Treadmill Desks Assist Small Businesses in Lowering Cost of Health Care

Walking has been shown clinically to prevent the onset of our nations leading diseases including Type 2 diabetes and some of the most virulent strains of cancer. Consistent daily walking has been shown as an effective means of warding off disease, maintaining health and significantly decreasing the need for medical treatment, yet most Americans walk much less than the minimum recommended guidelines of 10,000 steps a day set by the Surgeon General due to the sedentary nature of our employment. As a result we have an overweight population with all of the health concerns that accompany issues of obesity.The National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) reports that total spending on health care was $2.3 trillion last year, equivalent to $7600 per person. Health insurance premiums for a family of four sky rocketed to $12,100 during this same period and single coverage premiums averaged more than $4,400 annually.One tactic to save on health care is to buy high deductible “catastrophic” health insurance which is significantly less expensive (as much as 50%-75% less) however this strategy must be combined with a commitment towards exercise and a healthy lifestyle.The good news is that exercise does not have to be overly strenuous. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that walking three times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes reduces the risk of mortality from disease by 57%.Unfortunately 2/3 of the American population is now categorized as overweight according to the CDC and less than 10% of the population is exercising on a regular basis. While Congress must focus on ridding our health care system of excessive administrative costs, fraud and mismanagement there must also be a call for personal action. Prevention through a healthier lifestyle and exercise should play an integral role in our growing health care crisis but few politicians wish to risk the backlash of telling Americans they need to get out of their chairs and start moving.Desperate for answers, some state governments are considering instituting a “carrot and stick approach” to medical insurance programs. Alabama recently enacted a $300.00 annual increase for health care premiums to state employees that do not meet minimum health requirements and are unwilling to join their state wellness plan. Other nations are instituting more stringent guidelines as well. Japan has implemented a national program fining corporations if their employees do not meet specific weight and waistline guidelines.Rising health care costs and insurance premiums are taking the availability of health care out of the hands of millions and placing a tremendous burden on our economy according to the NCHC, accounting for approximately 16% of our current GDP and expected to rise to 20% of GDP in eight years.Now that health care costs are rising at 2-3 times the rate of inflation an emphasis on prevention seems more critical now more than ever before. Treadmill desks offer a solution which empowers employees to take control of their personal health and reduce their costs of medical care at the same time.

Unitary Patent System

Until now, the long awaited Unitary Patent System, along with the proposed centralised European patent litigation system seemed like something of a distant reality. However, a number of recent developments have seen the System take one step closer to being brought into effect, and it is hoped that the first unitary patent will be registered in 2014.The Unitary Patent System and the European Unitary (EU) Patent:Part of the proposed system is the introduction of the European unitary (EU) patent. The proposed EU patent is closely related to, but different from the European patent, which is granted under the European Patent Convention. European patents, once granted, become a bundle of nationally enforceable patents, in the states designated by the applicant.At present, European patents (once granted) require validating in each EPO member state for which the patent proprietor seeks patent protection. Validation requires payment of the associated fees, and can require a full translation of the patent specification into the national, official language. Accordingly, validation can be costly, coupled with the need to appoint a national representative to act on applicant’s behalf. Further costs arise annually with renewal fees being payable in each member state in which the patent is validated.It is proposed that the new EU patent will, once granted and at the proprietor’s request, become a European patent having unitary effect. The application and examination procedure will be identical to that of European patents, until such time that the patent is granted. However, it will be during the post-grant phase that the process will differ, with the proprietor being presented with the opportunity to opt for a European unitary patent with unitary protection (in all member states participating in the system), instead of the usual European patent with individual territorial protection. The new process would also provide for the patent proprietor to combine both schemes, i.e. to request a European patent in a selection of member states party to the European Patent Convention and not of the unitary patent system (at the time of writing, of the 27 EU countries, only Italy and Spain are not party to the unitary patent system), and a unitary patent in those states party to the unitary patent system, thus providing the proprietor with much flexibility.The EU patent, if introduced, will provide proprietors with the benefit of a simplified validation procedure, as well as fewer translation and renewal requirements. It is further hoped that the new system will help in making patent protection more accessible, particularly to SMEs, and in making Europe more attractive to inventors, both those within Europe and across the world. The EU patent is awaited with much anticipation, as it has been since it was first discussed way back in the 1970s…The Centralised European Patent Litigation System (Unitary Patents Court):A second aspect of the proposed system is the introduction of a centralised European patent litigation system. The centralised system is intended to provide a mechanism by which patent proprietors will have greater legal certainty, particularly in relation to infringement and revocation proceedings concerning European patents (and the new European unitary patent). It is also hoped that a centralised system will significantly reduce patent litigation costs, eliminating the need to conduct litigation in each member state of interest (and under the current system, where the patent has been validated). And yet given the major advantages such a system would bring, it is the introduction of the centralised European patent litigation system that has stalled the introduction of the unitary patent system as a whole.The reasons for the delay are numerous, not least due to a decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that the introduction of the European Unified Patent Court (a substantial part of the proposed system) would be incompatible with the European Union.The proposed Regulation on the creation of the unitary patent system may change as a result of this judgement, with the European Council (which represents the governments of the Member States of the European Union) suggesting a number of alterations in a recent statement, published on the 29 June 2012. The European Council recommended the deletion of three provisions, Articles 6 to 8 of the Regulation, which define the acts which constitute infringement of a unitary patent. Deletion of these Articles is thought to remove the possibility of the Unified Patent Court making referrals on substantive patent law to the CJEU. If these recommendations are adopted, the result will likely be that the CJEU will have no jurisdiction in UPC cases. Whether the CJEU adopts this is yet to be seen.The plans were further stalled on the issue of the location of a central divisional court. However a recent development appears to suggest that progress in respect of the introduction of a Unified Patent Court is gradually taking place. In its statement of 29 June 2012, the European Council also reported that the Unified Patent Court is to be headquartered in Paris. It further reported that the central court will be supported by two specialist courts residing in London (for pharmaceutical related cases) and Munich (for mechanical engineering cases). It has been suggested that the Unified Patent Court, if introduced, will have the jurisdiction to hear issues relating to European Patents granted under the European Patent Convention and also those patents granted under the new unitary right.The final decision now rests with the European Parliament, which in combination with the European Council forms part of the two-part legislative framework of the European Union. This too has been delayed, largely due to the recent announcement of the European Council, as set out above.The European Parliament was due to vote on the unitary system on the 4 July 2012, however, the vote was postponed while the European Parliament decides whether the CJEU can be excluded from the unitary system. It is not yet known when the European Parliament will vote on the introduction of the system. Until then, the launch of a unitary patent system hangs in the balance pending the approval of the European Parliament.

Why Worry About Board Up Services?

Your home or business has been damaged by fire, flooding, or some other natural disaster. There are definitely areas that are exposed, and you’re waiting on your insurance to get started with the restoration process. What do you need to do while you’re waiting to get an answer about everything?

Emergency board up services are something that you may want to consider for the “in between” time. Why would you go through the time and money to get these additional services before you even start the restoration process? Here are some of the benefits of it.

Prevent Theft

One reason to consider board up services is because you don’t want robbers and thieves thinking that they have an easy target to go after. If you leave parts of your home or business open and vulnerable, it’s going to be simple for those people to waltz in there and take whatever they want that is still intact after your disaster. Boarding up your doors and windows, along with any gaps in the walls, can deter potential thieves and keep whatever is left at your property as safe as possible.

Prevent Rain, Snow, and Wind from Damaging the Property Further

All year long, rain and snowstorms can be a bit of an issue if your home or business is left open to the elements. In those cases, it’s going to be in your best interest to connect with emergency board up services as soon as you can. The last thing you need is for your restoration company to get into your home or business to find additional water, or to have to dig out several inches of snow before they start working. It can also prevent wind from going through your home or business, which also prevents additional damage from occurring during that waiting period.

Stop Animals from Getting Inside

Lastly, board up services can easily prevent animals from coming into your home or business. Many animal species are incredibly smart and opportunistic, and they may see your currently empty building as a great place for them to set up a den or shelter. But, if your home or business is boarded up, they will have fewer ways to get inside. Smaller animals may still find nooks and crannies where they can get in, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for them when you move back in. But, at least squirrels and mice are easier and safer to deal with than say, a raccoon, bear, or deer.

If you get professionals to board up your property, you can rest easy and know your home or business is safe, and that’s the bottom line. Many companies that sort out restoration services will also do everything that they can in order to board up and protect your home or business until they can start the restoration process. You just need to get in touch with them and let them know what sort of help you’ll need to take care of everything related to your home or business