Starting a company? Don’t succumb to these 3 common legal issues

When launching a startup, legal issues often get brushed aside in order for founders to focus on building the product. But making the wrong legal decision early on in the process of starting your company may lead to thorny problems in the future.

Patenting intellectual property

5 tips for developing a patent strategy

When you’re neck deep in starting a new business, you may not take the time to properly protect your inventions. Here are five easy tips on how to quickly develop an intellectual property strategy.

Flickr disables Pinterest pins on copyrighted images (exclusive)

As the third most popular source of content on digital pin-board site Pinterest, Flickr and its photographers are subject to frequent acts of copyright infringement. But a site-wide update to Flickr promises to better protect members and their copyrighted works.

Pinterest not a pirate anymore, helps site owners disable pins

By way of the “pin,” accidental thieves have exchanged copyrighted content on digital pin-board site Pinterest. To thwart any lawsuits in the making, the much talked-about startup is giving disgruntled site-owners a way to stop piracy before it starts by blocking their images from showing up on Pinterest.

philippe dauman viacom dmedia

5 years later, Viacom still suing YouTube out of “principle”

A five year-old legal battle between Viacom and Google-owned YouTube over copyrighted content continues to clog up the U.S. court system because Viacom, parent company of Paramount Pictures and MTV, believes there’s an important principle at stake, president and CEO Philippe Dauman said Tuesday.

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Samsung calls Australian tablet ban “grossly unjust”

Device maker Samsung says an Australian judge who banned the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in that country does not know the basic facts of the case, and her reasoning  is “grossly unjust.” Lawyers for Samsung are appealing a temporary injunction that has frozen the company out of the market due to claims that Samsung  “slavishly copied” the iPad when creating its own tablet, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Four deadly legal mistakes startups make

A reader asks: My co-founders and I are working on a cool new site, and we’ll be ready to launch in a few weeks. I’ve been reading a lot on the web about incorporation and other legal stuff. We have no money, so we’re going to do the legal ourselves. Assuming we might mess something up, are there any mistakes that can’t be fixed down the road? We know that once we get money in we can clean things up, but we’re worried about mistakes that just can’t be fixed. (And please don’t tell us to hire a lawyer.)

Could Kodak’s patents threaten photo-sharing sites?

A patent dispute is unfolding between Kodak and photo-sharing site Shutterfly that could have ramifications for some of the broader photo-sharing sites on the web, such as Yahoo’s Flickr, the widely-used Picasa by Google, and Facebook’s Photos feature.

New Facebook patent could threaten Foursquare and Gowalla

While Facebook Places wasn’t the first on the location-based services scene, it may have just became the top dog. According to Eric Sherman at CBS’s BNET site, the company has been granted a very broad patent, filed in 2007, called “Systems and methods for automatically locating Web-based social network members.”

Someone stole my startup idea

(Editor’s note: Serial entrepreneur Steve Blank is the author of Four Steps to the Epiphany. This column originally appeared on his blog.)