Translating Patents

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Author: Melinda Sherwood. Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 22, 2000. All rights reserved.

PEOs: Outsourcing Human Resources

At the end of the day, the last thing a small business

owner wants to worry about is the thornier aspects of running a business,

such as creating a sexual harassment policy or navigating the labyrinthian

state and federal laws regarding family and medical leave. Nonetheless,

ignoring human resources can have devastating professional and legal

consequences.

Recognizing this, many businesses are now outsourcing their human

resources departments to professional employer organizations, or PEOs,

that provide top-notch medical benefits and handle risk management

and employee training, says Steve Rosenthal, president of EPIX

(800-260-6663), a Woodbridge-based PEO. "Last year we grew 35

percent, and this industry is growing at 25 percent, which makes it

one of the fastest growing industries in the country," he says.

On Thursday, March 24, at 8:30 a.m. EPIX is holding a seminar explaining

the role of the PEO in small to medium-sized businesses at Forsgate.

The program features Allen Silk, an attorney with Stark & Stark

on Lenox Drive, who discusses "The Employer’s Bill of Rights."

Steve Tessler, EPIX’s corporate vice president, talks about

how PEOs like EPIX can "Attract and Keep the Best Employees."

Call 609-895-7307.

Extensis, another Woodbridge-based PEO, is also holding a seminar.

This one entitled "Big Solutions for Today’s Small Business,"

will explain how its organization handles human resource functions

for businesses and is set for Wednesday, March 29, at 8:30 a.m. at

the Holiday Inn. Call 732-602-3789.

Not only do PEOs take the human resources burden off of the small

business owner, they generally bring better compensation packages

to the table for employees. PEOs can use their volume to negotiate

with some of the top health benefits providers. "By putting a

bunch of employees on our payroll, it gives us the leverage to go

into the marketplace and negotiate better benefits and reduced costs,"

says Rosenthal, who has a business degree from Fairleigh Dickinson,

Class of 1986, and worked at ADP, the payroll service, before he started

his own full-service human resources firm. Tapping into his bar mitzvah

money, he started EMI in 1990, and then merged with a PEO in Tampa,

Florida, to form EPIX.

EPIX not only provides businesses with tax support and benefit that

include prescription and dental plans as well as 401Ks, it also has

work site trainers who help businesses manage safety and compliance

issues related to heavy lifting, asbestos, and working in closed environments.

Those are the kind of benefits that employers can ultimately leverage

to get better employees, says Rosenthal. "When we allow a small

business person to have a benefits package comparable with the Fortune

500s, it makes them more attractive," he says. "Years ago,

it used to be salary, but a lot has changed. Most people are really

concerned about their benefits."

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Translating Patents

Don’t be verbose when you file an international patent,

warns William J. Burke, vice president for intellectual property

and licensing at the Sarnoff Corporation. "The translation costs

are quite significant. Do a full and complete disclosure, but you

will be paying by the word."

Burke speaks on "Patenting and Licensing of Technology in the

International Field," on Thursday, March 23, at noon at the Nassau

Club, for a meeting of the International Trade Network. Cost: $40.

Call 609-921-3322.

Formed in 1995 the International Trade Network is comprised of executive

level decision makers from leading regional manufacturing and service

companies and other organizations aiming to globalize central New

Jersey business.

"The flip side of being too long and prolix is not giving a complete

enough disclosure," says Burke. "There is a happy balance."

A graduate of Boston College, Burke has a PhD from Tufts, went to

New York Law School, and has been at Sarnoff for more than 30 years.

He will review the field of international patents, talk about how

to implement a business strategy, discuss costs, and tell about the

general situation in different countries.

One popular method of filing internationally is to use a "patent

corporation treaty." This can buy time before you have to pay

for the translations. "It allows you to file in the United States

and designate a number of countries throughout the world," says

Burke. A year and half later, after your patent has been examined

in English and you have assessed the competition abroad, you can choose

individual countries in which to file. As Burke says, "You have

a time period where you can see what the patent office responses are

and make a decision whether to spend the big money."

Filing internationally in one country could cost $10,000 over the

life of a patent. "It’s not for the faint of heart," says

Burke.


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