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Legal Challenges to Startups

  • 02 Dec 2008
  • 7:00 PM - 9:59 PM
  • Meeting at Bay Colony Office Park Conference Center, 1100 Winter Street, Waltham, MA. PRE-MEETING DINNER at 5:15 PM (sharp) at Bertucci's, Waltham.

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Meeting Presentations:

Ed Walsh, a shareholder at Wolf Greenfield works with electrical and computer-related clients in IP strategy development and execution, Presentation

David Thibodeau is a principal at Hamilton, Brooks, Smith and Reynolds. His practice includes patent prosecution, licensing and transactions, patent portfolio development and strategy, and intellectual property litigation, Presentation

Legal challenges for Startups have always existed, but today are different. We are currently experiencing one of the most significant changes in the political, economic, and financial landscapes in a century. The panel of distinguished attorneys will address these challenges and offer insight into how the landscape is likely to change.

The panel will address the five stages of the Startup and the Intellectual Property (IP) activities that must be considered to avoid infringements. The panel will deliver practical, real-world information about IP, building your IP toolbox, and developing a proactive patent strategy to protect valuable IP rights.
Additionally, the panel will discuss how the emerging landscape is likely to affect the structure of your team and how to stop developing and move into production.
 Attendees will hear real-world "horror stories", how to fix them, and preferably, how to avoid them in the first place.

GOT QUESTIONS? Bring your questions to the meeting for the Q&A session following the panel discussion, or e-mail your questions in advance to the Meeting Organizer: Bill Byrnes at wrbyrnes@aol.com

Panelists Include: 

Edmund J. Walsh

Ed Walsh, a shareholder at Wolf Greenfield works with electrical and computer-related clients in IP strategy development and execution, including patent prosecution, clearances and counseling, licensing, consulting agreements, and joint development agreements. His technical areas include semiconductor processing and high-speed circuit design, wireless communication and signal processing, software, networks and network management, connectors and interconnection technology, and many types of test equipment. 
 Ed served 14 years as in-house counsel, including Chief IP Counsel for Teradyne. Before Teradyne, Ed served as Division IP Counsel for Textron Specialty Materials and as a patent attorney for Raytheon. Prior to law school, Ed was an electrical engineer, developing operating system software and analyzing communications systems.

Ed holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Boston University, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.

William Contente

Bill Contente is a Partner of Gesmer Updegrove LLP. He represents a wide range of corporate clients, both large and small, including e-commerce companies, ASPs, a variety of internet-based companies, computer hardware and software companies, medical device companies, systems integrators, angel groups, venture capital firms and consulting firms. He has extensive experience in domestic and international licensing, "angel" and venture capital financing, secured and unsecured lending, structuring distribution and development arrangements and mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Contente is a director of Launchpad Venture Group, an angel investment group, and of MassMEDIC IGNITE, which provides guidance to early-stage medical device companies. He also serves as a director and member of the executive committee of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation. He was Managing Partner of Gesmer Updegrove from 2002 through 2008, and was Chairman of the Board of Lena Park Community Development Corporation from 1997 through 2002. He co-chaired the High Technology Practice Group of the Massachusetts Bar Association from 1994 through 1999, and has served as an arbitrator for the National Futures Association since 1989. Mr. Contente is a certified mediator.

David Thibodeau is a principal at Hamilton, Brooks, Smith and Reynolds. His practice includes patent prosecution, licensing and transactions, patent portfolio development and strategy, and intellectual property litigation. He has particular expertise in patent prosecution in the electronics and computer areas, including wireless communications, hardware and software architectures, storage systems, telecommunications, and integrated circuits. David is a recognized authority on patent-related issues. He is an Adjunct Professor of Patent Law at Franklin Pierce Law Center, a former President of the Boston Patent Law Association, and a frequent speaker at industry and legal symposiums nationwide. David received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering, with distinction, from WPI and his JD from Suffolk University Law School.


Moderator:

J. Scott Southworth

Mr. Southworth is founder of an independent private practice in patent and intellectual property (IP) law established in 2003. He has worked extensively with entrepreneurs and start-up companies developing patent portfolios and counseling them on a broad range of IP and due diligence issues. He has also performed patent and IP legal work for major technology and computer companies, as well as educational institutions. Technical areas include computers, electronic devices, 2.0software, image processing, networks, wireless communications, and related areas. His legal publications and presentations have covered several topics, such as provisional patent applications and publicizing inventions on web sites. He has had patent and IP experience at several Boston area law firms, including Testa, Hurwitz, and Thibeault.

Prior to obtaining his law degree, he has had extensive work experience in the computer field at Digital Equipment Corporation, Apollo Computer, and Hewlett-Packard. He has published several technical articles and books, including several articles on hypertext linking. Mr. Southworth obtained his J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School, Magna Cum Laude, with a High Technology Concentration with Distinction, and his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a member of a number of legal and technical organizations, including the Boston Patent Law Association, the American IP Law Association, the IP Law section of the ABA, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Advanced Computing SIG of the MIT Enterprise Forum, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).