Category Archives: IP Issues

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Foley & Lardner to Sponsor Venture Cafe's IoT Connect 2017

Foley & Lardner’s Technology Industry Team is a proud sponsor of Venture Cafe’s IoT Connect 2017: What’s Hype and What’s Happening in IoT. SAVE THE DATE: November 30, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Venture Cafe is located at One Broadway, 5th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142. Please join us for all or a portion … Continue reading this entry

Looking Ahead: Top Issues Impacting the Tech Industry in 2017

As technology continues to reshape how business gets done and the way people live their lives, there are many reasons to be excited about the tech industry’s prospects heading into 2017. The more than 300 executives, investors, and advisors that recently convened in Boston for Foley & Lardner’s annual FoleyTECH Boston 2016 conference, discussed the … Continue reading this entry

Five Questions for Early-Stage Companies Looking to Protect Their IP

Throughout previous Emerging Company Exchange posts, we’ve discussed the importance of intellectual property (IP) for technology companies.  For medical device companies, regulatory guidelines present challenges that should be considered when developing an intellectual property strategy. Learn more about five common intellectual property quandaries facing early-stage medical device companies in our recent article on Medical Design … Continue reading this entry

“Better, Faster, Stronger” — Identifying and Protecting Your Competitive Differentiators

Competitive differentiators are the beneficial and unique aspects of your product or service compared to those of competitors. These qualities may provide benefits to consumers, such as a useful and unique feature, more reliable operation, or lower price; or may provide benefits to your organization, such as reducing manufacturing or operational costs. A competitive differentiator … Continue reading this entry

Three Trending Topics in IoT: Privacy, Security, and Fog Computing

Cisco has estimated that there will be 50 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected to the Internet by the year 2020. IoT has been a buzzword over the past couple of years. However, the buzz surrounding IoT in the year 2015 has IoT enthusiasts particularly excited. This year, IoT has taken center stage at … Continue reading this entry

Acquisition of HERE – a Prime Example of How IP Can “Drive” Value

Earlier this month, the news reported that several automakers, including BMW, Audi and Daimler, agreed to acquire HERE Global (Nokia’s map business) for $2.8 billion. Reuters reported that HERE’s primary competitor is Google Maps, and that the automakers outbid Uber and Baidu. Why would the automakers pay billions for an alternative to Google Maps? What … Continue reading this entry

Mark Your Calendars: 2015 FOLEYTech Summit

Join us on October 1, 2015 as we explore how the evolution of technology has transformed business and altered the investing landscape. Our 11th annual FOLEYTech Summit will bring together tech entrepreneurs, executives, managers, investors and advisers.… Continue reading this entry

How Can You Safely Discuss Your IP With Others?

As discussed in our previous posts, startups are about capitalizing on ideas, contacts and experience. In the early stages of a startup or pre-startup, founders often socialize their business plan and details about their idea to receive feedback, recruit talent, and obtain funding. However, founders may naturally feel uncomfortable disclosing their plans and ideas to … Continue reading this entry

Do You Really Own All Your IP?

As we discussed in our inaugural posts in this series, after management, the most valuable asset for most startups can be their intellectual property (IP). And as such, it is important for a startup to own its intellectual property.  That sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! In the early stages of a startup, individuals typically collaborate … Continue reading this entry

5 Intellectual Property Considerations for Startups - Part II

In Part I of this article, we introduced two of five threshold Intellectual Property (IP) questions that every startup should consider: Do you own all of your IP? How can you safely discuss your IP with others? In this article, we introduce the remaining three considerations: How do you identify and protect your competitive differentiators? … Continue reading this entry

5 Intellectual Property Considerations for Startups - Part I

A successful startup provides a solution to a market need. Typically, the solution involves a new or improved device or technique. As a startup defines and develops its solution, intellectual property (IP) becomes a core asset of the company. Indeed, after management members themselves, IP is often a startup’s most valuable asset. This is the … Continue reading this entry

You Think You Own Your IP? Think Again!

If we asked you whether you own your intellectual property, your answer most likely would be a swift and unqualified “yes.” Not so fast… Did you invent your idea while at school or working for your prior employer? Has everyone ever involved with your idea signed an assignment of inventions agreement? It is not uncommon … Continue reading this entry

Defensive Publication: An Alternate Way of Maintaining Your Turf in a Competitive Marketplace

It is common knowledge that the bread-and-butter of emerging startups lies in securing exclusive rights to key aspects of their implicated technology. Staking claims to valuable IP assets via direct ownership or exclusive licensing remains a huge priority, especially in light of the America Invents Act’s First Inventor to File regime. The flipside to maintaining … Continue reading this entry

"Enablement, Enablement, Enablement": Evaluating the Strength of a Provisional Patent

There’s an old saying that, when it comes to establishing the value of real property, it’s all about “location, location, location.”  When it comes to intellectual property, it can be said that it’s all about “enablement, enablement, enablement.”  This is true whether one is considering a utility patent application, which can ultimately mature into a … Continue reading this entry

Think Before You Share, Part I: Can They Use My Data, and If So, For What?

Increasingly, software vendors and professional services providers (for example, consultants and software implementation vendors) request or require access to their customers’ data as part of delivering their products and services. This kind of data sharing can produce powerful, low-cost products and services – but it is not without risk. Before you share your data with … Continue reading this entry

New Top Level Domains Present Brand-Protection Challenges

New generic top level domains (gTLDs) are set to greatly expand the number of available top-level domains in the coming months. Among the hundreds of new gTLDs that will be introduced shortly are “.shop”, “.news”, “.computer”, and “.store”. The initial evaluation of applications submitted for these and hundreds of other top level domains is scheduled to be … Continue reading this entry