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Intellectual Property Day

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Intellectual Property Day, held annually on the 26th of April by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is an awareness day that businesses all over the world wholeheartedly support. The idea of intellectual property, which is often shortened to IP, includes the ideas and creations that corporations offer which are very difficult to protect. If there is a good idea out there, then the chances that someone may wish to copy that idea for their own benefit are fairly high.

The best way to understand the importance of protecting Intellectual Property is to take a closer look at its component parts, and identify the challenges that go along with protecting the ideas and abstract creations of corporations all over the world.


Copyrights are complicated because they attempt to protect an expression and not an idea. Copyrights can work together with trademarks to protect a company’s IP, but there are different laws around the world that can make the process of getting a copyright and trademark extremely difficult and expensive.

Copyrights are primarily used as ways to protect artistic expressions such as music, writings, paintings, sculpture, advertising slogans, computer programs, and dance choreography. The idea behind the creation of these works, if it was possible to protect the idea, would usually fall under a patent.

Copyrights can either be economic or moral. An economic copyright states that the creator can derive an income from their creation, while moral copyrights allow a creator to have final say over any changes to their creations. Most copyrights are economic and are used widely in the corporate world.

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Protecting Intellectual Property by Increasing Awareness

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The 26th of April is World Intellectual Property Day, an opportunity to talk about how intellectual property contributes to a thriving music and arts scene as technology and innovation transform these sectors. For businesses, April 26th is a day to help bring about increased awareness and understanding of intellectual property issues.

From copyrights to patents, intellectual property is all around us. Each day, intellectual property affects businesses operations and the work of employees. Knowing how to create and use intellectual property is an essential skillset, especially in sectors and businesses where innovation is a key determinate of growth and success. Promoting awareness about copyright, patents, trademarks, designs and other intellectual property issues protects your own business as well as the innovation of others.

There are a range of activities that help promote intellectual property issues, not only during World Intellectual Property Day. Outreach can be as simple as sharing information with staff, including booklets and guides produced by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The WIPO also produces posters, postcards, bookmarks and other promotional material that can be downloaded and printed. The Intellectual Property Office is another source of information about intellectual property issues in the UK.

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Top Cities for Business: Birmingham

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Being the second most populous city in the United Kingdom, Birmingham has had to rise up to important demographic and economic challenges. Once known for being the manufacturing capital of the world, Birmingham is now a vibrant and prosperous city that attracts business owners and investors from the UK and beyond. Today, this West Midlands city is firmly committed to supporting economic growth and to promoting ongoing business development. In this article we look at the main facts and figures that demonstrate that Birmingham is one of the top destinations for businesses and startups.

Birmingham’s economy: an overview

According to a report published by Global Metro Monitor in 2014, Birmingham is among the world’s top 60 cities with the highest GDP per capita levels, as currently the city has the second largest GDP output in the UK, estimated at a whopping £68 billion. Birmingham has implemented a successful economic policy that has proven effective in terms of fostering growth and innovation, and this is mainly evident in its designated enterprise zones, which so far have helped create 50,000 jobs and injected £1.5 billion into the local economy.

But Birmingham also has an outstanding reputation for fostering economic growth in the international arena. In 2012, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed this UK city as a Beta World City, along with important metropolitan economies like Geneva, Abu Dhabi, and Stuttgart. Nearly 1,200 international companies are based in the Birmingham metropolitan area, including Deloitte, Kraft, Jaguar, JCB, and Land Rover.

With all this in mind, it is hardly surprising that Birmingham has been voted as one of the most dynamic metropolis in Europe and been listed as having one of the best business environments in the continent.

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Top Cities for Business: Manhattan

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Manhattan is one of New York City’s five boroughs and businesses of every conceivable type proliferate in this unique part of New York. This diversity is just one of the reasons why Manhattan is renowned worldwide as a prime business location.

Major Manhattan Industries

Business and finance are two top industries, and businesses related to these industries abound in Manhattan. There are numerous financial management, FinTech and investment firms throughout this borough. With the financial district, and most famously Wall Street, located in Downtown Manhattan, the area is home to an abundance of prestigious investment banks and financial giants along with the NY Stock Exchange.

Key Economic Drivers in Manhattan

One of the key economic drivers in Manhattan is the continuous influx of visitors which provides numerous revenues for businesses related to the tourism industry within the area. A wide selection of  hotels are located in midtown Manhattan, including  some of the most famous like the Waldorf Astoria, The Plaza, Trump Soho, the Viceroy and the Surrey.

Government Schemes, Tax Breaks or Initiatives in Manhattan

Generally, the needs of residents and businesses in Manhattan are determined by the city government. Recently New York City extended tax breaks to encourage new businesses to continue locating in this populous, business-oriented borough. The impetus behind these tax breaks is to encourage newer business to the city to continue to boost the economy. Recent government backed initiatives in Manhattan have been to reinforce the strength of transit systems and create a less vulnerable infrastructure by repairing bridges like the Manhattan Bridge, under the Manhattan Bridge Reconstruction project. In addition, areas of Manhattan affected by the disastrous Hurricane Sandy of 2012 have been restored and repaired. These areas include businesses, transit points, hotels and apartment buildings.

Manhattan Businesses Locations

Manhattan business locations are recognized as “downtown” “midtown” or “uptown” in terms of which point on the Manhattan map they are located. In recent years, certain Manhattan neighborhoods have become known as “Soho” (South of Houston Street), “NoHo” (North of Houston Street), “Tribeca” (Triangle Below Canal Street), “Nolita” (North of Little Italy) “Dumbo” (Development over Manhattan Bridge Overpass), the Bowery, Little Italy, South Street Seaport, Chinatown, East and West Villages, Chelsea, the Financial District and the Lower East side, to name a few.





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Registering your Business in the UK

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Setting up a new business is an exciting process. For entrepreneurs dreaming of selling a new product or providing an innovative service, there are several steps they must take in order to lawfully register their business.

When setting a business, owners must first choose the structure of their new company. The structure of the company will affect how the business is registered and how it operates. Businesses are generally categorised as a sole trader, a limited company, or a business partnership. Sole traders are self-employed owners, while limited companies must have a registered office and at least one director in the UK. A business partnership is where partners share responsibility for running a company.

To register a business in the UK, a sole trader who is the only owner of the company and either works alone or employs staff must register for self-assessment tax with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This means the owner or his/her accountant will calculate the applicable tax. Sole traders must have a National Insurance (NI) number. Sole traders can trade under their own name or choose a business name.

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U.S. Has Most Middle Market Companies on a Global Comparison

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In a 2015 financial report that was compiled by Oxford Economics for HSBC, it was revealed that the United States has the largest number of middle market businesses at 55,700. Those middle market businesses contribute $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy, which is 13 percent of the United States output. The report considers middle market businesses to be businesses that generate at least $50 million in revenue each year, but no more than $500 million.

One of the figures that was interesting to note in the report was that American middle market businesses are responsible for 16.5 million jobs, which makes up 13 percent of all U.S. employment. By way of comparison, the Chinese economy has the second largest amount of middle market businesses at 40,200, but those businesses employ 74 million people, which makes up nearly 12 percent of all Chinese employment. When it comes to the number of people employed by middle market companies, China stands out as the country with the most middle market employees.

A breakdown of the numbers shows that the retail and wholesale industries in the United States offer the largest segment of employment for middle markets, closely followed by the manufacturing and services industries. But the retail, wholesale, and manufacturing industries combined do not offer as much economic input into the U.S. economy as the business services sector. Of the $1.7 trillion contributed to the U.S. economy by middle market companies in the U.S., $1.1 trillion is generated by the business services sector. This includes financial sales, banking, and financial services companies.

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Top Cities for Business: London

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London has been the top financial, business and cultural centre for almost fifty years and has been the birthplace of business practices that contribute to economic development worldwide.

London is a global financial centre
London hosts the headquarters of 91 companies on the 2014 Forbes Global 2000 list,  in addition to being ranked first on the 2012 Globalization and World Cities (GAWC) Index that measures the power of global cities in terms of international business, sustainability, urban policy, and logistics.  According to a Centre for Cities report published in 2013, in terms of business innovation and expansion, London outperformed many European rivals, while the number of new business startups places the UK capital in high regard worldwide.

London has a prominent tech scene
London’s tech scene has demonstrated a steady growth over the past decade as a result of governmental support and venture capital increases. Evidence shows that the UK government has invested GBP50 million to attract major tech companies in London, including Microsoft, Amazon and Qualcomm. The East London area around Old Street, known as “Silicon Roundabout”, follows the government’s aggressive promotion of London as a tech hub, where more than 3,000 tech start-ups considered the UK capital as the perfect spot to establish their businesses. London has been transformed into the fastest growing European tech cluster with the advantages of an early adopter city, with some of Silicon Valley’s start-ups and giants choosing to open headquarters within the city.  Google’s largest office outside the Valley is situated in London and Facebook has its largest European office in London.

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International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

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Throughout history, noted people such as Martin Luther King and Kofi Annan have spoken out against racial discrimination and have highlighted the need for people to work together to bring about true equality. There are many ways that people can be categorized and, in some respects, categorizing people is necessary. For example, medical studies are only effective when people are separated based on criteria that serves the study. But when people are separated in the workplace based on the color of their skin, then that is a situation that needs to be addressed.

Elimination of Racial Discrimination Day was created to highlight the advances that have been made in creating racial equality in the workplace and to point out the work that still needs to be done. As more companies and people join together to explore ways to eliminate racial discrimination in the workplace, it becomes possible to develop a sense of equality that is beneficial to everyone.

Statistics On Racial Discrimination In The Workplace

One of the ways to examine how prevalent racial discrimination is in the workplace is to look at some statistics regarding charges of discrimination. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there were 45,395 reported cases of racial discrimination in the United States workplace between 2011 and 2014. That makes racial discrimination the most common type of workplace discrimination reported in the country.

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The Importance of Equality in the Workplace

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International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an opportunity for businesses to promote more inclusive workplaces and practices. On 21 March employers can play an important role in eliminating racial discrimination, racism and other intolerance in society.

Racism in the UK continues to be a reality for many people. According to NatCen’s 2014 British Social Attitudes (BSA) Survey, the number or people who consider themselves to be prejudiced against other races has generally been on the rise since 2001. Approximately three per cent of survey respondents described themselves as very prejudiced, while 27 per cent said they were a little prejudiced.

Racial discrimination involves the unfair treatment of others because of their race or the race of someone they are connected with, such as a parent or partner. In addition to colour, race includes citizenship or nationality and ethnic or national origin. The Equality Act 2010 outlines when discrimination based on race is against the law and provides protections against discrimination. Racial discrimination is illegal in many aspects in daily life, including in education and housing settings. Discrimination based on race is also illegal when public authorities carry out their activities and when a business provides goods and services. For example, a business cannot refuse to provide someone with goods, services or facilities based on race or provide these things on terms or conditions that are less favourable than what is provided to people of other backgrounds.

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3 Cheers for Happiness Day 2015

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Happiness Day does just what it says on the tin, celebrates what makes for happiness in 2015. Promoted by the UN General Assembly since 2012, International Happiness Day on March 20th is celebrated each year all over the world.

An Injection of Fun
As with most UN days, businesses, governments, non-government organisations and charities are encouraged to invent a way to celebrate the theme of happiness. How much a business buys in to International Happiness Day depends on how clever the PR department can be!

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