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Startup Law A to Z: Intellectual Property – TechCrunch

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Whether protected through copyright, trade secret, trademark, or patents, software technology companies depend on IP more so than perhaps any other business type in history.

It is surprising, then, just how little founders think about protecting their own IP. Sure, “product-market fit” is an all-engrossing search for truth that tolerates no distraction, but that is at best an explanation, not an excuse.

The real pros will find product-market fit while documenting and protecting IP along the way — it’s the only way to ensure you own your work, after all.

This article provides an overview to help you think about where your IP sits, how to protect it, and how to avoid certain pitfalls that plague far too many startups.

This is the second article in the Extra Crunch exclusive “Startup Law A to Z” series, following my article on corporate matters last week. I will avoid full repetition here, but briefly, the purpose of this series, alongside other Extra Crunch resources, is to provide you enough information to analyze your business circumstances and evaluate your legal risk exposure to common legal issues facing startups, such as corporate matters, IP, business transactions, compliance/regulatory, and HR. If you see legal risks in these or related areas, you can consult the Verified Expert list of best startup lawyers and reach out for help — it’s that simple.

The Legal IP checklist:

Assigning IP

  • Founder pre-existing IP
  • Employee Confidential Information & Intellectual Property Assignment agreements
  • Independent Contractor/Consulting Services agreements

Protecting IP ownership

  • Licensed IP and modifications/improvements
  • Current or previous employers (see Cal. Labor Code §§ 2780-2782)

Strategic IP Portfolio

Patents

  • One-year statutory bar
  • Provisional patent application
  • International protection
  • Software patents under Alice v. CLS Bank
  • Offense and defense against patent trolls

Trade Secrets

  • Preserve confidentiality
  • Limit and control access

Trademarks

  • Check USPTO trademark database
  • Secure federal trademark registration for enforcement
  • Not merely descriptive

Copyright

  • Original work of authorship
  • Secure federal copyright registration for enforcement
  • Understand ‘Fair Use’

Read on for our detailed breakdown of each of these items.

IP, legally speaking

From a high level, IP rights provide their owners the ability to legally prevent others from using certain technology or other protected assets. IP is essentially a property right that can be sold and assigned to others in the same way that vehicles, houses or any other form of tangible property can be bought and sold. Startups should think about IP along the lines of a portfolio specifically created to protect their particular business goals and strategy, in light of competitive market forces.

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How To Find Reused And Compromised Passwords In Safari

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The macOS version requirement to use this feature is Big Sur or Monterey, but it worked fine in Catalina, as well. To get started:

1. Launch Safari on your Mac.

2. Once a new Safari window opens, click on Safari in the menu bar and select Preferences from the dropdown menu.

3. You should see a popup menu of Safari preferences — you’ll be under the General section by default. Select Passwords from the top menu to manage your saved passwords.

4. At this point, you’ll have to enter your system password to access your saved passwords.

5. Once you’re in, you’ll see a list of all your stored passwords. If you see a yellow warning icon next to any of the passwords, that means Safari has a security recommendation for it.

6. Tap the warning icon on the password to know its security status. If a password has been overused, if it is easy to guess, or if it has been compromised in a data breach, Safari will add a short comment. There’ll also be a link to the appropriate page so you can change your password (via Apple Support).

Whenever Safari is auto-filling your passwords in any field, you may also get a Compromised Password alert notifying you to change a password because it is weak, reused, or leaked.

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This Electric Car Starts At Only $18,500, But You Only Get Three Wheels

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The average commute, according to Electra Meccanica, is 40 miles. The Solo comes with 100 miles of range, which is more than enough to do your commute. Evidently, this car isn’t meant for much more than that, but many people — especially those who live in dense urban areas — don’t drive much further than work on a regular basis. Basic items like a briefcase, a few bags of groceries, and a set of gym clothes fit just fine in the back of the Solo. 

Obviously, this ideal situation ends if you are a family with only one car. It also begins to lose its purpose if you enjoy a sporty feel because while you do get Bluetooth, USB charging, a rear-view camera, AC, and keyless entry, it isn’t exactly riveting to drive. It has a top speed of 80 mph, which is made possible by its 82 horsepower engine with 128 lb-ft of torque. All this power is sent to the singular rear wheel. It goes from 0-60 mph in 10 seconds, which is simply sluggish by any standard. 

The interior of the Solo isn’t draw-dropping, considering the color variety you get is a few different shades of blacks and dark greys. However, the Solo does feature an LCD gauge cluster, which is a nice touch. What’s even nicer is that it comes with a singular heated seat.

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This Tesla-Powered BMW EV Combines Classic Styling With Modern Power

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One of the last produced examples of BMW’s E9 coupe was sold on Bring a Trailer for over $200,000, which is well within the BMW EV’s price range. But the Tesla-powered BMW CSI also has some historical significance, especially in terms of proper maintenance. It belonged to the late Saudi Arabian Prince Mashour bin Saud, who had four keepers tending to the car when it was purchased in 1978. Aside from having a taste of royalty, the BMW EV was also a rare right-hand drive model. Its paper trail reveals how its registration was changed from the prince’s original “2 BAT” to “BAT 9K,” including handwritten letters to Michael Gardiner, who was tasked with selling the car for him.

In 2019, the BMW 3.0 CSI was bought from Gardiner’s widow and was eventually brought over to established electric conversion specialists at Electric Classic Cars. The company, which successfully converted classics like a 1979 Porsche 911 and the original Volkswagen Beetle, did a complete overhaul on the iconic BMW both inside and out. Furthermore, this classic BMW EV even includes the original straight-six engine should its driver ever feel like going back to gas. Although electric conversion has kept this classic up to speed, let’s look at its other improvements.

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