The Traklight Blog

Explore the world of intangible assets and IP with guest blogs, business owner interviews, and more.

Sidestepping Common Startup Mistakes

This article originally featured on the GoDaddy blog

Starting a new business venture is exciting. Whether you’re joining the ranks of the startup CEO, creating new products and services, or becoming your own boss in a more traditional business, you’ll most likely feel a mixture of thrill and fear. Don’t get too overwhelmed, though, or you’ll skip over important steps in the first several months that are critical to ensuring the best foundation for your new business. Let’s first look at the top three startup mistakes early-stage companies make:

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Have a More Productive 2017

We all struggle with productivity in one way or another. Perhaps we find it hard to tackle certain tasks that nevertheless need to be done. Possibly you've put off important decisions that seem difficult. Or maybe you feel that for all that you feel you're doing, you aren't accomplishing as much as you would like. We've all been guilty of not working up to our abilities in one way or another, and as much as we want to change it, we find ourselves stuck in old habits that can exacerbate these tendencies.

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Nokia and Apple in Legal Standoff

 

When it comes to intellectual property lawsuits, there are usually a couple of different types observed. More often than not you can come across a startup or small business suing a major corporation, claiming the industry giant has come in and stolen their idea to further enrich themselves. Within that, there are usually those with a solid case mixed in with those deemed "patent trolls", looking to cash in on their broad patents that otherwise go unused. But on the occasions that you see two big names enter into a legal battle, it is worth noting, as the future of entire industries can shift based on a court decision.

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Beyond Infringement to Rights Monetization

In her latest Forbes article, Mary speaks with Ray Young of RightsIn. RightsIn is a startup seeking to help artists monetize their creations by providing an avenue for licensing their films and music through an online marketplace. Ray talks about how the RightsIn marketplace offers creators more control of the licensing and monetization of their work, the process of how the product was developed, and his experience with IP in the entertainment industry.

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Get Ready for the New Year

As the holidays approach, many of us get caught up in planning and preparing and various family events and functions, and our focus on work can begin to wane, if only slightly. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing — after all, many of us work hard throughout the year in part to be able to enjoy this time with family. But the holidays also herald the end of the calendar year, and that offers an opportunity to examine both yourself and your business.

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Tackling Security for your Law Firm

At our recent Evolve Law event in Austin, the topic of cybersecurity at law firms was raised, as more and more attorneys have to consider the security of the sensitive client information they are charged with. While no security is absolute, LawPay has laid out relatively simple steps that any firm can take to make sure that their security measures are up to par; be sure to give the full articles (linked below) a read for more in-depth advice.

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IP Mistakes from Small Businesses, Part II

In my previous blog, I wrote about the importance of intellectual property (IP) and the ways in which small businesses can go about protecting their own.  But often many businesses fail to recognize the importance of their intangible assets, instead overlooking them in favor of more immediate concerns. But failing to recognize the value in intellectual property can lead to mistakes that put businesses at risk. Here are some of the most common causes of IP mistakes and how to avoid them.

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IP Mistakes for Small Businesses

If you have a small business, you might think that your assets are limited to what you have on hand. But the reality is that you haven’t considerable intangible assets tied up in your business that you haven’t considered. If your business is just getting started, the overwhelming majority of your company’s value comes from your intellectual property (IP). But despite their importance, most small businesses don’t do enough to protect their IP because they don’t know enough about it. Here are a few basics to help you get started.

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Ohio State Defends Against Trademark Infringement

There is nothing quite like the community that develops around collegiate athletics. It manages to be both universal and provincial, important to so may around you but inconsequential beyond the borders of your schools' influence. And the relatively long history of many universities has allowed for traditions and rituals that come to define both a team and a locale.

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Think About the Future

When you’re looking to start your own business, there is a lot to consider. Beyond the immediacy of names and product ideas and an office to set up shop, you want to make sure that you are preparing for success rather than simply working hard with the aim of seeing where things go. Envisioning a goal or target can help you get through those long days and nights. But while you’re on the road towards achieving that goal, there are a lot of other details along the way that can threaten to take your business off track.

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Supreme Court Considers Fashion Copyrights

In looking at cases involving intellectual property rights, it's important to consider the wider implications that can cascade from one court decision. A precedent set in one patent or trademark case can have a ripple effect that shapes an entire industry. And if a matter rises to the Supreme Court, the decision handed down therein can provide a definitive stamp on a previous decision that fundamentally changes the course of the U.S. economy in some slight degree.

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Avoid Legal Disputes to Keep Your Business on Track

You value the work created by yourself and your employees. You take great care to make sure that you take the necessary steps to protect it with patents, trademarks and copyrights, and you are diligent in making sure that your employees aren’t divulging sensitive information like trade secrets outside the office.  You understand that the intellectual property your business generates is valuable, and you want to make sure that you are protecting that value by not allowing others to use it. But are you as considered when it comes to the rights of others?

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Can TV Spoilers Violate Copyright?

In this time-shifted age of television viewing, spoilers have become the bugaboo of many people's entertainment existence. It wasn't that long ago that missing an episode of television meant that it was simply gone, with no chance for you to catch up. VCRs changed the way people could watch their favorite programs, and in the age of DVRs and streaming and on-demand, there's no reason you can't watch episodes of your favorite shows anytime and anywhere and hop on social media to discuss what happened. But these online forums for TV fans can also be a minefield of spoilers for fans not caught up or, event more perilously, for episodes yet to be released.

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Make Sure You Own Your Work

You put a lot of work into your business. You’ve undoubtedly spent countless nights and weekends trying to create a minimum viable product so that you can get to market. You toiled long and hard to come up with the perfect name for the product and your company. After all, these things will be your brand to the consuming public. But for all the thought that you put into naming, far too many companies fail to give thought to those who are already out in the marketplace.

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