I attended an event held by Talyor Wessing this morning, it’s about all of the legal issues with Seed Funding, IP & Shares. Below is what I take home:
Patent very difficult to apply. Different nations have different offices.
US patent is standalone and shouldn’t be ignored.
Trade marks, company registration is not enough.
It can be filed with Intellectual Property Office in the UK.
For International trade marks, Community trade mark, Madrid protocol.
It’s typical to spend £2000 for community trade mark. 1500 for the UK trade mark.
Start with one country at first then expand.
Arises automatically on creation
Founders, before company setup, founders own IP. After, the company owns it, should sign an IPR from day one. assigned into the company. Can be done at any stage, although hard to do later.
Contractors, they own their IPR. Should be in the contracts to assign the copyright to the company.
Look for permanent license if contractors own it.
Open source, we should have a strict eye to use. Ask contractors to list the open source projects.
Contribution to open source, lawyers will be nervous. Should be put into the assignment.
Universities, labs have their own copyright rules.
Understand impact to the model.
Cookies, reasonably clear Uk. Rest of EU, work in progress.
Touchstone, do users understand what happens?
Types of funding
Shares(common in the UK)
Convertible Loan Notes (common in the US)
Investment Doc Seed funding
rely on share rights
Articles, pre-emption on issues, no transferable shares.
Avoid millstones in terms.
An interesting thing to mention is that UK has the similar legal system as the US, so it’s much easier to use similar legal documents for both of the countries. The EU is however another story.
Here is the link to their website: TW Tech Focus