Are you a tech entrepreneur nervous about navigating the 2014 legal waters?
Venture Atlanta has done you a huge favor and compiled information on the 2013 legal developments that may have a significant impact on you this year.
Check out their advice below:
1. AMERICA INVENTS ACT: NEW FIRST-TO-FILE RULE
Entrepreneurs should consider the benefits of filing provisional patent applications early in the development process, rather than waiting to file after launching a product out of stealth mode.
2. PATENT ELIGIBILITY: WHAT TECHNOLOGY IS PATENTABLE?
Entrepreneurs should monitor the CLS Bank, Int’l v. Alice Corp. case as it is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court – it could impact the IP protection strategies for tech companies.
3. PATENT TROLL LEGISLATION – EXPECT NEW LAWS IN 2014
In the last year, several bills have been introduced to combat abusive patent litigation by non-practicing entities (NPEs) or so-called “patent trolls.” The proposed legislation may also clarify that sending fraudulent or materially misleading demand letters may be grounds for prosecution by the FTC.
4. JOBS ACT – BAN ON GENERAL SOLICITATION LIFTED
Effective September 23, 2013, Title II of the JOBS Act lifted the 80-year ban on solicitation of investment capital from the general public. Title II paves the way for small businesses and startups to use advertised private offerings and the internet as a means to generate capital.
5. EQUITY CROWDFUNDING – NEW RULES ON THE WAY
Title III of the JOBS Act will allow investors to participate in equity crowdfunding through SEC-registered brokers or portals. Currently, only advertised private offerings to accredited investors and donation-based crowdfunding are permitted. The proposed rules are open for public comment before the SEC votes to enact them, so entrepreneurs will need to be cautious until the rules are finalized.
6. PAYMENT SYSTEMS – BITCOIN REGULATIONS
In the new year, we can expect further state and federal regulatory oversight and clarification with the growth of virtual currency – expect significant debate in 2014 relating to virtual currencies.
Read the full article.
[Photo Credit: http://turnerfriedman.files.wordpress.com/]