Litigation lawyers need your e-files

Australian businesses are at risk if they do not know that electronic document management and retention is essential for victory in litigation that involves more than 200 documents.

Rarely do we come across small businesses that keep up-to-date document lists, databases or repositories. Some don't have even a standardised system for giving files a title or date.

If you received court documents next week is your business ready for mandated electronic litigation? If you are not ready, legal costs will be higher for the IT litigation support services below.

  1. E-discovery
  2. Digital forensics - for pattern analysis, mobile use, computer breach, malicious attacks, use of social media and internet, Anton Pillar orders for electronic evidence seizure, and data recovery and collection
  3. Electronic files conversion, for example mailbox extraction (PST, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange)
  4. Virtual data room
  5. Document handling - printing, scanning, coding, barcoding, and data entry
  6. Courtroom technology set-up

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Win business by crossing the chasm

When a newish product is first launched it can acquire an initial round of customers or adopters. These customers tend to be enthusiasts or visionaries. They are the product's early market.

To sustain that initial growth the product must reach more customers. They may not have heard of the product or they may just be holding back from buying anytime soon. These prospective customers are pragmatists or conservatives.

In numbers there's more of them than enthusiasts or visionaries... much more. Getting them to reach out for the product involves what author Geoffrey A. Moore has phrased as "crossing the chasm". If the crossing is successful then generally more growth follows.

Moore's focus is on high-tech products. My experience is the analysis applies to other product types as well.

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Innovation is not a useful word

Followers of fashion and implementers of surface-level change are unlikely to achieve innovation, invention and creativity in business.

If its still hyped as "innovation" likely failure may fatigue your people.

Over the years we've seen many lists of innovation leaders, such as the BusinessWeek special report "World Most Innovative companies".

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Trade marks portfolios need brand architecture

Does your business have brands, packaging and trade marks in different styles?

Do they send different marketing messages, lacking integration?

Integration improves legal protection for brands, names, logos, tag lines and other ID. Here's how.

Years ago I stumbled onto a solution, the concept of "brand architecture".

This happend while doing legal research for a client with a portfolio of trade marks in different styles and sending different messages. It was a mess, little integration in design and hence lowering the level of legal protection.

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Debt recovery made easy

If you are a small businesses, like many you may be unprepared when you seek a lawyer to issue a letter of demand or debt recovery legal action.

If you are like many small businesses, you'll have one major problem making it difficult to recover debts.

It's a problem that has an affordable solution in three moves. The solution prevents the problem.

It's a problem that exists before the small business goes to a lawyer to ask for a solicitor's letter or court case work.

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Domain names & IP protection

Do nothing if you receive an unsolicited email for a domain name registration in China. The message of the email will read like friendly advice. It's not. It's a scam.

The email will claim that someone has applied to register an identical domain as yours in China. Ignore. It's bull.

This China domain name scam continues. The authors may not even be from China. I first wrote in 2007 about this scam in Domain name scam made in China.

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41 start-up stories from an IP business lawyer

If you are an entrepreneur or start-up or developing the concept for a new business you know you'll find guidance and inspiration in how others have succeeded or failed. Their stories are inspiring biographies or valuable insights.

So what guidance and inspiration can you expect from your lawyer or accountant?

As a lawyer specialising in helping start-ups and SMEs, I've written 41 of these stories as one of my ways of providing guidance free-of-charge. Clients who call say they understand and appreciate what I've written.

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41 start-up stories from an IP business lawyer

If you are an entrepreneur or start-up or developing the concept for a new business you know you'll find guidance and inspiration in how others have succeeded or failed. Their stories are inspiring biographies or valuable insights.

So what guidance and inspiration can you expect from your lawyer or accountant?

As a lawyer specialising in helping start-ups and SMEs, I've written 41 of these stories as one of my ways of providing guidance free-of-charge. Clients who call say they understand and appreciate what I've written.

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Commercialisation of technology needs dreams and contracts

Entrepreneurs see advantage where others don't. They seize advantage by aligning people and resources to their vision. The bolder the vision, the greater the need for commercialisation strategy, business process, financial modelling and contracts.

Here's a story of one such entrepreneur.

In 2003 a tall and lanky engineer came with his rucksack to the Dilanchian Lawyers & Consultants office for a meeting.

One of Australia's largest mining and steel production companies had paid him for his consulting time for a hydrogen diffusion system in steel production. It insisted on not paying for his intellectual property (IP) created in inventing technical designs and solutions.

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Mobile app statistics and law in Australia

Which types of apps do people use most on their mobiles? This is revealed in the Telstra 2011 Smartphone Index. It prompts this question: How did the smartphone, mobile device and app market take off, and more importantly, where is it heading?

Statistics on emerging opportunities in mobile markets are useful to us as IT and mobile phone app lawyers. They are re-shaping the financials, workflow and futures of a huge range of industries, among them software developers.

As our hyperlinks in this article indicate, since 2006 we've closely monitoring mobile market developments in Australia so as to give timely advice to our clients.

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Intellectual property law secures abstractions

A web article comment today via Find Lawyers from a "petrovyoung" reminds me how abstract and concrete thought can be two sides of the same coin. In practical terms it is a reminder also that clients should often have very open conversations with their lawyers about what precisely is their intellectual property.

Without open conversations clients and their lawyers can settle for mundane IP. This won't get them very far, but can give the client pipe dreams and earn the lawyer money. Every week we come across poor brands and domain names, crap patent applications, or mediocre materials from which people imagine they can build a copyright-based business.

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Wikipedia: Built free, open and with law

Free and open are concepts which have become normal in entrepreneurial or internet businesses. Consider "free" software, "open" source software and "open" innovation. How each works commercially is worth investigating for  internet entrepreneurs and businesses seeking fresh approaches. They are alternatives to "paid and closed" business practices.

Wikipedia is our case study for this investigation. How did Wikipedia arrive at its combination of free (content) and open (Wiki)? Which lightbulb moments turned it from an investment drain to a viable, funded operation?

Jimmy Wales co-founded Wikipedia. Born in 1966, he grew up in Huntsville, Alabama in a family that appreciated the World Book Encyclopaedia and learning. Under the direction of his mother and grandmother, Wales enrolled at Auburn University at the age of 16 and studied finance. He obtained a masters and entered the Ph.D finance program while also teaching university students. In 1994 he applied this academic background in finance by taking up a position as an employee in a Chicago futures and options firm.

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Is more law a good thing?

I believe the common opinion is: "Yes".

That opinion was accepted as a given in this week's Q&A program. Federal Infrastructure Minister, Anthony Albanese, in defending the Gillard Government said:

"And in spite of some of the criticism and people saying things aren't working, it's 153 pieces of legislation we've carried in the new parliament. No legislation defeated, not a single amendment carried without government support. John Howard only carried 114 pieces of legislation in his first year. So the parliament is functioning. The government is functioning."

So Minister Albanese wants us to accept that 153 pieces of legislation is better than 114.

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Patent law works for inventions and investment

A compelling argument for the existence of intellectual property laws can be found in the example of the discovery and commercialisation of the steam engine in Great Britain during the Industrial Revolution.

In his 2010 book The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry and Invention*, U.S. author William Rosen illustrates how economic imperative in the age of steam drove the rise in patents issued in Britain.

The approach in Britain of using patents to encourage invention is in contrast to the contemporaneous approach in France, where inventors were awarded cash for their inventions: Between 1740 and 1780, the French inclination to reward inventors not by enforcing a natural right but by the grant of pensions and prizes resulted in the award of nearly 7 million livres – approximately $US600 million today – to inventors of largely forgotten devices…”. (p. 268)

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Lightbulb Moment - music IP & innovation

What can innovators learn from Time Out?

This jazz album was recorded in 1959. It's the first instrumental jazz album to sell over a million copies. For decades it has been in the list of the top 10 biggest selling jazz albums of all time. Here's the short version of the story.

When the band leader, David Brubeck, decided to record this album his record label people at Columbia Records said no. The music as composed by Brubeck was very unusual for the time in its time signatures and style.

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