Trademark Clearance: Brand Protection From the Start

The first and best brand protection comes from choosing wisely your new trademark wisely in the first place, with the help of a trademark clearance analysis.  Before launching and building a new brand, it is very important to investigate whether the name, tagline, or... read more

Stock Option Pools for Startups

Congratulations — you have a great idea and you’re making it happen. You’ve formed a company, found some desk space to do the work, and you’ve started hiring amazing people.  These early hires are going to help you build a profitable enterprise. These hearty... read more

The Expert Startup Advice That is Usually Bunk

Startup founders often hear that they should “start with your exit in mind.”  It sounds like good startup advice, and a lot of the people doling out that advice are smart and experienced. But for most founders, the advice to “start with your exit in... read more

Startup funding – What is convertible debt?

When we work with our startup clients, the topic of funding comes up often.  “Do we try to raise money now?  How do we know how much the company is worth?  We are doing great things, but the revenue is slower and lower than we would like.” For... read more

Who Owns What You Paid For?

When you buy or sell web site or software project services to someone, what exactly is it that is changing hands?  There will be images and functions on the buyer’s screen that weren’t there before.  If both sides know what they are doing, the result will be valuable.... read more

Advertise for Funding

It has been illegal for startups to publicly advertise the sale of partial ownership to investors.  And while services like Angelist and FundRoom have opened up the marketplace in recent years, those platforms are still membership-based and not entirely open. After... read more

Protect This House! Brand Protection for All

Your actions over time build your brand.  But it is crowded out there.  Many brands over time will come into contact with others using similar names and logos, and who will win?  Most often, the company that has taken the step of registering their trademark rights... read more

FINRA Guidance on Social Media Use

In addition to Securities and Exchange Commission guidance for its regulated practitioners and publicly traded companies, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) issued Notice 11-39, its second providing guidance to its regulated members concerning... read more

SEC OK with Social Media for Investor Relations

The Securities Exchange Commission last month made official what investor relations professionals had known and practiced for some time now:  SM is OK for IR if you remember Reg FD. Regulation FD, “fair disclosure,” has existed since before the dawn of... read more

NLRB Social Media guidance

Need some guidance in dealing with employees’ use of social media in and about the workplace?  In 2011 and 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) got active in telling employers how to manage their employees’ social media usage without violating... read more

Apple, iPads, and Trademark Rights in Colors

As part of its ongoing effort to tamp down intellectual property infringement overseas, Apple applied a few weeks ago for trademark protection for the visual appearance of its iPad, including the colors silver and black. The important thing to notice here is that the... read more