Posted By Dominick Severance, Apr 27, 2013
DISCLAIMER: This blog is for general informational purposes only. By reading this blog, you agree that the information on this blog does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created between you and the members of the blog. The blog is not the same as legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your state who is aware of the particular facts of your case. The members of the blog reserve the right to change the blog without notice and do not guarantee that each blog post is complete, correct or up-to-date with the most recent legal developments and cases.
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Posted By Dominick Severance, Apr 27, 2013
THE INHERENT DIFFICULTY OF INVESTING IN STARTUPS: RISK, CONTROL, AND LIQUIDITY
Investing in start-ups can be a very complicated process for a multitude of reasons. Startups, for instance, don’t always have a proven plan for commercially monetizing their product or service; this increases the risk of investing in the company dramatically. Even Facebook, which has over one billion users, struggles to prove that it can remain both relevant and profitable in the long run. The unproven nature of a startup’s business plan creates an inherent and substantial risk; investors must consider whether their investment will ever have a sufficient ROI to justify the risk they take putting their money into the startup as opposed to another venture.
Posted By Dominick Severance, Apr 21, 2013
Introduction and General Roadmap
Best efforts obligations in contracts can be expressed in a variety of ways, from reasonable efforts to good faith efforts to even diligent efforts. Even though best efforts can be expressed in so many different ways, the default is that all the efforts standards mean the same thing unless the contract states otherwise. Thus, courts will apply the same standard, where one exists, to a reasonable efforts term as a best efforts term. For the purposes of this paper, therefore, the term “best efforts” will be the favored term and will be understood to encompass any other “efforts” standard unless explicitly noted otherwise.
California is very fortunate to be home to the headquarters for both the technology and media industries. Both of these industries rely heavily on licensing of their respective works in return for royalties. In fact, “the obligation to exploit is at the heart of, and is the very essence of, the ‘business’ of show business…. it is the exploitation of intellectual property that drives the entertainment industry.” To protect the rights and interests of the licensor, many licenses contain clauses stating that the licensee must use best efforts in exploiting the licensed work.
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Posted By Heather Marchione, Mar 11, 2013
Spotify is one of the newest methods for accessing digital music and allows customers to stream millions of songs on demand for free or for just a low monthly fee. Spotify's business model is a freemium-to-premium business model. This model works by converting free users on the desktop who have to listen to ads to users willing to pay a monthly fee to stream without ads or on their mobile devices. Spotify appears to be doing a heck of a job at converting free to paying customers! Currently, around 8,000 users convert to a monthly payment plan per day and because the subscription revenue is recurring, Spotify's revenue is growing faster than the cost of licensing the music to the free users.
Posted By Jaewon Lee, Feb 20, 2013
In March 6, 2009, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) filed a suit against Marvell in U.S. District Court claiming patent infringement of two CMU patents. The patents at issue concerned noise predictive technology that enhanced the speed and accuracy of signal processing in hard drives. At trial, Marvell argued that CMU’s patents were invalid because they were anticipated by a prior Seagate patent. CMU countered Marvell’s claim by producing an e-mail at trial from one of Seagate’s engineers sent prior to the lawsuit saying that the CMU patent was different than the Seagate patent.
Posted By Pedro A. Avila, Feb 5, 2013
On December 28, 2012, China’s top legislature (the National People’s Congress) adopted three main new rules to limit individuals’ online privacy in China. The first rule is that internet users must identify themselves with their real names when signing up for internet service. The second rule is that when the government or an internet service provider (ISP) finds that a user has conducted illegal activity, the ISP is required to submit the user’s personal information and ID to the government. The third rule is that the government may delete posts or pages that are deemed to contain illegal information.
Posted By Fred Hale, Feb 5, 2013
Venture capital numbers from 2012 reveal a curious trend. While the number of deals is on the rise, the amount of funding is dropping. A surge in the number of deals may be expected from the ever-increasing number of startup companies, but then why the drop in funding? These developments come on the heels of decidedly negative performances on the IPO (initial public offering) market by some notable tech companies, including Facebook. Though some writers believe the IPO market is poised for a recovery, it’s clear that more and more companies are turning to M&A (mergers and acquisitions) as an alternative to IPO. M&A activity is currently the highest it’s been since 2009. It’s difficult to draw a causal relationship, but some believe these developments, along with the failure of an abundance of investor-supported startups, may be adding to a general uneasiness in Silicon Valley investors. These investors have reportedly become more cautious with their money, which some believe is actually a positive trend for the venture capital market.
Posted By Dominick Severance, Feb 5, 2013
On April 27, 2011, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a statement calling for an “Open Wireless Movement” where every internet subscriber left their internet open (i.e. non-password protected) for anyone to use. But while open internet sounds like a tremendous good for society (free internet everywhere!), there is the legal question as to what extent subscribers are liable if someone were to use their internet connection to illegally downloaded copyrighted material?
Posted By Pedro A. Avila, Jan 29, 2013
On January 1, 2013, California passed AB 1844 prohibiting employers from asking a prospective or current employee for his or her password to a private social media account. The bill also prohibits employers from retaliating against any prospective or current employee who refuses to provide those passwords. In passing the bill, California joined Illinois, New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, and Maryland in creating legal guidelines for social media privacy in the workplace.
Posted By Dominick Severance, Jan 28, 2013
This past August, a San Jose jury found that Samsung infringed a multitude of Apple’s IP rights including two of Apple’s patents, 7,469,381 and 7,479,949. In September, a German court granted Apple an injunction against Motorola Mobility for the European version of the ‘381 and ‘949 patents. On October 23, however, Apple suffered a setback when the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invalidated every claim of ‘381. In October, a U.S. International Trade Court (ITC) judge explicitly found the ‘949 patent to be valid and issued a preliminary ruling finding that Samsung had infringed. On December 7, the USPTO invalidated every claim of ‘949. Within a five month period, Apple had won three separate battles against competitors over its ‘381 and ‘949 patents and also had the USPTO invalidate both of those patents.