6: Legal Matters + Venture Lab #1

Friday, October 9, 2015
Summary: This session will focus on legal matters. As time allows, we will also examine the importance of intellectual property (IP) and the impact of government regulation. Whereas old economy businesses built value in the form of factories and equipment, new economy businesses create the lion's share of their value in intangibles: patents, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks.  An effective entrepreneur knows how to establish these key assets, and how to use them with investors, partners and competitors.  IP issues vary across industries and product categories.  For example, protecting IP with patents is less critical for web software ventures than it is for biotechnology ventures.

Government regulation is also an important factor that should be understood by entrepreneurs. In some cases a change in regulations can raise a company’s costs. Like IP, some industries have greater regulatory requirements than others.  For example, food, drugs, and most new medical technologies require special approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The bad news is that the FDA approval process lengthens the product development cycle.  The good news is that it insures the safety of customers, and can make it harder for a competitor to catch up with an entrepreneur who has created a new market.

The Venture Lab component of this session is a required, in-class meeting of your OAP team. You will use this time to work together on your project and ask questions of the teaching team.

Term Project (Policy on Term Project Assignments)

You should decide the idea the team will pursue as part of their OAP. Create a team website for OAP and post this and any other related information and deliverables regarding your term project throughout the remainder of the course. Send an email of the URL for your website to Notify the teaching team.

Quote of the day: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein

Guest: Dan Dorosin

Study Questions
(Policy on Study Questions.)
  • What are some legal matters that are important to new enterprises?
  • What is the role of a law firm in assisting startups?
Required Readings (Policy on Required Readings.)