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Boise IP law firm Zarian Midgley merges with Utah firm

Zarian Midgley & Johnson, a Boise intellectual property rights law firm, is merging with the Salt Lake City firm Parsons Behle and Latimer, with the Boise firm formally changing its name Nov. 1. Founding partner John Zarian said the move won’t affect the 14 attorneys in Boise, but will give its clients a deeper bench of lawyers.

Zarian said the four-year-old firm received several merger proposals, but that this is a perfect marriage since Parsons has compatible billing rates and a compatible work environment. He also said it would allow his intellectual property attorneys to work for companies in Utah and Nevada on patent prosecution, the sometimes years-long process of protecting inventions or ideas by preparing and securing patents.

“Intellectual property has become what adds value, in our current economy, to a company,” Zarian said, adding that it can make or break some companies.

The merger will give Parsons a physical presence in Idaho, which Zarian said would help it better serve the firms existing clients in southern Utah that are close to the firm’s headquarters. The Utah firm has more than 100 attorneys.

Peter Midgley and Rex Johnson will co-chair the firm-wide intellectual property law department while Zarian will become the managing partner of the firm’s Boise office.

IBR Staff

Changes to SBA loan program aimed at increasing usage

Changes to a U.S. Small Business Administration loan program that finances buildings and fixed assets could increase usage of these loans, which fell in number in the most recent fiscal year in the district covering parts of southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.

The SBA 504 program loan now can be used to refinance a conventional bank loan and even provide some money to pay business expenses, said Lance Foster, lender relations specialist with the SBA’s Boise District Office.

“It’s going to make 504 financing an option for business that otherwise would not have been able to use the program,” he said.

The Boise District saw $34.73 million in combined SBA 504 loan volume on 65 loans in fiscal 2011 compared to $24.88 million on 76 loans in fiscal 2010. Some unusually large loans were issued in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2011, Foster said.

Eligible businesses can finance up to 90 percent of appraised value or 100 percent of outstanding principal, whichever is lower, Foster said. SBA 504 loans could be used for refinancing previously, but 50 percent of the proceeds had to be used for expansion, he said. Also new is a provision allowing the difference between appraised value and principal owed to be rolled into the loan and made available to pay business expenses such as utilities, leases and inventory.

“We are looking for businesses that have equity positions,” he said.

IBR Staff

Coeur d’Alene plans to appear demotion verdict

The attorney for Coeur d’Alene says the city plans to appeal a federal jury’s verdict awarding $3.7 million in a former police officer’s wrongful discharge case.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports a jury on Oct. 26 awarded Daniel C. Dixon $2.7 million for lost wages and benefits and another $500,000 for emotional pain and suffering. The jury awarded Dixon’s wife $500,000 for the family’s pain and suffering.

Dixon sued after he was demoted from his lieutenant’s position to patrol in August 2009 when a subordinate officer complained Dixon tampered with his work schedule.

Attorney Larry Beck says Dixon prevented the other officer from working overtime because it wasn’t necessary. Beck says a sham investigation also found Dixon cheated on his time card.

Attorney Mike Gridley says the city stands by its decision to demote Dixon.

The Associated Press

State inspected 47,000 watercraft for invasive mussels this season

The state Department of Agriculture intercepted 24 cases of invasive mussels hitching a ride into the state on boats this season.

The state agency reports that its inspection and decontamination stations performed over 47,000 watercraft inspections during the 2011 season.

It intercepted 24 watercraft that were carrying invasive mussels into or through Idaho, said Celia Gould, the director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

Boaters must buy an invasive species sticker. Funding from that helps pay for the inspections.

Nearly half of the mussel-carrying watercraft came from Nevada and Arizona. The Lower Colorado River system is known to be heavily infested with the mussels.

IBR Staff

Nampa sugar plant to spend $8M to reduce pollution

The Amalgamated Sugar Co. sugar beet processing plant in Nampa has reached an agreement to cut its nitrogen oxide output to help reduce air pollution in the region around the plant.

The sugar maker has a preliminary agreement with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to spent $8 million to install nitrogen-oxide burners on three coal and natural gas boilers. The burners would reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide emitted by the boilers. Under the proposed Air quality permit, the work would be done by 2016.

The federal regional haze program requires DEQ to study emissions and find the best available technology for specific polluters. A study estimated the nitrogen-oxide burners would reduce or eliminate regional haze about 12 days a year.

Idaho DEQ is taking public comment until Nov. 30.

The Associated Press

Idaho Humane Society needs more homeless dogs

The Idaho Humane Society is looking for homeless dogs to occupy new adoption space at the Petsmart store near the Boise Towne Square Mall.

The Humane Society last month opened its new adoption center in a Petsmart store on Milwaukee Ave. as part of a partnership with Petsmart, a major donor to animal welfare causes. Petsmart paid to build the space, and the Humane Society will pay for the upkeep of the animals, said Chris Wiersema, the development director at the Humane Society.

The Boise-based Humane Society now imports about 600 dogs a year from animal shelters in Idaho and elsewhere. Many of them come from Jerome, Idaho Falls, Salt Lake City, and Sun Valley. Last year, 150 chihuahua mixes, terriers, and lhasa apsos journeyed to Boise from southern California.

“Southern California has an abundance of small dogs for some reason,” Wiersema said. “Dog popularity follows Hollywood I guess.”

Wiersema said Boise imports the dog because its shelter is large, with a capacity of 150 canines. Even with all imports, the Petsmart deal means the Humane Society will now need to import about 1,000 homeless dogs a year, she said.

The price to adopt at dog at Petsmart will be the same as at the Humane Society’s shelter near the Boise airport: between $75 and $300. Smaller dogs typically have a higher adoption rate, and cost more, Wiersema said. The Petsmart space holds 23 dogs and 16 cats.

Petsmart Charities has built eight such adoption centers in its stores around the United States, a Petsmart representative said.

 IBR Staff

Getting on a flight? Bring your own baggie

After five years of handing out free baggies to air travelers, the Hefty and Glad bagmakers have had enough.

Hefty Consumer Products Corporation and Glad Products this fall decided to stop handing out free bags to air travelers nationwide. Now travelers will have to bring their own quart-size clear plastic bag for any small containers of liquids they want to carry onto the plane.

Since 2006, federal rules have required passengers to limit their liquid carry-ons to three-ounce bottles, and the bottles must be placed in clear plastic bags.

More than 650,000 bags have been handed out since 2006, said Patti Miller, a spokeswoman for the Boise Airport.

Meanwhile, the airport store in Boise has stepped in to fill the need. It’s selling small plastic bags for 50 cents each.

IBR Staff

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