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Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
Cover your ASSets
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Cover your ASSets

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  • 1. Protecting Your ASSets – Intellectual Property
    Presented by Kirk Cesari
    CESARI INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
    AUSTIN, TX
    512-921-9069
    kcesari@cesari-iplaw.com
    4/12/2011
    1
  • 2. What is Intellectual Property (IP)?
    A creative work, invention, idea, or useful information
    Trademarks
    Patents
    Copyrights
    Trade Secrets
    Confidential Information
    Examples: company or product names, products, inventions, music, photos, business plans, clients lists … potentially any idea or creative work valuable to your business.
    4/12/2011
    2
  • 3. Intellectual Property Myths
    Intellectual Property doesn’t matter to my business.
    I can use the same strategies as some other company is using.
    Form contracts are great, I just plug in my business name and sign on the line.
    Software is not patentable.
    A big law firm can do it all, so I’ll just hire them for everything (self-promoting plug)
    4/12/2011
    3
  • 4. Why IP matters…
    You have a business and you have competitors
    You have a great idea and you don’t want someone else to exploit it
    You are trying to get funding for your start-up
    What should you do?
    4/12/2011
    4
  • 5. Protect your ASSets
    Contracts
    Employment and Independent Contractor Agreements
    Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
    Exclusivity Agreements, Development Agreements, etc.
    Trademarks
    Patents
    Copyrights
    Trade Secrets
    4/12/2011
    5
  • 6. What can be a Trademark?
    A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.
    A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods.
    4/12/2011
    Page 6
  • 7. Trademark FAQs
    Is registration required?
    No, but many benefits are provided
    What can be a trademark?
    A mark that is distinctive –it can identify a source of goods
    There are four general categories: (1) arbitrary or fanciful, (2) suggestive, (3) descriptive, or (4) generic.
    The requirements for, and degree of, legal protection will depend upon which category it is in.
    4/12/2011
    7
  • 8. What is a Patent?
    • An exclusive right to make, use, or sell
    • 9. Subject matter for a patent: machine, process, composition of matter, or article of manufacture
    • 10. U.S. Patent Term –20 years from date of filing
    • 11. Provisional Patent – establishes a filing data and acts as a 1-year placeholder for the applicant to file a regular (utility, etc.) patent application
    4/12/2011
    Page 8
  • 12. Why Get Patents?
    • Potential valuable asset
    • 13. Licensing and royalty potential
    • 14. Cross-licensing
    • 15. Documentation of R/D efforts
    • 16. Ammunition (via counterclaims of infringement)
    • 17. May cause competitors to have to avoid
    • 18. Rewards innovation
    • 19. Protects capital investment
    4/12/2011
    Page 9
  • 20. Copyright Basics
    • A Copyright is secured automatically when an original works of authorship is created.
    • 21. In the U.S., Federal Registration provides the owner with several advantages
    • 22. Registration may be made at any time within the life of the copyright
    • 23. Works made for hire have a duration of 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.
    4/12/2011
    Page 10
  • 24. What is not Copyrightable?
    • Works that have not been fixed in a tangible medium of expression
    • 25. Titles, Names, Short Phrases, and Slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographical ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents
    • 26. Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices
    • 27. Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship (such as alphabetical white page listings)
    4/12/2011
    Page 11
  • 28. Trade Secrets
    “…any information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public or other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure and use and is subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.”
    -Uniform Trade Secrets Act
    4/12/2011
    Page 12
  • 29. Economically Valuable Information
    May include:
    “Know-How” information
    Positive or negative information that could be of potential use
    Information concerning customers or vendors
    Pending unpublished patent applications and disclosures
    Processes or compilations of information
    4/12/2011
    Page 13
  • 30. Confidential Information
    Confidential Information may include:
    any Company proprietary information, technical data, trade secrets or know-how
    Such as: research, product plans, services, customer lists, markets, software, development, inventions, processes, …marketing, finances, or other business information.
    4/12/2011
    Page 14
  • 31. Sharing of Confidential Information
    Limit distribution, only share with those who have a “need-to-know”
    have signed a contract that protects the information (NDA, employment agreement, contractor agreement, development agreement, etc.)
    Label all confidential information as such
    Properly dispose of Confidential Information
    Prior to sharing information with another, determine if you need an NDA to cover your discussions
    4/12/2011
    Page 15

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