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Ask David: What Should a Standard Nondisclosure Agreement Include?

There may be no more critical tool for new companies and inventors than a solid nondisclosure agreement. Generally speaking, standard nondisclosure agreements allow a company to share secret information with other parties while legally prohibiting those parties from spreading the information to a wider audience. Nondisclosure agreements (also known as NDAs) can be used for a variety of purposes, including dissemination of financial information, marketing plans, new technologies, or confidential business processes. NDAs are especially important when a company or entrepreneur is trying to protect their trade secrets. Legally speaking, trade secrets consist of any information that: (1) derives independent…

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3 Key Differences Between LLCs and S Corporations

New business owners often get confused when it comes to the differences between LLCs and S Corporations. In truth, the entities are similar in many ways. Both are designed to shield the individual owners from liabilities incurred by the entity. This means that in many circumstances, the owners of LLCs or S Corporations cannot be sued personally for the debts of the company. Additionally, both limited liability companies (LLCs) and S Corporations can enter into contracts, incur debts, and initiate lawsuits in their organizational capacity. Note that I’ve chosen to focus solely on S Corps in this article to keep…

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What are the Intellectual Property Impacts of USMCA – the New NAFTA?

Last week, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada announced that they had come to terms on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the proposed replacement for NAFTA. I say “proposed” because the treaty still has to be approved by all three countries’ legislatures. The full text of the proposed USMCA agreement can be read here. Assuming the USMCA goes into effect as currently proposed, what are the impacts for trademark and copyright holders? General Stance Towards Intellectual Property USMCA Article 20.A.8: National Treatment states that “In respect of all categories of intellectual property covered in this Chapter, each Party shall accord to nationals…

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Top 3 Trademark Mistakes

One of the best things business owners can do to protect their intellectual property is to avoid common trademark mistakes. Trademarks are one area of the law where it’s easy to get tripped up. While many startups don’t seek legal advice when they begin building their trademark portfolio (for obvious reasons), it’s also easy to make serious trademark mistakes that could get you into trouble down the line. Here are the three most common trademark mistakes that I’ve seen in my practice. Trademark Mistake #1: Not understanding where trademarks fit into your I.P. portfolio Intellectual property can be separated into…

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