go to Google and start searching. Well, what do I need to know if I'm going to hire a great patent attorney? Or what do I need to know if I'm going to hire a great agency? And you can find a lot of information. The person who can author that great content becomes the authority in that world. And so, this is the category we call thought leadership. If you can start to author a lot of great content, all of a sudden your name gets attached to all these great SEO content, all these great keywords when people are search...
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    Law & Business Episode 57: Intellectual Property, Bankruptcy, and Employment Law Effects due to COVID with John Eastwood


    Anthony Verna sat down with John Eastwood of Eiger Law in Taipei, Taiwan to talk about some of the effects of the COVID pandemic. Some of the topics covered are intellectual property, especially in relationship to bankruptcy, and employment law across borders and oceans. Supply chains are affected, also. Anthony Verna: (00:02)And welcome to the Law and Business podcast. On this episode is the most frequent guest, John Eastwood. How are you doing, John? John Eastwood:Doing well, doing well. I'm here in Taipei. My colleagues in Shanghai have apparently weathered quite a bit of the storm in the sense that Shanghai has not been so heavily affected. Taiwan, in the midst of this Corona virus situation is actually doing really well. It's become a bit of a model for… and it's been getting plaudits from different ends of the political spectrum of the United States. You get like the Wall Street Journal recently from kind of, an editorial perspective. It was lauding that Taiwan could be a model for what other countries could do. And then on the other side of the spectrum, I think we just got a shout out from Barbara Streisand on Twitter. The entertaining thing for that. The Taiwan government. I mean, I love the job of doing on Corona virus and it was currently, we're still living in the three hundreds at this point. We hear on as we recorded this in early April. But in terms of number of in fact the event, the administrative foreign affairs and Taiwan retweeted Barbara Streisand, so a tweet and said, Oh, you know, you're just basically, you're so awesome. Thank you for saying this. And one can only just look at how exactly the same concept of cooperation to reach great heights together in a mutually working mutually between scientists and government are exactly mirrored in the story for A Star is Born and you haven't seen A Star is Born. Kris Kristofferson does not come out on the ending of A Star is Born. Anthony Verna:Well at least that version of it, John. This is what the fourth version of that story? John Eastwood:I was just talking with my wife and kids about that this morning. We're up to four versions of A Star is Born. Anthony Verna:Actually, I think it's five. John Eastwood: (02:37)Any of them end well? Well, they're not happy stories, but you know, it's helpful idea. Like a star rises and one falls and you know, so that's not the point of the story is not that two stars rise together and reach their greatest heights and happiness anyway. Any hoo anyhoo yeah, no. See these are things that are the Chinese famous. He said these are interesting times. Anthony Verna: (03:04)What's it like going in and out of buildings in Taipei? Like are you… I mean, we're stuck at home. We're on an order that if it's not essential, and of course the definition of essential I think is constitutionally problematic because you've got states like New York that says that say that alcohol is not a problem. Pennsylvania says we're shutting down all the alcohol stores cause they're state run. And Massachusetts has said that alcohol is essential. Medical marijuana is not essential. So there might be a little vagueness here as to what, what essential might be, but we're not going out unless it's the grocery store and even then, I hope we stocked up long enough to keep us interested in dinner for a while. That gigantic pack of chicken thighs is not exactly exciting, but you know, it's in the freezer. John Eastwood: (04:13)We do approach the trips to Costco like it's a military operation, like, you know, in and out and got the masks and don't touch it other than what we're buying. And we do have like for example, right now I'm in the office, but we're in fact coming up this next week, we're implementing, even though Taiwan is in a very fortunate situation that could change at any time. And so we aligned with that. We are implementing a lot of… it's the new acronym for me. W F H - work from home and it's the first time I've had ...
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    Law & Business Episode 56: Changing Mindsets with Jim Frawley


    In Episode 56 of the "Law & Business" podcast, Anthony speaks to Jim Frawley of Bellwether (at, an executive coach. Jim helps his clients with that a slight push, or a friendly face when they try something new. Whatever you want Jim and Bellwether to be, that’s what they can be. Don’t just talk about the next steps – take an actual step to getting it done. Their topic is the hot-button issue is that as life is temporarily changed, our mindsets need to change. Jim loves to help people get stuff done. This can mean at the office, at home or in their community. It’s about getting motivated, disciplined individuals together to share ideas, learn from each other, and have fun. It is said that we are a result of the five people closest to us, so he wants to fish for those five that will challenge and help you improve the most. Enjoy the episode - don't forget to rate us! Anthony Verna: (00:04)Welcome to the Law and Business podcast, the least creatively named podcast out there in podcast land. With me is Jim Frawley. How you doing, Jim? Jim Frawley:Fantastic day. I love being on such a creatively titled show. Anthony Verna:Thank you very much. And, Jim, you're from Bellwether where you do a lot of business and executive coaching. Jim Frawley:Yeah, we work a lot with senior executives and teams and organizations and then we work a lot with small businesses on their strategic direction and figuring out what it is that they want to do to get to the next level. Anthony Verna:Excellent. Well, thank you for being on and for all of you out there who have forgotten what podcast you're listening to, I'm Anthony Verna, managing partner at Verna Law. And so, Jim, a lot of businesses, of course, are adjusting to the current new normal. I hesitate a little bit to call it anything more than the current new normal because I think we'll get back to normal at some point, even if it's in three or four months, I think we'll get back to normal. But, maybe that's my positive thinking. Jim Frawley:Well, normal is subjective. Anthony Verna:Well, that's true as well. Jim Frawley:It's going to be interesting to see what that normal actually is. Anthony Verna:That's true as well. So, from a coaching standpoint, the hot button items that your clients are coming to you about right now? Jim Frawley:Well, there are a lot of the small business owners, especially the ones who are sole proprietors… Anthony Verna:They're probably freaking out and panicking… Jim Frawley:Incredibly and for good reason, right? Most sole proprietors can't file for unemployment. Most sole proprietors, this is their sole income for their family. And business has just dried up overnight for a lot of them, other than the other businesses that are completely overwhelmed with the type of work. So, it's really dependent on the type of business that you're in and, and where you're shaking out on it. So, cashflow is obviously one of the big challenges that most of them are focused on, of course. But the other one that they're really interested in, and the one that I like to talk to most of my clients about is remaining relevant. And one of the big tokens of advice I give to my clients is, while you may not have revenue coming in, there is still an opportunity to not be forgotten from a business perspective. So we want to make sure that, you know, people's attention is everywhere right now how do you put your service and product front and center? It's probably just noise at this point. So how do you do it? And you have to do it in a selfless way where you're not trying to sell something because people aren't really buying anything. So how are you positioning your business to provide value for clients so that you are remembered when these things do get back to normal? Anthony Verna:It's a little reminiscent of the advertising mantra of: if needing to advertise in good times is important, well,
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    Law & Business Episode 55 with Chelsey Pendock: Advertise in Difficult Times


    In Episode 55 of the "Law & Business" Podcast, Anthony speaks with Chelsey Pendock of Innovision Advertising. Innovision is an advertising placement agency and Chelsey discusses the sudden changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes which businesses are advertising, and why it is still important to advertise in more difficult economic times. Enjoy! Anthony Verna: (00:02)And welcome to the Law and Business podcast. You already know I'm Anthony Verna. with me is Chelsea Pendock from InnoVision Advertising. How are you doing, Chelsea? Chelsey Pendock: (00:12)Hi Anthony. I'm doing well. Thank you for having me on your show. Anthony Verna:Hey, not a problem. It's the least showy show in all of podcast world. So, it's also the least creatively titled show in all of podcastville as well. Chelsey Pendock:So it gets right to the point. Anthony Verna: (00:30)So, uh, InnoVision advertising is a what I would define as an advertising placement agency. How am I doing? Chelsey Pendock: (00:38)That's correct. We specialize in media buying and media planning. We don't do the creative in house, but we can certainly advise clients with advertising strategy and work with the creative team to make the messages best and most effective as it can possibly be. But our internal specialty is negotiating media rates and placing the media for clients, determining where they should be advertising to see an investment or a return on their investment rather. Anthony Verna: (01:12)In a time like this, I would assume that everybody's first instinct is to, you know, especially those who are running businesses is to stop their advertising. Chelsey Pendock: (01:25)Yes. That is usually the first thing. When a panic hits, people always think of advertising as something that's not really a necessity. Depending on the type of business you're in, that actually could be true or it, most of the time actually isn't. Yes, sometimes it is one of the first things to get caught in a recession. Anthony Verna: (01:54)So, have you been seeing that over the last two to three weeks? Chelsey Pendock: (02:00)We have, it just depends on the industry. There are certain businesses that are struggling right now and there are certain businesses that are actually thriving right now. Some of the clients that we work with that we're seeing that had to make cuts are particularly in retail, plastic surgery, salons, restaurants, events in particular, and automotive and anything in the luxury sector as well. Travel. But we don't work with a lot of entertainment clients, but we have seen a lot of people shying away too from, you know, Broadway shows. They can't go to movie theaters anymore. So TV productions have been on hold. So we are seeing that. However, there are some businesses that are actually thriving in this type of environment who we work with, like healthcare providers, of course, lenders in particular, grocery stores, accountants, auto repairs, everyone still needs to get their cars repaired. And then of course, technology companies like Zoom I'm sure are doing phenomenally well at this time. Anthony Verna: (03:13)You know, speaking of grocery stores, a couple of the podcasts that I listened to specifically from Philadelphia and one of the grocery store chains there has started advertising for employees and they are blunt to the point. In this time of need, we have developed a need for more people to come and work for us. And I was really shocked and surprised at how quickly the messaging changed. Chelsey Pendock: (03:49)Yeah. I mean messaging is 100% key in this situation. If you are a business that's going to keep advertising, it's very important that you tailor your message. So, in the case you're speaking of what the grocery store, they're looking for recruitment at this time, that's great. They definitely have to get that message out there. But there's other companies that rather than holding back on advertising,
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    Law & Business Podcast Episode 54: A Unique Product does not a Business Make


    It is our final episode with the Nessa Group, even though our relationship will last a long time. In this episode, the Nessa Group discusses a business with a unique and very special product. The product has the ability to help other businesses greatly. However, the business is built on shaky ground and the discussion revolves around that a business needs more than just a unique product. Anthony Verna: (00:00)Welcome to our eighth and final episode of our special mini-series with the NESSA Group. We'll start. Hi, Jim Huerta. How are you? Jim Huerta: (00:08)I’m doing well and I'm happy that we've accomplished the eight episodes and I hope that they draw a lot of attention. Anthony Verna: (00:14)Thank you, sir. And Barry Kolevzon, the other principle of the NESSA Group. How are you doing? Barry Kolevzon:I'm doing fine. Getting educated. Learning more than we know now. Anthony Verna:All right. Wil Jacques, our patent professor. Wil Jacques:Yes. Always a pleasure to be here. Anthony Verna:Justin Tripodi, our branding buddy. Justin Tripodi:Pleasure to be here, Anthony. Anthony Verna:I'm sorry I couldn't do better than that on the illiteration and Scott Mautner, our corporate attorney. How you doing? Scott Mautner:Doing well, thank you. Anthony Verna:And which firm are you with, for attorney ethics? Scott Mautner:Harrington, Ocko and Monk. Anthony Verna:I'm managing partner of Verna Law also. So on this particular case study is a former client of the NESSA Group and one that most of us here have experience with. So, let's talk a little bit about the software that this particular client had made. And it did really work very well. It made that client, and that company, I should say a leader in online shopping experiences. Jim, why don't you take it from there? Jim Huerta:Just give it a backdrop. Sure, sure. The company had been up and around for a while. They actually had established a quite a bit of patents. I'm going to say it's somewhere in the 30s. I'm not totally positive right now how many patents they had. But it was, I think ahead of its time. It was a way that shoppers online cannot lose track of what they had been looking at or what they had been shopping for. You were able to have like a cookie sitting inside the shopping process where it would take you right back to where you left off of what you were interested in depending on the store, whether it'd be a jewelry store or a clothing store. The utilization and the possible additional utilizations were non-ending. I mean, you can keep on thinking about how many things you can do with it. Anthony Verna: (02:13)So Jim, a user would be able to leave the website store and come back to it with the cart exactly as it was. Jim Huerta:Correct. Anthony Verna:And then would the user also see remnants of this cart, for lack of a better word, around the web? So if I close this cart and this store and I went like onto Facebook and I went to Twitter, would I see other ads targeted to me to go back? Jim Huerta: (02:40)I think it would be more specific and driven to the establishment that were using the app. Anthony Verna: (02:45)Okay. So, there were also a special ways that if I recall correctly that an ad could be shown to a user as well. Jim Huerta:Correct. Anthony Verna:I mean, so there was something unique with this particular, absolutely. And a lot of the, the shop, a lot of the online shopping experience was unique for this particular company as well. What did you think some of the benefits were to the user? Jim Huerta: (03:12)Well, I just thought the whole concept of the way it would track your history and browsing and your shopping experience was very unique. I mean, until I saw this product, I wasn't someone who shops online, but this really created a point of interest for me. The things that it could do in the areas that it could tackle. It didn't have to stay solely based on shopping.
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    Law & Business Podcast Episode 53: A Plush Toy Client Begins with Consultants


    It is the seventh and penultimate episode of this special mini-series with the Nessa Group, in which the discussion is about a plush toy company that is a start-up. The toy company has been able to services from Verna Law and the Nessa Group in order to get started - a mixture of intellectual property and business know-how. There was even some highly creative market research done at Toy Fair. Anthony Verna: (00:01)Welcome to the seventh episode of our special mini-series with the NESSA Group. Jim Huerta, how's it going? Jim Huerta:It's going well. I think we're making great progress. Great conversation. I hope the audience will enjoy some of the points that we're making. Anthony Verna:I hope so too. Barry Kolevzon, how you feeling? Barry Kolevzon:Feeling better every time we get involved in this area. And actually, … Anthony Verna:You've got more… Barry Kolevzon:where I think that we've got a nice length of time to build relationships. Thank you. Anthony Verna:Thank you. Barry. Wil Jacques, patent connoisseur. How's it going? Wil Jacques:Another great day. Great to be here. Anthony Verna:Wonderful. Justin Tripodi, brand king. Justin Tripodi:I was wondering if I was going to get a title this time. How you doing, Anthony? Anthony Verna:Wonderful. Thank you. Scott Mautner, corporate attorney. Scott Mautner:I'm doing well. Thank you. And I am with Harrington, Ocko and Monk before you ask. Anthony Verna: (01:03)And I am managing partner at Verna Law. So let's talk about a little bit about the plush toy industry. Wil and I have lots of plush toy experience. Wil, you have written one patent or is it multiple patents… Wil Jacques:Multiple patents. Anthony Verna:For the plush toy you're currently holding? Nobody can see that you're holding it. So props don't do very well on audio, but, but you are holding the product. Wil Jacques:Well, the audience can hear him. Squeaky Voice:Hi. Anthony Verna: (01:48)Let's talk about the patent because it's been published. So it is public. So let's talk a little bit about the patent application that was made for this particular product. What makes it so unique? Wil Jacques:Ah, very interesting. And actually only one of the patents has been published, but, the plush toy industry, you know, has seen some innovation obviously over the last 80 years. But there's been very little has been done recently I think we would look to Jennifer Telfer’s pillow pets as an example of an innovation in the plush toy space. This particular toy actually tells a story, you know, around let's say a fairy tale figure that kids are familiar with, but it provides that story by putting some elements or features as we patent folks like to call it into the plush toy. Anthony Verna: (02:44)Okay. So, so yeah, just tell us a little bit about what the patent discloses. Wil Jacques:Okay. So essentially what the patent discloses is that this little bear allows you to take an object, let's say it's a tooth for instance, you're able to put this thing into the mouth of this little bear and it drops down into a little chamber, let's call it a heart section. And then the child is able to kind of, as we would like to say, it's a teaching toy - share and care. So they're sharing and carrying their fallen tooth into this little toy. Anthony Verna:And there are some people who might have a problem wrapping their head around it, but a lot of people do have their baby teeth saved. And so this is a container that can do that as well as be a toy. Wil Jacques:As well as be a toy, as well as allow the parents or the child or the user to be able to access and take that tooth or that object out of the toy later on, which is something that generally is not seen in a plush toy. Anthony Verna: (03:50)I mean it's a plush toy. It's a patent. I have to admit that combination is rare. To me that sounds like a unique selling proposition. Wil Jacques:Yes, it is.
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    Law & Business Podcast Episode 52: The Importance of Accredited Investors in Venture Capital


    Be well, everyone. Thank you for listening. Do not forget to rate the "Law & Business" Podcast on your podcast app! In this roundtable episode with the Nessa Group, we discuss the importance of accredited investors in venture capital, what it means to be an accredited investor, what the possible pitfalls are if the investors are not accredited, and solutions from various disciplines in the case that a business looking for venture capital happens to fall into this trap. Enjoy the episode. Anthony Verna: And welcome to episode six of our special mini-series with the NESSA Group. And let's just start this off. Jim Huerta, how are you doing? Jim Huerta:Hi, I'm wonderful. Enjoying the company and enjoying the conversation. Anthony Verna:Thank you, sir. Barry Kolevzon, how's it going? Barry Kolevzon:Going very, very nice. And we're very excited at the movements that we're making to go forward again. Anthony Verna:All right. I only like going forward never backwards, but I practice law. So, Wil Jacques is with us. How are you doing, Wil. Wil Jacques:Very good to be here. Hello to our listening audience. Anthony Verna:Justin, how's it going? Justin Tripodi:Doing great. Compliments on that joke. Anthony Verna:Thank you, sir. Justin’s buddy over there, Scott Mautner. How you doing Scott? Scott Mautner:I'm doing well, thank you. Anthony Verna:And since you and I are attorneys, what firm are you with? Scott Mautner:I'm with Harrington, Ocko and Monk. Anthony Verna:And I'm managing partner of Verna Law, as well. So let's start here. Scott, this situation came from you. An entrepreneur had a great idea. Some friends worked on source code with this entrepreneur to launch an app. There were some issues there and I believe they came to you with already $2 million raised. Scott Mautner: (01:13)And with unaccredited investors. Anthony Verna: (01:16)Yeah. So that $2 million came from unaccredited investors. Scott Mautner:Not all of it, but some of it, yes. Anthony Verna:So, all right, let's start here. What's the difference between an accredited third party and an unaccredited third party? Scott Mautner: (01:30)So under the securities laws to be accredited, you need to have income individually for $200,000 per year or with your spouse of $300,000 per year or have net assets excluding your home value of over $1 million. And so when you're raising money, it's a lot easier because you don't have to provide the amount of information for accredited investors that you would for unaccredited. So, when we raise money, we always want to do it with accredited investors. And if you don't meet the security laws, exceptions and rules relating to that, what happens is your investors can rescind their investment at any time. So, you could be running a company for four years and someone finds out that you didn't meet the exemptions you need under the securities laws. And they could say, I want my money back and you have to give them their money back. So it becomes a much bigger problem than just, “Oh, I forgot to give them financials.” or “I forgot to give them this or you know, other information.” So that's the first thing. And, and you know, every sort of company when you're dealing with venture capitalists and angel investors, they're always going to want to deal with accredited investors. It makes it simpler. Anthony Verna: (02:45)So is that what the definition of bad securities exemptions are, is the ability to take that money back? Scott Mautner: (02:51)Effectively if you have a bad offering? Yes, it would be rescinded. Rescission of the offering. Anthony Verna:So basically if somebody is not accredited, could take the money back and if you said a company is working for four years and maybe they're burning through capital, they don't have that. Scott Mautner:It's a problem. Yes, yes. Yeah. I mean there's ways to fix it, but the best way to fix it is just to make an offering from t...
  • Law & Business podcast

    Law & Business Podcast Episode 51: A Nessa Group Case Study with Improving a Plush Company’s Business


    In Episode 51 of the "Law & Business" Podcast, we take a look at a company that makes a plush product that is also a curtain tie-back. It is a very useful product, but one that also features the ability to be very fanciful. So the group takes a look at how the Nessa Group improved its sales and revenues from many different aspects, and also looks at what to continue to improve. In this episode: Anthony Verna, Wil Jacques, Jim Huerta, Barry Kolevzon, Justin Tripodi, and Scott Mautner. Enjoy the stimulating conversation. Anthony Verna: (00:00)Everyone, welcome back for our fifth episode of the special mini-series with the NESSA Group. I'm Anthony Verna. Chances are you already knew that by listening to this., With us, Jim Huerta, principal of the NESSA Group. How you doing? Jim Huerta:Hi, I'm doing well. Thank you. Anthony Verna:And Barry Kolevzon second principle of the NESSA Group. Barry Kolevzon:I’m listening to all of this. Anthony Verna:I'm glad. I'm glad that you are. Also Wil Jacques. How are you, Wil? Wil Jacques: Very good. Anthony Verna: Justin Tripodi… Justin Tripodi: How are you doing Anthony? Anthony Verna: I’m well, thank you. And the well-dressed Scott Mautner there. How you doing, Scott? Scott Mautner: I'm doing well, thank you. Anthony Verna:All right. And for attorney ethics since you and I are a part of firms, what firm are you with as well? Scott Mautner: I'm with Harrington, Ocko and Monk. Anthony Verna:All right. And, of course, I'm the managing partner of Verna Law. But again, chances are you knew that. All right. So today we're going to talk a little case study here. And NESSA Group had a client, one that I'm familiar with as well. We won't mention it by name, but we will just say that their product is a curtain tie back. Jim, how'd I do with describing the product? Jim Huerta: Perfect. Anthony Verna: The current tie back has a plush cover and on top of that plush cover, I would say, is a plush figure as well. How am I doing? Jim Huerta: You're doing well. It's amazing how well you are doing . I'm just listening. Anthony Verna:Thank you, Jim. And basically, the plush part of this, what makes it attractive is that it's in different animal shapes. Again, how am I doing with describing the product? Jim Huerta:You’re doing very well. Anthony Verna:Okay. Jim, Barry, let's start with you two. This company, when you met them, was having problems. Can you describe, let's start here a couple of the problems that this company was having? Barry Kolevzon: (01:55)Oh, there, there are a bunch of issues that are involved. I don't believe that they were staffed to carry on what they had. They’re in business 15 years, 20 years, 30 years. I'm not sure. And basically they were evidently happy with where they were. Then they woke up and said, “Hey, you know, we got a problem.” Anthony Verna: (02:19) Well, I think a lot of a lot of business owners are like that. You're in business for a while and it seems okay. Barry Kolevzon: (02:25) Well that's a problem. That's a big problem there. You know, they go to their buddies and talked to them and hey know everything, and the problem is evidently they don't. Anthony Verna: (02:39) All right, so what would be another problem? Barry Kolevzon: (02:42) Well, could be the problem of whether they make the product or the sample or whatever it is in house or out house. It depends on getting… Anthony Verna: That sounds like a supply chain issue. Barry Kolevzon: A supply chain issue, yes. Anthony Verna: (02:57) All right. So let's start here. When you say that the company was in existence for 10 to 15 years, but not exactly where the business owners wanted you're talking revenue? Barry Kolevzon: Yeah, they were short on revenue. That was a problem. Anthony Verna: Okay. So let's start here. Was there a sharp decline in the revenue or was it just the revenue wasn't good eno...

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