Articles Posted in Intellectual Property

AdobeStock_114356861-300x200The term “startup” refers to a company in the initial stages of its operations, usually founded by one or more entrepreneurs aiming to develop a product or service, while having high costs and limited revenue. The first thing any startup founder will need to do is hire experienced Austin startup attorneys for assistance navigating the many challenges that will arise in the early stages of operations.

You will want to have a lawyer working with you early on because it will save you a lot on costs on the frontend, ensure the entity is properly formed and maintained, and establish an effective legal strategy as operations evolve. Make sure you are working with an attorney who understands the complexity of laws relating to startups and the relevant industry.

Early Startup Challenges

AdobeStock_398358954-300x200Most businesses in California have confidential and valuable information to protect. Ensuring its protection is often a vital priority. In the ordinary course of business, companies will enter into numerous consulting agreements, service agreements and strategic alliances. These agreements are best made with the advice of a Los Angeles employment attorney who can help protect proprietary information by drafting enforceable non-disclosure agreements.

NDAs and best practices

The proper use of NDAs and noncompete clauses is to protect your company’s valuable proprietary information. NDAs can be used to safeguard trade secrets, and this is their preferred mode of operation. Nonetheless, if your company wants to protect trade secrets, you must show that you made some effort to protect those secrets. Informing hires that they will have access to proprietary trade secrets and signing an agreement not to divulge those trade secrets makes the effort enforceable and shows your company took measures to protect their intellectual property.

AdobeStock_507078931-300x169In the twenty-first century, information is power. Businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in the race to create, maintain and protect information. These challenges have become painfully obvious in recent years. Business owners have had to move their operations to an entirely remote format while still maintaining cybersecurity. Cybersecurity has been breached in multiple brazen attacks against some of the country’s largest companies. Information security can no longer be taken for granted by any successful business. The key to success starts with the right human infrastructure within your organization. The right Chief Information Officer can protect your company’s confidential client information, intellectual property, and trade secrets to prevent the legal liability and bad publicity that comes with a data breach.

How Corporate Information Changed During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The global economy has become increasingly interconnected in the early twenty-first. Business moved online as companies have expanded their reach across the world. For most companies, however, these online operations were merely supplemental to a workforce that primarily operated in person. All of that changed with the coronavirus pandemic. Suddenly, businesses were forced to move their operations entirely online if they wanted to survive. Data had to be secured to allow employees to work remotely via Zoom, Skype, WebEx, Facetime, and other video conferencing services. Two+ years into the pandemic, it seems clear that remote work will become more and more popular in the years to come. Businesses must find a way to facilitate this major change while ensuring the security of their data.

AdobeStock_141334922-300x200For many businesses, intellectual property will be their most valuable asset.  Licensing your IP to other businesses is a lucrative way to earn a passive income. Patents are the most common way to earn revenue from your IP, but copyrights and trademarks can also earn revenue.  Nevertheless, there are pitfalls here and you want to ensure that your interests are protected when you license your IP to another company.  In this article, Structure Law Group’s Los Angeles IP attorney will discuss how to protect yourself when licensing out your intellectual property.

IP license agreements and chain of title

Intellectual property is licensed out to another business using a licensing form.  The form, which can likely be downloaded somewhere online, creates a contract between you and the licensee for use.  However, license templates found online will not necessarily protect your company’s interests when licensing your IP.

AdobeStock_399603265-scaled-e1661534259751-300x195Here is a checklist for buyer’s counsel to use when conducting a legal due diligence review of intellectual property (IP) and information technology (IT) matters as part of a merger or acquisition (an M&A transaction). The checklist covers common areas of due diligence concerning intellectual property (IP) and information technology (IT) matters in relation to a merger or acquisition (an M&A transaction).

When you are preparing for any kind of M&A transaction, you will want to be sure that you retain legal counsel for assistance with many of these concerns. A Silicon Valley business law attorney with Structure Law Group, LLP can be by your side the entire time and ensure that you achieve the most favorable end result.

Common Pitfalls or Deal Breakers

AdobeStock_268338488-300x191California business owners know that social media marketing is the way to reach today’s consumers. Many businesses have sought to and built successful relationships with social media influencers for effective content creation. However, there are legal issues that can arise in such business relationships. The Los Angeles business lawyers at Structure Law Group can help you prevent problems in the following areas:

Written Contracts

Some influencers have pre-printed contracts that they use as a standard for all transactions while others expect the business owner to take the lead in drafting contract terms. In either event, it is imperative that business owners carefully consider all the legal implications of a commission/commissioned work or contractual relationship of this type. Many contractual relationship problems can be prevented with unambiguous terms written into an enforceable legal contract. Here is just a small list of the terms that should be considered when entering into this type of contractual relationship:

AdobeStock_476679934-300x200NFT’s are a popular new digital asset. Here in Silicon Valley, tech-savvy business owners want to be at the forefront of this cutting-edge technology. Like an asset, however, it is important to understand the product before investing in it or pouring resources into it for technical development of some new business venture. Poor investments can leave business owners to answer to disgruntled shareholders, investors, employees, customers, and even government regulators, including lawsuits, class action suits, and regulatory or administrative investigations and action. Learn more about NFT’S – and what your business needs to do to invest in them safely.

What Are NFT’s?

NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” An NFT is a unique piece of digital artwork that is sold online. As with cryptocurrency, NFT ownership is recorded in a digital ledger on the blockchain of some type. NFT’s can be resold. Because of this, an owner can capture appreciation by reselling the NFT’s. NFT’s can also be used for secondary transactions and capturing royalty related to a piece of art or subscription.

AdobeStock_148838608-300x200Costly litigation has caused many small companies to go out of business. Often, larger companies know this and try to bully a smaller company with the threat of litigation. Small business owners do not have to be overwhelmed by the threat of litigation. With an effective legal strategy, your business can implement policies and procedures that will drastically reduce the odds of litigation. Learn more about the different areas of litigation small business owners must be aware of – and how the experienced litigators at Structure Law Group can help protect your business from liability.

Employment Litigation

Employees can sue their employers for a variety of reasons. Federal and state laws protect employees from discrimination, harassment, and other prohibited activities in the workplace. Employees may also litigate contractual disputes. (This is particularly common in Silicon Valley, where employment agreements cover intellectual property, confidentiality agreements, stock options, and other complex legal issues.) Our lawyers protect employers by drafting comprehensive employment agreements. We also work to develop effective workplace policies that will reduce the chances of a lawsuit for discrimination, harassment, union-busting, or other prohibited workplace activities.

AdobeStock_243450386-300x214After the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) amended its “accredited investor” definition in August 2020, it amended its rules once again in November of the same year. In its latest rule amendments, the SEC increased the annual caps on equity crowdfunding and raised the maximum offering amounts for Reg A+ offerings and Rule 504 of Reg D offerings.

In November 2020, the SEC amended its rules to expand investment opportunities and promote capital formation while also strengthening protections for investors in the United States. Some of the most significant rule amendments included:

  • Amend the rules governing the integration of private and public offerings to permit concurrent private and public offerings;

AdobeStock_314925095-300x200For businesses in financial distress, the right path forward may mean choosing between a reorganization or a liquidation.  Businesses have a number of options available to them, each of which include their own benefits and drawbacks.  You should speak with a bankruptcy attorney before deciding which approach makes the most sense for your business.

If a reorganization is not feasible, one of the available options is an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors — commonly referred to as an “ABC.”

In an ABC, the business assigns all of its assets and debts to an assignee.  The assignee — which is generally a company that specializes in such transactions — then liquidates the assets and distributes the proceeds to the business’s creditors.  The assignee has a fiduciary duty to the creditors to maximize the value of the business’s assets, and often may seek to sell the entire business as a going concern, or even continue to operate the business after the ABC has commenced.