When Should a Tech Startup Form a Company?

By Business, Intellectual Property, Software & Startups

Before a technology startup becomes a company, it spends a period of time as simply a project. The founding team is usually one or two individuals building and testing products as they try to validate a demand for them in the market. At some point, founders ask themselves: when is it time to turn this project into a company?

This article tackles that question with respect to a particular type of business venture, which is a growth-oriented tech startup. By this, we mean an organization whose products incorporate intellectual property (I.P.) and which seeks to scale quickly after confirming product-market fit. Read More

Talking Tech: Carlo DiCelico and Loida Otero of Neon Labs

By Intellectual Property, Software & Startups

This article is the first in a new series called Talking Tech from the Perkins Thompson Intellectual Property Practice Group. Talking Tech features interviews with tech company founders and employees about their highs, lows, and problems they’ve solved.

Today we interview Loida Otero and Carlo DiCelico, the founders of Neon Labs, a startup in Portland, Maine. Perkins Thompson attorney Adam Nyhan is a non-legal advisor to Neon Labs. Read More

A Legal Checklist for Early-Stage Tech Companies

By Business, Intellectual Property, Privacy, Software & Startups, Start-Up and Entrepreneurship Law

Download the Legal Checklist for Early-Stage Tech Companies

In a tech company’s early days, it’s easy for the founders to make legal missteps.  Most mistakes are unintentional and result from a lack of knowledge or legal budget rather than bad intent. Nonetheless, it’s critical to remedy them as the company moves forward.  Failure to do so can place the company in breach of its business-to-business contracts; it can create uncertainty about the company’s ownership of its intellectual property; and it can create a host of operational risks.  It can also kill or devalue outside investment deals when investors discover these problems in their due diligence. Read More

User Experience (UX) Design Agreements: 4 Essential Clauses to Include

By Intellectual Property, Software & Startups

User Experience (UX) design is a bedrock part of software and website development.  It includes the study and optimization of the user’s experience – the totality of the ways in which humans interact with and experience products.  (Definitions of UX vary; in the classic definition by designer Don Norman, it includes a person’s interaction with not just a product but the company that provides it as well).  Software companies employ UX designers in a range of ways including market research, the development of product business requirements, wireframing, prototype design, and watching behind two-way mirrors as testers struggle to navigate interfaces. Read More