When I say software and intellectual property, chances are you first think -patent protection- but if you're sourcing out your software development to employees or independent contractors, dealing with copyright ownership on the front end is crucial. And just because something is patentable, doesn’t mean it can’t find protection under copyright law. The literal elements of computer programs - source and object codes - are deemed “literary works” and subject to copyright protection, limited to exclude any functional or utilitarian aspect of the work (note some non-literal aspects of a program, like screen display, may be protectable as an audiovisual work, but that’s outside the scope of this article).
Calling all mural and tattoo artists, you officially have your day in court!
Actually, several ongoing cases involving publicly displaying artists are defining not only the rights of artists and traditional property owners (i.e. building owners subject to graffiti), but also movie and video game publishers, car manufacturers, and political organizations. Before diving into the details, let’s take a stroll through the lovely, inspiring, and weird land of art law. To fully appreciate the sights and sounds of our journey, we need to reference our field guide for some examples of what may be considered publicly displayed art.
If you're considering crowdfunding a capital raise, here are 10 things to keep in mind.
It’s October 2018. By now, most everybody knows or should know what it means to crowdfund an idea. By its own account, Indiegogo has launched over 800,000 ideas through a network of over 9 million users throughout 235 countries. And that’s just one platform.
As we’ve written before, there’s a difference between donation-based, or ‘rewards’ crowdfunding, and securities-based crowdfunding. With donation-based crowdfunding, you may be able to launch a new company or new product line by more or less enticing donors through promises of first distribution; to early adopters, nothing is sexier. With securities-based crowdfunding, you look to scale your company through debt or equity transactions offered through similar mechanisms as donor funding, but with additional strings attached.
As entrepreneur-attorneys who have lived the valley-of-death experience, we love the reformed securities laws and the technological advances that encourage greater funding potential for more small businesses. Notwithstanding, we can’t stress enough that securities-based crowdfunding should be pursued patiently and with sound counsel. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) offers a number of investor-facing guidelines for responsible crowdfunding investing.
Imagine you built a company five years ago and developed a distinctive logo to emblemize your brand. But now, some time has passed, preferences have evolved, styles changed, and it's just time to refresh your image. To what extent can you modify your logo's appearance before forfeiting any trademark rights?