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Showing 22 posts from 2012.

Tech Professionals to Feature their Products at DemoCamp Lansing

democamp lansingThe Lansing Chapter of the Michigan Technology Network (MITN) is teaming up with DemoCamp for a holiday tech event.  Sponsored by Foster Swift, DemoCamp Lansing will bring together local programmers, entrepreneurs and community members to show off cool products and websites and to learn about new technology.  This relaxed and casual event is free and will be held at the Michigan Historical Museum on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 5:30pm.  Click here for registration and other information.

Categories: News

No Movement Yet On Crowdfunding Regs

The SEC has a very large task ahead of it in order to complete adoption of the regulations required under the JOBS Act.

One provision of the JOBS Act permits general solicitation of investors by a company if only accredited investors are allowed to invest.  This will permit the use of  a web portal or other electronic platform for the solicitation of accredited investors.  Congress gave the SEC a deadline of July 4, 2012 to adopt regulations specifying the steps a company is required to take in order to clearly establish that each investor is accredited.  The SEC proposed these regulations on August 29, 2012.  Because the SEC had invited comments before the proposed regulations were issued and those comments were factored into the proposed regulations, we had anticipated that final regulations would issue soon after expiration of the comment period. Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, Venture Capital/Funding

Your Garage Sale could be at risk

garage saleIt might be illegal to sell those treasures.

The excitement of the hunt for the perfect item at the flea market or the thrill of selling your relative’s antique lamp at a great price could soon be dimmed by the Supreme Court of the United States.  Read More ›

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property

Are Websites Subject to The Accessibility Requirements of The Americans With Disabilities Act?

Are Websites Subject to The Accessibility Requirements of The Americans With Disabilities Act?It is undeniable that the internet is here to stay, playing an increasingly critical role in our ability to obtain and disseminate information.  No matter the application – business, entertainment, politics, etc. – the internet has become a staple of everyday life.  For many individuals with disabilities, however, navigating the internet can be a less than satisfying endeavor. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce, Social Media

Intellectual Property Rights and the Crowdfunding Platform

crowdfunding platformCrowdfunding, some would say, is the new social networking platform of raising money from people online.  While crowdfunding is a relatively new term and concept, traditional principles of law still apply.  Artists, startups and online creators using this new platform are governed by Intellectual Property principles.

Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the creations of the mind; and most commonly include ideas or inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols that identify your brand, names, logos and/or competitive business ideas or information.  Under this broad umbrella of Intellectual Property, there are generally four categories that govern the use of Intellectual Property:

  1. Trademarks
  2. Patents
  3. Copyrights
  4. Trade Secrets

Before pitching or disclosing your concept to an online crowdfunding community to raise money these four categories of protection and the potential resulting consequences should be thoroughly examined.  Failure to do so could result in the inadvertent theft, infringement or forfeiture of your IP rights.  Let's take a deeper look at these four categories. Read More ›

Categories: Copyright, Crowdfunding, Intellectual Property, Patents, Trade Secrets, Trademarks, Venture Capital/Funding

Crowdfunding (Non-Investment) May be a Good Fit for Some Businesses

Kickstarter websiteThe JOBS Act, which became law on April 5, 2012, included for the first time in the U.S., a legal structure that will permit the use of general solicitation in connection with small, non-registered investment offerings in the context of crowdfunding.  The SEC still needs to adopt implementing regulations before this funding vehicle becomes available and the market decides if it is viable.  This will take several months, if not a year.  In the meantime, and even after investment crowdfunding becomes available, regular, non-investment crowdfunding may be a viable alternative for your enterprise. Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, Venture Capital/Funding

When will Investment Crowdfunding Finally be Available?

Calendar-and-clockThe JOBS Act, which became law on April 5, 2012, included for the first time in the U.S., a legal structure that will permit the use of general solicitation in connection with small, non-registered investment offerings in the context of crowdfunding.  The SEC still needs to adopt implementing regulations before this funding vehicle becomes available and the market decides if it is viable.

The title of the JOBS Act dealing with crowdfunding sets out a framework, but requires the SEC to fill in the details by adopting regulations.  There are far too many topics for which the SEC is required to adopt regulations to provide a complete list in this article.  But examples include regulations that: Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, Venture Capital/Funding

Why Investment Crowdfunding May Not be as Bad as they Say - Part II: What About All Those Investors?

investment crowdfundingThe JOBS Act, which became law on April 5, 2012, included for the first time in the U.S., a legal structure that will permit the use of general solicitation in connection with small, non-registered investment offerings in the context of crowdfunding.  The SEC still needs to adopt implementing regulations before this funding vehicle becomes available and the market decides if it is viable.  This will take several months, if not a year.  But in the meantime, the naysayers are hard at work, proclaiming their opinion that crowdfunding is a dangerous idea.

From the perspective of the company seeking funding, many "experts" are sounding the warning that it is a very bad idea for a small, early-stage company to have a large number of small investors, which is likely to happen if capital is raised through investment crowdfunding.  These experts are not wrong that this is a concern, but we believe that the risks can be managed in such a way as to make investment crowdfunding a viable vehicle to raise capital. Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, Venture Capital/Funding

Why Investment Crowdfunding May Not Be As Bad As They Say - Part I: Will Rampant Fraud Abound?

The JOBS Act, which became law on April 5, 2012, included for the first time in the U.S., a legal structure that will permit the use of general solicitation in connection with small, non-registered investment offerings in the context of crowdfunding.  The SEC still needs to adopt implementing regulations before this funding vehicle becomes available and the market decides if it is viable.  This will take several months, if not a year.  But in the meantime, the naysayers are hard at work, proclaiming their opinion that crowdfunding is a dangerous idea.

This article is in response to the widely publicized belief that crowdfunding is nothing but an invitation for fraud.  This is of concern primarily for investors.  Many advisors to investors are sounding the alarm.  From the beginning of time there has been and always will be fraud.  But is crowdfunding investing really higher risk than all other types of investment?  We think probably not.  Here's why. Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, Venture Capital/Funding

Proposed Legislation Expands Protection of Trade Secrets

protection of trade secretsLegislation allowing victims of trade secret theft to sue in Federal court was introduced in the Senate recently. The Protecting American Trade Secrets and Innovation Act of 2012, sponsored by Senators Herb Kohl, Chris Coons and Sheldon Whitehouse, grants companies the option of using Federal courts to bring a civil lawsuit against offenders. The proposed law helps companies maintain their global competitive edge by ensuring an effective and efficient way to recover their losses from trade secret theft. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Trade Secrets