Contract Issues

Post image for Confidentiality . . . and Holding Too Tight

When is the right time to protect an idea? “About 10 minutes before someobody else tries to use it,” quipped an intellectual property attorney I know. Budding entrepreneurs can become fixated on protecting their Next Great Idea. But, as Whitney Keyes points out in her post, “Avoiding Privacy Paralysis,” there’s a fine line to be […]

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Post image for The Benefit of Confidentiality Agreements

For anyone who ever doubted the benefit of confidentiality agreements, the case of Chris Botticella, former Thomas’ English Muffin executive should put the doubts to rest. As recently reported in the New York Times, Botticella was one of a small handful of people who knew the entire “nook and cranny” secret.  He signed a confidentiality […]

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Post image for How to Speed-Read a Non-Disclosure Agreement

Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) have many uses. You may have a fabulous idea and want to protect it as you share it with potential investors. Or you may be on the receiving end of one, as this article, “How to Speed Read an NDA,” anticipates.  Written by my colleague, IP attorney Terence Church, Esq., the article gives you […]

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Post image for How Independent Contractor Agreements Protect Your Pocketbook

If you’ve been reading between the lines at all regarding the state of our economy (and, in particular, our government treasuries), you’ll be very much aware that state and local governments need money. Need our money. Need millions and billions and trillions of dollars of it, in particular. In order to avoid bankrupting themselves, governments […]

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Post image for Stay on Target With Hired Guns

The following 5 tips will help you avoid complications when hiring contractors. You want to grow your business, but the thought of taking on employees–dealing with salaries, payroll taxes and personality issues–scares you more than the latest Friday the 13th movie. Happily, there’s a way to expand your company’s capabilities without bloating it with staff: Hire […]

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You want to hire an independent contractor. Or a freelancer. Mostly because you don’t want to get involved in the red tape and extra costs involved in hiring an employee. So you put together an independent contractor agreement, and the freelancer signs it. Are you in the clear? No. In this segment of MSNBC’s Your […]

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Post image for Business Law Basics: Contract Essentials

Today, I feel vindicated. I just came across Laura Bell’s post, “Business Law Basics,” which reminds me of my apartment after it’s cleaned: neat, fresh and pleasant. Her point, delivered gently, is that too many entrepreneurs do deals without having a written contract. It’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight: You may be prepared […]

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Technology is a wonderful thing – sometimes. But, as one of our clients (“Samantha”) discovered, technology can create its own pitfalls. It’s a nasty surprise when the document you thought you negotiated doesn’t say what you had intended. Last year, Samantha independently negotiated the sale of her business to a multinational, publicly traded corporation. Within […]

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Can you force someone to sign a confidentiality agreement after you’ve disclosed sensitive information? Or after they’ve already done the work for you? No. To use an old farm expression, that’s like “closing the barn door” after the horse is gone.” I discuss a colleague’s tale in the video, below. She was a subcontractor on […]

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How many times have we run afoul of film producer Samuel Goldwyn’s famous maxim: “A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on”? (I’ve certainly done it). And yet, isn’t life nicer, simpler when you don’t have to worry about creating a paper trail? Why not just trust the people you’re doing business with? […]

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