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Who Owns Your Company's Intellectual Property?

Vince Lombardi once said that winning wasn't everything.  It's the only thing. For startup technology and life science companies, the same could be said about your firm's intellectual property.

One area that many entrepreneurs overlook is determining who owns the company's intellectual property: the business entity or one of the founders?  If a founder, intellectual property that could be crucial to the success of the company can "walk out the door" if the founder leaves.

To protect your firm's intellectual property:

  • Create a legal entity for your enterprise.
  • Document the transfer of Intellectual property from the founder or founders to the legal entity.
  • Ensure that any intellectual property that is subsequently created is owned by the legal entity.

To avoid expensive mistakes, work with experienced legal counsel who can help your startup:

  • Identify and categorize your company's intellectual property assets
  • Recommend policies and procedures to protect your IP assets
  • Identify opportunities to protect patentable inventions
  • Develop and manage your intellectual property portfolio
  • Prepare written nondisclosure agreements prior to discussions with outside third parties
  • Identify opportunities to protect patentable inventions

Intellectual property is an increasingly important part of the global marketplace. Protecting and making the most of your firm's IP assets are key to your company's success.  Any mistakes that you make at the beginning of your enterprise can be difficult or impossible to correct later.

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