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Milwaukee Business & Commercial Law Blog

Major Apple supplier files surprising Chapter 11 bankruptcy

GT Advanced Technologies surprised everyone, including Connecticut residents and GT's business partner, tech conglomerate Apple, when they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month. The company is Apple's supplier for sapphire glass, a hard, scratch-resistant glass that Apple uses for its watch screens. Sapphire glass has proved to be very successful, and Apple signed a $578 million dollar deal last year with GT to produce the glass.

Apple was aware that GT suffered some money issues and agreed to loan the company the $578 million in advance. Apple was paying its loan installments, even if GT had not met its required technical milestones. However, Apple withheld the last payment, citing this failure to meet milestones, and GT filed for bankruptcy shortly after.

Should Wisconsin businesses worry about copyrighting their work?

Copyrights and copyright infringement are areas of business law that may seem unnecessary for small business owners. However, some entrepreneurs build their whole business around their original concept, so it is very important that they secure their intellectual property. Wisconsin business owners would benefit from registering their original works with the U.S. Copyright office to ensure it is properly protected.

Copyrights protect original works of authorship, such as literature, music compositions or computer software. Although copyright is enacted as soon as the work is created, it is a good idea to register a copyright, because it proves the origin of the work and allows the registrant the ability to change the form of the original work or to reproduce it. Most important, perhaps, is the fact that registration allows a registrant to bring action against anyone who infringes the copyright.

We can help you with planning your small business

Owning your own business can be one of the most rewarding experiences for Wisconsin residents, but it takes a fair amount of work to get started. A small business owner faces many decisions when getting started, which can quickly become overwhelming. It's often a good idea to speak to an experienced business attorney when planning your business.

Small business owners must begin by asking themselves what kind of business they want to form. Business types include sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, and a corporation, to name a few. There are many risks and benefits to weigh when deciding on your business type.

Man steals trade secrets from Milwaukee-area company

Trade secrets, or information that is economically valuable and not generally known to the public, are a vital part of many businesses. While there are state and federal laws in place protecting trade secrets, it's important that Wisconsin businesses do their part in protecting their information as well. Failure to keep this information confidential can lead to major financial damage.

A healthcare company in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has discovered firsthand the effects of trade secret theft. An employee of the company was recently charged in federal court with criminal theft of the company's trade secrets. The man, a Chinese citizen working in the United States on a work visa, downloaded over two million trade secrets during the past 18 months and sent copies to his family in China. Most of the files contained information that the employee did not need to access for his daily job duties.

An overview of Chapter 11 bankruptcy for businesses

Chapter 11 bankruptcy may be able to provide some relief for businesses in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area that are struggling with financial issues. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is often referred to as a reorganization of debts. While it is possible for small businesses or even individuals to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it is primarily used by larger businesses in need of debt relief.

A business may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by petitioning the bankruptcy court. There is both a filing fee and an administrative fee, which are paid at the time of filing. Failure to pay the fee can result in dismissal of the case. Along with the petition, debtors are required to file a list detailing income versus expenses, a list of assets and liabilities, a list of unexpired leases and contracts, and a financial affairs statement. Additionally, the debtor shall file a written disclosure statement, a plan of reorganization and a request for relief from the court. If the reorganization plan is not available at the time of filing, the debtor can instead submit an intention to file a plan of reorganization.

Famous casino may be preparing for Chapter 11

For businesses in Milwaukee, circumstances can make it necessary for the owners to consider filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While many believe that Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a method some will use to shirk their responsibilities in paying their creditors and other debt holders, it is a strategy to get the business back on better financial footing. There are issues that must be considered before moving forward with a business bankruptcy, and it can happen to businesses large and small.

The casino Trump Taj Mahal may be on the verge of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In existence for 24 years, the casino with the famous name has recently been breaking some of its loan agreements. Owner, Trump Entertainment Resorts, has been unsuccessful in trying to settle the matter sans litigation. Activist investor, Carl Icahn, owns a large portion of the debt owed by Trump Entertainment Resorts and has yet to make a deal for the debt to be turned into equity. All of the casinos in the area have been having financial trouble, and the Taj Mahal may be the latest to head toward Chapter 11 to reorganize its debts.

Acquisitions can turn complex quickly

Growing your business sometimes means acquiring other businesses. When this occurs, it is vitally important to make sure that your business is covered. Whether you are acquiring businesses through bankruptcy sales, foreclosure or other situations involving insolvency or simply acquiring a business that complements your business, you have to have someone on your side who understands how to apply specific Wisconsin laws to your acquisition.

Acquiring a business doesn't come easily, especially when you consider that you might have to deal with shareholders, employees and creditors, as well as other people who have a vested interest in the business. Not knowing how to deal with unique concerns and situations that might arise is something that could keep you awake at night. By drawing on the experience of someone who has handled similar situations, you might be able to execute the acquisition with as little stress as possible.

What do I need to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Wisconsin?

Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is something that most business owners don't prepare for when they are first starting a business. For some business owners, however, the need to file for bankruptcy protection becomes very real when they are unable to meet their financial obligations. If you are at that point, there are some requirements you should consider prior to turning over your bankruptcy petition to the court.

Do I have to pay to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

Wisconsin woman sues Delta over 'Best Fare Guarantee'

A Wisconsin woman is suing Delta Air Lines in federal court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin over the company's "Best Fare Guarantee." She is claiming, among other things, breach of contract and fraud, asserting that Delta actually hides the lowest fares from its customers.

The company's guarantee says that customers will get the cheapest available fares on Delta if they book through the airline's website. The policy states, "If you find a lower published fare for the exact same Delta itinerary as the ticket you purchased on delta.com, you have the choice of either receiving credit for the difference in fares and a $100 travel voucher or receive a refund for your ticket."

Meat industry merger protested in Wisconsin

A desired merger has been announced between The Hillshire Brands Co and Tyson Foods, Inc. These are two giants in food production, especially when it comes to the processed meat industry. Hillshire started out in Wisconsin, originally.

However, not everyone wants to see the merger go through. Many are afraid that allowing these two companies to combine will create a monopoly so that the resulting company will have far too much control over the meat market. In protesting this, those who are worried about the merger are asking the government to examine the situation.