FAMILIES SMALL BUSINESS & INNOVATION

Families and small businesses run into a wide range of legal issues, and it's important that they have a diverse, flexible, creative and experienced legal team to help craft effective and economical solutions to whatever comes their way. In addition to providing a wide range of estate planning, probate and family owned business services, Mersenne places a very special focus on the unique legal needs of inventors, start-up entrepreneurs and the creative community. We hope the general information available on our website is useful to you. We'd be happy to provide further detail about our services and rates; please call or email to reach us. (503)224-3745 info@mersenne.com

Who is Marin Mersenne?
  • Whether it’s keeping your business records up to date or keeping tabs on your data security, Mersenne Law helps businesses stay on track

    Whether it’s keeping your business records up to date or keeping tabs on your data security, Mersenne Law helps businesses stay on track

  • Mersenne Law is an advocate of resolving small business, trust, and probate disputes through mediation

    Mersenne Law is an advocate of resolving small business, trust, and probate disputes through mediation

  • Business Concept to Open for Business: Mersenne Law will guide you through the process

    Business Concept to Open for Business: Mersenne Law will guide you through the process

  • Patent, trademark, and copyright protection can play a critical role in the creative process

    Patent, trademark, and copyright protection can play a critical role in the creative process

  • Serving clients in Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Portland, and surrounding areas

    Serving clients in Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Portland, and surrounding areas

  • Mersenne Law will design an estate plan suited to the unique needs of your family

    Mersenne Law will design an estate plan suited to the unique needs of your family

  • Inventor Jim Williams & Patent Attorney Dave Madden

    Inventor Jim Williams & Patent Attorney Dave Madden

Protect My Work

Protect My Work

Do I need a patent? Copyright? Trademark? Can I talk to investors without an NDA? Does my current employer own my idea?
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Getting Started

Getting Started

Should I form a corporation or an LLC? An S-corp? What type of agreements do I need with my partners? My investors? My employees? Mersenne attorneys will help you with Incorporation and Shareholder Agreements, Limited Liability Company formation and Operating Agreement, Partnership Agreements, Employment Agreements and much more. Serving small businesses in Tigard, Beaverton, Portland, and the surrounding metro area.
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Staying In Business

Staying In Business

How do I keep my company books up to date? What happens if I don’t? What if I want to expand or dissolve my company? How do we add new owners or help a partner retire? Mersenne Law focuses on keeping you in business: Bylaws, shareholder agreements, meeting minutes, contract review, buy-sell agreements, employee and independent contractor agreements, admitting new partners, members or shareholders - and everything in between.
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Guiding Families

Guiding Families

Do I need a will or trust to protect my family? What happens to my business if something happens to me? What about my online and digital assets? What is probate? Mersenne attorneys will help you with: Wills and Trusts; Power of Attorney; Probate; Elder Law; Digital Asset Planning. Our offices are conveniently located, accessible and parking is always free! Serving clients in and near Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Portland and the entire metro area.
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Legal Work is Pattern Matching

I’m often called in to do Intellectual Property lectures for local college engineering classes. The young men & women frequently have general questions about how the law works, even outside the realm of patents, trademarks and copyrights. One analogy that seems to resonate with these engineers is that legal work is like pattern matching.

In engineering (both in school and in practice), one can improve and tackle larger, more complicated projects, by figuring out ways to break a problem down into smaller chunks, and by recognizing chunks that have been solved before. For those chunks, you can copy the previous solution, or at least use it as a starting point while you get the rest of the project off the ground.

When you work this way, you’re matching a known problem with a known solution, and you leverage what people have learned about both of them, so you have more time to spend on the parts you haven’t seen before.
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Patent Process Overview

This is a quick overview of the things that occur between coming up with an invention and getting a patent for the invention.  Click the links for more details about any of the steps.

  1. Conception: thinking of the invention.
  2. Reduction to practice: working out all the bugs and learning as much as you can about the invention.
  3. Preparing the patent application: describe the invention in enough detail that one of skill in the art can make or use it themselves.  A critically-important part of the application is the claims.
  4. Filing the application: this is an important date!
  5. Waiting — the USPTO is backed up, so it may be a year (or three or five) before anything else happens.
  6. Non-Final Office Action — the Examiner took a look at your claims …
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Lawyers Are Professional Pessimists

Perhaps you’ve never used a lawyer, or your only experience with one was in trying times: death, divorce or dog-bite.  If you’re just getting your business underway, it’s a good time to think about how a lawyer might be able to help you succeed.

First off, remember that most lawyers are themselves small business owners — we know many of the challenges you face, and have had to figure out ways of dealing with them that work in practice, not just in principle.  In addition, lawyers who focus on advising small businesses … see a lot of small businesses.  We see what works and what doesn’t, and notice common features among disparate enterprises.  That makes us a repository for knowledge that is applicable across business types, and that can be valuable to you.  You can learn about your business from your competitors, but you can learn about Business from your lawyer.

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New HIPPA Rules Cast Wide Net: Beware of the “Business Associate” Designation

Woman's fingers on the keybord of computer

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) isn’t exactly new (it was created by Congress in 1996), but it was revised in January of this year to extend its reach well beyond the healthcare industry. Specifically, the HIPAA regulations that set standards for the storage, transmission and privacy of personal medical data now apply to the “business associates” of “covered entities”. This extension of HIPAA’s privacy and security rules is frequently referred to as “HITECH,” an acronym for the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. The primary goal of HITECH legislation was to encourage and fund the general use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) by the healthcare industry, but it also expanded and elevated the compliance obligations of “Business Associates” under HIPAA to a level equal with that of Covered Entities.

Some useful HIPAA/HITECH terms to be familiar with:

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Jim Williams got another patent!

Jim Williams, Inventor of U.S. 8,539,651

Jim Williams, Inventor of U.S. 8,539,651

Jim Williams got his second patent recently, and it was a delight working on his case. The USPTO gives examination priority to inventors over 65, so we were able to file, prosecute and obtain his patent in just under nine months. That’s the fastest turnaround I’ve seen on an otherwise normal case — we didn’t pay extra fees or participate in any other accelerated-prosecution program. We survived a proper rejection and ended up with claims that Jim should be able to license profitably. This was a great result all around.