Most start-ups find themselves faced with needing to use others to develop their technology (or the need to launch a product) while a patent application is unaffordable. These situations present dilemmas. Under current U.S
Bad patents are the bane of entrepreneurs. These zombie patents wander the country-side apparently claiming well-known technology yet somehow managing to survive the invalidity grave yard. For years entrepreneurs have pled for weapons with which to defend themselves against these monsters. Finally, despite its warts, the 2011 patent reform law places three new weapons (third-party submissions, post-grant reviews, and inter partes reviews) in the hands of entrepreneurs– and just in time for Halloween 2012 . More specifically, third-party submissions will allow anyone to submit potential prior art against pending patent applications.
Tech-savvy entrepreneurs sometimes find themselves on the horns of an IP (intellectual property) dilemma. They conduct their own “patent search,” misinterpret the results, and state in writing that they might be infringing ... Funding Intellectual Property (IP) Protection in Early Stage Companies
Early stage companies face a number of dilemmas over which activities to fund. Often, the drive to bring that new product (or service) to market consumes the lion’s share of ... Why Should Small Business Owners Spend the Money to Try to Get a Patent?
Since typical patent trials cost millions of dollars and take years to pursue, many business owners forego the expense of filing patent applications. However, having the option to sue your ... Provisional Patent Applications: Cheap “Protection” or Dead Man’s Curve?
You get what you pay for. Case in point: provisional patent applications. U.S. law allows inventors to file “provisional” patent applications for a modest fee. Since the costs for provisional ... Valuation Caps on Convertible Notes
I’m not a big fan of valuation caps when convertible notes are used to seed companies. There are two reasons for this: first, we are increasing the number of negotiation ... Term Sheet 101: Price-Based Anti-Dilution
Price-based anti-dilution provisions are perhaps the most esoteric and difficult provisions in a venture capital or sophisticated angel preferred stock financing (certainly from a drafting perspective in the corporation’s Certificate ... Term Sheet 101: The Liquidation Preference
The liquidation preference means, generally, that the investors holding Preferred Stock will receive their money back in full upon a liquidation of the corporation, including a deemed liquidation which includes ... Don’t ask investors for an NDA
If you want to send your executive summary to an investor, don’t ask for a non-disclosure agreement. I was trying to help a company get in front of an investor ...
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