Practical advice. Flat rates. Plain language.


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What we’ve been reading this week at InVigor:

Chicago is the top city for women entrepreneurs in the world.

Today marks 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This article reminds us that natural disasters are far from equal-opportunity catastrophes

Amazon under fire, but has yet to yield same day shipping for all products

US National Labor Relations Board is redefining what it means to be an employer

4 amazing charts from historical heroes. Everyone loves a good chart

This man spent a month replying to all his PR emails with “I love you”

Flickr I Photo: Liquer Felix

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News Roundup

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In this blog post, we discuss what you need to know about the new Seattle minimum wage law that will go into effect on April 1.

Last time we wrote about the new Seattle minimum wage ordinance, we discussed how the International Franchise Association (IFA) filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the ordinance unfairly discriminates against franchisees. The IFA was asking for an injunction to prevent the law from going into effect on April 1. On March 17, federal Judge Richard Jones denied the group’s request for an injunction. Although IFA’s claim still hasn’t been fully litigated, Judge Jones decision regarding the injunction means the law will go into effect on April 1.

What you need to know?

The increase to the $15 minimum wage will be phased in, and April 1 marks the first incremental change.

Large Companies

If your business employs more than 500 people in the United States,…

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Seattle Minimum Wage

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This article discusses a trademark dispute between Seattle's Von Trapp's beer hall and the von Trapp Family.

What do beer, bocce and Bavarian singers have in common? Apparently a trademark dispute as of last month.

The famous Capitol Hill bar and restaurant Von Trapp’s was recently persuaded to change its name at the request of a member of the Trapp family of “Sound of Music” fame. The new name for the 10,000-square-foot space in Capitol Hill is Rhein Haus, as homage to the longest river running through Bavaria. Everything else about the vast beer and bocce hall will stay the same.

The owners, Deming Maclise and James Weimann, said in a press release they had “vetted the original name and got the federal trademark before opening in early 2013.” There appeared to be no issues with the name at first….

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Trademark Dispute

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This post discusses the new $15 Seattle minimum wage and how it will affect your business.

Earlier this month, the City of Seattle passed an ordinance that established a $15 minimum wage for employees working in Seattle. In this post, we’ll breakdown the details of the new local law, so you have a basic understanding of how it will affect your business. 

When does the new law take effect?

The ordinance will take effect on April 1, 2015.

How does it affect your Seattle business?

The ordinance provides generally that Seattle businesses must provide their workers with a minimum wage of $15 per hour. In terms of implementation, the ordinance treats certain employers differently, with “Schedule 1 Employer” and “Schedule 2 Employer” designations. Schedule 1 Employers are those who employ more than 500 employees. Schedule 2 Employers are those who…

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Seattle Minimum Wage

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This week's news roundup discusses Seattle startup Mindbloom, Microsoft reading email to help FBI build trade secret case, and Time Warner CEO's huge pay.

Former Microsoft Employee Arrested for Stealing Trade Secrets

A former Microsoft software architect, Alex A. Kibkalo, was arrested in Bellevue this week on federal charges cased on the allegation that he unlawfully passed proprietary information, including unreleased Windows 8 code, to an anonymous blogger. But Microsoft failed to maintain momentum as the victim in the case when it was criticized for the method by which it uncovered the crime it ultimately turned over to the FBI.  Microsoft was approached by a source who had been asked by the blogger to help interpret the misappropriated proprietary data, and the source disclosed that the blogger used a Microsoft account. Per the Microsoft terms of service, Microsoft decided it had the right to read the…

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Time Warner Golden Parachute

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This week's news roundup discusses Fundable's acquisition of LaunchRock, the Candy Crush game maker's IPO, and Seattle being #4 for startups.

Fundable Acquires LaunchRock; Candy Crush Goes Public

Equity crowdfunding platform Fundable acquired crowdfunding user engagement company LaunchRock in a deal that seeks to create “one of the largest, if not the largest, footprints in business crowdfunding.” The acquisition price, which was paid in cash and Fundable stock, was not disclosed.

Fundable reportedly used LaunchRock to help launch its business only 18 months ago, and Fundable CEO Will Schroter “love[d] the company so much [he] bought it.” With more than 10 million combined users and 500,000 combined registered startups, the deal highlights the potential size of a growing equity crowdfunding market.

Candy Crush game maker King Digital Entertainment, profiled in earlier news roundups for their aggressive trademark registration and “defense” tactics, filed this week to go…

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Seattle #4 for Startups

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This week's news roundup discusses the reaction to bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox's implosion, the trademark "Candy" being abandoned by King.com, and startups Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar's fight with Seattle taxi drivers and regulators.

Bitcoin Processor Mt. Gox Implodes

The bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox imploded this week after the company failed to make it through the theft of approximately $473 million due to a security flaw in the company’s software. The bitcoin heist perpetrated by still unknown thieves sent shock waves through the bitcoin community; some regulators, including US Senator Joe Manchin, took a stance in response that seeks to ban the cryptocurrency. While it may be just the growing pains of a new bitcoin industry or that a rogue Mt. Gox acted without responsibility, or both, some nations, including Russia, China, Vietnam, and Thailand have taken steps to end bitcoin use. Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday, which means the extent to which the Mt….

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Uber Taxi Fight

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iVLG News Roundup Week 8 2014: Google and Apple Talk Mergers and Acquisitions; Tesla Celebrates Legislative Victory in Seattle; Seattle to Host First Bitcoin ATM (not)

Google Continues Mergers and Acquisitions Spree Buying Spider.io to Protect Ad Revenue Web

Google announced Friday that it has acquired London based ad fraud detection group Spider.io, which is led by a small team of talented developers. The firm specializes in discovering pay per click ad fraud, which has for a long time cost web marketers big money. Terms of the acquisition weren’t announced. Considering Google makes money from clicks, it may seem like the fox is now guarding the hen house. But a more appropriate analogy is probably that Google’s Spider.io is now guarding its massive online advertising web.

Tesla Beats Washington State Auto Dealers and Does Not Deny Apple Acquisition Rumors

Tesla won a victory at the Washington State Legislature this week…

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Tesla Coil

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This week we discuss Seattle startups investing and expanding, bitcoin regulation and hacking, and Seattle business' trademarks and parody.

Seattle Startups Win Investment and Expand

Seattle based Frontdesk, a startup that makes business management and payment processing solutions for service based businesses, raised $4 million dollars in a Series A investment round that included venture capital firms Floodgate and Second Avenue Partners, as well as storied Seattle based entrepreneur Richard Barton. The company plans to use the money to expand.

Seattle based startup Tableau also announced expansion plans and are setting up more offices just down the street from ours in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. The maker of data visualization software is taking over a gym and there is no word yet whether they will leave the basketball and squash courts.

Bitcoin Faces Regulatory and Hacking Challenges

Bitcoin users faced an assault on two fronts this…

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Ship Canal-Fremont-Seattle

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This news roundup discusses "secret" apps and insider trading, Microsoft's future, and trademarks.

Rising “Secret” Apps Could Affect Securities Laws Regarding Insider Trading

Apps that allow users to send anonymous and semi-anonymous messages may cause trouble for securities regulators looking to avoid the type of insider trading that has recently been in the news with the SAC saga. The app “Secret” was launched recently, and Silicon Valley startup rumors and more than occasional passive-aggressiveness seem to be among the most shared “secrets”. While some of the rumors were debunked, including the rumor that Evernote was going to be acquired, others, including that Google is planning to buy Squarespace, have yet to be debunked.

These anonymous sharing apps, including Snapchat, Whisper, Secret, among others, have varying degrees of anonymity, especially given recent data breaches, but the potential…

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The Whisper