How a Corporation Is Set Up

The Corporation is rigid in how it is structured and run.  This is due to laws, rules, and general practices that have existed and worked well for years.

The great thing about a corporate structure is that it scales very well.  From the smallest of companies to the largest enterprises – there is a common truth to how Corporations are set up and run.

A Corporation is typically very rigid in the way that it is structured: 

  1. Shareholders own the corporation (but do nothing else);
  2. Shareholders elect Directors to a Board of Directors;
  3. Board of Directors is responsible for the Corporation and what it does (the Directors owe a fiduciary duty to the Shareholders to run the Corporation well)
  4. The Board then hires Officers (CEO, COO, CTO, etc.) and delegates its authority to them.
  5. Officers run the Corporation on a day-to-day basis and report to the Board;
  6. Officers then hire employees as subordinates, to help run things when needed.

A Corporation’s governance is equally as rigid:

  1. Employees make department-level decisions and propose larger changes to the Officers;
  2. Officers make day-to-day company-level decisions and propose larger, long-term ideas to the Board;
  3. Board of Directors make the big decisions about the Corporation’s business, but propose structural changes to the Shareholders (voting rights, new stock issuances mergers & acquisitions etc.);
  4. Shareholders only vote on matters presented to them by the Board.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Andrei Tsygankov is the Co-Founder and COO of SmartUp® and a partner at Founders Legal (Bekiares Eliezer LLP). As an attorney, Andrei specializes in corporate, commercial, trademark, and international business matters.

andrei

Source: Smartup Legal

If You’re Making Your Own Board Game, How Do You Protect Your Idea?

Say there is a game thats been around. A lot of people are familiar with it. No one has made a board game out of it. How do I protect something that everyone knows but no one is actually selling?

In protecting board games, you have the following options to consider:

  1. Copyrights and Design Patent – Work with a patent attorney to register your game board designs under Design Patent and copyright law. this will cover the actual design of the board. A Design Patent will enable you to exclude others from making, selling, or using your patented board design for a period of 14 years. This is subject to the requirement that your game board is novel and not used for other games.
  2. Trademark – The name you come up with the board game, and any logo’s associated therewith, are protectable under Trademark law. This will prevent others from making a similar board game using the same Name as your board game. The design of your board can also be registered under Trademark Law as a Trade Dress/product configuration, provided that your board game obtains sufficient recognition and popularity that consumers recognize the board with your brand.
  3. Utility Patent – if you board game has some software/technology/function built-in, you may consider a utility patent filing. A Utility Patent will enable you to exclude others from making, selling, or using your patented technology for a period of 20 years. Average Price for a Utility Patent filing $5000-$6500.

In general, the rules of the board game will remain unprotected and open to the public domain. You can copyright the specific language used to explain the rules, but this will not prevent others from using those same rules for their own game.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

 

Source: Smartup Legal

How to Protect Your Brand – Trademarks 101

It is common for entrepreneurs to spend years of their lives, in addition to their blood, sweat and tears to grow a company and the name associated with it. That name can be not only dear to those who invest in it but it can also become a very valuable piece of property.

It is also not unheard of for entrepreneurs to invest in a name, only to be stopped in their tracks by a larger, established company who has been using a similar name previously. Additionally, it is possible for unscrupulous competitors to try and use the same name as the true innovators who did not properly reserve it.

To avoid such problems and unhappy surprises later, it makes sense for entrepreneurs to reserve and protect the name – the ‘brand’ – as early as possible, before significant resources are invested in it.

Trademarks 101 – How to Protect Your Brand

 

Andrei Tsygankov is the Co-Founder and COO of SmartUp® and a partner at Founders Legal (Bekiares Eliezer LLP). As an attorney, Andrei specializes in corporate, commercial, trademark, and international business matters.

andrei

Source: Smartup Legal