Legal Issues Facing Entertainment Technology Startups

Entertainment Technology Startups launching products and services using digital media face new and traditional legal issues in business and intellectual property law. Some legal issues facing technology startups may include entity formation, brand name (trademark) selection and adoption, and formalization of ownership splits between co-founders. More groundbreaking legal issues facing technology startups and innovation departments involve intellectual property law, copyright licensing and fair use for film, television, web, new media, mobile, theater, merchandise, art, software, and literary works, software, or mobile application development agreements, and regulations ranging from privacy to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Legal considerations that technology and new media startups often consider include selecting the best type of entity to form, whether a corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or sole proprietorship. The nature of goods and services are also primary considerations in trademark protection strategy in the United States, and for filing federal trademark application in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Services may include, for example, production services, technical or subject matter expert consultation services, talent representation, content distribution, advertising, software development and marketing services.

Depending on the nature of services, contractual considerations and due diligence issues for technology startups may arise such as copyright, trademark, and patent ownership issues. Revenue model analysis and business planning, sponsorship agreements or celebrity endorsements, financing and options rights, crowdfunding, or profit participation deals involving revenue share are also commonly discussed between entertainment technology startups and their attorneys.

Consultation with an experienced Los Angeles Entertainment and Technology Startup Attorney will include navigation of these various issues. Please note this blog does not an exhaustively cover  legal issues facing entertainment and technology startups companies with intellectual property protection and contract consultation needs in the field of digital media, products and services, and consultation with an expert trademark and technology attorney is required to fully flush out legal due diligence strategies. Some of the issues below may not apply, and others not discussed here may.

Today’s entertainment technology businesses touch wide-ranging legal issues which require sophisticated legal counsel, experienced intellectual property analysis, and solid understanding of today’s emerging technology markets.

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 11.16.38 PMAuthor: David N. Sharifi, Esq. is a Los Angeles based intellectual property attorney and technology startup consultant with focuses in entertainment law, emerging technologies, trademark protection, and “the internet of things”. David was recognized as one of the Top 30 Most Influential Attorneys in Digital Media and E-Commerce Law by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2014. Office: Ph: 310-751-0181;

Disclaimer: The content above is a discussion of legal issues and general information; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such without seeking professional legal counsel. Reading the content above does not create an attorney-client relationship. All trademarks are the property of L.A. Tech & Media Law Firm or their respective owners. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. 

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