Orrick's Founder Series offers monthly top tips for UK startups on key considerations at each stage of their lifecycle, from incorporating a company through to possible exit strategies. The Series is written by members of our market-leading London Technology Companies Group (TCG), with contributions from other practice members. Our Band 1 ranked London TCG team closed over 310 growth financings and tech M&A deals totalling US$26bn in 2021 and has dominated the European venture capital tech market for 26 consecutive quarters (PitchBook, Q2 2022). The first instalment provided guidance to founders on the process of setting up a private limited company, the second instalment provided guidance to founders on building their team, and the third instalment provided guidance to founders on incentivising their team.
Beyond its people (which we explored in the last two instalments of the Series), a company's intellectual property (or "IP") is often its most valuable asset, especially for companies in the technology sector. Ensuring that you own the rights in your IP and taking appropriate steps to protect your IP rights is crucial. In this article, members of our Technology Transactions Group offer tips on ten key issues you should consider when looking to protect your IP.
Our Technology Transactions team can help you put in place the foundational contracts, policies and other legal documents to help you protect your ideas and maximise the value of your IP when seeking a new investment or licensing your technology. This includes founder and employee IP assignments, consultancy agreements, confidentiality agreements/NDAs, brand protection and trade mark registration and IP ownership audits. We also advise on specific issues during corporate transactions and fundraising rounds, whether it's negotiating an IP transfer or licence agreements or helping you navigate a technology related regulatory issue.