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Keep Your Startup’s Data Secret

Recently I have talked with some scared startups. Scenario #1: Startup has its data on a flash drive and loses the flash drive. Scenario #2: Person has startup’s data on a laptop and the laptop is stolen. The common theme to both scenarios is that they had unencrypted intellectual property on the drives, thus the […]


Intellectual Property Agreements – Write Them Down!

I know that you have heard it a million times, but I have to say it once more: Write it down! Entity agreements (of which a portion may include intellectual property issues) for the startup should be written down.  By now, you’ve read about the Crunchpad lawsuit, where its looks like the Crunchpad is no […]


Advantages of Trademark Registration for Startups

Recently I had a discussion with a business who had been using a trademark since about 2004. Unfortunately, it had not registered the trademark. In the meantime, another business had started using a similar version of the mark and also had substantially completed the registration process. Thus the business was in a difficult situation. Sure, […]


Trademarks and Infringement Concerns for Startups

Recently a suit was filed against Microsoft based on the name of its Bing search engine for trademark infringement and other bases. The complaint was recently filed, so a lot of information is not yet available. However, useful information for trademark and brand planning for startups can be gleaned from the news articles, court filings, and USPTO records, and company websites.


Common Factors on Timing to File a Patent Application

Frequently, I am asked when a patent application should be filed . I often start the discussion with questions in two areas:

1. Is the new product or process complete?
2. What is (or will be) happening to demonstrate and monetize the new product or process?


Trademarks – An Overview of the Registration Process

Frequently, the owner of those rights may choose to seek the advantages of registering the trademark. Typical steps involved in the registration process include:


performing a search

preparing and submitting the trademark application

and responding to issues raised by the trademark office


Can an invention combine existing technologies?

Clients frequently ask whether it is possible to be granted a patent on an invention that does not contain new components. The answer is “yes.” The majority of patents are in fact “combination”  or “improvement” patents. It is rare that someone creates something as new as a transistor or another fundamental building block technology. People […]