Startups & Entrepreneurs

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Startup companies and entrepreneurs often face significant risk and liability with respect to Intellectual Property (IP) on their path to success. Intellectual property issues arise regularly in business, particularly with startups companies, and if not addressed, permanent loss of IP rights or exposure to potential litigation may arise. McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP can help maximize opportunities while minimizing risk and liability with respect to IP issues by assisting startup companies and entrepreneurs in avoiding common pitfalls while protecting and enhancing their IP assets.

MBHB attorneys provide creative, pragmatic business solutions through a variety of intellectual property services, including litigation, prosecution, and general client counseling. We routinely counsel startup companies and entrepreneurs in developing strategies to protect their IP assets. Our attorneys are skilled in all aspects of IP prosecution, including drafting patent applications and prosecuting them before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and abroad. We assist in the development and selection of trademarks, securing trademark registrations, and establishing appropriate trademark usage for packaging and advertisement. We help startup companies and entrepreneurs in obtaining and maintaining federal copyright registrations. We are skilled in drafting, negotiating, and securing IP rights through agreements, in navigating around competitor IP, and in making companies look attractive to investors by securing IP protection. We are adept in preparing for potential litigation where necessary or avoiding it all together.

At MBHB, we counsel startup companies and entrepreneurs from the initial concept stage on how best to avoid potential IP-related missteps that can jeopardize their viability as a profitable business and limit their appeal as an acquisition or funding target. By helping companies avoid such missteps and protect their IP assets, MBHB enables companies to bring their products to market, raise capital, and resolve IP litigation and disputes that may arise in the course of business.

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Publications

March 21, 2017 (snippets Alert)
As was widely expected from the Justices’ positions at oral arguments, a nearly unanimous Supreme Court today struck down the patent laches doctrine in SCA Hygiene Prods. Aktiebolag, v. First Quality Baby Prods., LLC, 580 U.S. __ (March 21, 2017). In the opinion by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court applied the rationale of its own prior decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1962 (2014), finding that the existence of a six-year statute of limitations in the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. §286, precluded the application of laches. As such, “laches cannot be interposed as a defense against damages where the infringement occurred within the period prescribed by §286.”
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