Choice of Business Entity for Technology Startup
In Canada business entities considered by entrepreneurs include: (1) sole proprietorships, (2) partnerships and limited partnerships and (3) corporations. Each of these entities has advantages as well as disadvantages. Choice of the entity is usually not irrevocable, and often an initial decision will be made with the understanding that, at the appropriate time, a different form of organization will be used.
Protection of Intellectual Property in Technology Startup
Aside from competence of management team, control of intellectual property is a major focus of investor scrutiny. The ability to identify and protect intellectual property directly reflects on investor confidence and the resulting access to capital available to technology start-up. Protection of intellectual property assets is available through the law of copyright, trade secrets, patents and trademarks.
Pinsky Law, Patent & Trademark Agents, is a business, technology and intellectual property law firm providing a range of cost effective legal services to support companies involved in the development, distribution and use of technology and intellectual property assets. We also serve as corporate general counsel on a part-time basis for clients whose management teams require dedicated, in-house legal management and resources, but are not yet large enough to justify hiring full-time general counsel. A niche status and use of technology enable us to provide high quality, cost effective solutions to a broad range of clients.
In the interest of cost-effectiveness, we render a mandatory one hour initial consultation in order to address issues and questions potential clients may have before retaining our services. During the initial consultation we clarify facts of your case, discuss legal options and strategies available, define what services you may require, and estimate a fee for your representation. The cost of the one hour initial consultation is two hundred and eighty dollars ($280.00). The payment must be made before the consultation is scheduled. Telephone and eMail consultations are available, for those outside of Toronto and Kitchener/Waterloo areas.
What We Do Not Do
We do not provide free consultations. Free consultations are not consultations - they are free auditions. You get what you pay for and 'free auditions’ are not free - they are designed to get you in office for a distorted advice of a professional who encourages you to retain him or her so that they can make a living. We do not do that.
We do not charge large or hidden fees. We only charge pre-agreed fees.
We do not exaggerate the patentability of your invention. We provide honest, laconic, and straightforward advice. If you should not patent, we will tell you that.
We do not represent, or assist to, self-represented individuals. If you decided to save money and yourself drafted an agreement, a trademark application, or a patent application, we will not review your work and we will not file it under our law firm's name. Having decided to be your own lawyer, you are on your own.
Clients have come to us from other firms and lamented about the billing policies they endured. As a client of the Firm you do not pay for basic business, technology and intellectual property law research. We do not charge our clients to maintain our knowledge of the law and procedure. Furthermore, due to the wide range of business and intellectual property matters we handle, it is quite common that we have dealt with the same issue before. Accordingly, we can appropriate much of our existing work to handle the new matter.
Our rates are approximately one-half the rates of our peers at large firms for most client matters. How? We leveraged technology, and we eliminated the high overhead, inexperienced lawyers, and pyramid leverage of the traditional law firm's business model to maximize value for our clients. We have a simple philosophy when approaching fees and billing - we treat our clients' money like we would treat our own. Unlike large, general practice law firms we do not separate the billing department from the legal department. We are accountable for the work and fees we bill. There must always be meaningful and clear value to the work that is billed. If not, such charges will not be incurred.
Advance of Fees
Before we begin work on behalf of clients, we require an advance payment of fees. The advance payment is placed in the Firm's trust account and serves as a source of payment for all or part of the Firm's account or accounts when rendered. Clients are asked to replenish the trust account from time to time. Any unused portion of fees will be returned to clients upon completion of a project. Incorporation of a company or filing of trademark, patent and copyright applications all require payment of government fees. Prior to any incorporation of a company or filing of trademark, patent or copyright applications, all government fees must be deposited in the Firm's trust account.
The time billing fees are based principally on the time spent by the Firm on behalf of clients. Minimum billing increment is six (6) minutes. Records of all time are kept and accounts are then prepared and sent to clients periodically.
As we noted above, our practice encounters the same issues and procedures repeatedly. While the client might be new to corporate or patent or trademark application process, we are experienced. The Firm and our longstanding clients have a strong preference to utilize a flat-fee billing whenever possible. Accordingly, we attempt, if we see fit, to prepare flat-fee estimates for work prior to the initiation of the project. Flat fees give clients security in knowing the anticipated costs for matter and promotes efficiency in the legal process. For example, a typical patent application step-by-step flow chart is shown below.
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