The Traklight Blog

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

What Business Assets You Need to Protect

If you're just now opening doors to your new business, you probably have a flurry of important questions running through your head about customers and rent and upkeep and all the day-to-day things that will determine your long-term success. But one important question you might not be considering is, "Do I have intellectual property (IP) that needs protecting?"  Your IP helps you and the economy when you can protect the items you either create or use to help produce commerce for your company. You're also assuring your financial future by seeking out IP you can protect on a national and international level so no one else can profit from them.

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Tech Savvy In-House Counsel

We were back in Los Angeles on February 22nd for another great legal tech event, hosted by Dentons. We had a great panel who had a lot of interesting ideas about the future of technology in law, and how tech is changing the role of the in-house counsel.  Technology is an inexorable part of everyday life, and as such attorneys need to be familiar with it in order to not only address the emerging legal issues that can arise from technology, but also to protect their clients' information. But there is that familiar tension between lawyers and technology as attorneys worry about machines one day replacing them. The role of attorneys continues to change and adapt as in-house counsel and in-house legal departments become more and more prevalent at big corporations. The interaction between business and legal serves as a positive to the case for the continued existence of the human lawyer, as human relationships and judgment can't be replicated or replaced by machines.

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Culture and Intellectual Property

In much of our writing over the years, we have noted the intersection of intellectual property laws and rights with the culture we consume and the things we buy. Looking at history, many of our commercial institutions grew to their current stature through their ability to rightly or wrongly dominate their respective marketplace, and much of that is seen in the brands and intellectual property that they have built over the years. There are ideas and products behind those companies that have venerated them long after their one-time competitors have faded into history.

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Know the Rules for Fair Use

You never want to infringe on trademarks. In addition to being a legal violation, it seems doubtful that any business would want to be viewed as unoriginal. So what happens if your business creates something that is slightly similar to an item that has already been trademarked?  Fair use applies to trademarks as much as it does to copyrights. But you still have to be very careful or you could end up dealing with complicated legal issues.

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Small business funding options: Angel investing, equity fundraising, crowdfunding & startup loans

Growing your business is difficult, particularly when you need money to fund your plans. Many entrepreneurs use personal savings or the revenue from the company to “bootstrap” their way to success. But sometimes that’s not possible because either you lack the personal wealth or the company needs too much upfront investment prior to revenue generation. Traditional fundraising from professional investors can be daunting both in terms of time and money. However, over the past few years, some additional small business funding avenues have become available.

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Form an IP Strategy

The best way to make sure that you are handling the tasks you need to is to come up with a plan or strategy. Relying on your memory or some hastily scribbled notes that might not make sense the next day isn't the best way to methodically run a business or any enterprise. And given the amount of things you have to do, a haphazard approach to your work is bound to lead to things being forgotten.

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Bridging the Technology Gap in Law

We had a terrific event in Atlanta on January 25th, not least for the fact that I was able to attend. For those legal tech fans who haven't had the chance to come to one of our events, I would highly recommend it; it's a great opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals and hear from legal tech innovators and thought leaders. For this event, the format was slightly different; instead of a panel, we had our three speakers presenting individually on their own thought-provoking topics.

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Sort Out Potential Legal Issues For Your Business Early

No one likes to think about, much less tackle, the potentially tedious tasks that come with the responsibilities of life. That's why so many of us put off doing our taxes or going to the DMV. Often there are things that are more pressing, and if you're honest with yourself, you really don't want to do it, even though you know you're going to have to eventually. Procrastination is easy, especially when you're the driving force of your business. You should be out there leading your employees or dreaming up the next project! But small details matter, especially when they can become big problems. There are a few key areas to mind to prevent disaster.

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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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