Legislative News
Gov. Reynolds, Lt. Gov.Gregg to speak at ABI Conference
Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg will speak at  ABI's Taking Care of Business Conferenceng next Thursday, June 8. Reynolds and Gregg have both been endorsed by ABI in the past for their strong support of pro-growth, pro-jobs policies. The ABI conference is one of the first events where the new governor will provide remarks.

Last chance: Northeast Iowa Regional Policy Meeting
Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday appointed Adam Gregg as acting lieutenant governor. The final regional meeting will be Tuesday, June 6 at 8:30 a.m. at the Grand River Center in Dubuque. ABI public policy staff will review the 2017 legislative session and get your feedback on recommended policies and priorities for ABI's 2018 policy development. The meeting is free to ABI members. Please register by emailing Michelle Vollstedt, mvollstedt@iowaabi.org or 515-235-0561.

Public Policy Committee Spotlight: Workplace and Product Safety 
ABI's five public policy committees will meet in August to set priorities for the 2018 legislative session. Watch for profiles on each committee in the coming weeks to learn more about the mission and purview of each one.
Click here to see the meeting schedule. To join a committee, contact Dorothy Knowles, dknowles@iowaabi.org.

Workplace and Product Safety
Mission Statement: It is in the best interest of Iowa businesses to have safe workplaces and make safe products. ABI members are nationally recognized for their workplace safety programs and products because of employers' cost-effective results in the areas of occupational safety, workers' compensation and product safety. 

Current Chair: Rex Butler of CIPCO

Issues handled by this committee:
        Workers' Compensation
        Workplace safety, including OSHA, safety audits, and drug testing
        Tort Reform, including products liability and damages

Recent Successes: ABI ushered through historic workers' compensation reform during the 2017 legislative session, accomplishing many of the workers' compensation reforms on the committee's agenda. This resulted in $39 million in workers' compensation premium savings for Iowa employers.

Next Meeting: Looking to 2018, the committee will need to revamp its policies and direction for the future. Hear from the Workers' Compensation Commissioner Joe Cortese. The committee meets on August 16.  Click here to sign up.

ABI to participate in DNR workgroup on proposed fees
Members of ABI's Environment Committee held a special conference call last week to discuss potential ABI participation in stakeholder meetings proposed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)  to address the funding of the air quality bureau. This proposed workgroup comes less than three years after the Legislature mandated a workgroup convene and find a solution for funding challenges. Keep reading...

Planning for D.C. trip well underway
The agenda is coming together for ABI's biannual Washington, D.C. trip. ABI has already secured meetings with Sen. Chuck Grassley, Rep. David Young and Rep. Rod Blum, along with leaders from the National Association of Manufacturers.  Keep reading...

Nominees chosen for special election in House District 22
Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians chose their candidates at special conventions this week for a House seat left vacant by the passing of Rep. Greg Forristall. Republicans nominated Jon Jacobsen, a resident of Treynor and a vice president at Security National Bank in Council Bluffs. Democrats chose Ray Stevens, Director of Facilities & Grounds at Council Bluffs Water Works. Libertarians selected Bryan Jack Holder who has run for the office in the past as their nominee.  Keep reading...

Federal Spotlight: President's budget includes employer provided paid family leave
President Donald Trump recently released his budget for fiscal year 2018. It proposes many policy objectives to boost the economy, provide long term stability concerning U.S. debt and deficits, and strengthening the military.  Keep reading...
Gov. Reynolds, Lt. Gov.Gregg to speak at ABI Conference
Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg will speak at  ABI's Taking Care of Business Conferenceng next Thursday, June 8. Reynolds and Gregg have both been endorsed by ABI in the past for their strong support of pro-growth, pro-jobs policies. The ABI conference is one of the first events where the new governor will provide remarks.

Last chance: Northeast Iowa Regional Policy Meeting
The final regional meeting will be Tuesday, June 6 at 8:30 a.m. at the Grand River Center in Dubuque. ABI public policy staff will review the 2017 legislative session and get your feedback on recommended policies and priorities for ABI's 2018 policy development. The meeting is free to ABI members. Please register by emailing Michelle Vollstedt, mvollstedt@iowaabi.org or 515-235-0561.

Public Policy Committee Spotlight: Workplace and Product Safety 
ABI's five public policy committees will meet in August to set priorities for the 2018 legislative session. Watch for profiles on each committee in the coming weeks to learn more about the mission and purview of each one.
Click here to see the meeting schedule. To join a committee, contact Dorothy Knowles, dknowles@iowaabi.org.

Workplace and Product Safety
Mission Statement: It is in the best interest of Iowa businesses to have safe workplaces and make safe products. ABI members are nationally recognized for their workplace safety programs and products because of employers' cost-effective results in the areas of occupational safety, workers' compensation and product safety. 

Current Chair: Rex Butler of CIPCO

Issues handled by this committee:
        Workers' Compensation
        Workplace safety, including OSHA, safety audits, and drug testing
        Tort Reform, including products liability and damages

Recent Successes: ABI ushered through historic workers' compensation reform during the 2017 legislative session, accomplishing many of the workers' compensation reforms on the committee's agenda. This resulted in $39 million in workers' compensation premium savings for Iowa employers.

Next Meeting: Looking to 2018, the committee will need to revamp its policies and direction for the future. Hear from the Workers' Compensation Commissioner Joe Cortese. The committee meets on August 16.  Click here to sign up.

ABI to participate in DNR workgroup on proposed fees
Members of ABI's Environment Committee held a special conference call last week to discuss potential ABI participation in stakeholder meetings proposed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)  to address the funding of the air quality bureau. This proposed workgroup comes less than three years after the Legislature mandated a workgroup convene and find a solution for funding challenges. Keep reading...

Planning for D.C. trip well underway
The agenda is coming together for ABI's biannual Washington, D.C. trip. ABI has already secured meetings with Sen. Chuck Grassley, Rep. David Young and Rep. Rod Blum, along with leaders from the National Association of Manufacturers.  Keep reading...

Nominees chosen for special election in House District 22
Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians chose their candidates at special conventions this week for a House seat left vacant by the passing of Rep. Greg Forristall. Republicans nominated Jon Jacobsen, a resident of Treynor and a vice president at Security National Bank in Council Bluffs. Democrats chose Ray Stevens, Director of Facilities & Grounds at Council Bluffs Water Works. Libertarians selected Bryan Jack Holder who has run for the office in the past as their nominee.  Keep reading...

Federal Spotlight: President's budget includes employer provided paid family leave
President Donald Trump recently released his budget for fiscal year 2018. It proposes many policy objectives to boost the economy, provide long term stability concerning U.S. debt and deficits, and strengthening the military.  Keep reading...
From the Desk of...
Prepping for Protection: First Steps to Developing an IP Strategy

Caitlin M. Andersen
Associate Attorney
McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC

Whether you are an individual, a start-up company, or an existing business, two of the hardest (and most important) questions are: "Do I have intellectual property?" and "How do I protect it?"

First, having a qualified attorney will help make answering these questions significantly easier and they can help guide you through the development of an IP strategy that not only protects your current IP, but allows for growth of new IP and business ventures through licensing and sales.

At the outset and prior to meeting with your attorney, the singular most important thing you should do is document what you believe to be your IP and your business goals.Include items that answer who, what, when, where, why, and how:
  • Who invented or created the IP? Was anyone else present or involved?
  • What is the IP? Is it a new product, a new name, a new creative work? What are my business goals with the IP?
  • When did the development occur? (be specific on the date, if possible)
  • Where did the development happen?
  • Why did you decide to do this? Was there a need in the market?
  • How did you develop the IP?
  • Has the IP been publicly disclosed, such as a sale, a trade show display, or use in a commercial activity?

Armed with this information, you and your attorney can then analyze what you are free to practice and/or use, what has already been made public, and what is likely protectable. This step will include things like prior art or trademark searches, invalidity searches, and non-infringement analysis. Keep reading...

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