Business Law

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Are Firms and Managers At Risk When Contributing to Climate Change?

At what point do corporate executives become personally liable for their companies’ failure to take action on climate change? This question is moving into focus as a trend toward holding company executives accountable for business practices and decisions that harm the public gathers steam. Climate activists look at precedents in the tobacco industry and asbestos manufacturing — including the recent conviction of Eternit’s CEO in Italy on negligence charges — as the potential basis of legal action against the fossil fuel industry’s leadership.

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Finding the Right Corporate Legal Strategy

How can companies use the law to gain strategic advantages? Some companies move beyond viewing the law just in terms of compliance and use their legal environment to secure a competitive advantage. Companies can adopt one of five types of legal strategies: avoidance, compliance, prevention, value or transformation. The right strategy for a company will depend on factors such as its business model, managers’ attitudes toward the law and the legal department’s ability to collaborate with managers.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Wilber Baan.
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The Risks and Responsibilities of Tech Innovation

The introduction of Google’s breakthrough wearable computer, Google Glass, creates numerous possibilities for risky behavior on the part of Glass users. Should companies on the cutting be held responsible for their customers’ poor judgment in using new tech? There are legal and social precedents that say they should, but business and corporate responsibility expert Christine Bader suggests ways companies can combat this problem.

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What Was Obvious No Longer Is

U.S. patent law says that you can’t patent an invention that is “obvious.” However, in the 2007 case KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. et. al., the Supreme Court raised the standard for showing that an invention is not obvious and is therefore worthy of a patent.

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A CEO Survey of U.S. Companies’ Time Horizons and Hurdle Rates

The competitiveness of U.S. corporations, particularly manufacturing firms, declined during the 1980s. The decade witnessed serious inroads by foreign firms into traditional domestic markets. In capital goods, for example, the import penetration ratio rose from less than 15 percent to nearly 40 percent. Some indicators of U.S.

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