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The White Papers

a blog with original content written by White Law Office's team.

Is a Carrot and a Stick the Best Way to Motivate Employees?

I’ve often thought that in order to motivate people into doing the behavior you want, the most effective way to do that is by hanging a giant carrot from a stick and say, “go for it!” However, after quite a bit of research, I am learning that is not always the case.  According to Daniel Pink and his mass amounts of social studies, a carrot and a stick works for people who push a button or turn a crank. But for people whose jobs require even a little critical thinking, a carrot and a stick not only doesn’t work but it can even impair success. So, what does motivate people when they have to use critical thought?  According to Daniel Pink, it is Autonomy (the ability to do a job when and how they like to do it), Mastery (the ability to learn how to do a job and do it well), and Purpose (Does this align with my values and what I believe in?).  So, what does this mean?  It means that people like the ability and freedom to explore ideas and find out the best ways to do it and to also do the job when they have the most energy.  They enjoy exploring those ideas and becoming the best at it and they enjoy working for a company that is bigger than itself.  They enjoy a company that is bigger than their own ego.  So, my question for you is, do you have a lot of turnover?  Are your employees...

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Attention Ohio Farmers! Senate Bill 57 May Make It Possible for You to Begin Cultivating Hemp

Senate Bill 57, passed by the Ohio legislature in 2019, and signed into law, decriminalized Hemp and has paved the way for farmers to begin cultivating Hemp in the State of Ohio.  Most provisions of Senate Bill 57 are currently in effect, but not all of Senate Bill 57’s provisions will be effective until the late Spring of 2020. You may be asking yourself, “What is Hemp?” Hemp is a plant from the cannabis family and is commonly compared to marijuana. However, Hemp does not produce the “intoxicating effects” of the cannabis plant, marijuana.[1] Interestingly, the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture states that “Hemp yields a strong fiber, used in textiles”[2] and that “The [Hemp] seed has a nutritional value and can be eaten…Cannabidiol, or CBD, can be extracted from the plant…and is now being used in food and dietary supplements.”[3] If you are interested in cultivating Hemp, you will need to obtain a license as outlined under State law and through the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture. According to Fox 8 News, “The rules approved by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review were required by last year’s Ohio legislative hemp legalization bill and should take final effect next month.”[4]  It is important to note that the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture will be testing CBD products in Ohio for safety and accurate labeling to protect Ohio consumers. If an Ohio farmer obtains a license to cultivate Hemp, it may give that farmer a potential revenue stream to assist in offsetting years of declining commodity prices.[5] The Ohio Dept. of...

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What to Expect in a Criminal Investigation

A criminal investigation can be a very stressful and confusing time for you. Below are frequently asked questions and answers to guide you, or a loved one, when facing a criminal investigation: Q: Do I need an attorney during a criminal investigation? A:  Not always- but it is highly recommended. An attorney will be able to ensure that law enforcement officials are properly, ethically, and legally conducting said investigation. The U.S. Constitution and Ohio Constitution provide an abundance of protections to those who are under criminal investigation. As such, an attorney will ensure that your rights are protected.   Q: I cannot afford an attorney during a criminal investigation, what do I do? A:  One way to ensure that your rights during an investigation are protected is to consult with an attorney, rather than hiring an attorney, during a criminal investigation. An attorney will be able to advise you of your rights and how to protect yourself, as well as a loved one, from improper or even illegal investigation tactics. It is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney if you cannot afford one to ensure you are aware of your rights. Q: A Detective or law enforcement officer wants to talk to me, what do I do? A:  Many people are overwhelmed during a criminal investigation. Though the need to vocalize your innocence may seem important to you, it is recommended that you allow an attorney to assist you through this process. Any information that you or a loved one may provide to law enforcement may be used against you one in a court of law. Remember that you are afforded the right to...

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What is the difference between a warrant and a summons?

In criminal law, there are two basic ways that a person is informed of the charges against him or her and are brought to court to answer those charges. The first way is one is familiar to anyone who has received a traffic ticket. Few people receiving a minor traffic ticket are physically arrested. Instead of arrest, the police officer issues a ticket or citation that informs the person what they are charged with and when they must appear in court to answer the charge. The portion of the ticket, usually at the bottom, is called a summons. The summons gives the name and address of the court and the initial hearing date and time for appearance. If the offense is subject to waiver, the person may plead guilty and pay the fine prior to the hearing in the summons. If the offense is not waivable, then a personal appearance in court is required. If you receive a summons and do not appear in court, you will become familiar with the second way people are bought to court on criminal charges: a warrant will be issued for your arrest. An arrest warrant is a court order for law enforcement to arrest a person and bring them before the court to answer the charge. If there is time before the court hearing, the person arrested may post a bond to ensure their appearance. For minor offenses, the amount of the bond may be set by a court-approved schedule or the court may set the...

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It is Time to Expunge Your Criminal Record!

One of the hardest things to do after a criminal conviction is to move on with your life. Often, individuals who have a criminal conviction(s) are prevented from attaining gainful employment, receiving promotions, or pursuing higher education. The State of Ohio recognizes the difficulties that one may face when they have a criminal conviction(s) and as such, has set up an opportunity under statutory law to help. To remove barriers that youthful or adult offenders may experience when having a criminal conviction(s) on their record, the State of Ohio, through statutory law, has put in place tools for one to seal, or expunge, their criminal conviction(s). The controlling authority in sealing one’s criminal records can be found in Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2953. To “seal” or “expunge” one’s record means that said criminal conviction(s) is not available for public review. However, keep in mind that the records of conviction(s) are not terminated or destroyed. Not everyone who has a criminal conviction(s) is eligible to have their records sealed. However, you may be eligible to have your criminal conviction(s) sealed if: Your criminal conviction(s) that you are trying to expunge is not prohibited by law from expungement; or, You were found not guilty, or your case was dismissed; or, You have the following criminal convictions: One Felony Conviction (one must wait a period of three (3) years from the completion of the sentence (which includes completing probation)); Two Felony Convictions (after waiting a period of four (4) years from the completion of sentence); Three, Four, or Five Felony Convictions (after waiting a period of five (5) years from the...

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How Are Design Patents Different From Other Patents?

Design patents are a relatively recent type of patent that protects non-utility inventions, such as the creative or decorative elements of manufactured items.  Design patents usually apply to design elements of a thing that are non-functional, and thus not eligible for a utility patent, but that also wouldn’t necessarily be eligible for copyright or trademark protection.  In some cases, designs that may be eligible for design patent may also be eligible for copyright or trademark protection as well, but the design patent adds an extra layer of protection for the inventor seeking damages for infringement of the design. A design patent is frequently a good idea if you’ve invented a new design for some item that is distinctive and, in some way, helps distinguish the item as being uniquely made by you or your business.  They are often a way of gaining some measure of patent protection for items that otherwise can’t themselves be patented.  For example, furnishings such as bed frames and wardrobes can’t themselves be patented, but unique ornamentation on those furnishings could be the subject of a design patent.  Similarly, athletic shoes can’t be patented, but you could get a design patent for a unique pattern of treads on the rubber soles of athletic shoes.  Design patents don’t require a specification or claims as for utility patents.  The drawings of the design patent application essentially function as both the description and claims.  Since there are no written descriptions for the design, the drawings must be carefully crafted to depict both the design and the context in...

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What Do I Need to Apply for a Patent?

Most patent applications are for utility patents - inventions that have some functional use - and these applications usually have a specification, drawings, and claims. The specification is a legally complete description of the invention you are claiming.  The specification needs to fully describe all aspects of the invention that you’re claiming protection for and needs to sufficiently describe the application so that another person, who has a base-level understanding of the relevant technological art field, could replicate and make the invention.  The specification doesn’t have to be a technical white-paper or a thorough dissertation on every possible aspect of the invention – it just has to meet the legally required standards for disclosure of the invention. Drawings go hand-in-hand with the specification. Drawings are usually required to help the patent examiner understand the invention being described in the specification, and the specification needs to particularly describe what is depicted in the drawings. The claims, however, are the critical component.  Claims define the legal bounds of what you are claiming is your patentable invention.  They are somewhat like a fence around physical property so that anything inside the “fence” is your claimed patent territory, and anything outside the fence is not part of your claimed invention.  When someone steps over your fence into your property, they’re trespassing or “infringing” on your land.  When someone makes an invention that falls squarely within your claims, they’re infringing on your patent. The claims are also the most important part of the application for getting a patent grant.  The claims are the first thing the patent examiner looks at to...

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