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Legal and Patent Strategies for Entrepreneurs

Legal & Patent Strategies for Entrepreneurs
Co-sponsored by the IEEE Boston Section Consultants' Network
Tuesday, December 4, 2012, 7:00PM - 10:00PM, - In Waltham MA 20.00 non ENET members      to join ENET

We feature a panel of attorneys with extensive experience in the legal issues faced by technology companies and their founders. These include incorporation and choice of entity decisions; promises of equity participation in the early stages; protection and licensing of intellectual property; and day-to-day issues such as employment, sales, and collection matters.

The distinguished legal experts on this panel -- selected from the prominent area law firms of Foley Hoag, Gesmer Updegrove, Wolf Greenfield, and J Scott Southworth -- have provided counsel on such issues in a wide variety of practical situations. They will share the benefits of this experience while providing insight into how to work with a business attorney in a productive and cost effective manner.

The objective of this meeting is to provide a forum for discussion of the critical legal issues facing the founders, investors, and managers of technology companies. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session where you will be invited to present your own legal questions and seek guidance from the panel. While not intended as a smmubstitute for securing your own legal counsel, previous attendees have found this forum to be particularly valuable for seeking initial understanding of the issues that confront startup companies.


Matthew S. Eckert, Attorney, Foley Hoag, LLP (
Matt Eckert's business law practice focuses on advising venture capital funds in investments covering a broad range of size and complexity, as well as on assisting emerging companies across the spectrum of development stages in capital-raising activities and mergers and acquisitions. In addition to his extensive work with venture funds and private companies, Matt has substantial experience assisting public companies with securities law compliance, including periodic reporting, securities registration and proxy solicitation. He also counsels clients, both public and private, on other business transactions and general corporate matters.

Thomas Durkin, Managing Partner, Gesmer Updegrove, LLP (
As Managing Partner of Gesmer Updegrove, Tom applies the skills and experiences that he has gained in representing emerging businesses over the past 25 years. Having management responsibility, Tom understands the concerns of entrepreneurs when facing difficult decisions for their own businesses. Tom primarily serves as outside general counsel to emerging and middle-market companies, providing guidance and assistance in all aspects of their organization, operation and financing. He has helped many technology companies with their product development, licensing and distribution arrangements. Through his extensive work with emerging, fast growth companies, Tom has considerable experience with early stage and venture financing, joint ventures, strategic partnerships and M&A transactions.

Thomas A. Franklin, Associate, Wolf Greenfield (
Tommy Franklin provides a wide range of IP services, including patent portfolio development and management, due diligence, patent validity and infringement opinions, and technical consultation on litigation matters. His broad technical background in the areas of physics, electrical engineering, and physical oceanography facilitates his counseling of clients in a wide range of technical fields, including medical imaging, circuit design and signal processing for audio devices and imaging devices, electromagnetic sensors, optics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) circuit design and fabrication, semiconductors, and fluid-based technologies. Tommy represents both large and small companies, start-ups, and many of the top universities in the Boston area. His range of experience with various types of clients enables him to understand each client's needs and provide them with an appropriate IP strategy.

J Scott Southworth, Attorney at Law - Patents and Intellectual Property (
Scott Southworth is the 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, software, 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.

Moderator: The meeting will be moderated by William R. Byrnes ([masked]). Bill's legal practice assists entrepreneurial companies with the legal issues they face, with a focus on day-to-day commercial issues involving customers, vendors, and other third party relationships.

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