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Corporate E-Note - June 2015

In this Issue: - IRS Issues Guidance on Portability: The IRS recently issued final regulations that provide guidance on the federal estate and gift tax applicable exclusion amount, in general, as well as the...more

Blog: Should You Invest in Patent Protection?

Patent protection is an investment in technology. Like other investments, it can be expensive and uncertain. But for a technology startup, patent protection can also yield an outsized return by attracting investors,...more

Gerritsen v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, June 12, 201

District court dismisses breach of contract and breach of guaranty claims in first amended complaint against Warner Bros. based on Oscar-winning motion picture "Gravity," holding that plaintiff Terry Gerritsen, author of...more

A ‘Clothes’ Call: Anticipating IP Issues in Partnerships

Breaking up is hard to do, in business as in life. Take the story of ‘T’ and ‘M.’ Fresh out of school, T had the vision for a clothing line. The line would be a blend of two cultures, just like its creator: Peruvian and...more

Is Antitrust Relevant for Startups, Emerging, and Non-Dominant Firms?

The answer is (surprise!) “yes.” There are a number of ways in which antitrust law is relevant to emerging and non-dominant companies. Those firms may: Need to deal with the dominant firms in their markets,...more

Blog: Four Steps to Minimize the Impact of Your Competitors’ Patents

The success of your new venture depends on avoiding costly and time consuming patent litigation. Mature companies often engage patent counsel to provide “freedom to operate” opinions with respect to specific products or...more

Reverse Engineering Cloud-Based Software

Let’s say you provide web-based software in a SaaS subscription model. What if your reseller or strategic business partner works against you to redesign and reverse engineer your software so they can launch a competing...more

Obligation to Enforce Arbitration under FAA Policy Trumps Motion to Prevent Enforcement of “Clearly Void” Non-Competition...

On May 20, 2015, Judge Dudley H. Bowen of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, entered an order denying the Motion for Preliminary and Permanent Injunction filed by one of the plaintiffs...more

Blog: Should You Require a Signed NDA from a Potential Investor?

First time entrepreneurs may be tempted to ask a VC to sign a non-disclosure agreement before pitching them or sending information to them. Here are four reasons why the investor won’t sign the NDA, and why the request may...more

VC’s running scared – Hooli is suing Pied Piper (Episodes 9 and 10) continued

Last post I mused that had Richard taken certain steps in the first season of Silicon Valley, he might now have ammunition to use against Hooli’s lawsuit. What am I talking about? To very crudely recap what happened last...more

Two Claims You May Not Want To Make In North Carolina

I said yesterday that there was too much in DSM Dyneema, LLC v. Thagard, 2015 NCBC 47 for just one post, so here are the rest of the key points from the case. They involve two claims you might not want to bother to make in...more

DMCA Exemptions: Protection of Legitimate Rights or Facilitation of Infringement?

A recent Wired magazine articles accuses John Deere and General Motors of trying to “eviscerate the notion of ownership.” It is not a “twisted vision of ownership,” by John Deere, but a misunderstanding of copyright law by...more

DMCA vs. Gearheads: Piracy Under the Shade Tree

A recent Wired magazine article by Kyle Wiens (co-founder and CEO of iFixit) provided an ominous warning to automobile owners: you don’t own your vehicle, you merely operate it at the manufacturer’s pleasure. This view of...more

Budding Family Business Entrepreneur? Top Three Legal Tips You Need to Know

A recent New Tech Seattle event at the Seattle Center brought together a group of interesting budding entrepreneurs. Discussions with several people led to the realization that many of them are facing the same basic legal...more

Do You Really Own All Your IP?

As we discussed in our inaugural posts in this series, after management, the most valuable asset for most startups can be their intellectual property (IP). And as such, it is important for a startup to own its intellectual...more

Startups and Patents

A recent study on R&D vitality, “Measuring Innovation“ by Michael Cooper et al, reports that only about 50% of companies with R&D operations file patents. Another recent study focusing on patent litigation, “The Layered...more

Start-Up Pack (Belgium)

In This Issue: - Welcome - An introduction to key legal documents for start-ups - Glossary of useful venture capital and company terms - A step-by-step guide to setting up a company in Belgium - A shareholders’...more

Pennsylvania Tax Developments - A Reed Smith Quarterly Update: March 2015

This is a brief update on recent Pennsylvania tax developments. Governor Wolf’s FY16 Budget Proposal—combined reporting and more On March 3, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) presented his first budget address as Pennsylvania’s 47th...more

Gerritsen v. Warner Bros. Entertainment - USDC, C.D. California, January 30, 2015

District court dismisses breach of contract and breach of guaranty claims against Warner Bros. based on Oscar-winning motion picture Gravity, holding that plaintiff Terry Gerritsen, author of novel by same name, failed to...more

5 Simple Steps Startups Can Take to Protect Intellectual Property

All emerging companies can and should take basic steps to protect their uniquely valuable intellectual property. For many companies, especially startups, intellectual property often represents an important component of...more

How to Mess Up Your Start-Up

There are lots of good articles out there about how to succeed.  Here are a few pointers on how to mess up your company from a legal perspective.  - Pick a name without checking it out. You may not be the first one to...more

Trademark Licensees May Be Protected in a Licensor’s Bankruptcy Even After a “Free and Clear” Sale

The Bankruptcy Code generally permits intellectual property licensees to continue using licensed property despite a licensor’s bankruptcy filing. However, because the “intellectual property” definition in the Bankruptcy Code...more

Five Intellectual Property Considerations for Startups - Part I

A successful startup provides a solution to a market need. Typically, the solution involves a new or improved device or technique. As a startup defines and develops its solution, intellectual property (IP) becomes a core...more

Starting a Craft Brewery in North Carolina - Steps to Take Before You Sell a Single Bottle of Beer

Before your finely-crafted product can ever be someone’s quiet reward after a long day or before your craft brew can ever take home a Great American Beer Festival® gold medal, you must take certain steps to ensure your...more

What are the Implications of Alice v. CLS? [Video]

While the Supreme Court’s ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank does not mean that software is ineligible for patent protection, the decision leaves many questions on patent eligibility unanswered. In the second video of a two-part...more

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