How Startup Founders Can Stay on the Right Side of the Law

In the passionate rush it takes to get a startup to market, legal issues can often be overlooked. Here are some things to consider if you want to optimize the trajectory of your startup.

Resolving Patent Disputes that Impede Innovation

Technical standards both spur innovation and protect the innovators, but abuses in the intellectual property protection system threaten US competitiveness. Josh Lerner and Jean Tirole discuss remedies.

The Impact of Bankruptcy Laws on Startups

Entrepreneurship is widely recognized as one of the most important drivers of economic growth. But it’s also risky: The majority of new ventures fail, and many end in bankruptcy. Given that track record, when entrepreneurs consider a new international market, they regularly weigh such factors as logistics and differences in cultural attitudes and financial regulations.

But according to this paper, business owners would do well to … [ Read more ]

3 Must-Have Business Agreements

It’s a good idea for small business owners to put agreements in writing. Here are three agreements that you should definitely consider getting in writing.

How to Get Your Sheet Together

An entrepreneur with a term sheet for investment has a range of decisions to make. Among the most important is which points to negotiate and which points to leave alone. You cannot negotiate every point or you will (a) drive away the investor and (b) fail to concentrate your firepower on terms that do matter.

How to Read a Term Sheet

Looking for venture capital? Don’t be so quick to sign on the dotted line. Here’s what you need to know about liquidation preferences and preferred stock.

Protect Your Business Brand: The Proper Use of Trademarks

I know that proper use of trademarks and service marks gets confusing for many entrepreneurs. The following is a simple and handy guide on the proper use of the marks in your business. It’s important to review your website and marketing material and make sure that you are preserving potential legal protection for your marks

Properly Documenting the Creation of Your Startup’s IP

If you think that you and your employees may be creating valuable IP, it is well worth the effort to require good idea and invention record keeping — from the start.

The Funded Publishes Ideal First Round Term Sheet

TechCrunch gives an overview of and link to a new basic term sheet for use by investors and founders, authored by Adeo Ressi, founder of The Funded, a site where people rate venture capitalists .

Top 10 Ideas for Restarting an IP Program

Bill Meade explains how organizations should approach reigniting intellectual property programs. Most organizations have IP programs languishing on their books. Bill specializes in turning these programs into steamroller, competitive advantages.

E-Mail Archives And Litigation: Here’s How To Get It Right

Failure to manage e-mail can cost millions in court. A popular framework (EDRM)and an archiving system can help get your house in order–and pay dividends in the legal realm and beyond.

The Tie-In Decision

There are many strategic product decisions business managers must make regarding product offerings, price and pricing structures, product characteristics and quality, research and development, and marketing, among other things. Included in these strategic considerations is how to sell one’s products. It is not uncommon for a manufacturer to choose to “tie” its consumers’ purchase of one product to a required purchase of another. For example, … [ Read more ]

Due Diligence of Intellectual Property in Mergers and Acquisitions: Integrating Information Technology Policies and Procedures

This article discusses the issues for a company, and its counsel, to consider when inheriting different policies and procedures for information technology after a merger or acquisition. This article also includes a practical guide to integrating such policies and procedures and timing suggestions for completing the necessary steps. The article will also address special topics such as privacy policies, open source issues, and export compliance. … [ Read more ]

Patent Issues Relating to Acquisitions: Conducting Intellectual Property Due Diligence

Thorough and comprehensive Intellectual Property (IP) due diligence requires much more than compiling a listing of the company’s IP assets. Rather, IP due diligence requires assessing the strength of the company’s IP rights in the marketplace, the strength of the competitors’ rights in the marketplace, and the effect of the IP on the base company’s products and other IP rights. [Hat Tip to themanager.org]

Ten Questions with Fred Greguras of Fenwick and West

Fred Greguras is a partner at the Silicon Valley law firm of Fenwick and West. In this interview, Guy Kawasaki asks him to answer the most common questions of newbie entrepreneurs.

VCs & Tech Lawyers: INNOVATE, AUTOMATE, SIMPLIFY

Dave McClure blogs about how venture capitalists and associated lawyers have failed to embrace the technological advances that have helped nearly every other aspect of the business world.

Outsourcing Your Creative Work? Overlooking Copyright Issues Can Cause Legal Woes

Corporations today deal with an incredible number of contractual relationships. However, copyright issues and the assignment of rights are often neglected when using outside firms to create graphic design work, advertising, or to handle web development. While many top level executives understand the value of the intellectual property and copyrightable material they may create – and they work furiously to protect it – these same … [ Read more ]

Copyright Explained: I May Copy It, Right?

If you’re blogging, or even thinking about it, this is a clearly-written, concise resource on understanding copyright issues.