To help explain the complexities of the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s new inter partes review (IPR) process, Perkins Coie has developed a short animated video that walks viewers step-by-step through the entire process.
A nondisclosure agreement (or “NDA”) is a contract illustrating how confidential information will be shared and protected by two or more parties.
Lawyers will tell you it’s important to incorporate your company as soon as you possibly can to avoid personal liability and to settle all outstanding matters among the founders. That’s good advice, but the place to start is with a Term Sheet for the incorporation.
Founders are often reminded, “great companies are bought, not sold” – emphasizing the importance of focusing on the business rather than the exit plan. True enough, but founders can help themselves through an early understanding the levers for buyers in their industry. Knowing that can help entrepreneurs position their companies for a successful sale – and it may also cause them to focus their startup in a different way.
Starting a consumer-facing technology company or developing a new application to make a consumer’s life easier or more fun is an exciting journey. At this stage, you are all about the development, getting the product or service to market, and making sure it can scale. But neglecting the privacy implications of your product or service during the development stage is a big mistake that will come back to haunt you later.
Imagine, for example, that your dream of building a great company has come true and you are faced with an acquisition offer. During the customary due diligence phase, you quickly discover that your privacy house is not in order. Why?
Never Do Tomorrow What You Can Do Today – Make Sure Your Agreements Assign Intellectual Property Presently!
Founders should make sure that their companies’ agreements assign intellectual property presently. In other words, an agreement should provide that the assigning party (the “assignor”) “hereby assigns” to the company the intellectual property in question.
“This deal is standard. Let’s close TODAY!!” We’ve heard this so many times only to find out that the early stage technology start-up hasn’t fully protected its intellectual property and, as a result, funding gets delayed, or in some extreme cases, even cancelled.
It is important for founders and IP owners to be wary of the practice derogatorily referred to as “patent trolling.” This practice occurs when a company that has a patent right, either through development or acquisition, enforces those rights against other businesses in an opportunistic manner and typically without any intention to practice, manufacture or market the patented invention.