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) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Are "summer Fridays" better for business?

Join the discussion on writer

Laura Vanderkam's

blog post arguing that businesses would be more productive if they instilled a perk such as "summer Fridays," meaning "closing down around lunch once a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day."

Only 12% of employed adults officially get this perk, according to a survey done by

Ultimat Vodka

, Vanderkam writes.

Let's face it, employees tend to use work hours for personal time or Web surfing anyway, so why not implement a policy that formalizes a perk such as summer Fridays so employees will be incentivized to make the most of their workweeks?

"In general, summer Fridays (or even four-day weeks) are perks that don't cost much, and might save you money with reduced absenteeism," she writes.

2. Pinterest rising in popularity among consumer shoppers.

Shoppers are engaging with Pinterest more than


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, according to a May survey released by the

National Retail Federation


"Pinterest has given retailers another channel to 'listen' to and interact with both existing and new customers, telling an ongoing visual story through images of their products and their brand 'spirit' -- a story that customers can then tell again to their friends and family members," Executive Director Vicki Cantrell said in a press release.

The "visually appealing" social media site has become a big player in the retail world, according to the

2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study

, conducted in partnership with the NRF's,


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and The Partnering Group. Consumers reported that they followed an average of 9.3 retailers on the site vs. 6.9 businesses on Facebook and 8.5 retailers on Twitter.

3. Tech start-ups aren't applying for patents.

A report by RJ Metrics founder Robert Moor and patent lawyer Leonid Kravets found that since 2005, tech start-ups are less likely to apply for patents, according to



Of the investment-backed companies that do apply for patents, they are primarily in the semiconductor industry. E-commerce businesses are the least likely to apply for patents, the


article says.

The article notes that applying for a patent is strongly influenced by the investor who is backing the company as well as industry. Investment firms that have at least 100 companies in their portfolios, those with the most "patent pursuers," were

DAG Ventures


Menlo Ventures


Kleiner Perkins


Two "outspoken anti-software-patent" investors with few patent-seekers in their portfolio were Brad Feld of

Foundry Group

and Fred Wilson of

Union Square Ventures


"Despite the overall decline in application activity, those companies that have chosen to pursue patents have done so more aggressively than ever. This is indicative of the increasing dichotomy in the marketplace, in which some thought leaders are actively speaking out against certain types of patents while patent portfolios are being bought and sold for lucrative amounts," the article says.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to:!/LKulikowski

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