Basic IP Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know


After all, building a business by marketing your idea, finding partners, hiring contractors and seeking financing all create opportunities for your idea to be stolen. The following are four classes of protected IP: trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets.

IP 18

For IP Security at Startups, "Later" Isn't Soon Enough


Most startups take the obvious measures: Be careful who you hire. Hire an IT geek to lock down your networks. IP theft and other data breaches at startups are definitely trending up.". No amount of Red Bull can save your startup once your IP has been stolen.

Trending Sources

Intellectual Property 101

Up and Running

If someone asked whether or not your business has Intellectual Property (IP) and your answer is “I do not know” or “I doubt it,” you are not alone. It is difficult to be in a business situation completely devoid of IP worth identifying and protecting.

Someone Stole My Startup Idea – Part 3: The Best Defense is a Good IP Strategy

Steve Blank

Early on in my career I took a “we’re moving too fast to deal with lawyers” attitude to patents and Intellectual Property (IP.) Type of IP. _. If you hire subcontractors or friends to do some work, get assignment agreements as well.). That changed when I joined the board of a startup, and we sued Microsoft and Sony on the same day for patent infringement – and won $120 million.

Legal Checklist for Startups

Scott Edward Walker

Button-down IP ownership and assignment issues (see post here ). If you hire any employees, make sure you don’t misclassify them as an independent contractor or fail to pay them at least the minimum wage (see post here ).

How To Launch a Startup and Avoid Ending-up in Jail

Scott Edward Walker

Not only are there key contractual issues that must be buttoned-down (like vesting and IP assignment ), but also there is a minefield of laws and regulations that must be complied with. Moreover, as Chris Dixon reminded me, it is also unlawful for companies to hire illegal immigrants.

Creating a Tech or Biotech: The Entrepreneur

Taffy Williams

Those you do not have you will fix by hiring someone to help within your new business. Think Ahead When You are Negotiating IP Rights A Few Great Links to Startup Articles ► April (11) Beyond Rumsfeld by (Stephen A. Startup Blog Steps to consider to start and grow a company.

3 Steps to Protecting Intellectual Property

Inc Startups

How do you keep your IP safe from view. Many start-up owners are concerned with the intellectual property (IP) of their company, and they should be. IP is a valuable asset that needs to be protected, insured, and, sometimes, even risked.

Why You Should Care about Intellectual Property

Up and Running

In order to protect your business’s IP, learn the four different categories. Yes, your business has intellectual property (IP). In fact, 100 percent of businesses have IP. Your email list, logo, sales process, and even your website domain are parts of your IP.

4 Deadly Legal Mistakes That Startups Make

Scott Edward Walker

And please don’t tell us to hire a lawyer.) IP Ownership. There are three deadly mistakes that relate to intellectual property (IP) ownership, all of which usually surface when the investors conduct their due-diligence investigation: 1.

Corporate Acquisitions of Startups: Why Do They Fail?

Steve Blank

In response, venture capital firms like Sequoia and Andreessen/Horowitz are hiring new partners just to work with their portfolio companies and match them to corporations. If the startup is acquired for its IP, talent or revenue, it should be rapidly integrated into the acquirer.

Why Lawsuits Are On the Rise at Startups and What To Do About It

Both Sides of the Table

This also happens out of “startup weekends” where it’s unclear who contributed to the IP and where many people don’t continue with the idea beyond the first 30 days. *. Lawsuits.

3 Ways Structure Can Take Your Tech Startup To New Heights


Look no further than Google and Oracle , and you’ll see that no company is immune from IP impasses. Unfortunately, we work with companies that realize the IP actually belongs to a former partner or the organization that the founders worked for during the product’s early stages.

IP 38

The Audacious Plan to Make Electricity as Easy as WiFi

Both Sides of the Table

I seldom hire patent attorneys during due diligence but this was too important. We hired OSHA regulatory lawyers. We hired IP specialists to review prior art. We grilled their IP attorneys. When I first met Meredith Perry she was 24.

How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle and Avoid Wasting Time

Both Sides of the Table

One of the questions I’m most often asked by CEOs is how to hire sales people. I’ve written a lot about recruiting and hiring at startups including my controversial post on whom not to hire and my rapid response to the flame war.

StartupRoar - Great Content for Startups


This site aggregates and filters content from thought leaders who talk about topics such as Marketing , Sales , Design , Revenue , Hiring , Social Media , Business Models , Metrics , PR , Venture Capital , Angel Investors , Bootstrapping , Incubators , Agile and many others.

Startups and intellectual property: how much is a muse worth?

High Contrast

Every now and then, a comment merits its own post: I have a question regarding IP rights. The question is whose idea is it and who owns an IP for it? There is a legal standard as to what constitutes full IP ownership. I will not pretend to fully understand it but the gist is that it requires non-trivial input for someone to co-own IP with you. The equal sharing I honestly find a little random but it’s very rare that the IP would be worth anything.

Lying on your resume

Steve Blank

But instead the minute I said, “my first startup used CATV coax to implement a local-area network for process control systems (which 35 years ago pre-Ethernet and TCP/IP was pretty cutting edge.) In fact he had to convince the VP of Marketing who didn’t want to hire you.

Are You An Internet Entrepreneur In Colorado? Oppose PIPA!

Feld Thoughts

If you are a entrepreneur in Colorado who is working on something related to the Internet, please consider signing the following letter to Senator Udall and Senator Bennet opposing the Protect IP (PIPA) Act. As entrepreneurs in Colorado, we are writing because the Protect IP Act, now moving through the Senate (along with its House counterpart), poses a significant risk to the innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation that has characterized the Internet’s development.

Top Legal Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make


Finally, completely understand who owns what as the relationship persists, especially in the case of intellectual property (IP). Not Protecting IP Ownership. Some entrepreneurs make the mistake of creating IP for their new venture while they are still employed by another company.

Some Career Advice for Aspiring Tech CEOs

Both Sides of the Table

There is such a thing as a “diamond in the rough” and let’s face it – if the company was totally rocking would they be hiring you? the standard 4-6% for a hired-gun CEO). There are many companies with phenomenal IP that is truly differentiated but where the original executive team squandered their opportunity due to inability to sell, market or service customers. There is often money to be made in finding places with under-valued IP.

Going Global: 8 Things to Consider If You Want to Expand Your Business

Up and Running

If a local employee has a vested interest in the company, they are arguably more inclined to assist with introductions than they are likely to hire a translator. The choice of where to base your IP holding company has become a key strategic decision for a company’s board of directors.

Startup Blog: Take a Stand!

Taffy Williams

It may be around deal structure, testing or design of product, new hires, downsizing or firing, how much to spend on a program or some other issue. Think Ahead When You are Negotiating IP Rights A Few Great Links to Startup Articles ► April (11) Beyond Rumsfeld by (Stephen A.

The risks of being a small investor in a private company

Chris Dixon

Small investors invest in entity 1 that licenses IP from entity 2. Value of IP increases and entity 2 is sold and eventually cancels entity 1′s license, making entity 1 worthless. With the passage of the JOBS act , it seems that many more Americans will soon be able to buy equity in private companies.

Notes on the acquisition process

Chris Dixon

The most prominent one lately is “IP indemnification.” ” This is a complicated issue, but in short, as a response to patent trolls going after IP escrows, acquirers have been trying to get clawbacks from investors in case of IP claims. You need to understand all the potential deal-killer terms and hire an experienced startup law firm to help you. Ten years ago, startups financing was an insider’s game.

How to Master Content Marketing

Duct Tape Marketing

Do you believe that, as companies look to grow their teams, small business owners should all be hiring content-specific staff? The first 100 listeners will receive a FREE IP phone for every line (each an $85 value)!

IP 23

What Should You Do with Your Crappy Little Services Business?

Both Sides of the Table

Early in a services business there is usually no profits as the company reinvests in hiring people to grow, but by $20 million in sales the company should at least be pulling in 10% profits (if not more) depending on how much is reinvested. You own the IP you create.

You are the Best One to Build Your Startup Brand


I hear lots of excuses from startup founders, like “I’m too busy,” concern over IP security, can’t afford an agency, and it’s too early. I’m definitely not lobbying here for promising things you can’t deliver, or hiring a publicist before your first programmer.

Key Contracts Every Business Must Use


Whether a business is contemplating entering into a partnership, hiring a service provider or in the process of selling itself, a non-disclosure agreement should be utilized when information is shared with third parties. by Tej Prakash, co-founder of

How Would You Build a Movie Studio if You Started Today?

Both Sides of the Table

They hire world-class animators and sweat every detail of the drawings. So every company that I now work with or talk to that has a need for character-based IP — I always direct them to Andrew.

IP 43

How Great, Operationally-Focused CFO’s Can Transform Your Business

Both Sides of the Table

For a well-funded seed company I have controversially recommended hiring a great office manager that doubles as an administrative assistant. This happens because many CEOs are passionate, market-driven people who are constantly trying to launch new products, win contracts, get press, hire staff and woo VCs. Every hire you make takes time to negotiate their contract – even when you have standards. Legal threats from other IP holders? Hire a great CFO.

Who should learn to program?

Chris Dixon

Every company I know is hiring engineers (e.g. I’d also argue that if you are a non-technical person working at a web company the the first thing you should learn is internet architecture (DNS, http, html, web servers, database, TCP/UDP, IP, etc). There has recently been a lot of talk in the tech world and beyond about getting more people to learn computer programming. I think this is a worthy goal*, but the question should be considered from various angles.

Protecting The Safe Harbors Of The DMCA And Protecting Jobs

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

The content industry's lobbyists have forged two new bills, one in the Senate called Protect IP and one in the House called E-Parasites. And venture capitalists will think more than twice about putting $3mm of early stage capital into startups if they know that the vast majority of the funds will go to pay lawyers to defend the companies instead of to hire engineers to create and build product.

IP 117

What Start-Ups Need to Know About Protecting Intellectual Propery Around the World


Intellectual Property (IP) is vitally important to start-ups. The Start-Up Genome Project , which aims to map, model and analyze what makes start-ups tick, identified IP as a top source of competitive advantage for start-ups.

5 Affordable Ways to Strengthen Your Team

Up and Running

While hiring employees that get along and work well together goes a long way toward creating the strong culture that startups and small businesses need, even the best team needs some shoring up from time to time. Every small business owner knows how important a solid gang of employees can be.

The Importance of Partnership Agreements, NDAs, and Security: Lessons from HBO’s “Silicon Valley”

Up and Running

Even from the outset, Pied Piper had problems related to IP, with the founder having to beg a local irrigation company for the rights to the company name. That’s why having NDAs in place with all of your employees and contractors are an important part of hiring and exit practices.

The investment that didn’t happen

K9 Ventures

While Zappos was doing diligence on Modista, the issue was brought up that one of other companies in this space — , founded by Munjal Shah — had filed for some IP in this area.

Remember the square and round pegs must match the correct holes

Taffy Williams

They obtain the IP rights required to own the technology. Hire poorly and you can end up with a very dysfunctional team: read “ Supervising Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs.” Hiring them and assigning a role followed by lack of monitoring can lead to disaster.

PR for a Startup Should Not Start With an Agency

Startup Professionals Musings

I hear lots of excuses from startup founders, like “I’m too busy,” concern over IP security, can’t afford an agency, and it’s too early. I’m definitely not lobbying here for promising things you can’t deliver, or hiring a publicist before your first programmer.

PR 40

Five Lessons Learned From Bringing Cleantech to China

Secret Formula

tl;dr: Experienced cleantech CEOs leverage China instead of fearing it – enlisting self-interested partners to defend IP and manage risk. IP is the big challenge. When we asked about key challenges experienced in China, intellectual property (IP) protection topped the list.

IP 16