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Articles

This Simple, But Brilliant Legal Strategy Saved Dropbox

The year was 2007, MIT students, Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, had the computer science background and started to put together some of the code that would become the seed of today’s most popular file-sharing software.  The idea of a simple computer folder that would allow users to access files anywhere was born. Drew and Arash…
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Startup Formation: What You Need to Know

Formation You probably already know that must be some separate legal entity, and I’ll discuss more about how to actually set that up in a bit more detail here, as well. For now, all you need to know is that this separate legal entity will own all of the inventions, intellectual property, and all other…
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Startup Equity Allocation: Why Your Idea Is Worth Nothing

Equity Valuation and Allocation Equity allocation is an important concept to understand at the outset of your venture. Think of it as your company stock is a pie and you and your co-founders are trying to figure out how to divide the pie amongst yourselves. This is actually a very important issue that comes up…
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How to Convert a California LLC to a Corporation

Many business owners start their business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). There are several reasons for this. First, LLCs are much simpler to create, by having a qualified attorney file the correct LLC forms with the California Secretary of State, pay the LLC fees and $800 dollar minimum franchise tax and you’re all set.…
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Why Hire a Private Trademark Attorney

Filing a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) starts a legal proceeding that is governed by U.S. law. While you may represent yourself in this legal proceeding, most applicants hire attorneys who specialize in trademark matters. Many continue to use attorneys after their trademarks are registered. A private trademark attorney…
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E-signature’s and the Law: A Practical Guide

The so-called “e-sign” law is a federal law that makes the signature on a contract valid if it is signed electronically, unless it is prohibited by agreement or by some State laws. Phil Green was the Chair of the California State Bar– Standing Committee on Cyberspace Law at the time the State of California was…
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What Can A Copyright Do For You

What Copyright DOES NOT Protect? Copyright does not protect the idea itself, in fact, ideas are as “free as the wind.” There is a “Common law copyright” in unfixed ideas, and this subsists in the expression of the ideas on “canvas.” Once fixed in a tangible medium the protections and evidentiary effects of the Copyright…
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Trademark Buzz-words Everyone Should Know

Trademarks are words, symbols or devices used to distinguish the goods or services of one business from those of others. Throughout this article the word “mark” us used to mean both Trademarks and Service Marks; the difference is the type of basic use, either for goods or services. What I state for marks generally applies…
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