Small Business Reading Room

Friday, August 05, 2005

USPTO Reduces Fees for Electronic Trademark Applications

Did you know that United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) now offers applicants for trademark registrations a new Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) known as TEAS Plus?

Trademark applicants that use new TEAS Plus electronic filing system will save $50.00 per class off of the regular filing fee.

In return for paying the lower filing fee, applicants who file using TEAS Plus agree to submit complete applications electronically, and also to communicate electronically with the USPTO about the application.

Nearly 82 percent of all trademark applications filed so far this year were transmitted electronically, up almost 20 percent from the previous year.

Given this recent announcement I’d say the odds are that trend will continue.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Mozilla Corporation? When reorganizing your corporate structure makes sense

The Mozilla Foundation has a mission- to promote choice and innovation on the Internet. They hope to accomplish that mission in part due to their belief in free, open source software.

The beauty of open source software is that people work to improve it for free. In fact it is the multitude of outside developers who contribute their talents to perfect Mozilla's products that has helped propel the FireFox Web Browser into heated competition with the likes of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. 75 Million downloads is a lot of market share.

It seems like things are working out pretty well for the Mozilla Project.

That's I was a little surprised today at what I read on
Author, Michael Bazeley sums it up in the first sentence;

The not-for-profit group that distributes the popular Firefox Web browser is shifting the creation and marketing of its products to a new for-profit corporation.

I mean, if it's not broken, don't fix it- right?

That old adage may not necessarily be true when it comes to the corporate world, where staying ahead of the curve can be the difference between life and death of your organization.

The truth is in the reason.

Has Mozilla seen the potential for a money grab and decided that sounds better than being the champion of the common web-user?

I don't think so.

The information provided in the above referenced article, and from checking out the FAQ about the reorganization posted on the Mozilla website, makes it pretty clear that forming a commercial subsidiary should actually help them stay true to their roots.

Having the Mozilla Corporation handle revenue-generating activities associated with these products also allows the Mozilla Foundation to achieve its goals while still itself remaining a tax-exempt organization.

It's not like the Mozilla Foundation knew that simply wanting to promote choice and innovation on the internet could lead to a deal with Google that turned out to be worth millions...

Here's the press release from Mozilla on today's announcement.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Are you an 'off-on entrepreneur?'

Auction sites like eBay have kick-started a new generation of entrepreneurs. After working all day at one job for their employer, many are rushing home to their own online business.

Many of these folks got their start selling items online through sites like eBay, and turned them into full-blown businesses. See: eBay spawns 'off-on entrepreneurs'.

I know a couple of folks who have done this. Do you?

Monday, August 01, 2005

The most important local story of the year.

Al Mascitti of the Wilmington News Journal calls the piece they published on Friday about local corruption in the budget process the most important story of the year.

More on Business Plans- a free outline by Ernst & Young LLP

I've written a few times about business plans already, but sometimes you find something worth sharing after the fact.

This resource is via BizBangBuzz, a technology and business startup blog published by Pittsburgh attorney Anthony Cerminaro.

Outline for a Business Plan from Ernst & Young LLP (pdf)

In any form, a business plan is simply a written representation of where a company is going, how it will get there, and what it will look like once it arrives.

It's just too good to not pass it along.

Besides, when was the last time you received something free from a major international accounting and consulting firm like Ernst & Young?

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Big City or Small Town: Where would you place your business?

A thanks to Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends for her mention of this article at Business Week: Rewriting the Location Rulebook.

Big cities used to be ideal places to start businesses. That seems to be changing. There are many things that small towns offer that big cities can't, such as affordable rent, no parking fees, a lack of municipal taxes, and other amenities that make towns ideal places for small businesses to be located.

A number of smaller cities are also trying to attract entrepreneurs by offering a mix of incentives and town renovations to make them great places to be located.

Some businesses work as well in a rural setting as well as an urban one. A friend recently told me of his plans to relocate to the side of a mountain in Texas, near a manmade resort area, with a large lake, and a number of marinas. He develops software out of a home office.

How important is your location for your business?

Forbes choses Best of the Web Blogs

There are some excellent business related blogs listed in Best of the Web Small Business Blogs and Marketing Blogs. Definitely worth a visit.


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