IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "start-up"

Copyrights: Intellectual Property Considerations for Start-Ups

Copyrights protect original works of authorship.  This gives a copyright holder exclusive rights to modify, distribute, perform, display, and copy the work. However, as with other forms of intellectual property, there are important things copyright holders need to know in order to best protect and utilize their copyrights. You do not need to register a work to be protected by copyright.  However, registration is encouraged as it provides enhanced protection for copyright holders.  For example, a registered copyright is considered prima facie evidence in litigation, meaning the court will accept, on face value, that the copyright is valid unless it can be proven otherwise. 

Investing in Inventing: A Patent Process Primer for Startups

The patent process is long and complex, but well worth the effort if it means protecting your invention and your new company. Key decisions made along the way can help simplify future steps in the process and make obtaining a patent significantly more efficient. Early on, determining a patent scope through patentability searches can help narrow a patent application to the important novel aspects that are most worthwhile to protect. Similarly, preparing a thorough provisional application can make the non-provisional application preparation much simpler and afford better protection against later published works or filings by others. By thinking about these key decisions ahead of time and being aware of the patent process, you can be more prepared when the time comes to seek protection for your invention.

iPEL Responds to Skeptics by Expanding Free Licensing Program

What if those who own large patent portfolios decided to actually help start-ups by opening up their patent portfolios to those start-ups rather than have those companies operate without a net and worrying about what has become an omnipresent threat of patent litigation? After all, a patent owner with a well formulated licensing program is not one who is interested in going after cash starved start-up companies anyway.

Understory Earns U.S. Patents for Weather Sensing Technology

Understory’s first patent covers the sensor device itself which consists of a stainless steel sphere sitting on top of a shaft, a configuration which one of the sensor’s designer called “God’s joystick.” “The sensor detects microdeflections from rain or hail pushing on the joystick,” Kubicek said. Such measurements take place on the order of 50,000 times each second and algorithms processed at the device separates each microdeflection into a data point which can be sent to a cloud-based network of weather data… One has to wonder though whether the Federal Circuit and Supreme Court, when they might get their hands on these patents, will find them to be directed to nothing more than an abstract idea. After all, sensing the weather has been done since at least the dawn of recorded history.

Negotiating Your First Big Tech Software License

One of the critical moments in the life of a start-up tech company is landing its first big contract with a giant tech company. That first tech deal is also a daunting process. Take a deep breath. You can negotiate these agreements, as long as you negotiate smartly. Here are five common-sense tips for going forward… Play the long game. Nothing begets more business opportunities than a satisfied customer. Earn their trust. Show them you can deliver what they want. If you can start that process as early as the negotiations on the first contract, you are already ahead of the game.

IP Due Diligence for Start-ups in the 2018 Legal Environment – The Most Important Conversation

For IP due diligence for investment in a start-up or young company, the most important conversation is with the key developer(s) of the product(s) or service(s) [the “Conversation”].  Ideally, the Conversation is led by an IP attorney who understands the technology.  The goal is to determine the source of the product design.  Was open source software used?  Is this a variation of something an engineer was working on at a prior company?  Was a published article used?  Perhaps consultants were used?  Was the design changed during development after some dead-ends?  Where there isn’t budget for a full-fledged investigation, this Conversation and follow-up will likely get 80% of the risks identified for 20% of the cost.

The Petri Dish Effect will keep Technology in China for Generations

Wealth in Silicon Valley created and then funded more startups, and the cycle continued. It was like a petri dish, only with a multiplication of startups instead of cells. Today, the petri dish effect will have long term negative consequences for the U.S. as China is capturing technologies that once were controlled by American companies and spinning up massive numbers of startups in these fields.

A Practical Guide to Startup Funding

The solution is equity crowdfunding, which is on course to surpass venture capital as the preferred way for startups and small businesses to raise capital in the U.S.

American Entrepreneurship Languishes as Startups Face Unfavorable Ecosystem

There can be no dispute that the level of business startup activity has been on the decline in the United States over the past few decades. So alarming is the downward trend that publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and others have tackled the issue in depth. Inc. Magazine has even asked whether entrepreneurship in America is dead? Still, a disturbing counter-factual narrative seems to be taking hold inside the Beltway, and on Capitol Hill. Despite all research and data to the contrary, some are actually saying that startups are on the rise, and then using carefully selected and tortured data points to claim that patent reforms are the reason for the rise in startups, and more patent reforms are needed.

Why the IP system works against the small

The decision whether to secure technology using a trade secret or a patent hinges as much on the technology as it does on access to capital. Small companies need funding to commercialize new inventions. A patent provides a private property right that can be leveraged to attract funding. However, most large companies like Waymo, one of the richest on the planet, do not need funding. This is no doubt why Alphabet and its Google subsidiary have lobbied to weaken the patent system. It is understandable because it is in the best interests of their well-funded enterprises. It is, however, not in the best interest of innovation more generally speaking, nor is it in the interest of society… The IP system as it currently exists acts to protect huge monopolistic enterprises at the expense of everyone else – employees, startups, job creation, innovation, and society at large. It is no wonder that startups in America continue to decline, as recently reported by none other than the NY Times.

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.

Open Letter Exaggerates the Benefits of Recent Patent Reforms

HTIA’s letter argues that venture capital funding and startup activity have grown in recent years, further proof of their view that the federal government has properly pursued patent system reforms. Using data tools available through PwC MoneyTree, the HTIA cites data indicating that venture capital investments in the U.S. have increased from $32.8 billion in 2012 up to $61 billion in 2016, representing an 86 percent increase in that time. Of course, the letter easily lets go of the fact that the graph shows that venture capital funding actually dropped significantly by about $15 billion between 2015 and 2016 alone, a point the HTIA’s own data graphs prove. As for startup activity, the HTIA collected data from the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity to make its argument that startup activity has increased by 194 percent between 2012 and 2016. Again, there’s no acknowledgement of a concerning recent data point, here the absolute stagnation of new startup activity between 2015 and 2016.

AUTM Licensing Survey: Ominous trend likely attributable to eroding patent rights

Concerns about the ability of academic institutions to keep contributing to the U.S. innovation economy go well beyond federal funding stagnation according to the recent AUTM survey. In an executive summary section entitled The Perils of Eroding Patent Rights, AUTM notes that a slight decrease in options and exclusive license agreements compared to the number of non-exclusive license agreements could be due to fears that licensing companies have over protecting the intellectual property under the current iteration of the U.S. patent system. In 2016, option agreements were down year-over-year by 7 percent while exclusive licenses dropped 2.1 percent. Non-exclusive license totals, however, rose by 2.1 percent to 4,201 such license agreements in 2016. A sharp increase in startups ceasing business activity, up 37.4 percent to a total of 331 such startups, is another “ominous trend” which AUTM notes is likely attributable to eroding patent rights.

Tax Reform will Harm Inventors, High Tech Start-ups

More disturbing than the harmful effects the proposed changes would have – this signals a continuing approach toward patent rights as not being a property right, which contradicts the Patent Act and centuries of precedent. Indeed, the government’s destruction of the once great U.S. patent system is built upon a simple, yet scary philosophy: Where it matters, no one in government actually considers a patent to be a property right. If a patent is not a property right, a patent can be treated however the political winds blow (or political money flows). And that is exactly what has happened. So why not tax it more?

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.