Contracts and Intellectual Property (IP)

Overview of Contracts

In the U.S., a contract is generally defined as an agreement (or a promise) between two or more parties that creates enforceable obligations.  Contracts can be written or verbal, but in order to be enforceable, they generally must include three elements: an offer made by one party;  acceptance of that offer by another party; and …

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The Importance of Contracts

Contracts can create more work, but they are important tools for freelancers and small business owners for a number of reasons: Deals made without a valid contract may not be enforceable. Without a valid contract, the parties may be confused about the cost of the products/services, how to perform, the expected timeline, and many other…

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Drafting the Contract

There are a few types of contracts frequently used by freelancers and small business owners: Non-disclosure Agreement (“NDA,” sometimes also called “Confidentiality Agreement”) – used to protect confidential information shared by one or both parties. An NDA can be unilateral, meaning that one party promises to keep the other party’s information confidential, or bilateral, meaning…

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Breach of Contract

If one party fails to act according to a contract (by refusing to pay the other party, for example), that party is in “breach” of the contract. In many cases, the other party can sue the breaching party either for money or to force them to act according to the contract. However, filing a lawsuit…

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Overview of Intellectual Property (IP)

In the U.S., and in many countries around the world, “intellectual property” refers to three categories of intangible work: Patent A patent is a right issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for an invention (can be a product or a process) that entitles the owner to prevent others from making, using,…

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Registering your Intellectual Property (IP)

Trademarks – Many new business owners believe they need to file a trademark application right away to protect the name of their business, product, or service. While it’s good practice to trademark the name of the business, product, or service, and potential investors usually like to see that the business owns intellectual property assets, in…

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