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FI – Startup & Legal IP

Big news this time:

Soon Taletrack will no longer be just an idea or a project – it will be a company …

This last week has been all about legal issues and incorporation. I’ve been talking to several lawyers, reading T&Cs, contracts, agreements, … etc. until my eyes fell shut. Sounds very boring? It is boring, but also very important.
And one thing I learned by reading all this legal stuff is, that the boring part is reading it. Understanding and discussing some of it can actually be quite interesting.

A couple of things I found out:

In which countries should I register the brand?
Names have to be registered in EVERY country the company operates. Well, they don’t have to, but if you don’t, someone else might register the same name before you do and then you can’t use it anymore. And you can’t just register it internationally, you have to do it one by one.
Designs on the contrary only have to be registered in one country. They are registered as artworks and are valid worldwide; the same applies to source code.

How to handle third party content?
Most companies I investigated do the following: Third party content usually stays the third party’s intellectual property, but the company gets non-exclusive rights to use, copy, edit, distribute, … well, basically to do whatever they want with it.
Some companies put a limit to the “whatever they want” and give the third party the option to recall the given rights. For example when the third party deletes the content or cancels the subscription with the company, the company will loose any rights on it.
Rights can also be granted for a specific medium only. For example a company could get exclusive digital rights only.

I also found out that I legally need to define T&Cs for my landing page, even though I’m only collecting a user’s email.

That’s not too boring, isn’t it? Well, and there’s a lot more …

Have a great day!


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