How to Protect Your IP in P2P Alliances

Kumar Vinnakota, partner at Janik Vinnakota LLP, was recently quoted in an excellent article authored by Kris Blackmon and published at We’ve included below some of the quotes. Please visit the link at the bottom of this post to read the original article in its entirety.

“The IP is the company’s first asset, so it should be treated as the most valuable,” says Kumar Vinnakota, a partner at Janik Vinnakota LLP, a Dallas-based law firm specializing in IP and patent protection. “Sadly, most companies don’t realize this and the protections are an afterthought, which causes cracks in the overall foundation of the company in the future if the IP is ‘disruptive.’”

In the end, partners shouldn’t try to go it alone when it comes to protecting the IP they’re building their business on, especially if they’re hoping to attract investors or potential buyers. Safeguards and protection around the tech that hopefully will be disruptive minimizes the company’s risk and increases its valuation, says Vinnakota.

“The safeguards that investors look for include NDAs, IP assignments, effective IP management for patents, trade secrets or trademarks, and a plan for diversifying these assets, while also trying to take the core business ideas to market.” – Kumar Vinnakota



Why You Should Hire an Entrepreneur Attorney Before Starting a Business

entrepreneur attorneys in Dallas

If you’ve decided to start a business, you’ve got a lot on your plate. However, before you make any big moves, you should find an entrepreneur attorney. Dallas, TX business owners, inventors, and startups can all benefit from bringing in legal experts. However, you don’t have to wait until your business is in full swing before hiring an entrepreneur attorney. Dallas, TX has seen many successful people involve an attorney before they even get started, and here are a few reasons why they made the decision to bring in legal help from the get-go.

To Proactively Protect Yourself

Whether you have partners in your venture, you are going it alone, or you have interested investors, you need to make sure all of the beginning paperwork is looked over carefully so that you don’t have any hiccups in the future. By protecting yourself and your business, you’ll also be taken more seriously because others that you work or partner with will notice that you want to do everything thoroughly and by the book.

To Gain Better Insight into the Laws That Can Affect You

Depending on your business, there will be different laws that can impact you versus someone in a different industry. An entrepreneur attorney Dallas, TX business owners rely on have an in-depth understanding of these laws and will make sure that you stay within the guidelines of them so that your business can seamlessly grow.

To Be Able to Better Focus on Your Business

Focusing on your business is a challenge when you are facing legal matters and battles. An entrepreneur attorney in Dallas, TX takes the pressure off of you so that you can focus on what matters most – growing your business. The earlier you get them involved, the more confident and knowledgeable you’ll be.

Consider Startups

Investment planning is important. In order for individuals and families to ensure a reliable future in retirement, a robust investment portfolio is key. While the conventional wisdom in investment strategies typically encourages folks to build their portfolio around stability, there is a consideration that some either ignore or don’t know about. That consideration is investing in startups.

Before dismissing this element in your strategy, consider a couple of the pros of investing in startups:

  • Getting in early – Who knows, your modest investment could turn out to put you in on the ground floor of the next Facebook or Google. While you shouldn’t deploy this kind of anticipation with every investment, choosing to consider startups in your investment strategy could turn out to be quite lucrative because you were able to get in early, possibly even during a first offering.
  • The motivation of the entrepreneur – Most entrepreneurs are driven to succeed and this drive and ambition may be an intangible in terms of investment value, but they should not be dismissed. These qualities can drive them on to success and your early investment could offer them the financial support that allows their idea to really take hold all while servicing your portfolio.

Don’t be too dismissive of startups. While every startup isn’t a good fit or even a good idea, keeping an open mind about investing in startups could propel your portfolio to another level and provide you with a fantastic return.

The Importance of Intellectual Property Licensing Services

Your business relies on intellectual property far more than you think. Every business has a reason – usually to make a profit from a product or service they sell. More often than not, this IP is a type of valuable knowledge. Of course, your business and the way you service your customers is also precious knowledge. Have you ever thought of how much you would stand to lose if your closest competitor were to find out this valuable knowledge? We’re not referring to just how you manufacture your products, but how you run your business, how you service customers, or even your client lists? All these things give you an advantage in the industry and are vital to your success.

IP Management in Today’s Business Environment

Today, many companies rely on their knowledge-based assets and thus brings the issue of proper IP licensing management into great importance. A “weightless economy” is perhaps a good term to describe an economy that relies on knowledge rather than tangible assets. Take, for example, tech giant Google, who allots 40% of their engineer’s time to develop their own project and many great products have come from this. Such companies recognize that innovation is good for them. And in such companies, identifying the assets that spring from this, knowing its value and how to best commercialize and profit from it (i.e. intellectual property management) is a necessary part of doing business. Creating something new, whether it is an invention, an artistic work, a design etc., and protecting it is more than just filing the necessary papers. It is important to have a better understanding of the created IP, how much it is worth and how to protect it.

There is another function of IP management. Many companies don’t realize that there are not many “new” inventions anymore. Not to say that there can’t be any new ideas anymore, but simply that it’s hard to create a product without relying on other previously created work. For example, if you were trying to create a new product, but needed a certain process, you may find that someone else has patented this process. So, aside from letting the company know what has been done before (and can’t be protected with by a patent), the intellectual property management team should be able to tell you how to legally obtain an IP license for other works, to help you in your own business processes.

Janik Vinnakota’s IP Licensing Services

Janik Vinnakota LLP is known as an international firm with principal offices in both Dallas and Houston, TX. The attorneys at Janik Vinnakota are experienced in the areas of small business law, start-ups, LLCs, intellectual property, business litigation, as well as personal injury. We recognize that as a business proprietor, you are also an innovator. Our dedicated patent litigation attorneys in Dallas are experienced with patents as well as all areas of intellectual property portfolio management, development and licensing. We help all our clients protect as well as enforce their patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade dress, and trade secrets.

Proper handling of IP Licensing Services in itself is valuable for any company, both for strategic and financial reasons. It is important not to underestimate its value to your company, and thus it should be practiced correctly and thoroughly. Give us a call today or send us a message to discuss your IP licensing needs.

Do You Need a Business Lawyer?

Most people think that lawyers are only necessary once you’ve already found yourself locked in a business deal. This misconception can lead to a failure to do your due diligence when entering into the business deal in the first instance to ensure that you and your business partners are protected before something goes wrong.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not you need a business lawyer:

1) Are there multiple people going into business together? It’s not uncommon for a few friends to come up with a business idea and to venture into a partnership together. Sometimes, though, the friendship trumps good business practices and the friends decide to forgo the services of a lawyer in exchange for a handshake and a verbal agreement. Sadly, these business arrangements may fail or friends in business part ways. In this unfortunate event, having a legally binding agreement in place that can protect the personal relationship can be invaluable and help friends and business partners avoid the nasty fallout of a failed business venture.

2) Does your business venture require you to have any type of patents or trademarks? If so, getting good legal help at the beginning can ensure that your inventions and trademarks are protected as best as they can be. Additionally, this process can be daunting and having someone with legal expertise in this area is invaluable – instead of trying to do it yourself.

3) Could you be sued in your business venture? (Hint: the answer is “yes”) In business, there is often the risk of legal action and having a lawyer that you are in an ongoing relationship with can ease the stress of these types of occurrences. And, if this lawyer has expertise in litigation and the courtroom, even better.

If you’re going into business, chances are that you have a service or product that you think you can provide better and/or cheaper than others. You’ve probably tried to convince a customer that they should just entrust their needs to you because you are skilled and experienced. This is exactly how you should think about a good lawyer as you go into business. Hiring a good lawyer (and you should always talk to several initially) to handle that side of your business will free you up to do what you know how to do and to do it well.

Sean N. Hsu Joins Janik Vinnakota LLP As Partner

Attorney Sean N. Hsu, who specializes in intellectual property law and commercial litigation, has joined the law firm of Janik Vinnakota LLP as an equity partner. The addition of Mr. Hsu, an electrical engineer and licensed U.S. Patent Attorney, will add to the firm’s depth of talent in intellectual property law and providing legal assistance to tech start-up companies, both domestically and internationally. For more information, check out the press release below:

Click here to view the entire press release at PR Web

Janik Vinnakota LLP Lawyers Named Texas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars for 2016

(Dallas, TX)— Janik Vinnakota LLP Partner, Rajkumar Vinnakota, and Of Counsel, Brad T. Wyly, were selected to appear in Texas Super Lawyers magazine for 2016. Texas Super Lawyers recognizes the top 5% of lawyers in the state. Vinnakota, selected for intellectual property litigation, and Wyly, selected for personal injury litigation, will also be featured in Texas Monthly magazine. Janik Vinnakota LLP Partner, Glenn E. Janik, was recently named a 2016 Texas “Rising Star” in intellectual property litigation by Texas Super Lawyers.

About Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers is an annual listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 60 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers uses a rigorous multi-step process for attorney selection, including researching the credentials of each nominee, assembling a blue-ribbon review panel comprised of leading attorneys from each practice area, directly contacting lawyers and law firm representatives, verifying data and conducting a good-standing review of the candidates.

About Janik Vinnakota LLP

Janik Vinnakota LLP is a specialized commercial trial law firm experienced in IP litigation and patent litigation, as well as startup and technology business formation. The attorneys at Janik Vinnakota are committed to fostering long-term relationships with their clients through personalized attention and providing innovative legal risk management advice.

Federalizing Trade Secret Law – A Good Thing or Not?

The Defend Trade Secrets Act

This past May, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) was signed into law by President Obama. This was the culminating reality of a long effort by members of both political parties to ensure that full federal protection is provided for business trade secrets and intellectual property.

Due to recent dramatic changes in patent law in the United States, more and more technology companies are relying on trade secrets and proprietary internal processes to increase company valuation and market share. Prior to the federal effort, the protection of trade secrets was governed by a patchwork of state laws around the country, including states that adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”).

But, even these congruent state laws were found still to be inadequate to protect against foreign theft and cyber-hacking of valuable company secrets and confidential information. To address these issues, Congress enacted the DTSA, which extends the protections of the 1996 Economic Espionage Act.

Some legal experts believe that this is the most expansive effort on the part of the federal government to protect property rights since the 1946 passage of the Lanham Act, which provides protection for trademarks. Under the DTSA, companies can file a federal cause of action for misappropriation of their trade secrets.

Prior to DTSA, the only civil protection for trade secrets happened at the state level. However, passage of the DTSA does not subvert existing state protections, but will work alongside them. That said, the federal law does provide for ex parte seizures before commencement of any suit. This powerful tool for plaintiff companies departs from the UTSA and state law.

Considering the fact that there are already federal protections for trademarks, copyrights and patents, a federal initiative to protect trade secrets seems to be a logical next step.

So what does this mean for companies?

  • It means that companies are provided with broader access to the federal court system. This will enable companies to pursue misappropriation claims in federal court.
  • It means companies should update their existing trade secret and intellectual property policies and employee confidentiality agreements to take advantage of the various statutory remedies under the DTSA.
  • It means that violators can face stiff recourse and penalties and those plaintiffs who satisfy the strict requirements of DTSA can utilize law enforcement to seize stolen information without advanced notice to the defendant.
  • It means there will be civil and criminal immunity to whistleblowers that report violations of law requiring the disclosure of company trade secrets under certain circumstances.

If you have questions about how the DTSA applies to you or your company, please contact us or visit our website at

Series LLC Formation

Some states have authorized the use of Series LLCs and Texas has joined those ranks. What is a Series LLC and how is it different that the traditional LLC, though?

In short, a Series LLC allows for the formation of multiple sub-LLCs within the structure of a single LLC. In other words, each series of sub-LLCs can be formed under one umbrella LLC, but they are each treated as an individual LLC. The benefit of this is found primarily in the reduction of cost. The Texas Secretary of State charges a $300 filing fee to form a traditional LLC, corporation or Series LLC. However, the Texas SOS does not charge for each new series (which are essentially new LLCs). This means that essentially, the benefit of multiple, separate LLCs is available for the just the initial cost of the formation of a Series LLC.

Additionally, this means that as long as they are operated properly, debts, liabilities, obligations and expenses incurred under a sub-LLC (“series”) are not enforceable against the assets of the Series LLC and vice versa. This new authorization provides insulation of the assets of one series from the liabilities and obligations of the Series LLC.

Finally, each sub-LLC, known as a “series”, maintains the ability to own assets, borrow money, incorporate different ownership/management structures, operate with different business purposes and handle its own legal issues. In short, each series acts and functions as a unique business entity with all the rights and legal protections of a traditional LLC, but for a lower initial cost.

Contact us to find out if a Series LLC is the right choice for you and your business.