The IP goals of startups may vary greatly from those of midsize and large firms. But all companies play by the same legal rules, and companies at every level should consider the best ways to employ and navigate those rules.
Patents and Copyrights
Common IP questions that arise for my clients include:
- Should I file a patent application?
- What’s the best form of IP filing for my product or service offering?
- How well-protected am I from claims of copyright or patent infringement, and how would I respond if I’m accused of infringement?
In addition, there are many basic issues business owners and managers often neglect. For example, many startup and midsize business have a thin grasp on how their IP rights stand in comparison to their employees’ rights or to the rights granted to them by their third-party licensors.
Agreements, Policies, and Procedures
Further, it’s common for companies of all sizes to enter into discussions or full-on collaboration with other companies with little to no thought on how IP rights should be recorded and apportioned. Some businesspeople avoid entering into reasonable and beneficial agreements because they don’t want to deal with lawyers. And I’ve also seen examples of companies signing off on apparently harmless agreements that they come to regret years later.
Eventually, real dangers can arise when unasked questions and unaddressed issues (that could have been handled with basic procedures and policies) start to pile up. Owners my find themselves unprepared and in a reactive mode against a well-prepared counterparty.
I have many years of experience helping clients address these problems and more, and my approach is pragmatic and straightforward. If you have any questions along these lines, please get in touch.