The Traklight Blog

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

The Importance of Knowledge Management

Businesses are able to learn and grow through a shared knowledge. None of us walk into a job and know how everything operates, either at that company or in the industry. We're relying on the knowledge of others who have gone before us to educate ourselves, as well as the know-how of our current co-workers. And new people can add to this knowledge in their own way, often bringing new ideas or fresh perspectives to old problems or methods. There's a saying that goes, "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together," and something similar could be said for gaining knowledge.

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Data & Analytics in the Law

Our most recent New York event covered the new topic of "Data & Analytics in the Law" as we look to focus more on adoption and implementation of legal tech in panels and discussions. The evening kicked off with a Darwin Talk on Artificial Intelligence: An Historical Perspective from Dean Sonderegger of Wolters Kluwer.

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Talking Tech Savvy In-House Counsel in Silicon Valley

Evolve Law was back in Silicon Valley for another great legal tech event, this one focused on the "Tech Savvy In-House Counsel." The evening kicked off with a Darwin Talk from Tina Fan of SimpleLegal. Tina's presentation was on "Best Practices for Implementing Legal Operations Software". When it comes to implementation, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer for every company; there are many tools available for firms and companies to use. When looking at implementing legal ops software, in-house legal departments need to examine what their goals are as a department and ask whether they align with what the company goals are, as well as asking why they're looking to implement software and what they are hoping to accomplish with it. They also need to plan for how they want to implement the software and the resources necessary to get it implemented correctly and to get everyone in the department or company on board. Perhaps most importantly, when you're looking to automate a process, you want to make sure that it's a good process that you're committing to.

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Legal Technology and Smart Contracts: Blockchain & Smart Contracts (Part IV)

Much has been written on blockchain recently, even in legal. We continue our series with Mark Oblad, VP, Legal and Finance at JW Player, who has coded a number of tools for automating transactions. Last time we talked about open source and industry source of information for contracts here.  This time, we look first at smart contracts. The concept of the “smart contract” has taken hold and is becoming increasingly the focus of legal technology groups, such as the Computable Contracts Initiative at Stanford Law School’s CodeX, Cardozo Law School’s Tech Startup Clinic, New York Law School’s Center for Business and Financial Lawlaw.MIT.edu, and Computational Legal Studies.

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Legal Technology and Smart Contracts: Contracts as Code, Part 1

Artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and chat bots are all hot topics these days. At a spring Seattle legal technology event, computable contracts were recommended as a focus for a future event. Mark Oblad, who I have interviewed previously here has done a deep dive into this space over the past eighteen months and below is part one in a series of five pieces on contracts, smart contracts, and blockchain.

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Spotify Faces Copyright Lawsuits

By any measure, streaming accounts for a large part of how people listen to music now; in a world that is increasingly cloud-based, it only makes sense that our music should move on from the realm of the tangible as well. Digital music has faced a bumpy road to get where it is today, from the earliest days of Napster, but it has largely reached a place of relative peace between artist, publisher, and service, if not quite happiness between the three. But a recent case against Spotify illustrates the cracks that still exist in the current system and the ongoing struggle to ensure fair compensation to those making the music we stream.  

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Have Success With Your Small Business

Small businesses face a number of challenges as they try to grow.  Being a small company means have to approach things differently than larger companies in your field. And while a lack of assets can be a hindrance, it can also offer flexibility. Bigger businesses may have the money and workforce, but they can also fall victim to an entrenched mindset that can prevent new and innovative thinking. Here are some ways that small businesses can succeed while the odds are stacked against them..

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Learning From Failure

It is said that we learn more from our mistakes than our successes, and while that may be true, it is nevertheless painful. It can be especially painful for entrepreneurs, for whom mistakes can potentially have far more impact, especially if they are working with others. Unfortunately, there is as of yet no way to entirely avoid the occasional hiccup, but learning from the past failures of others can be instuctive in avoiding similar blunders. 

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Keep Your Business Safe This Summer

Summer is here, which means we are in the midst of one of the most dangerous times of the year. With the summer holidays comes the opportunity to relax and enjoy time with friends and family. But there is a level of responsibility that comes with the fun and festivities of the season so that everyone can enjoy themselves without fear of injury. The same can be said of businesses, not only in summer but year-round. Taking steps to make sure your company is secure is vital to allowing your business the freedom to create and innovate without having to fret over potential risks. Here are some of the most important measures you can take to keep your business protected.

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Uber Fires Top Employee Amidst Google Lawsuit

Protecting your company's trade secrets and other intellectual property is vitally important, even more so when your company is one of the largest in the world. Top businesses don't stay on top for long if they allow their ideas and methods to walk out the door to competitors. And having a former employee take those ideas to one of the most noteworthy (for good or ill) companies in the U.S. is bound to make for turmoil and legal drama. 

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Do Your Research Before You Innovate

Entrepreneurs spend a great deal of time working on ideas and concepts before they even take pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to place the idea into a tangible form. These ideas can consume you, keep you up at night and take over your weekends and spare moments, pressing you onward until you act upon the idea to make it something real.

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PayPal Sues Pandora for Trademark Infringement

In the world of trademarks, it can be tricky to navigate the sea of pre-existing ideas and logos to find something that can be uniquely yours. Some cases of trademark infringement could charitably be put down to a lack of research on the part of those infringing, although they do still bear responsibility for the oversight. But in the case of large, global brands, it's far harder to claim ignorance should your own logo be found to be too similar to theirs. 

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Supreme Court Deals Blow to Patent Trolls

Patent trolls have long been an issue in the world of intellectual property. For innovators, patent trolls represent an ever-present threat to their work, as one lawsuit could mean spending time and money they don't have on a court battle. For many observers, patent trolls are a miscarriage of the spirit of intellectual property laws, using an overly broad patent as a tool to extort money from companies rather than as a means of protecting their creations. But a recent court decision may prove a setback for future frivolous lawsuits.

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In House Tech-Savvy Counsel

Our final event of the spring season was again covering the topic of the tech savvy in-house lawyer, this time in New York. The panel offered a variety of experiences working in or with in-house legal departments for companies of differing sizes and in different fields.

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Traklight Featured on the Avnet MakerSource Podcast

Our own Mary Juetten joined the MakerSource Podcast to talk with Bob Merriman on a recent episode. Mary and Bob talked about the origins of Traklight and where the idea came from, how many startups make the mistake of ignoring or putting off IP concerns like patents or trademarks until it's too late, and the importance of protecting the "secret sauce' of your business given how many companies work in the same industry or market. They also discuss how entrepreneurs can be unaware of what they don't know when it comes to IP, and how that can lead to mistakes like not having employment agreements or NDAs for employees, not considering the security of their private data or files, or infringing on others' IP inadvertently. They also talk about how Traklight works to help startups identify their business risks and potential intellectual property and avoid early-stage mistakes with ID your IP. 

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