General Business

10
Oct

Safford & Baker is a proud sponsor of the Savvy Entrepreneur Series brought to you by the Great Lakes Chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF). The Series is co-produced with, and hosted by, a number of the regions leading innovation accelerators and research institutions, and provides early to mid-stage technology entrepreneurs with guidance on key topics that all startups must navigate to realize success. Sites include Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Flint, Houghton, and Midland, with more to be added in the future. The first event for the 2010-11 Series is tomorrow, Tuesday, October 10, 2011 from 5pm to 8:30pm. A complete list of Series dates and topics follows: October 11, 2011, Tuesday. Intellectual Property: How to protect your precious IP without bankrupting your fledgling enterprise and how to navigate the dreaded NDA with prospective customers and partners. November 8, 2011, Tuesday. Building Great Team: A winning organization is more than the sum of its parts, and a losing one far less. How to recruit, retain, incentivize and inspire employees, advisers, board members and key leaders. January 31, 2012, Tuesday. ACE 2012: 12th gathering of over 500 active and new entrepreneurs to celebrate and connect. February 21, 2012, Tuesday. Angel Investors: What are they looking for, how are they different from venture capitalists and why use them? How do they think about valuation? April 10, 2012, Tuesday. Cash Flow: What is it and how can you maximize it and best practices on how to compensate the executive team to sustain it. Even if you have no cash yet, this is a top priority to ...

13
Sep

I'll be presenting "Representing the Web-based Business" at the 4th Annual Information Technology Law Seminar next week on Wednesday, September 21, at the Inn at St. John's, Plymouth. The seminar is geared toward lawyers and law students. More information can be found here. A seminar overview and schedule follow. OVERVIEW Global connections and technology have transformed the world for all businesses. Companies need lawyers who understand online business and technology deals and the legal issues connected with them. Navigate key legal issues and learn drafting strategies from a faculty of security experts, a law professor, plus IP and IT law specialists. Build your knowledge to increase your business development opportunities. Attend and Learn to: Avoid costly mistakes when you draft and negotiate technology license agreements Implement best practices in data security and privacy to help your clients guard customer information Effectively advise your clients on the key issues relating to operating a Web-based business Safeguard your clients' domain names and trademark rights on the Web Take a multimedia exploration into copyright protection for Web sites Understand social media in the workplace and how companies are using it themselves SCHEDULE 9:00am-9:15am Welcome and Introductions 9:15am-10:05am The Keys to Technology Licensing understanding the basics critical mistakes to avoid handling the negotiations Mark G. Malven, Dykema, Bloomfield Hills 10:05am-10:55am Trademarks on the Web selecting and enforcing domain names keyword advertising implications on the Internet Mary Margaret L. O'Donnell, Blue Filament Intellectual Property LLC, Birmingham 11:10am-12:00pm Current Trends in Data Security and Privacy dissecting ...

13
Sep

I've been attending Ann Arbor New Tech events since the group's inception back in February 2009, so it's my great pleasure to announce that Safford & Baker PLLC is now an official sponsor. What is Ann Arbor New Tech? It's a group of people from various industries and backgrounds (e.g., entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, marketers, students, etc.) interested in fostering local technology startups by organizing events, sharing resources, and building a supportive community. Ann Arbor New Tech’s signature event takes place on the third Tuesday of each month, at 6:30 p.m., at Blau Auditorium, UM Ross School of Business, 701 Tappan Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.  The monthly event features three to five companies who are each given five minutes to demo and five minutes to answer questions.  Open announcements and networking follows. This month’s meetup is Tuesday, September 20th.  The presenting companies on tap include: Matt Piccinato, Had That Beer - web/mobile beer checklist app Kevin Krason, Traction - real world lead tracking Trevor Fitzgerald, Ignite Pages - real estate listing webpages Melissa Bugai, Booker - easy online appointment booking Jerry Paffendorf, LOVELAND Technologies - community maps & fundraising in the D - as featured in the New York Times! Hope you can make it.

16
Aug

Ann Arbor New Tech, brought to you by a2geeks, a group of people from various industries and backgrounds (e.g., entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, lawyers, marketers, students, etc.) interested in fostering local technology startups by organizing events, sharing resources, and building a supportive community. Ann Arbor New Tech’s signature event takes place on the third Tuesday of each month, at 6:30 p.m., at Blau Auditorium, UM Ross School of Business, 701 Tappan Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.  The monthly event features three to five companies who are each given five minutes to demo and five minutes to answer questions.  Open announcements and networking follows. This month’s meetup is TODAY, August 16th.  The presenting companies on tap include: Alex Schiff & Chase Lee, FetchNotes - notes you'll actually use Alexander Honkala, AllHandsActive - Ann Arbor's downtown hackerspace Ryan Montgomery, Chext - balance your bank account via text messages Vinay Gupta, Joolze - changing homeowner energy consumption through social games Sam Hogg, GiftZip - recently acquired by gift card giant SVM!

04
Aug

VC Firm Foundry Group Open Sources Legal Docs

Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson, co-founders and managing directors at Foundry Group, a VC firm in Boulder, Colorado, continue their crusade to make VC financing as transparent as possible. Their previous Term Sheet Series is a must-read for entrepreneurs who are new to early-stage financing deals. As a further step, they have now decided to open source Foundry Group’s standard legal docs for all to peruse and use (usual disclaimers apply). The documents are included on the Resources page of their Ask the VC website, which also includes links to each of the five other open sourced deal docs now available. Need more? Check out Brad and Jason’s new book Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist which further expands on their Term Sheet Series. You can pick up a copy on Amazon.  

12
Jun

Safford & Baker is a proud sponsor of WWJ Newsradio  950′s business breakfast event "Social Media and Your Business 2.0: Reputation Management" featuring our very own Randy Safford as a panelist. The Details: Thursday, June 23, 2011 Registration, Continental Breakfast & Networking:  7:15 am Discussion / Q&A:  8:15 - 9:30 am VisTaTech Center at Schoolcraft College 18600 Haggerty Road Livonia, Michigan 48152 Registration is only $10 per person.  Please click here to register. Social Media and Your Business 2.0: Reputation Management Most small and large business owners have identified they plan to spend more on social networking in 2011 but what steps should you take regarding reputation management? Join WWJ Newsradio  950′s Vickie Thomas and a panel of experts discussing the latest ways businesses are managing their image, responding to criticism and turning negatives into golden opportunities. Panelists include: Ivan Frank - Chief Marketing Officer, Fluency Media Randy Safford – Safford & Baker Law Firm Buck Head - Social Media Director 98.7 Amp Radio CBS Detroit / CEO Severely Social – Online Marketing Pre-registration is recommended and is only $10 per person.  Please click here to register. Onsite registration will be based on availability.

08
Apr

Safford & Baker Sponsoring MIT Enterprise Forum

In our continuing effort to provide support for Michigan entrepreneurs, we are very pleased to announce our new sponsorship of the Great Lakes Chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum.  We have been participants in this Chapter for a number of years and have many friends in this worthy organization, but this represents an additional level of commitment to become the sole business law firm sponsor.  We hope to contribute meaningfully to the progress of MITEF and, in doing so, to add energy to the effort to advance the cause of entrepreneurship across our state, and we are grateful to MITEF for providing us the opportunity to do so. MITEF is an international entrepreneurship organization formed in 1978 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alumni Association. It operates through 28 official chapters throughout the world, including 10 outside of the United States. Principally, MITEF provides educational programming in support of its entrepreneurial members as well as networking opportunities both within and between chapters. Much more information can be found about the global MITEF here. Information about the activities of the Great Lakes Chapter is found here. The calendar of events for the Great Lakes Chapter will soon be posted on our website. Among the many beneficial activities that the Great Lakes Chapter sponsors for entrepreneurs is an educational series entitled the Savvy Entrepreneur. Inaugurated in 2010, the Series consists of five workshops on various aspects of entrepreneurship, with a particular emphasis on early stage funding. The Savvy ...

28
Mar

Your website is hip, innovative, informative, and interactive and does it all using cutting-edge design. But…is it also inviting legal trouble? Here’s my rundown of a few common website mistakes: You are committing massive copyright infringement. Okay, maybe not you directly but your users are and, under copyright law, that means you are too. If your website allows users to post content, even just comments, then it allows them to commit copyright infringement for which you (perhaps even personally) are responsible. To protect yourself, you need a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice and takedown procedure in place, and you need to do it right. It’s not enough simply to say you take down infringing content. You have to specifically follow the statutory requirements. Even websites that purport to follow and rely on the DMCA are often times not doing it right – and, therefore, cannot get the benefit of its safe harbors. You are liable for your users’ comments. Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, websites are immune from liability for statements posted by their users. That is...sometimes. Where websites get in trouble is where they edit or shape user comments. Some websites may be doing this without even intending to. The manner in which you solicit comments from your users may be enough “shaping” to lose Section 230 immunity. Websites should take a hard look at how they are soliciting user comments. You are in violation of securities laws. Lots of startup companies are in need of capital. What better way to solicit interest from ...

08
Mar

I'm a guest blogger this week over at Your Legal Resource, sharing tips on protecting your intellectual property as well as your business. From the post: Entrepreneurs are, by their very nature, energetic risk-takers often with a singular focus on launching their product or service. That kind of dedication and focus is terrific for getting to market and developing value quickly. Unfortunately, that “get-it-done-and-work-out-the-problems-later” approach can have tragic consequences where the business’s intellectual property is neglected in the process; particularly for today’s startup businesses where IP (such as software, patents, and trademarks) plays a vital part. If the IP is not secure, the entire business value is in jeopardy. If the business value is in jeopardy, it may be very difficult finding investors or carrying out an exit strategy. Read the whole thing here. I will also be one of the speakers at YLR's upcoming lunch and learn on 3/24/11.  There are a few spots available if you’d like to join.  Information and Registration available here.

07
Mar

The Michigan Lean Startup Conference

The Michigan Lean Startup Conference is an event designed to unite those interested in what it takes to succeed in building a lean startup. The day long event, taking place Thursday, March 19, 2011, on the Pew Campus of Grand Valley State University, will give startups, aspiring entrepreneurs, technology professionals, investors, educators and entrepreneurial stakeholders the opportunity to hear insights from national leaders in the lean startup movement and learn what it takes to build a lean startup. I'll be presenting on "Lean Legal for the Lean Startup". Come check it out.