Intellectual Property

Intellectual property protection is very important for many of the tech startup businesses represented by our lawyers. Our attorneys have many years of experience in advising startup businesses in Silicon Valley on how best to protect intellectual property.

Before even seeing a lawyer, many early-stage startups have multiple people working on ventures in which they develop proprietary forms of intellectual property, whether in the form of software or hardware design work or proprietary methods of exploiting Internet technology or other protectable intellectual property. In such cases, unless proper agreements are in place, the various contributors to the development effort may each personally own some part of the intellectual property rights that properly belong in the company. Our attorneys are skilled in managing the intellectual property rights in such situations to ensure that such free-floating rights are properly assigned to the startup without adverse tax consequences.

As California attorneys who routinely structure deals and who also litigate intellectual property matters, we are able to advise our startup clients in the area of intellectual property with skill and experience.

For nearly three decades, we have assisted tech startup businesses in addressing their various intellectual property issues, including:

  • Patent prosecution
  • Strategic patent counseling
  • Technology assignment agreements
  • Non-disclosure agreements
  • Rights of employees or founders while moon-lighting in relation to those of a current or former employer
  • Work for hire agreements to ensure that work done by consultants belongs to the company
  • Trademark and service mark registration and protection
  • Trademark infringement issues
  • Online disputes: domain names and trademark infringement
  • Trade secret protocols and enforcement
  • Trade secret litigation
  • Licensing arrangements of all kinds, from the simple to the extremely complex, including software, hardware, and semiconductor
  • End user license agreements, shrinkwrap and clickwrap agreements, and beta software review agreements
  • Software Development Kit (SDK) licenses
  • OEM license agreements
  • Joint development projects and joint rights to intellectual property
  • Open source issues
  • Copyright registration and protection
  • Copyright infringement litigation
  • Corporate intellectual property policies
  • Warranties and indemnities relating to intellectual property infringement

With the growing tech industry in the Silicon Valley, Internet-related concerns have become more vital, and our intellectual property lawyers are equipped to assist you in this area.

Our attorneys are also experienced in handling intellectual property issues as they arise in the M&A context, whether by asset sale, stock sale, or merger.

It is important to business startup clients to avoid due diligence problems when the time comes for the closing of their funding rounds or for the closing of their company’s acquisition. Nothing is worse than discovering claims against a startup’s intellectual property rights at such critical moments. Our intellectual property lawyers can help ensure that you protect your startup in this vital area. Through often modest effort and expense, you can avoid potentially large problems later.

Our firm’s founder, George Grellas, is a recognized authority in the field of intellectual property. He is a member of the State Bar-CEB Business and Intellectual Property Law Advisory Committee. CEB is a joint project of the State Bar of California and the Regents of the University of California and has been a leading publisher of major treatises used by California lawyers for the past 70 years.