The Value of Protecting Intellectual Property

It could be surprising for many people to know that they own more intellectual property than they ever imagined. This type of property is not just owned by huge businesses or popular brands, but by anyone who has created something extraordinary and unique.

Intellectual property is nothing but an indefinite asset that is singular to an individual. It may be that you have an excellent idea that nobody has ever had before and what you are looking at is protecting intellectual property.

Your distinct and exclusive idea could be your ticket to a successful professional career and you would not want anyone else to take undeserved credit for it. This is why it is immensely important to legally protect your distinct idea before you go around talking and discussing about it with your friends, colleagues, families, acquaintances, and even strangers.

Great ideas, undoubtedly, give you a huge sense of achievement, however unless you go about protecting intellectual property, you stand to lose what you so carefully and tirelessly created. Although the State and federal intellectual property laws do provide you assistance to some extent, the last thing you would want to get into is a long-winded legal battle. The best thing to do, whenever you have a superb, original idea, is to give it legal protection.

As per the World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, intellectual property could be designs, images, and symbols used in business areas, literary and artistic creations, or inventions. This type of property can be split into two groups- copyright and industrial property. Protecting this property is imperative, failing which could lead to unwanted consequences.

Why do we need to protect original thoughts, ideas, and inventions? Without legal protection of your original ideas, you could be in a self-defeating situation, and the world at large would miss out on the whole concept of innovation. If new ideas and concepts could be freely used by anyone and everyone, there would be no appreciation for the hard work one individual or a group of individuals have invested on it. Furthermore, businesses would not spend so much of their time and resources on extensive research and developmental activities. Our entire culture would run the risk of turning mediocre if artists were not suitably awarded for their avant-garde thinking.

With the increasing rise of theft, counterfeiting, and piracy, protecting intellectual property gains more magnitude. Theft is one of the most common risks that all professionals face. Unless and until you protect what is rightfully yours, there is a good chance that it will be stolen from you.

Another risk that businesses with original inventions and ideas face every now and then is that of losing credibility in the market. As your idea is duplicated in an irresponsible or illegal way, there is a great chance of your brand name gaining negative publicity. Since consumers will directly associate you with your unprotected and misused idea, you lose your value and worth in the market.

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Understanding HVAC Energy Efficiency Ratings

When you step out to buy the latest electronic equipment, you are bombarded with a series of acronyms, with each brand claiming superiority over the other. While it may sound like Greek and Latin to begin with, it really pays to understand HVAC energy efficiency ratings when you’re shopping for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

A little bit of in-depth understanding really goes a long way in helping you make informed decisions about your purchase, and helps you pick the best possible product for your needs. Additionally you also end up saving quite a few dollars when you understand exactly what each product offers and how well it fits with your unique requirements.

List of different Energy Efficiency Ratings

A few parameters are important to evaluate during the purchase of equipment such as air conditioners and heat pumps, and these include:

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

SEER is the measure of energy efficiency of cooling equipment. It is calculated by dividing cooling output (measured in BTU or British Thermal Units) by electricity usage (measured in kilowatt-hours). In other words, it indicates the electrical input that is needed to run the air conditioner over a season, compared to the amount of cooling that it generates in a real-time environment.

In layman terms, a higher SEER rating means better energy efficiency in the cooling equipment. Even a minor increase in the SEER ratings of your HVAC system can help significantly reduce power consumption.

EER – Energy Efficiency Ratio

EER is measured over higher temperatures and over a period of time, to evaluate the operating efficiency of a cooling unit. EER is arrived at by dividing the output cooling energy by input electrical energy (measured in BTU and kilowatt hours respectively).

Both SEER and EER ratings are usually displayed on cooling units, so you know what to expect in terms of performance. However, it is essential to carry out periodic evaluation and regular HVAC repair to ensure consistent cooling efficiency of the unit in use.

HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor

Just as SEER and EER help measure the cooling efficiency of a unit, HSPF helps measure the heating efficiency. This efficiency measure is used for both unidirectional and bidirectional heat pumps (bidirectional heat pumps provide cooling in summer and heating in winter).

HSPF is calculated pretty much on the same lines as SEER and EER, and is essentially the ratio of total heating needed divided by the total electricity utilized by the heat pump. Just as a higher SEER indicates greater cooling efficiency, a higher HSPF value indicates better heating efficiency.

AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency

During the process of conversion of fuel into heat energy, some percentage of energy is always lost in conversion. AFUE basically measures the efficiency with which a certain fuel transforms into heat. A higher AFUE rating means that more heat energy is produced, and conversion losses are minimal. A decrease in fuel losses only means more dollars saved!

Energy Star

Created by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Star rating is an indicator of energy efficiency of a product. It involves ensuring that the product adheres to a set of requirements, which are tested in a lab environment by a neutral third party. Products which satisfy these criteria are marked with the blue “Energy Star”, logo which defines them as dependable and energy efficient products.

Government Requirements

The government has laid down standards for energy efficiency of products. The SEER rating was expected to be minimum of 10 prior to 2006 and was subsequently revised to 13 and 14 in 2006 and 2015 respectively. EER is expected to be a minimum of 10, with the exception of a few states.

There is some variation in the required SEER and EER values depending on the location. For the State of California, government guidelines specify that a bare minimum value of SEER 14 and EER 11 must be maintained for air conditioning units. While these are the bare minimum values, efficient energy systems have SEER values in the range of 20-28 and EER in the range of 12-16.

SEER and EER – The Cost Impact

The relation between cost and SEER & EER value is directly proportional. The higher the SEER and EER, the more expensive you can expect the equipment to be. The cost component that goes up is typically reflected in the upfront payment you make, whether you’re buying it outright or paying for the HVAC unit in installments.

However, you must take into account the fact that higher SEER and EER-value equipment will be more energy-efficient, and will help you save on monthly power bills. This actually lowers the cost of your investment over the long term. Take a judicious call on striking the right balance between paying an optimum price upfront and curbing your operational expense.

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Layaway Travel Plans – What’s Your Ultimate Dream Vacation?

Layaway travel plans hold the answers to making that dream vacation into reality. There are so many ways where you can enjoy the benefits of this payment plan, like spending your honeymoon at a romantic destination or taking your family on a Disneyland trip. And if you plan ahead, the more chances you have to make the most out of layaway travel plans.

You probably know the drill about layaway travel plans by now. It normally involves choosing a vacation package plan that you want, and then pay an initial deposit to start the planning process. The remaining balance would be spread out over a certain period, like a bi-weekly or monthly payment. There are no interest rates or -it simply works at your own pace and convenience.

So, how do you go about to experiencing the greatest vacation of your life? Finding a reputable travel agency is a good place to start. A great travel agency would mean that they’re legit (that will take a diligent background check), their layaway policy works to your advantage, and they carry the best travel consultants and packages. Their consultants should be able to guide you through the whole process and find you the best deals on the vacation you want.

Almost every family dreams of a Disney vacation, which is quite hard to save up for. That’s a fact that most people have probably lamented over and over again. It’s also really hard to find a travel company that offers a layaway for this – well, except for Disney cruises. Fortunately, Disneyworld offers a somewhat layaway payment plan – it is not really officially called like that, but it still works the same way as any travel layaways out there.

This Disneyworld “layaway” payment plan all takes place online. You should buy the packages directly from their official website. After you’ve signed up and created an account, you can go ahead and pay for the $200 or 10% initial deposit (there’s no interest rates or extra charges for signing up) at the time of booking. After that, you have the freedom to pay as much as you want and any time that’s convenient to you. The only thing that you have to keep in mind is that you have to pay for the whole amount 45 days before the trip.

Your Disneyworld account profile will help you know the status of your payment activities. You can also pay for the vacation through this site. If you think about it, this payment plan might not be technically termed as layaway, but you’ll still enjoy the same benefits of not spending for the whole vacation on the spot.

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Improve Your Poor Credit Score and Secure Yourself a Loan

So you are thinking of getting some extra money to make some urgent home repairs, the porch door needs replacing, along with a new hot water system. Unfortunately you do not have the money in the bank, but neither do you have a secure porch door or any constant hot water.

Have you considered personal loans? A lot of people take out personal loans for this type of repair. Car repairs and even holidays are used by people with their newly acquired finances. Most people have heard that a poor credit score is not a good thing (However even those that have a poor financial history can still get loans). But how do you make a good rating?

One of thing major pieces of advice from experts, before you apply for finance it is best to get a credit report completed from a reputable source. This will give you an idea of the chance of getting your application approved. In the United States of America there are three levels of credit rating, basically the higher it is the better it is.

An excellent rating is above 760, a good rating would be between 700 and 759 and a poor rating would be between 640 to 699. if you are at the top end, 760 and above then there is no point in making your rating any better. However with other ratings it is worth trying to improve as it will help your chances of succeeding in the application.

There does seem to be a bit of a chicken and egg situation sometimes, you need finance but have a poor score,but to improve you need a lender to give you a chance. Well, luckily there are things that you and your family if you have one, can do to improve your rating.

Having a poor rating does not mean you have to be stuck with it, starting to pay the bills on time instead of late or not at all will start to get you on the right path. Some lenders will still give applicants loans even with a low score, but the total given will be lower than usually and the percentage rate will be considerably higher. So you will pay more over the period of the finance.

Families can help too. If a member of your family has a good rating then some credit card companies can add you to that family members credit card as an authorized user, this will help with any poor credit score. Also having a family member with a good rating co-sign the loan could help you get what you need.

Finding the correct lender for your score is a good way to make sure that you are getting what you deserve, if you have a high score you deserve some of the best deals on the market. Instead of going to your bank or card company you can go online and search for a matching company. Companies like this are a good place go to make sure you achieve the best deal.

What are a matching company and what do they do? You enter your details on their online program and your information will be fed to several of their approved lenders, in turn the lenders will then return to the matching company with a list of loans that they are able to offer.

Once the offers come back it is then up to the applicant to choose one and complete all the necessary paperwork. A check will then be received within a matter of days and your new boiler and door fitted soon after.

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Payment Options for Shopping All the Way

Everyone is busy. Busy in shopping online and in the malls. Popular online portals are breaking and making new sale records! All thanks to the convenience and the availability of easy payment options and funds!

Here are few of the factors that are making online businesses a success

Credit Cards: A credit card is plastic money. It is one of the easiest form in which a person gets a personal loan.

All online portals as well as retailers in malls accept credit cards issued by various banks.
Online payment becomes very simple and safe, thanks to the one time passwords generated for such transactions.
A PIN is sufficient for shopping using a credit card at any retail store.

Personal loans for shopping: When we apply for a personal loan, we don’t have to provide the financier with the details of what we want the loan for.

Thus these days’ personal loans are being used to finance shopping.
They can also be used as wedding loans, vacation loans and educational loans.

Payment Processing: As far as payment processing is concerned, the following factors matter to both the consumer and the online retailer.

Uncomplicated manoeuvring on website: It is important for the payment process to be step-by-step and easy to understand. Most websites work on this section very carefully and thus the online shopping experience is satisfactory.

Processing Costs: Processing costs matter to the retailers. More the processing fees they have to pay to providers of payment gateways like Visa, the lesser are their margins. So to have an effective business the processing costs need to be low.
Number of payment options: Multiple payment options should be available for the customer to make payment. This makes the shopping a convenient proposition.
Time taken to process transactions: Processing time not only tests your patience but sometimes also the strength of your internet connection!

Cash on Delivery: This is also known as “collection on delivery.” This is a very popular mode of making payments for shopping in the developing world.

It enhances impulse purchases.
A credit card is not an essential possession for the buyer.
The buyer can check the quality of the product and then pay

So this festive season, do not hesitate to shop and to gift! The availability of funds for shopping is not difficult anymore. Also the convenience of online shopping has brought various retailers to our doorstep. So let us shop all the way!

An easy way of shopping is using a credit card. It forms an integral part of most people’s financial planning. When used in the right manner, it helps reduce financial liability and optimizes financial resources.

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Are Online Personal Loans Good For People With Bad Credit?

While the rise of online lending in itself makes it more convenient for people to apply for finance, is this development a good thing for those who are already struggling? There are companies out there who charge expensive annual percentage rates (APRs), leaving many people in more trouble than when they first started.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the last few years, online lending has earned itself a bad reputation. The internet leaves many people vulnerable to fraud, so you should always exercise caution when inputting your financial details. The best way to make sure your information remains safe is to find a secure, reliable lending platform.

There is an unfair irony attached to lending today. Those with bad credit are often led to believe they have no financial options if they have made mistakes in the past, often making their situations seem more desperate than they actually are. This can result in people making bad decisions and can lead to borrowing through unstable sources.

Meanwhile, any lenders that do accept you with bad credit will charge extortionate interest rates because of your history, making it more difficult for you to meet your monthly repayment obligations – thus worsening your situation. This is a trap that many people fall into, and it gives online installment lenders a bad name.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case. If you can find yourself a reliable lending platform, you will be connected to a secure network of trustworthy lenders who can offer sensible solutions to your borrowing needs. Many of these lenders will assess your application, even if your credit file isn’t perfect or your income is lower than average.

Instead of (or in some cases, as well as) running credit checks, these lenders will take other factors into consideration, including your income and employment circumstances, and how long you have lived at your current address. They may even ask for references they can contact who will vouch for your character personally.

Even those who receive benefits as a form of income will be able to apply, giving everyone a fair and carefully considered chance of borrowing money. In these cases, applicants won’t be accepted for higher loans than they can afford to pay back, and interest rates will be low, meaning there is a better chance of managing repayments.

If you have poor credit and need to borrow money, consider a personal installment loan, but make sure the APR is advertised between 5.99% and 35.99%. There should also be a number of options in terms of flexible repayment, offering you the chance to pay the money back anywhere between six months and six years, depending on what you can afford to pay per month.

Small, carefully considered personal loans could actually help you build a financial profile making you eligible for better future borrowing. As long as the lender is responsible, and offers reasonable interest rates, online lending platforms can actually give people with more opportunities than many other lenders in terms of improving their situation.

With this in mind, personal loans can be beneficial to those hoping to improve their credit score, but only if some caution is exercised by both parties, and you only apply to borrow an amount you can afford to pay back.

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Five Reasons for Refusal of a Personal Loan

Don’t you wish personal finance were a mandatory course in college? Unfortunately, too many of us learn by mistake. When you need a personal loan and are rejected, you might be baffled as to what went wrong- and how to fix it. Here are some clues.

NO CREDIT

No credit is a situation where you have never used credit and therefore have no credit history for the bank to review. They have no way of making an educated decision on whether or not you will pay back a personal loan based on your credit history. No credit is worse than bad credit. Qualifying for and making regular payments on these types of introductory forms of credit can overcome a “no credit” score:

· Student Loans

· Secured credit card (includes a down payment amount)

· Being added to a parent’s or spouses good credit: card, car loan, etc.

LOW CREDIT

Low credit takes on several forms. If you’re using more than 30% of your allowable debt, it can negatively impact your score. Too many inquiries from shopping around for loans will also hit you hard. Lapses in payment, defaults, or bankruptcies are giant red flags and can take a long time to rebuild from.

Other things that lenders may look at are whether or not you have sizeable assets should you default on the loan. They also check to see if your debts are diversified or if you are only carrying one type of debt.

INCOME

Proof of income is generally required when applying for a personal loan. If you are unemployed or underemployed, it can work against you in the loan approval process. Lenders may also require a work history to see how long you have been with your current employer, and to determine if you typically have job stability. Frequent job loss or change will tell a creditor that your payments may not be reliable.

PURPOSE OF THE LOAN

Believe it or not, your application can be rejected due to your proposed purpose for the loan. Financial institutions have the right to set up the parameters surrounding their disbursements and can accept or reject your application based on what you want to use the money for.

BLACKLISTING

If you’ve defaulted on debt before, your name may be put on a list of whom not to loan to,’ also known as a “Blacklist.” This will follow you around for a long time and is difficult to erase. If you do resolve the debt issues, get documents to prove the resolution.

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How Can A Personal Loan Improve Your Credit Score?

When it comes to a personal loan, you have to first learn to use it responsibly. Because if you miss a repayment, your credit score will be impacted adversely. And remember, that a credit score is an indicator of how well you manage your personal finances. Also, it plays a defining role when you apply for any kind of loan – secured and unsecured. It is suggested to apply for a loan slightly larger than what is needed so that you will be assured to have enough money to pay all bills necessary and still have some money left over to ensure that your bank account stays current.

A credit score can be defined as a number which reflects the financial situation of a person. If the person is well-off when it comes to financial matters, then he or she is said to have a high credit score. On the other hand, if a person is the exact opposite of this, then they possess a low credit score. There are a lot of factors that are considered by financial institutions for the purpose of evaluating a person’s credit score – usually, the credit scores of people vary from 300 to about 850.

A personal loan is a type of loan that is given by digital lenders, banks and credit unions to aid you in your plans, be it starting a small business, or making a big purchase. Personal loans tend to have an interest rate(s) lower than the credit cards; however, they can also be put to use for combining several credit card debts together into one monthly lower-cost payment.

Now, your credit score is built by keeping in mind various parameters from your credit reports. These reports serve the purpose of trailing your history of utilization of the credit across the duration of seven years. These credit reports are comprised of information, including how much credit you have utilized to date, the type of credit in your possession, the age of one’s credit accounts, whether one has put in for bankruptcy or liens filed against them, actions of debt collections taken against them, one’s total open lines of credit as well as recent inquiries for hard credit.

Like any other type of credit, personal loans are very capable of affecting your credit score. This can be done through the process of applying and withdrawing a personal loan. If you are curious as to how personal loans can end up affecting your credit, then read on to find out more about the context. There are many ways in which your credit can be affected by personal loans and some of them are listed below:

The ratio of your debt-to-income and loan

Debt-to-income ratio is considered to be the measure of your amount of income that you spend on the debt repayments. In the case of lenders, the amount of income that you receive is said to be one of the major factors proving that you are able to repay your loan.

Some of the lenders have come up with their own debt-to-income ratio so that their proprietary credit scores may make use of it in the form of a credit consideration. Do not fall into the kind of mindset that possessing a high amount of a loan would hurt your credit. The most damage it can do is raise the ratio of your debt-to-income so that you won’t be able to apply for loans anymore without it getting rejected or denied.

Paying loans on time will make credit scores soar

The moment your loan is approved, you have to make sure that you settle the payments of each month on time and in full. Delay in repayment may significantly impact the state of your credit score. However, on the other hand, if you make the payments on time every month, then your credit score will soar high, leading to an overall good score. This will not only make your name to the preferred borrower’s list, but it will prove to be beneficial for you in the long run.

Since your payment history is comprised of almost 35% of your credit score, paying loans on time is essential in cases like these so that your credit score can maintain a positive status.

Variety is built into your credit type

There are about five factors that are responsible for determining your credit score. These are composed of the payment history, the length of the credit history, the utilization ratio of the credit, the credit mix and new inquiries of the credit in accordance with FICO®.

The credit mix only accounts for about 35% of your total credit score, whereas when it comes to a personal loan you can have a varying mix of the credit types. This mix of all types of credit is viewed at a high level of approval by the creditors and lenders.

Origination fee charged by loans

Most of the lenders end up charging you an origination fee. This fee cannot be avoided at any cost and is instantly taken off from the amount of the loan payment. The amount of origination fees depends upon the amount of the loan you are about to borrow. Late payments can lead to an overdraft of fees and late expenses. Therefore, make sure that you pay complete repayment for each month before the deadline.

Avoiding penalties when it comes to payments

Some of the credit lenders tend to charge an additional fee if you end up paying your part of the loan earlier than the agreed date. This is because they are looking for moderate amounts of interest on your loan. Now, seeing that you have paid off your part of the loan before time, they will miss out on that interest that they could have possibly made if you had not cleared the debt soon enough before the deadline.

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