Yates Perspectives–Vol. II

September 7th, 2010
MMM Tech Perspectives

The “Series A” Dilemma

The line is growing of entrepreneurial companies seeking Series A funding in the range of $1-2 million.  In the course of my three decades of representing tech companies, I can’t remember so many entrepreneurs looking for Series A money at the same time.

This is a good news/bad news story.  The good news is there are dozens of entrepreneurs starting companies and bootstrapping them with their own money and cash from friends and family.  A significant number of these new entrepreneurs are first-timers — and many of them are bouncing back from a recent lay-off or consulting role. 


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USPTO Issues Updated Examiner Guidelines Regarding “Obviousness” Standard

September 2nd, 2010


Comment:  The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office issued updated guidelines on September 1, 2010, regarding examination of patent applications under the “obviousness” standard in light of Federal Circuit decisions that have issued since the Supreme Court’s ruling in KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex, Inc. in 2007. The Updated Examination Guidelines provide practical and instructional examples for patent examiners to utilize when examining patent applications.

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IBM Victorious in Employee Contract Suit

September 1st, 2010


Commissions are an issue frequently litigated, often because there is a lack of clarity or certainty in the employer’s commission plan and/or agreement.  In this case, the Court held IBM’s commission plan letter was clear in not creating a contract for commission payments, and in reserving to IBM the discretion to adjust and/or eliminate commissions.  Note, however, that the law regarding commissions can vary significantly from state to state, and commission plans are not necessarily “one-size-fits-all” for multi-state employers.  Read full story.

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