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Can 360 Degree Appraisal of Leadership Style and Key Success Factors Transform the Learning Process?

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The term ‘360 Degree Appraisal’ is becoming increasingly familiar in modern organizations, although in practice, 360 feedback is more often linked to Performance Review, Coaching and Leadership Development. Our experience suggests Three Key Questions organizations should ask about 360. Firstly, ‘Why has the idea of the ‘360 Degree Leader’ become so Popular?’ Secondly, ‘What are the Essential Steps linked to Successful Implementation? and finally, ‘Is there anything New we should know about 360 Design – and 360 Degree Feedback Software?”

360 Overview

The idea of multi-rater assessment goes back a long time. The principle underpins the design of Assessment Centres, first introduced by the military in World War Two, and subsequently in AT&T and other large organizations. 360 degree feedback is part of this multi-rater tradition, but it has only recently become easy to administer using high-speed internet connectivity. The process involves a ‘Focus Person’, i.e. the subject of the 360 feedback, receiving feedback from various work associates. An in-depth report then provides insight into the views of these various groups and forms the basis for a follow-up discussion, which may also lead to further development activities, particularly in the context of leadership skills training.

Why has the Idea of the ‘360 Degree Leader’ Become so Popular?

There is a growing recognition that leadership skills are becoming a core element of a manager’s role. This means that ‘task focus’ has to be supported by appropriate ‘people skills’. Organizations characterized by high productivity have managers who are able to:

(i) Energize and Motivate their People
(ii) Manage Role Relationships in a way that Minimizes Problems and Maximizes Opportunities to Achieve Positive Outcomes.

Increasingly, effectiveness is viewed in terms of meeting the expectations of specific groups of work associate, whilst also ensuring that actions are aligned to wider corporate objectives.

The ‘Balanced Processing’ of Information required to position problems effectively and make sound decisions is dependent on a high level of Self Awareness. It is therefore vital that managers and more senior professionals are responsive to feedback and can evaluate their personal judgement in the context of the task and the people. In other words, there is a need to Balance both Internal and External perspectives to make sound decisions.

This Personal Insight does not develop by chance, and we know that ‘High Potentials’ are more skilled (and objective) in gauging their effectiveness in handling challenging situations. We see this objectivity in the Self Review ratings made by more-effective delegates after completion of Assessment Centre Exercises. Well-designed 360 degree feedback creates opportunities to explore both the behaviour and thought processes that influence performance outcomes. This is the basis of ‘double loop’ learning, which is one of the building blocks of Learning Agility. It is also interesting to note that one of the differentiators of High Potentials is their Learning Agility, which involves applying existing knowledge in new ways, quickly adapting to the demands of complex, unfamiliar situations. It is evident that 360 degree feedback has the potential to play a key part in raising awareness of Critical Success Factors that are Role Specific and affect performance outcomes.

Although there may be some initial concerns about the impact of 360, the combination of objective feedback and constructive follow-up is generally valued by managers who participate. Structured, open discussion of performance issues can also contribute to a wider change of thinking about the process of Self Review, effective Learning Strategies, and wider Leadership Performance.

What are the ‘Essential Steps’ that Underpin the Introduction of a Successful 360?

It is quite often suggested that 360 degree feedback should start at the top and cascade down through the organization. This may sometimes be of value, but more important is the overall positioning of the 360. It is very helpful to have the introduction viewed as part of a wider HR process that has a clear relationship to performance and professional development. This means that the 360 should be linked to (a) the Context e.g. change / new challenges, and (b) Constructive Outcomes, e.g. adequate learning resources that support Self Development. In some cases the focus may be on individual coaching, or alternatively, initial one-to-one feedback may be followed by leadership development workshops and practical leadership skills training.

Not all organizations have an open and learning-orientated culture and in this situation greater effort is required to build commitment to the 360 process. One approach, that may encourage positive engagement, is to discuss the ‘people issues’ that are linked to a new technical initiative, system or process. Even the best systems, to achieve positive results, require committed people, and those people also need to maintain positive work relationships with others.

The 360 review must also ensure confidentiality, and this helps build the confidence required for people to give honest responses. However, for organizations that are further along the ‘360 highway’, some systems now give the option for respondents to add their name to written comments. The essential point is that the 360 degree feedback software must offer the flexibility to allow easy tailoring of the questionnaire content and the final report.

Effective Management of Role Relationships: “Why Intelligent 360?”

The focus on Managing Role Relationships is critical in many work situations, especially those requiring the commitment of direct reports, colleagues, internal and external customers, business partners or stakeholders. In the case of managers, it’s possible to identify a range of Scenarios that create challenges and demands. These often represent Critical Incidents i.e. difficult situations, where the behaviour of the manager is the key to the outcome. In this context, use of 360 degree performance appraisal looks promising, but what steps are required to get the maximum benefit?

In traditional 360 design, a single set of questions has been directed to everyone providing feedback. However, analysis of 360 questionnaire results suggests that when a ‘Cannot Say’ option is provided, up to 48% of respondents may decline to answer some questions. This is generally because the questions are not relevant to those respondents. The result is an overly long questionnaire that is viewed as irrelevant by many of the busy professionals who are providing feedback. This undermines the credibility of the whole process.

The single most important change in recent 360 degree feedback design involves targeting specific questions to different groups of respondent. This means that we only ask Business Partners the questions that make sense to Business Partners! We also need to incorporate written comments that can highlight areas of Strength, as well as opportunities for Development. Feedback comments should therefore be linked to Activities. The first step in constructive feedback often involves reviewing the Context that relates to specific comments.

This approach is at the heart of Intelligent 360 and also adds new focus to the idea of Emotional Intelligence. The Effective Management of Role Relationships is closely aligned with the EI attributes of Self Awareness, being responsive to others, and Self Regulation i.e. considering the impact of actions on others. Balanced Processing of Information is also one of four key attributes associated with Authentic Leadership.

With effective briefing of all involved in the 360 degree feedback process, comments are generally measured and constructive. This is a significant step towards building a learning organization.

Practical Questions Relating to 360 Degree Feedback

Not all 360 degree feedback software incorporates the latest design and technical support features. It is most important that the administration is largely automated, offers effective reminder and follow-up arrangements, and encourages ownership of the process by the Focus Person. Ideally, internet access is backed by facilities to input ‘paper’ versions of the 360, and all aspects of the design should have scope to be tailored to requirements. The latest 360 includes questions targeted to different groups of respondent, support materials relating to design, and a library of questions that can be used as the start point for a new questionnaire.

Reports should also have options for tailored content, and the best examples combine rating of competencies and questions that invite written comment. The prompt headings linked to the written sections may relate to effectiveness in handling particular situations, or more general comments about strengths and areas for development. The online Control Panel should place the client administrator in the position to easily review progress, add or edit respondent details, re-start or edit auto-emails, and finally, generate reports in pdf or Word formats.

Finally, before deciding on a 360 provider, consider the options for wider use of the data collected through the 360 feedback process. In addition to generating high quality individual reports, the latest 360 software will also produce 360 Group Reports that help identify overall Strengths and Weaknesses. This is done by combining all the 360 feedback and then filtering by such categories as Division, Region and Office. It encourages the Divisional and Section Heads to become directly involved in a discussion concerning the training needs suggested by the 360 feedback. It is possible, for example, that positive relationships between team members conceal difficulties with specific issues of concern to customers, or the need for more positive interaction with business partners.

The new generation of 360 software, with its strong focus on Role Relationships, offers a forward-looking approach to Training Needs Analysis. The combination of targeted questions, online administration, and flexibility in the range of Group Reports that can be generated, makes the analysis very straight-forward. As it is also ‘grounded’ in real life, there is naturally a strong base to follow-up with practical leadership skills training.


If you are designing your own 360 degree feedback questionnaire, and tailored report, you should be able to find a supplier who offers this facility free of charge. Some 360 systems still require a fee to register, or restrict the number of respondents or ‘categories’ (colleagues, direct reports etc) that can be included in the report. The advice here is that ‘flexible’ should mean Flexible, and if some wished-for aspects of functionality are not currently available, it is often possible to have these added. A competitive price on individual reports should also be coupled with volume discounts, and there may be the option of a long-term licence.


In conclusion, 360 degree feedback can be used simply to support a coaching session, or form part of a broader HR initiative linked to Leadership Development. Intelligent 360 software, coupled with careful planning of how best to introduce the process, and professionalism in managing feedback, gives organizations a powerful tool that can achieve real changes in Managers’ behaviour. The process can encourage greater openness and create insight into new learning strategies linked to Relationship Management. In the War for Talent, companies need to use the most effective tools to engage managers and strengthen leadership performance.

The latest 360 initiatives finally give HR managers the flexibility and focus required to pinpoint the Role-Related Critical Success Factors linked to high performance. Recent research includes in-depth analysis of the specific issues that are most relevant to direct-reports. The relevant behaviour can easily be included in the design of new 360 degree leadership questionnaires.



Top 10 Small Business Bookkeeping Tips

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These small business bookkeeping tips will help you get your books up to date and keep them that way in less time. They’ll help you maintain financial control, and help you manage your working capital more effectively and securely.

  1. Before you contemplate recording any transactions in your ledgers, organize your paperwork in your files according to these bookkeeping basics. It will save you time, and time is money.
  2. Work out how much you earn in your business per hour. If the answer is more than what it will cost to hire a professional bookkeeper, then hire one. If not, then do the transaction processing yourself. Get a tax accountant to do your year end filing so you don’t have to keep up with arbitrary government rule making, and miss out on tax allowances.
  3. When you’ve got your paperwork in order then consider how you’re going to record your transactions. This could be in a traditional hand written ledger, or more likely using software. Understand your bookkeeping software requirements before you buy anything to prevent dissatisfaction.
  4. If you don’t have much money for investing in financial software, then consider using open source accounting software.This can be obtained for little or no cost. Click the link above to learn the advantages and disadvantages of using open source.
  5. After you’ve decided what you’re going to record your transactions in then follow these basic bookkeeping tips to make sure you record your transactions in the most efficient manner possible.
  6. Make sure all cash is accounted for by performing a bank reconciliation. Ensure the transactions that are recorded on your bank statements are recorded in your books, and the balance on your statement is in agreement with that in your books. Make sure that you know the amount of any uncleared and unpresented checks (cheques) which will explain any actual difference between the statement and the account on your ledger.
  7. Likewise, make sure all petty cash is accounted for by counting the cash in your cash box and agreeing it to your cash book.
  8. Perform routine counts on items you carry in stock, and ensure that what is recorded in your books agrees with the quantity you have on the shelf. This is an area where strict control pays dividends as unexplainable differences often occur usually due to sales ‘samples’, spoilage, quality defects, returns etc. This is an important area to get right as any differences will have to be reflected in the financial statements and usually affect the profit line directly.
  9. Keep a Fixed Assets register. While not a ledger in your books as such, a fixed assets register is essential to keep track of essential business equipment. This means the cost, the location the depreciation, the purchase date and the remaining life. The value of these assets are carried in your balance sheet. It can be surprising how, as you grow, things you thought you had have gone! Especially small high value technology.
  10. Follow these small business bookkeeping tips, but don’t forget to use the information kept within your books intelligently. Working capital management is how you manage your daily, weekly, and monthly cash, debtors, supplier payments and inventory/stock control to keep you in business, and really make a difference to the bottom line (the profit line) of your business.
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Hello World VM Direct – Scam Or Legitimate Business Opportunity?

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Ready to say goodbye to your job and say hello to the world of being self-employed and working from the comfort of your home? Surely you realize that working for yourself and enjoying financial freedom are rare treasures in life and wondering how you may be able to enjoy these things. Are you considering the VM Direct and Hello World business opportunity and wondering if it will provide the key to building the life of your dreams? If so, learn what everyone needs to know before signing up for this opportunity.

Who Are They?

You may have heard of this company under either the name Hello World or VM Direct. The founders Craig Ellins and Amy Black created the company to sell multimedia packages which would help consumers to publish their own ideas over the internet. Their most popular product is Hello World, which includes five separate programs that organize digital media on the customer’s computer and allow them to share it with others over the internet. Their products now contribute to two billion dollars a year in sales of streaming video.

The Packages

The prices for the package range from $9.95 a month to $39.95. However, to become an affiliate there are four levels starting with Basic which is $79 to enroll and $49 a month and up, to the Hello World Package, which is $299 to enroll and $69 a month. Each of these packages is designed to empower the affiliate to sell the package and to earn a residual income doing so. So you get advanced technology and training which can help you to build a nice residual income working from home. Not bad, right?

Points to Consider

Well, one problem is that the technology has a steep learning curve that may prevent you from making a lot of money right away. You would have to commit a good amount of time and energy to learning about the tools, and then spend the time slowly building your residuals with the small affiliate commissions. Not only that, you have to find a way to stand out from the other people promoting the business by building your own videos and messages. All of this effort and energy could be spent marketing YOUR business, rather than someone else’s.

Is this a legitimate opportunity? Yes, but considering the learning curve and the competition you may be much better off learning the skills to market yourself online. VM Direct is only one of many vehicles for wealth creation, and there are others that provide not only high quality and unique training, but offer you the ability to make larger up front commissions right away, while simultaneously creating a residual income stream. This is the true path to wealth.

Continue to do your research and due diligence. You will find the vehicle for your financial freedom and creating the life of your dreams.

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Benefits That We Get on Consulting Auto Accident Lawyers

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The figures are staggering but a bitter truth is that auto accidents are a major cause of death in America. Over 40,000 thousand people die every year due to this and the property damages bills to more than 150 dollars. For this huge loss of lives and to support the families of the dead, the law of personal injuries was introduced. According to this right, if you are injured due to negligence, carelessness or mistake of someone else, you will be liable for compensation.

Some of the causes for auto accidents are summarized below:

a) Bad driving or lack of training
b) Bad road condition
c) Trucks with overloaded goods
d) Bad maintenance of brakes
e) Bad level of visibility and driving conditions
f) Driver being tired or getting sleep.
g) Over speeding
h) Slippery roads
i) Not following traffic signals.

The above listed factors are the cause of auto accidents and the damage or injuries caused comes under personal injury. When anyone suffers or undergoes any such accident, the injury can be quite serious as well. This might cause the victim not able to continue with his work and loss of income. This is where the personal injury rights come into limelight. However, the paper works involved with the claims are not so easy. They are quite complicated and involve a lot of law clauses. So it is always better to consult auto accident lawyers. They are very well trained and experienced enough to handle these cases. There are many benefits that we get on consulting auto accident lawyers:

a) We can be sure of getting compensation from the other party, if we are sure that we are not at all guilty of the mishap.
b) The compensation includes the medical bills and hospital charges which lessens our burden.
c) The court charges and other expenses are also liable to be compensated.
d) On loss of work or income on the part of victim, the compensation can also include them.
e) The insurance companies might approach you for investigation. Here it is important that you follow the guidelines given by your personal injury lawyers.
f) They prove to be the perfect people when it comes to settlement out of the court.
g) The most important benefit you might get is the contingency mode of payment. This gives a lot of confidence and faith on the personal injury lawyers.

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Information Security – Online Training Programs

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Many companies and businesses make use of the internet and networking systems in order to produce, show, and store their work. With this comes the responsibility of not only keeping that information private but secure. Many accredited online colleges offer degree distinctions in information security to do just that. Students interested in the field have numerous options to choose from when deciding on a degree program.

Criminal activity online increases at about the same rate as technology and as a result numerous online schools are adding information security to their curriculum. Information breaches and theft cost companies millions of dollars each year in revenue. This fact has companies and businesses employing trained professionals to secure their information. Prospective students can gain training in the industry anywhere from a certificate to a master’s in the field.

Online certificate programs are a good choice for individuals who are already working in the field. They offer computer professionals an in depth study into their specialty. The goal of a certificate is to provide students with a narrow and focused skill within the industry. For example, students can gain a certificate in ethical hacking. A course like this would have students diving into the techniques used by hackers. These hackers are considered to be black hat hackers and students who are learning the exact same hacking skills are called white hat hackers. This means that students will take an ethical approach to hacking so that in the work place they can find the organization’s vulnerable areas and secure them. There are numerous online certificates available that allow students to study information security and that properly prepare them for work within the industry. Other certificates that can be taken are security architecture, intrusion prevention, and more.

A popular approach to schooling in this industry is gaining a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree builds a solid foundation to prepare students to work with companies and their online information. Online course work in this area typically centers on practical approaches to computer engineering, science, information security, technology security, communications, and more. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree should plan on committing on average of four years to their studies.

Some online schools offer a master’s degree or a doctorate in the field. Graduate study in this field is usually preceded by a of couple years of work experience. Many information security professionals gain a graduate degree in order to advance in the industry and earn promotions. Since both of these are graduate degree distinctions students will study advanced information security techniques. Courses will go into executive level skills, problem-solving abilities, and knowledge in managing a team and resources. Most graduate programs will take on average one to two years to complete.

A vast job market waits upon graduation. With more companies adding higher security regimes and needing trained individuals to secure their information, graduates will have very little difficulty securing a position. Students can become information systems directors, programmers, analysts, and more. Start training today by seeking out an accredited online program for information security that fits your career goals and schedule.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by

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Intellectual Property and International Law: What Every Business Should Know About Border Protection

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The saying once was that if you build a better mouse trap the world will beat a path to your door. Today, if you build a better mouse trap, your competition may beat a path to your customers’ doors. So, how are customers to identify your better mouse trap? Obviously a patent can offer protection as can a trademark. But what can you do if you are worried that your competitors will be outside the United States?

How will you keep a watch on all of your competitors? What if someone brings mouse traps just like yours into the country and sells them? What if a foreign competitor labels its mouse traps the same as yours and the purchasers think they are buying your product? How much will it cost to keep up with all of this information? Are there companies which can be hired to monitor the problem for you?

The solution to this serious problem is actually much less complicated and expensive than you might expect. Because of its unique position of monitoring imports and exports, the U.S. Customs Service can provide assistance. The procedure is to record your trademark, trade name, copyright, or patent information with the Customs Service. As each is different, each of the procedures and limitations will be reviewed.

Trademarks and Trade Names

If the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has registered a trademark, a status copy of the certificate of registration and five copies can be recorded with the Intellectual Property Rights Branch of the U.S. Customs Service.(1) The address will appear in the regulations published at 19 C.F.R. §§133.1 et seq. While no special application form is provided, the regulations do set out the information that must be included. The regulations require that 8 x 10 1/2 inch paper be used for the application. The current cost is $190 per class of goods based upon the classes listed on the certificate. The recordation remains in force concurrently with the 20-year trademark registration period and may be renewed. The regulations also establish rules for change of ownership of a recorded trademark.

There is no federal trade name registration without trademark registration, thus there is no certificate which can be issued for trade names. A trade name or trade style used for at least six months may be recorded to identify a manufacturer or trader. Trade names are different from trademarks although the same mark or symbol may be used for both purposes. If a symbol is also used as a trademark, it cannot be recorded with the Customs Service as a trade name without regard to whether or not the mark has been registered with the Patent and Trademark Office. In other words, the trademark protection is assumed to be adequate.

Because there is no central national registry for trade names registration, after an application to record the registration is filed, the proposed trade name is published in the Federal Register. Interested parties may oppose the recordation but, of course, this requires one to review the Federal Register.

After consideration of opposition, the Customs Service publishes a notice of final approval or disapproval in the Federal Register and the Customs Bulletin. This is very important as a Louisiana company which enjoys a state trade name registration with the secretary of state of Louisiana may lose the right to object to registration by someone from another state if the description of the products associated with the trade names are the same. Thereafter, if the Louisiana company attempts to import a product bearing its trade name into any state, including Louisiana, it could be barred from doing so because a company from another state has recorded its trade name with the Customs Service. Obviously, this can become a race to filing with Customs and the result in such a case would most likely be exclusion of the goods or the posting of a bond by the Louisiana company followed by litigation. Protection for a recorded trade name remains in force as long as the name is used but may be cancelled for disuse.

Protection for Trademarks and Trade Names

Regulations state that articles bearing a mark copying or simulating a registered trademark or trade name shall be denied entry and may be subject to forfeiture.The regulations, however, make a very important distinction between “simulating” marks, which are those which so resemble a recorded mark that it is likely to cause the public to associate the copying or simulating mark with the recorded mark or name, and a “counterfeit” trademark, which is indistinguishable from a registered trademark.

Foreign-made products bearing copying or simulated marks are subject to seizure and forfeiture as prohibited substitutions. There are, however, several exceptions, the most important relating to “gray market” goods. “Gray market” goods are goods made outside of the U.S. with the permission of the intellectual property owner or where there is a common ownership or control between the domestic and foreign producers but the product is imported into an unauthorized market (in this context usually the U.S.). This is a very ripe area for dispute, although the Customs Service has apparently decided not to be the arbitrator of disputes arising from conflicts between U.S. and foreign producers who should be working together.

When gray market goods enter the country, the owner of the recorded mark is notified and may resort to litigation. How does the Customs Service know what are “gray market” goods? A great deal of initial information will come from the application to record the trademark or trade name. Therefore, it is imperative in the application phase to determine the present or future possibility of gray market goods and to structure deals so the gray market goods exception does not render the protection useless.

Other exceptions include when the recordant itself imports goods, when the recordant gives written consent to importation, and when the objectionable mark can be removed or obliterated (this does not, however, apply to articles bearing counterfeit marks).

Special Rules for Counterfeit Goods

The regulations provide, in part, that if an article bears a mark which is counterfeit, in the absence of written consent of the trademark owner, the property shall be seized and forfeited.(2) After seizure, the registrant is notified of the seizure and of the quantity of goods. If the registrant does not provide written consent to importation, exportation, entry after removal of the mark, or other appropriate disposition, the goods are kept by the government, given to charities, or, if possible, sold. Because the regulations provide such harsh penalties against counterfeit goods, most violators take great care to make their marks “simulating” rather than “counterfeiting,” with the hope that, if caught, they can remove the marks and avoid forfeiture. Thus, in order to obtain the fullest protection, a recordant must recognize that the mere recordation will not solve all potential problems and one may still have to seek a court order in the event Customs determines a mark to be simulating as opposed to a true counterfeit.

Anticounterfeiting Consumer Protection Act of 1996

On July 2, 1996, President Clinton signed the Anticounterfeiting Consumer Protection Act of 1996. Section 3 of the Act establishes counterfeiting and the trafficking of goods bearing counterfeit marks as a racketeering crime. Like any other criminal law, one can conspire to and attempt to violate the law. Further, since criminal law is involved, this opens the door for civil penalties as well. Section 10 of the Act modifies 19 U.S.C. §1526 to state that any person who directs, assists financially or otherwise, or aids and abets the importation of merchandise for sale or public distribution that is seized, shall be subject to a civil fine. What is missing from the civil penalties subsection are words such as “knowingly” and “intentionally” so those involved in importation must do what they can not to assist, aid, or abet. Attorneys, C.P.A.s, freight forwarders, customs brokers, bankers, and just about everyone involved must now do their part to stop trafficking in counterfeit goods or face penalties. This also includes owners of vessels, vehicles, and aircraft, as §13 of the Act forbids unlawful use of these in violation of the criminal provisions. Violations could lead to seizure of the vessels, vehicles, and aircraft, as is common in drug matters.

The Act is further strengthened by §§11 and 12, which call for public disclosure of aircraft manifests, and by allowing the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe new regulations for entry documentation to determine if the goods sought to be imported bear an infringing trademark. One must remember to check for new regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register before taking any actions.

Goods Already Passed Through Customs

Another powerful regulation is 19 C.F.R. §133.24, which allows for a demand for redelivery after release of the merchandise. If goods were released by Customs and the recordant discovers this, the port director (a Customs official) is to make demand on the importer for redelivery of the goods. If they are not redelivered, i.e., have already been sold, a claim for liquidated damages may be made.

Copyright Protection

Claims to copyrights which have been registered in accordance with the Copyright Act of July 1947, or the Copyright Act of 1976, may be recorded with Customs for import protection. An application to record a copyright must include a statement of actual or potential injury, the country of manufacture of the genuine copies or phonorecords, along with information identifying the copyright owner and all foreign persons or entities authorized or licensed to use the protected work.(3) An “additional certificate” of copyright registration issued by the U.S. Copyright Office must also accompany the application and five photocopies of the copyrighted work (except where the copyright covers a book, magazine, periodical, or similar matter readily identifiable by title or author). The recordation remains in effect for 20 years, unless the copyright ownership expires before that time.

As with trademarks and trade names, importation of infringing copies is prohibited. If the port director determines that an imported article is an infringing copy or phonorecord, it will be seized and the importer notified. The importer is then given an opportunity to contest the allegation that the article infringes a recorded copyright. If the importer contests the allegation, the copyright owner is supplied with a sample and notice that the copyright owner must demand exclusion, post a bond, and submit legal briefs, evidence, and other pertinent material to substantiate infringement. The burden of proof is on the copyright owner.

The copyright infringement procedure is as complicated as any administrative matter and there are important deadlines and cutoff dates which must be complied with. If the material is found to infringe on the copyright, the works are destroyed unless some “conditional” relief is possible. One such relief is to allow articles seized or detained to be returned to the country of export if the importer can show that he or she had no reasonable grounds for believing that his her actions constituted a violation. If articles infringing on a copyright have already cleared customs, the port director is promptly to demand redelivery, subject to a claim for liquidated damages if the articles are not redelivered.

The Anticounterfeiting Consumer Protection Act of 1996 provides criminal and civil protection for phonorecords, computer programs, packaging, and documentation, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works.

Patent Protection: Patent Surveys

The first requirement is that the patent be issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of the Department of Commerce. Since patents are more complicated than trademarks or trade names, obviously the Customs Service cannot check each item to determine how it works and if there is a violation of a patent. Some patent infringements may be quite obvious, while others may be quite difficult to detect. Thus, the Customs Service has only limited authority to assist patent owners and more active participation by the patent owner is required.

The remedies for patent owners are exclusion orders and seizure and/or forfeiture orders issued by the International Trade Commission under §337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. These orders are issued as remedies against the sale after importation of articles which infringe upon a patent or registered copyright, or which are made by a process covered by the claims of a patent. The major problem for U.S. patent owners is discovering who is infringing on the patent. The U.S. Customs Service can assist by providing the patent owner with the names and addresses of importers of merchandise which appears to infringe a registered patent.

Applications for patent surveys require the name of the patent owner, a certified copy of the patent, with additional photocopies, a statement of the requested length of the survey (two, four, or six months), and a list of all merchandise which is believed to infringe the patent, or in which it is a possible component part. Additional required information is the Harmonized Tariff System classification number, trade names, trademarks, and a statement of the manner in which the patent is used. Also required is a sample chemical analysis or other information used to identify the patented product or process. The Customs Service also requires identification of any information supplied in the patent survey application which is confidential or privileged.

The present costs of patent surveys are $1,000, for two months, $1,500, for four months, and $2,000, for six months. The more complicated the patented product or process, the more the patent owner will need to discuss the survey with Customs to better learn how to show the Customs officers what to look for in potential violations. If a patent survey demonstrates possible infringement, the evidence may be used to bring an action before the International Trade Commission.


The possible protection which the U.S. Customs Service has to offer U.S. trade name, trademark, copyright, and patent owners is not only unique, but is highly cost effective. Accordingly, businesses simply cannot ignore these forms of protection. This is particularly so for small to medium size businesses which cannot afford any reasonable alternative.

(1) 15 U.S.C. §1124.

(2) 19 C.F.R. §133.23a.

(3) 19 C.F.R. §133.32.

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5 Most Common Side Effects of Cancer Treatment And Their Management Strategies

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More than 2 million people around the world are diagnosed with cancer each year. Depending on the type of cancer that they suffer from, oncologists may suggest a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, stem cells transplant, or immunotherapy as a part of the treatment plan.

Each cancer patient and their family members end up spending thousands of dollars to seek good quality cancer treatment. However, there is more than just the financial expenses. They also end up losing a big chunk of their physical and mental energy, primarily because of the aftermath of the cancer treatment.

Cancer treatment often produces a series of side effects that patients find difficult to deal with. Not all patients experience these side effects, but those who do have no idea how they should manage them to make their lives easier.

Cancer treatment side effects can not only make the patient uncomfortable and worst if they are not able to stick to their treatment protocol. In fact, the side effects may even reduce the effectiveness of the treatment if nothing is done to manage them.

The following are some of the most common side effects of cancer treatment and the ways to manage them:

#1: Fatigue

It is estimated that more than 70 percent of the cancer patients experience fatigue after undergoing cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Fatigue that is not controlled by resting often ends up affecting the way how the patient conducts his or her daily activities after the treatment.

The following strategies can help manage fatigue after cancer treatment:

  • Reduce your workload
  • Rest whenever you feel tired
  • Exercise everyday
  • Take a nutritious diet

#2: Hair loss

Hair loss is one of the most common side effects experienced by cancer patients after chemotherapy. The high dose of drugs destroy the rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells and hair roots. This is the reason why cancer patients may lose hair from their scalp, armpits, eyebrows, eyelashes, and private regions.

Even though hair grows back normally in a few months the following strategies can help manage hair loss after chemotherapy:

  • Use a hat, scarf, or wig to cover your scalp.
  • Try cooling the scalp.
  • If approved by the doctor, take the drug minoxidil.
  • Let hair fall out on their own without getting yourself stressed. They will grow back eventually.

#3: Diarrhea

Some drugs used to treat specific types of cancer may affect the intestines. The active ingredient contained in the drug may react with the enzymes produced by the intestinal bacteria and cause discomfort and diarrhea is one of them. This side effect is reported in almost 30 percent of the cancer patients.

Here are some of the strategies to manage diarrhea resulting out of cancer treatment:

  • Only eat food items that are easy to digest
  • Avoid fiber-rich foods as they can worsen diarrhea
  • Increase your fluid intake

#4: Decreased libido and sex drive

Some patients may experience sexual dysfunction after cancer treatment. This is especially true in the case of patients who have had received treatment for cancers related to the bladder, prostate, colon, and rectum. However, this side effect is not just restricted to males. Females, too, can experience sexual dysfunction after receiving therapies for breast, ovarian, or cervical cancer.

Cancer treatment decreases sexual drive by affecting the nerves, hormones, and vessels that control sexual activity and mechanism. In addition, increased stress and anxiety can also hamper sexual activity of the cancer patient.

The following strategies can help manage sexual dysfunction in cancer patients:

  • Sildenafil (Viagra) administration for treatment of erectile dysfunction in males
  • Women are advised to talk to their doctor about the changes in their sexual drive

#5: Itchiness and redness

Sometimes the drugs administered may react internally and cause an irritation of the skin. This may lead to excessive dryness, redness, and itchiness. In addition to the changes related to the skin, the nails may become pale, brittle, and dark because of the chemotherapy drugs.

The following strategies can help manage changes related to the skin and nails:

  • Use mild and fragrance-free lotions, soaps, or cream. It can help treat minor irritation to the skin.
  • Certain drugs such as cyclophosphamide and methotrexate can cause dark or golden pigmentation. Ask your doctor for more information.
  • Some doctors ask the patient to wear frozen mittens during chemotherapy. It is believed that it helps drugs from reaching the hand.
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