Protecting Your 'Secret Sauce' GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL Counsel For Your Global Business Laura A. Peter, Esq.
About Laura Peter, Principal Global General Counsel <ul><li>10 years In-House Protecting Technology and Getting Deals Done...
What Makes a Successful Business? <ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Proprietary Information </li></ul><ul><li>Implementatio...
Protection Focus <ul><li>Employee Contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Patent & Other Formal Protection </li></ul><ul><li>Confident...
Make Sure You Own Your IP! <ul><li>At the outset, ownership of the patent remains in the  inventor's  possession.  </li></...
Make sure you Own your IP! Written Contracts – Key Terms <ul><li>For ALL Founders, Employees AND Consultants </li></ul><ul...
Lock down your IP! Legal Vehicles <ul><li>Trade Secrets – Keep your ‘Secret Sauce’ secret! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formula f...
What rights do I get from a Patent? <ul><li>A patent is NOT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a right to  use  the invention </li></ul...
What Can I get a Patent On? <ul><li>Useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter (35 USC §101...
Invention Mining <ul><li>What makes your gizmo work?  What is new about how it works? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes the way...
<ul><li>REVOLUTIONARY  INVENTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>AND  </li></ul><ul><li>EVOLUTIONARY  INVENTIONS </li></ul>© 2009 Laura...
Anatomy of a Patent <ul><li>Abstract :  summarizes the invention </li></ul><ul><li>Drawings:  illustrate the invention </l...
How Much does a Patent Cost? <ul><li>U.S.  Patent Filings - Start to Finish: $22,000–$34,000  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$12,00...
Keep Ownership of your IP!  <ul><li>Confidentiality Agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Also Known As  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conf...
Keep Ownership of your IP!  <ul><li>One size NDA does NOT fit all! </li></ul><ul><li>Who are you talking to? </li></ul><ul...
Keep Ownership of Your IP! <ul><li>Explicitly Define What Your Proprietary/Confidential Information is in  General  &  Spe...
Keep Ownership of your IP! <ul><li>Define and limit the Purpose for which the Other Party can use Your Confidential Info: ...
Keep Ownership of your IP! <ul><li>Express “No License” to Your IP: </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing herein shall be construed as...
Keep Ownership of your IP! Beware if Sneaky Terms! <ul><li>“ Sign In” NDAs – may control! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Residuals” o...
Contact <ul><li>GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL </li></ul><ul><li>Laura Peter, Principal </li></ul><ul><li>San Francisco, Californi...
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Laura Peter, Principal, Global General Counsel

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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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  • Transcript of "Laura Peter, Principal, Global General Counsel"

    1. 1. Protecting Your 'Secret Sauce' GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL Counsel For Your Global Business Laura A. Peter, Esq.
    2. 2. About Laura Peter, Principal Global General Counsel <ul><li>10 years In-House Protecting Technology and Getting Deals Done </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General Counsel for Immersion Corp (publicly traded) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Director of IP for Foundry Networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>7 years: Law Firm Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Qualified Patent Attorney (USPTO) </li></ul><ul><li>Admitted to Practice Law in U.S. and England </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Credentials: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>B.S., Cornell U.; M.A., U of Chicago; J.D., Santa Clara U.; LL.M., University of London, King’s College </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. What Makes a Successful Business? <ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Proprietary Information </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Right Place & Time </li></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    4. 4. Protection Focus <ul><li>Employee Contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Patent & Other Formal Protection </li></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality Agreements </li></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    5. 5. Make Sure You Own Your IP! <ul><li>At the outset, ownership of the patent remains in the inventor's possession. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But, the employer may have a non-exclusive right to use an invention made by an employee on company time (“Shop right”) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Employee agreements are critical to ensure proper assignment to the employer of all of their rights in an invention. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware that investors typically will withhold funding until ownership of all intellectual property is assigned in writing to Your Company </li></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    6. 6. Make sure you Own your IP! Written Contracts – Key Terms <ul><li>For ALL Founders, Employees AND Consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Careful, complete definition of “Inventions” </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment of all Inventions </li></ul><ul><li>License to All Pre-existing Material used for My Company </li></ul><ul><li>Power of Attorney for Patent Prosecution </li></ul><ul><li>California Exclusion Notice </li></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    7. 7. Lock down your IP! Legal Vehicles <ul><li>Trade Secrets – Keep your ‘Secret Sauce’ secret! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formula for Coca-cola </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard-to-detect processes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Formal Published Vehicles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patent, Copyright, Trademark </li></ul></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    8. 8. What rights do I get from a Patent? <ul><li>A patent is NOT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a right to use the invention </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A patent IS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the right to exclude others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From Making, Using, Selling, Offering for Sale, or Importing the invention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For the Term: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>usually 20 years from the filing date (subject to the payment of maintenance fees). </li></ul></ul></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    9. 9. What Can I get a Patent On? <ul><li>Useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter (35 USC §101) </li></ul><ul><li>Improvements to existing inventions </li></ul><ul><li>Software? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the U.S. usually yes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business Methods? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the U.S., possibly not (get a good attorney) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not Patentable: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Algorithms, naturally occurring things, literary works, compositions of music, compilations of data, legal documents (such as insurance policies), and forms of energy (such as data packets transmitted over the Internet) </li></ul></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    10. 10. Invention Mining <ul><li>What makes your gizmo work? What is new about how it works? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes the way your gizmo works different from other similar gizmos? </li></ul><ul><li>How is your gizmo used by people? Does it produce a unique result? </li></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    11. 11. <ul><li>REVOLUTIONARY INVENTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>AND </li></ul><ul><li>EVOLUTIONARY INVENTIONS </li></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    12. 12. Anatomy of a Patent <ul><li>Abstract : summarizes the invention </li></ul><ul><li>Drawings: illustrate the invention </li></ul><ul><li>A brief description of the prior art or state of technology pointing out its failure to solve a particular problem </li></ul><ul><li>A brief description of the problem the invention solves </li></ul><ul><li>A detailed description of the invention that is cross referenced to the drawings </li></ul><ul><li>Most importantly, one or more claims that distinctly and clearly define the invention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The claims define your legal rights! </li></ul></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    13. 13. How Much does a Patent Cost? <ul><li>U.S. Patent Filings - Start to Finish: $22,000–$34,000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$12,000–$14,000 to prepare the application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$5,000–$10,000 for prosecution costs and issue-fee payment, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$5,000–$10,000 for maintenance fees over the life of the patent, depending upon whether the company is a large or small entity. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Foreign Patent Filings – Depends on Country: $10k to $25+ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare, Translate and File the application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>prosecution costs and issue-fee payment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Annual Maintenance Fees – Each Country Patent Issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., Japan increases over protection period – very expensive! </li></ul></ul></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    14. 14. Keep Ownership of your IP! <ul><li>Confidentiality Agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Also Known As </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidential Information Disclosure Agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CDA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-Disclosure Agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NDA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proprietary Information Agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PIA </li></ul></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    15. 15. Keep Ownership of your IP! <ul><li>One size NDA does NOT fit all! </li></ul><ul><li>Who are you talking to? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential Investor (e.g. a VC)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospective employee? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospective Client? </li></ul></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    16. 16. Keep Ownership of Your IP! <ul><li>Explicitly Define What Your Proprietary/Confidential Information is in General & Specific Terms! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General: e.g., “Confidential Information” shall include business information, algorithms, source code, future plans, product road maps, know-how, trade secrets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specifically: e.g., “Confidential Information” expressly includes the source code related to processing financial transactions owned by My Company </li></ul></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    17. 17. Keep Ownership of your IP! <ul><li>Define and limit the Purpose for which the Other Party can use Your Confidential Info: </li></ul><ul><li>Recipient shall have the right to make use of Confidential Information solely for the Purpose, namely … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. “the right to evaluate My Company’s product for possible integration into Your Company’s product.” </li></ul></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    18. 18. Keep Ownership of your IP! <ul><li>Express “No License” to Your IP: </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing herein shall be construed as granting Recipient any license, express or implied, under any of the Discloser’s intellectual property rights. </li></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    19. 19. Keep Ownership of your IP! Beware if Sneaky Terms! <ul><li>“ Sign In” NDAs – may control! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Residuals” or “Feedback” clauses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whatever Your Company remembers of My Company’s confidential information is automatically licensed to Your Company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Notwithstanding any other provision in this Agreement, if Recipient provides any ideas, suggestions or recommendations to Discloser regarding Discloser's Confidential Information (&quot;Feedback&quot;), Discloser is free to use and incorporate such Feedback in Discloser’s products, without payment of royalties or other consideration to Recipient” </li></ul></ul></ul>© 2009 Laura A. Peter GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL
    20. 20. Contact <ul><li>GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL </li></ul><ul><li>Laura Peter, Principal </li></ul><ul><li>San Francisco, California </li></ul><ul><li>Email. [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Blog. globalgeneralcounsel.blogspot.com </li></ul><ul><li>Website. www.globalgeneralcounsel.com </li></ul>

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