Patent Business Lawyer in Asia
Patent Attorney practicing Patents, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Venture Financing, Startup Technology Law
Inventors and small business owners have always found the patent strategy a complicated maze for navigation, and patent attorney Rahul Dev has recently launched an innovative intellectual property creation program to address such needs. Not only this program is cost-effective, his decade long experience as patent attorney and technology business lawyer has proven to be an invaluable asset during development of this program aimed at innovative companies worldwide.
Rahul Dev, patent attorney and corporate lawyer, has launched a new small business program, called ITPAS (Ideas to Patents and Strategy), which will seek to expedite the process of creating valuable patents with a view to add value to a company’s intangible assets. The idea is to get global inventors and innovative business owners to define the title and ownership of creative business models, which can further be patented across multiple jurisdictions (US, Europe, Asia Pacific), subject to the patent eligibility criteria.
This would mean lesser chances of disputes between Startup CoFounders in cases one or more founders decide to leave the venture midway. ITPAS would create a means to sidestep the often long and complicated process of defining and claiming intellectual property ownership.
“It is a strategic patent creation program intended to really eliminate the friction of the possible conflicts relating to patent ownership,” explained Patent Attorney Rahul Dev in an interview. “So the typical patent process for small businesses and individual inventors is challenging, exact patent scope and rights of ownership are difficult to identify for both clients and patent lawyers. Clients tend to start out really high believing their innovative products will disrupt the market and patent lawyers tend to start out really low citing complicated procedure to obtain patent rights, and negotiations can take months instead of weeks.”
Dev further explained, “So what this program really does is instead of filing full-fledged patent applications right away, clients are counselled to first define their inventions in a proprietary format provided to them, which is subsequently vetted to determine the most valuable and innovative features. Thereafter, such features are protected by way of an initial level IP protection, including provisional patent applications, copyrights, trademarks and design patents. This helps in saving costs and in certain cases, strong contracts and agreements are drafted to ensure protection via trade secret.”
“Future plans include actively growing the patent consulting portfolio,” Dev said. It is part of the broader efforts to grow the patent consulting practice beyond Asia growing forward and expand the business in US and Europe.” In past, Rahul Dev has handled multiple issues regarding false defamation on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), and while this isn’t directly related, you can likely bet his experience in getting defamatory content removed promptly by closely communicating with legal cells of tech companies is helping this aggressive new IP creation strategy.
Rahul Dev is a IoT Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at info (at) techcorplegal (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter
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Tech Corp Legal LLP is an international law firm specialised in business and technology law providing patent drafting (software patent drafting, mobile app patent drafting, patent drafting for computer related inventions), searching, filing and PCT national phase services along with trademark and other aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in addition to corporate law practice governing cross-border M&A transactions, technology licensing, agreements and contracts.
Not every layoff is legal and during tough times, businesses need to take difficult decision of letting their employees go with a view to target larger business goals.
Originally published here.
However, termination of employees without justification is illegal and employees should always enforce their basic and legal rights.
Off late, startups have been in news for disputes among cofounders or termination of employees without reasonable cause.
Steps to be taken in case of Employment Termination
Sometimes startups and companies terminate the employment of employees without giving notice period or without following proper procedures. In such cases, first step should be to determine what amount of money is unpaid, i.e. calculating salary dues are extremely important as employer is liable to pay full salary corresponding to applicable working days.
Employment contracts and agreements usually comprise variable component in addition to fixed salary compensation. Once unpaid salary is determined, next step would be to calculate exact variable component payable to the employee by the employer. In cases where exact calculations are not possible, approximate amount can also suffice. But startups and employers have no right to withhold such unpaid salary component, be it fixed or variable.
It is common for cofounders and early stage employees to be allotted or promised equity by startups. If that is the case and employment is terminated, it can get tricky to calculate the amount of equity component payable to the terminated employees.
Based on terms of employment and local laws, the terminated employees may deserve severance and unemployment benefits. Such benefits usually ensure employees who have been terminated can transition to the next employment smoothly.
In case terminated employees don’t get deserved compensation, it is advisable to engage an employment lawyer. In addition, executing cofounders agreement and employment contract is crucial for startups and early stage companies to ensure smooth business operations.
Before identifying relevant laws and legal provisions applicable to a startup, it is advisable to determine exact nature of business. This is usually done by following 2 step process, wherein 1st step includes determining the general category of business, i.e. Software/IT, Manufacturing, Sales, Services, Marketing etc.
Subsequently, sub-categories of business should be determined, such as, for example, SaaS (Software as a Service), Mobile Application, Marketplace business, on-demand services etc. Once done, this can help in determining required steps to ensure complete legal compliance for startups.
Prior to incorporating a company, it is crucial to determine appropriate legal entity to suffice the exact needs of business. Under Indian laws, startups can select appropriate legal entity by selecting between a private limited company (pvt. Ltd.), one person company (OPC), limited liability partnership (LLP), conventional partnership firm, subsidiary of a foreign company etc.
In case of private limited company, it is advisable to select right amount of paid up capital depending upon priorities of the shareholders (stockholders or promoters or cofounders). Once corporate structure is in place, startups can engage company secretary (CS) and chartered accountants (CAs) for managing regulatory compliance, accounting, book keeping, taxation, including filing of income tax (IT) returns, service tax returns, sales tax returns, professional tax returns etc. Prior to that, startups also need to register their business for tax registrations, including service tax, sales tax, import export license (IEC), VAT etc.
Structuring equity among cofounders requires drafting of shareholders agreement (SHA) including crucial provisions relating to equity distribution, vesting of shares, lock-in period, voluntary exit of cofounders (shareholders), termination of cofounders (shareholders), rights and responsibilities, investments by cofounders, and the like.
With a view to comply with the legal provisions of the Companies Act, 2013, it is strongly advisable to ensure the incorporation documents of the company (MoA, AOA) are in strict synchronization with the shareholders agreement (SHA).
Every startup aims to reach growth phase quickly and hiring employees form an important step to achieve such growth. While hiring employees, it is extremely important to execute appropriate employment contracts. Companies are also required to ensure labor law compliance and strict enforcement of “Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policy”.