September, 2011 | The Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan

Legal Representation Upholds a Landowner’s Oil & Gas Rights and Interests

Oil and gas leases are complex agreements that a landowner should obtain legal guidance before signing. Every week Texas courtrooms are filled with land and mineral rights owners being denied royalties or payments, and having their property not properly being drilled. Oil and gas leases define each party’s rights, obligations, and privileges. A recent news story out of Jefferson County, Texas highlights how even though there was a lease agreement in existence since 1933, seven people have allegedly been denied payments by BP and Cimarex Energy. BP has already requested a change of venue, and all the while, these individuals wait for their share of the royalties from the oil and gas produced on their 156 acres.

Without good legal representation, unfortunately many people can experience similar problems. The terms and conditions of an oil and gas lease are lengthy, and one nuance can negatively impact not only the landowner but future generations for many years to come. Oil and gas leases oftentimes change owners multiple times before the land is drilled. A qualified Texas oil and gas attorney can review a lease to make sure it adequately compensates a landowner and will be environmentally responsible with their land.

There are numerous areas that an experienced Austin oil and gas lawyer may be able to assist you with. Some of the questions that a skilled Austin, Texas oil and gas lawyer can help you consider are:
– What is the identity of the company acquiring the lease?
– What is their experience and operator history through the Texas Railroad Commission?
– What types of bonuses, royalty fractions, primary terms, delay rentals and shut-in royalties are appropriate in your area?
– Are these terms properly defined and are there proper lease termination provisions in place? Have you optimized your ability to obtain and collect royalties if there is production?
– Are the royalties being paid on the appropriate terms, as opposed to net proceeds from the well?
– Has the land been properly described so that it does not absorb contiguous tracts of land you may own?
– Has the lease been restricted to only oil and gas, or does it cover other mineral rights?
– Have drilling operations been properly defined?
– What rights are there with respect to pooling and depth severance?
– Are there surface rights that need protecting and have adequate protections been put in place?
– Are pipeline requirements sufficient for your intended use of the property?
– Is a surface damage agreement appropriate and does it adequately compensate for inflation?
– Will you be provided with information that the lessee should make available to you?

Having oil and gas on a piece of property can mean big financial gains for a landowner. But as this blog shows, it is critical to get a skilled Texas oil and gas lawyer to make sure a landowner’s rights and best interests are upheld. To learn more, contact Austin oil and gas attorney Gregory D. Jordan at (512) 419-0684.

Dr Pepper Lawsuit Highlights the Complexities of a Licensing Agreement

As Dr Pepper takes one of its bottlers to court, it brings up the importance of franchisees knowing the ins and outs of their licensing agreement. In Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. (DPS) v. Dr Pepper Bottling Company of Dublin, Texas, the parent company says that Dublin Dr Pepper is violating its licensing agreement. DPS owns the brand and trademarks associated with the popular soda. It has relationships with 170 bottlers throughout North America, and allows them to sell the soda with approved bottles and cans with strictly authorized logos and trademarks.

In its complaint, DPS claims the actions of Dublin Dr Pepper, “…harm the brand and its trademarks by creating confusion as to the quality, source, and origin of the brand and its trademarks and creating the potential for erosion of the trademark and brand recognition, loyalty, and value.” Dublin Dr Pepper is selling retro bottles with six different designs that remind consumers of soda fountains, use patriotic and Texas designs, and promote Dublin, Texas. The Dublin bottler is the oldest DPS bottler in the U.S. and wants to emphasize the fact that it has been open since 1891 and still uses cane sugar to sweeten the soda.

DPS acknowledges that from time to time it has special campaigns with retro and unique logos, but asserts that Dublin Dr Pepper has done this for too long and additionally sells unapproved merchandise with the coveted logo. DPS also has issue with the fact that Dublin is selling its goods online and throughout the U.S., encroaching on other bottlers’ defined territories.

When it comes to operating an entity that licenses products from another, it is important to have legal representation so that questions related to intellectual property, license agreements and contracts, and actions with competitors are addressed early on before disputes arise.

Licensing agreements can be extraordinarily complex as there are many factors and competing concerns that must be addressed. Furthermore, situations change with time. For an entity like Dublin Dr Pepper that has been in business since 1891, this can mean vast changes over the life of the business.

If a dispute arises over a licensing agreement that your business is involved in, it is recommended to retain a skilled business litigation attorney who is experienced in this area. To learn more, contact Austin business litigation attorney and Austin business lawyer Gregory D. Jordan at (512) 419-0684.

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