Apr 2011 ACC Docket A Worldwide Wiki FLETCHER

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Tips on setting up a worldwide legal office using a wiki.

Tips on setting up a worldwide legal office using a wiki.

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  • 1. INSIDE: Latin American Briefings April 2011 Are InternationalSEC ONDME N T S Foreign to You? Independent Contractor Status Third-Party Harassment Medical Marijuana Employee Medical Data Non-Compete Agreements Wage and Hour Class Actions
  • 2. HEARSAY *RLQJ *OREDO _ 1HZ WR ,QKRXVH _ ,QV 2XWV _ 6PDOO /DZ _ 7KH &RQWUDFWXDO &RJLWDWRU _ 2XWVRXUFH 5HVRXUFH he Times They Are a- to a process, the more complicated it have done this job right when people“T Changin’,” or so wrote Bob Dylan. I am not sure he was writingabout in-house legal counsel then,but the words ring true for us today. becomes, and the less likely the process will be successful. As for what to post on a wiki, the sky is the limit. Our legal group is a particularly good looking group (just start quoting your own procedures back to you. One area I found particu- larly useful is posting our copyright registration procedures. The overall policy is posted along with the reason-The biggest changes are brought by in case someone from the legal group ing behind the policy. Having thetechnologies, one of which I have used reads this), so we started out with policy and procedures posted makessuccessfully over the past three-plus photos of ourselves and then listed it all the more efficient to collect theyears: the wiki. our areas of responsibility — a list necessary pages of source code from of who to approach extremely busy engineers. when you need legal Another benefit of a well-plannedA Worldwide Wiki support. Each section is assigned to a dif- wiki is that you have a ready-made presentation for new employee orien-BY FRANK FLETCHER ferent person within tation. All you have to do is boot up the legal group, and your laptop, go to the wiki and walk where appropriate, through the sections of interest. If a I have often thought about how a business partner is listed. The wiki situation arises such that you need toI could establish a successful global covers basics such as template agree- create a new internal presentation orlegal department for a company with ments and attendant rules of use, training module, you can post it onoffices in Germany, the United States directions on how to work effectively the wiki. This also applies to an emailand Asia — a company that never with legal, and when it is necessary to that summarizes policy. After you draftsleeps. I wanted to develop a system get finance or the technical approvals the email, you can cut and paste into athat was user-friendly and would beforehand. memo template, and then post on theencourage involvement. After some The wiki is a good place to post in- wiki. No reason to reinvent the wheel,consultations and discussions, I settled formation on the company’s intellectu- or in this situation invent the wheel andon developing an information source al properties and what needs to occur then lose the wheel. Individuals whothrough a wiki. For those who are only to protect the company’s rights. We want to grow have a resource they canpartly familiar with the term, a wiki is listed our company trademarks and access. As long as the rules of use aresoftware that allows you to make a site instructions on how to use the marks, followed, the employees can go forwardof internally linked webpages that can training materials and procedures for and in such a way that they are empow-be easily edited. The best example is how to involve legal in the trademark ered. Or at least they have someone toWikipedia. selection process. The same works in blame if they follow the rules and get in A wiki is not as wide open as some the patent area as you can post issued trouble.would think. The administrator can set patents and patent applications in A wiki isn’t the solution for everythe rules and be informed of changes. process, training materials and blank company but it makes for a user-For example, access can be limited to invention disclosures. Another good friendly, collaborative, cost effectivecertain groups such as senior manage- topic for a wiki is your company’s solution for some companies. Withment. A wiki is also relatively easy to export compliance rules and prod- a bit of daring, it is a process that ause. The tutorial we developed is only uct classifications. If you have open legal group can set up and own.one page. A primary reason I selected source and/or new product release ap-the wiki was because it allows contri- proval processes, this is a great place Have a comment on this article? Visitbutions to be made directly by users to post these materials. ACC’s blog at www.inhouseaccess.com/without involvement of IT. Not that Such processes can be complex and articles/acc-docket.I have anything against IT (in case it can be difficult to get internal buysomeone from our IT department ever in. A set of clear procedures helps toreads this), but the more steps you add simplify the processes. You know you FRANK FLETCHER is general counsel for Nero AG headquartered in Karlsbad, Germany with subsidiaries in Hangzhou, China; Yokohama, Japan; and Glendale, California, where he usually can be found. Fletcher can be contacted at ffletcher@nero.com. ACC Docket 16 April 2011