Innovation Law Handbook
Douglas J. Sylvester
Arizona State University - College of Law
Arizona State University (ASU)
Kari Jill Granville
Granville Law, PLLC
Entrepreneurs often look on the law as an inconvenience - an issue to be left for later when time and budget permit. Many reasons may explain this attitude. Early-stage ventures are often more concerned with payroll than paying attorneys for issues that do not seem to matter today. Lawyers contribute to this entrepreneurial malaise. They are trained to provide conservative advice - designing solutions around "worst-case" rather than "likely" scenarios.
Entrepreneurs are, by definition, risk-takers and out-of-the-box thinkers and are justifiably frustrated when legal counsel seems more of an impediment to ideas or opportunities rather than a facilitator. The widespread view that lawyers "always say no" is a major reason why entrepreneurs avoid legal advice - lawyers also often cost a lot.
These reasons and, we suspect, many others often lead entrepreneurs to ignore legal issues at the earliest stages of their ventures. Yet this is often the precise moment at which legal opinion and protection are most valuable. Unfortunately, as many find out too late, entrepreneurs ignore legal issues at their peril. The field of new business ventures is littered with companies that fail for no other reason than that their legal house was not in order. Some fail to defend their investments with appropriate intellectual property protections. Others sign contracts that included unknown onerous terms. Some fail to separate their knowledge from that of prior employers. Many entrepreneurs lose personal savings by failing to properly incorporate. Finally, in a post 9/11 environment, technology ventures that fail to account for changes in immigration laws and enforcement jeopardize, not just the business, but the visa-status of their employees and founders.
This Handbook seeks to encourage legal compliance and ordering by simply and accessibly introducing entrepreneurs to the most common areas of law that affect early-stage companies. From contracts to intellectual property, corporations to immigration, this Handbook serves as a primer on these important areas of law. Recognizing and identifying the legal issues that impact your ventures is the first step in ensuring that they do not endanger the health of the company.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property, Immigration, Innovation, Copyright, patent, trademarkworking papers series
Date posted: July 10, 2007
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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