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Posts Tagged: "crowdfunding"

Taking on on Trademark Trolls and Frivolous Marks, Trademark Watch Dawgs Wades Into Divisive Waters

While readers of this website will be well aware of the damaging impact of “patent troll” rhetoric that has reached the highest levels of American political discourse, many players in the trademark space have been shining a light on the issue of “trademark trolls” in recent years. Trademark trolls can take several different forms, according to a December 2015 article published in the INTA Bulletin. Generally, a troll will register a trademark, often viewed as a frivolous mark by others in the industry, and then demand licensing payment, threaten litigation or issue serial takedowns on e-commerce platforms through assertion of the mark. These can include companies that file for domestic trademarks for a mark owned by a foreign company that hasn’t yet entered that market or entities, including individuals, who claim trademark use and registration to threaten infringement or issue takedowns against other entities, even when their use of the mark is in unrelated areas. Last spring, the word “troll” was thrown around once or twice to describe Faleena Hopkins, a romance novel writer who was asserting her trademark rights to the use of the word “Cocky” against other writers using that word in their book titles. Last June, changes to Canadian trademark laws that shifted requirements for trademark registration from first-to-use to first-to-file had sparked some fears that trademark trolling could result.

A Practical Guide to Startup Funding

What if your startup is a university startup based on university developed and patented technology? The goal is not only to create a domestic corporation, but also to create a local corporation that leverages university technology. Moving to China isn’t an option for a university startup, regardless of the technology and likelihood of attracting funding from venture capitalists. Fortunately it is not as difficult to find investors as you may think. Equity crowdfunding is on the path to surpass venture capital as the preferred way for startups and small businesses to raise capital. In a nutshell, equity crowdfunding is the sale of equity (or debt) in your business directly to investors using an online platform instead of a stock brokerage firm.

Turning Your Patent into a Business: A Practical Guide to Equity Crowdfunding

Once your patent has been awarded you may still need additional capital to turn that patent into a business. Fortunately it is not as difficult to find investors as you may think. Equity crowdfunding is on the path to surpass venture capital as the preferred way for start-ups and small businesses to raise capital. In a nutshell, equity crowdfunding is the sale of equity (or debt) in your business directly to investors using an online platform instead of a stock brokerage firm.  It is also less expensive than hiring one. Although direct to investor funding over the internet has been around since the late 1990s, it came of age with the JOBS Act in 2012.   

The changing face of university technology transfer

Today (TTOs) are increasingly being run by professionals who are experienced in startups, licensing, monetizing and have tremendous depth of technical knowledge in a variety of fields. But they are all waging a losing battle in an industry where 73% of the offices are losing money and an additional 16% just breakeven. It is not because of the efficiency of these offices, it is because of the underlying business model… But the impact of technology transfer on the US economy has been enormous. Since 1980 more than 5,000 startups have been created. From 1996-2013 technology transfer has contributed $518 billion on the US gross domestic product, and $1.1 trillion on the US gross industrial output.

How the U.S. Can Inspire the Next Generation of Innovators

An unfounded belief persists that entrepreneurs are the primary innovators. However, in a study of the top 30 innovations of the last 30 years up through 2009, as judged by Wharton professors, shows innovations that most affected society were conceived by company workers, not entrepreneurs, according to Dr. Kaihan Krippendorff, a Wharton alum and self-described study author… So in order to encourage innovation, these characteristics of employee-innovators should be developed early on, according to Krippendorff. Logically, not only would that increase the level of innovation but also ease the task of innovation management.

How to Know When You’re Ready to File a Nonprovisional Patent Application

Holding a provisional patent application pending, but failing to file a nonprovisional patent application by the one year deadline, means you lose the right to that filing date, and could potentially lose ownership rights to the invention. This outcome is fine if you have done your research and determined that the invention cannot support a viable business. It’s not fine if you haven’t completed all of your research prior to the deadline. Unfortunately extensions are not possible.

Getting Your Invention off of the Ground with Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a proven way to get initial funding for the commercialization of an invention. Crowdfunding involves posting a project description on the internet, asking for pledges to complete the project, and if the minimum amount of pledges is received by a certain deadline, having the funds transferred to the project. On some sites, such as Kickstarter.com, if the minimum isn’t reached, you don’t get any money. On other sites, such as Indiegogo.com, if the minimum isn’t reached, you still get what you’ve raised.

The Art of the Patent, Raising Money on Kickstarter

Kickstarter is becoming more popular given the press it has received from the New York Times, CNN and NPR, but are they successful at raising money for people? According to Kickstarter just over 10,000 projects have been started and a little less than half have been fully funded and have gone forward. Of particular interest to those seeking funding is that Kickstarter takes no ownership interest in any underlying intellectual property rights associated with the projects, it is free to post a project, and the fees collected if a project is successful are under 10% (i.e., Kickstarter collects a 5% fee from the project’s funding total if and only if a project is successfully funded and credit card processing fees generally take up another 3-5%).

Funding Your Invention: Get Started with Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding addresses the two biggest challenges many inventors have. “What is the market for my product?” and “How do I get initial funds to produce it?” Conventional sources of funds include yourself, “friends and family”, and angel investors. Crowdfunding adds a new source of funds, the initial consumers. Inventors get committed funds and guaranteed customers. Backers get to be the first to get an exciting new product. If the funds are raised, you know you have a market and you have the resources to produce the product. If the funds aren’t raised, you have valuable market feedback.