Startups, Mind Your IP or Face the Dreaded Cease and Desist: Legal Tips from Daliah Saper [Video]

March 26, 2014

6:47 pm

The video below is part of an interview series we did at SXSW 2014. Our SXSW Startup Celebration was sponsored by .COCEARevolution and LivingSocial. We thank them for their support!

Nine out of ten times, it’s just not worth pursuing legal action to help battle nasty comments online. But for that other ten percent of the time, make sure you know what to do and when to do it.

That’s where Daliah Saper comes in. Her Chicago-based law firm, Saper Law, specializes in online defamation and product disparagement cases. According to Saper, startups are diligent about many aspects of building their companies: business structures, equity, and founding agreements, for example. But, when it comes to branding, they often rush to a decision without making sure they’re legally in the clear.

“Startups invest a lot of energy in building goodwill around that brand, only to get hit with a cease and desist letter two years in, and then they’re coming to me to say, ‘How do I re-brand?,”’ says Saper.

So, they need Saper’s legal expertise to do damage control and to help them build their new brand from scratch.

Or — possibly worse — companies are targeted with negative reviews from competitors and even rogue former employees, causing them to get slammed in Google rankings. How can startups know when it’s worth pursuing legal action? And how do they avoid these legal landmines in the first place?

In the video below, Saper gives us a quick run-down on how startups can protect themselves online.



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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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