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.
Technology - Computer Hardware
Companies at the forefront of the hardware sector rely on legal counsel that understands their business and technologies. Experience is a paramount in computer hardware industry. Laws that govern computer hardware vary significantly around the world. More than any other industry, computer hardware is characterized by low barriers to entry and standardization to facilitate compatibility.
Protecting and commercializing computer hardware calls on a host of different areas of law. Statutory and common law forms of property rights are used to protect the computer hardware. Employment law is referred to in determining the legal status of the relationship between the developer and its workers, and the client and hardware developer, important when determining ownership. Sale of goods legislation (the Uniform Commercial Code in the United States of America) can apply when determining the extent of the warranties that a vendor of hardware has made. Entertainment law (as a sub-set of copyright law) is called on when dealing with multi-media content. The law relating to damages and economic loss can apply in the event that software is faulty.
We understand and apply these principles, whether we are forming a client's intellectual property strategy, determining whether to make or buy technology, defending against allegations of infringement or drafting licenses. We can provide technology companies with comprehensive in-depth legal expertise adapted to the issues unique to the hardware field. In the area of computer hardware, we counsel owners, developers, distributors, licensees and others in a wide range of computer issues, spanning a host of business transactions and commercial disputes. We address issues of local law, antitrust and regulatory compliance in every transaction, strategic plan and intellectual property matter we handle.
By working closely with inventors during early stages of business' growth, our team focuses on protection of current products as well as support for covering future products. We work with inventors and companies involved in all aspects of computer and hardware design as well as counsel companies developing technologies in areas such as wireless communications, TCP/IP, voice over Internet (VoIP), object-oriented systems, HTML/XML, cryptography, microprocessor design, and parallel and distributed computing.
Our involvement includes preparing, reviewing and negotiating contracts, such as agreements in the following areas: hardware licensing, hardware development, maintenance, leasing, hardware purchase and turnkey, computer service and outsourcing, nondisclosure, original equipment manufacturer, dealership, vendor distribution forms and manufacturer’s representative agreements, among others. We also draft and register patents, copyright and trademarks before United States Patent and Trademark Office and Canadian Intellectual Property Office to protect ownership rights in computer hardware technology developed by our clients.
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