Category Archives: Technology Issues

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Looking Ahead: Top Issues Impacting the Tech Industry in 2017

As technology continues to reshape how business gets done and the way people live their lives, there are many reasons to be excited about the tech industry’s prospects heading into 2017. The more than 300 executives, investors, and advisors that recently convened in Boston for Foley & Lardner’s annual FoleyTECH Boston 2016 conference, discussed the … Continue reading this entry

Self-Driving Cars: Legal Issues Ahead

Companies including Apple, Google, Tesla, Toyota and Uber are all developing and testing self-driving car technology. Toyota announced in November that it would spend $1 billion over the next five years on research centers related to autonomous vehicles at both MIT and Stanford. Apple, Google, Tesla and Uber have also committed to substantial research initiatives … Continue reading this entry

Tips for Protecting Your Company Against Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity has become, as it should, an extremely important topic on company boards’ agendas. The main question on everyone’s mind is: “How can we eliminate this problem?” The answer, unfortunately, is that you can’t. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated, and their knowledge evolves with every new technology. As discussed by a panel of experts at … Continue reading this entry

Five Questions for Early-Stage Companies Looking to Protect Their IP

Throughout previous Emerging Company Exchange posts, we’ve discussed the importance of intellectual property (IP) for technology companies.  For medical device companies, regulatory guidelines present challenges that should be considered when developing an intellectual property strategy. Learn more about five common intellectual property quandaries facing early-stage medical device companies in our recent article on Medical Design … Continue reading this entry

“Better, Faster, Stronger” — Identifying and Protecting Your Competitive Differentiators

Competitive differentiators are the beneficial and unique aspects of your product or service compared to those of competitors. These qualities may provide benefits to consumers, such as a useful and unique feature, more reliable operation, or lower price; or may provide benefits to your organization, such as reducing manufacturing or operational costs. A competitive differentiator … Continue reading this entry

Acquisition of HERE – a Prime Example of How IP Can “Drive” Value

Earlier this month, the news reported that several automakers, including BMW, Audi and Daimler, agreed to acquire HERE Global (Nokia’s map business) for $2.8 billion. Reuters reported that HERE’s primary competitor is Google Maps, and that the automakers outbid Uber and Baidu. Why would the automakers pay billions for an alternative to Google Maps? What … Continue reading this entry

Mark Your Calendars: 2015 FOLEYTech Summit

Join us on October 1, 2015 as we explore how the evolution of technology has transformed business and altered the investing landscape. Our 11th annual FOLEYTech Summit will bring together tech entrepreneurs, executives, managers, investors and advisers.… Continue reading this entry

How Can You Safely Discuss Your IP With Others?

As discussed in our previous posts, startups are about capitalizing on ideas, contacts and experience. In the early stages of a startup or pre-startup, founders often socialize their business plan and details about their idea to receive feedback, recruit talent, and obtain funding. However, founders may naturally feel uncomfortable disclosing their plans and ideas to … Continue reading this entry

Top Three Cybersecurity Misconceptions

Cybersecurity is an issue that should be top-of-mind for all companies. But there are three misconceptions about cybersecurity that can put companies at significant risk. In this video, Foley Partner Michael Overly discusses these misconceptions and how companies should change their views of and approaches to cybersecurity.… Continue reading this entry

Taking Control of Cybersecurity: What Emerging Companies Need to Know

Security breaches have become all too common, and cyberattacks are not limited to the assaults on big companies that are reported in the news. With the global economic cost of cybercrime totaling more than $400 billion per year, cybersecurity has become a priority for executives and board members. Companies of all sizes across all industries should be … Continue reading this entry

IoT – It’s All About the Data, Right?

A few weeks ago, the FTC released a report on the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT refers to “things” such as devices or sensors – other than computers, smartphones, or tablets – that connect, communicate or transmit information with or between each other through the Internet. This year, there are estimated to be over 25 … Continue reading this entry

Regulatory Challenges Facing the mHealth Industry

Innovations in health care technology have created unique challenges for developers and investment companies. Among others, changing FDA guidelines, data security, and reimbursement are all substantial issues facing the rapidly evolving mobile health (mHealth) industry. At the 2014 FOLEYTech Summit, Foley special counsel Monica Chmielewski assembled a panel of industry leaders – Mary Modahl, Chief … Continue reading this entry

Tips for Protecting Your Data

With the global economic cost of cybercrime totaling more than $400 billion per year and breaches affecting companies ranging from retailers (e.g. Target, Walmart and Staples) and restaurants (Dairy Queen and Jimmy John’s) to tech companies (Snapchat), banks (JPMorgan), electronics and entertainment enterprises (Sony Corporation) and even NASA, companies of all sizes across all industries … Continue reading this entry

A Q&A With Digital Media Investors Part II: Advice for Digital Media Companies

As noted in Part I: Digital Media Funding Trends, Foley Partner Beth Felder gathered a group of digital media investor experts – Don Dodge, Developer Advocate for Google, James Geshwiler, Managing Director of CommonAngels and Eric Hjerpe, Partner at Kepha Partners – at our 2014 FOLEYTech Summit for a discussion on digital media investing. We’ve … Continue reading this entry

A Q&A With Digital Media Investors Part I: Digital Media Funding Trends

Foley Partner Beth Felder gathered a group of digital media investor experts – Don Dodge, Developer Advocate for Google, James Geshwiler, Managing Director of CommonAngels and Eric Hjerpe, Partner at Kepha Partners – at our 2014 FOLEYTech Summit for a discussion on digital media investing. We’ve compiled their top insights below. What do we mean … Continue reading this entry

Big Companies Should Think and Act Like Startups to Keep Data Safe

With data security breaches now a shockingly common part of modern life, businesses of all sizes are scrambling to bolster their defenses. In this guest commentary in the Boston Business Journal, we explain how businesses can fight against data breaches by taking tips from startups, and even the hackers themselves. Here’s how: Think opportunity, not crisis. … Continue reading this entry

FOLEYTech Summit Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Our FOLEYTech Summit will celebrate its 10th anniversary on October 14, 2014 when technology leaders convene in Boston for “Technology in Motion: Content, Delivery, and Security in a Connected World.” This year’s event will focus on the issues and challenges facing technology companies today within the mHealth, digital media, and security sectors. Our three industry … Continue reading this entry

You Think You Own Your IP? Think Again!

If we asked you whether you own your intellectual property, your answer most likely would be a swift and unqualified “yes.” Not so fast… Did you invent your idea while at school or working for your prior employer? Has everyone ever involved with your idea signed an assignment of inventions agreement? It is not uncommon … Continue reading this entry

Briefing: 2014 Nantucket Conference

Foley & Lardner LLP was pleased to participate in the sponsorship of the 2014 Nantucket Conference. Now in its 15th year, the conference was held June 5th – June 7th in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The 2014 Nantucket Conference audience consisted of approximately 150 top entrepreneurs, investors, and tech executives. This small group of creative forward-thinkers engaged in … Continue reading this entry

The Fact and Fiction of Non-Disclosure Agreements

Entrepreneurs looking for angel or venture funding, or a strategic partnership, rely on Non-Disclosure Agreements, or NDAs, to protect their trade secrets, shield employees from poaching by the other parties, and keep financial information confidential. By now, just about every entrepreneur knows that an NDA is critical. Most also understand that a party receiving confidential … Continue reading this entry

Key Questions to Ask When Preparing a Data Breach Response Plan (Part II)

Following up on last week’s post, we return to the wide range of questions about a company’s operations that can guide a team building a data breach response plan to cover many of the risks encountered in the wake of a breach. Who are the key stakeholders? Many parts of an organization may be impacted – … Continue reading this entry

Key Questions to Ask When Preparing a Data Breach Response Plan (Part I)

As many companies have learned first-hand, data breaches and security incidents can arise at any time, and when they do, they can quickly consume an organization. Although companies often don’t get advance warning before a data breach occurs, you can better equip your organization to respond to the myriad of issues arising in the wake … Continue reading this entry

Protecting Your Value: The Importance of the Employee NDA

Where is your company’s value? If you are a young start-up company, it’s probably in ideas. Any new invention, new way of attracting business, new way of streamlining a process, or anything else “new” starts with an idea. If value is located in an idea, how do you ensure that it is protected?  With a Nondisclosure, … Continue reading this entry