OK, the Most Interesting Man’s isn’t a lawyer, and his view is a bit simplistic. But he does have a point: in many cases, provisional patent applications can provide useful and inexpensive (if short term) protection for your brilliant new idea.
Entrepreneurs are often surprised when investors refuse to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or confidentiality agreement when offered an opportunity to read the entrepreneurs’ new business plans. After all, every new startup features secret ideas, partnerships, intellectual property and/or technology.
I’ve gotten on my soapbox before about the importance of forming a business entity as soon as there’s a new product or business worth protecting. The most common messes encountered in my startup law practice involve founding teams that somehow never got the formation done right, including the contributions and assignments of intellectual property to the new company and the
Angels and venture capitalists will not sign non-disclosure (confidentiality) agreements just to listen to an entrepreneur’s funding presentation, or even to read the entrepreneur’s business plan. Serial entrepreneurs understand this and write their plans without describing the “secret sauce.” Investors will eventually want to validate the intellectual property (IP) prior to investing, but not just to hear about the opportunity.
Given that 2011 is already behind us, I’d like to take a brief time-out from the usual legal and financial wonkery to wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year. Many thanks to David Rose, Ilana Grossman, Justin Stanwix, and the whole Gust team for making the Gust Blog such a valuable platform and resource for entrepreneurs and angel
So you’ve chosen a name for your startup, product, or both. Having covered all the bases to ensure that your corporate name is available, the domain name can be acquired, and the name doesn’t infringe any existing trademarks (as we discussed here), now is a good time to look at the categories of intellectual property (IP) that are relevant to