Eric Jensen, Partner, Cooley Godward Kronish

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Slide Deck from 'Start-Up Law 101: Protecting Intellectual Property and Legal Strategy (Formerly: How to Run Your Startup
and Not Get Screwed by Lawyers)' at EntrepreneurTrek Mar 21 at Stanford GSB

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Eric Jensen, Partner, Cooley Godward Kronish

  1. 1. Start-Up Law 101: Protecting Intellectual Property and Legal Strategy (Formerly: How to Run Your Startup and Not Get Screwed by Lawyers) 763590/HN Eric C. Jensen Palo Alto Campus, Hanover Bldg. 3175 Hanover Street Palo Alto, CA 94304-1130 T: 650/843-5049 Email: ejensen@cooley.com March 21, 2009
  2. 2. Lawyers <ul><li>“ The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dick The Butcher, Shakespeare’s King Henry VI </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The first thing we do, let’s kill all the taxing politicians” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joe the Plumber, McCain’s 2008 Presidential Campaign </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Top 10 Ways to Avoid Other Lawyers <ul><li>Get IP assignments from co-founders or other employees/contractors </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you don’t have IP from former employers </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t violate non-competes/non-solicits or use third party IP to poach employees from other companies </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use “finders” to help raise funding </li></ul><ul><li>Tax issues matter – understand codes – 83(b), 409A, even 280G </li></ul><ul><li>Check trademark databases, not just domain names, before you invest a lot in a name </li></ul><ul><li>Start the process of developing patents to use as a defense in the inevitable lawsuit (long-term issue only) </li></ul><ul><li>Use NDAs, but be realistic about their value </li></ul><ul><li>Start with the legal framework in developing strategy for the regulated parts of your business (e.g., clean tech) </li></ul><ul><li>The U.S. ain’t got nothing on China or the ROW </li></ul>
  4. 4. Top 10 Factors in Choosing/Using Your Lawyer (from a former G.C.) <ul><li>Industry and deal specific expertise … but business focus, no matter what legal specialty </li></ul><ul><li>Senior person that you trust/click with … but all team members matter </li></ul><ul><li>Find a firm with the resources you need now or will need soon … but “brand” is no guarantee of a good fit </li></ul><ul><li>Rarely can one law firm do it all </li></ul><ul><li>Check references </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate at an early stage </li></ul><ul><li>Manage or delegate </li></ul><ul><li>Get the right “alternative” fee arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>But … results and actual bills are what matter </li></ul><ul><li>Make them a true partner </li></ul>

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