Before having a lawyer draft a document, a little homework means you’ll get just what you want – and a smaller bill.
When briefing your lawyer, it’s always worth having a clear idea of what you want to achieve from any document they might draft. The more you have thought about it, the more likely you are to get useful document plus a smaller bill.
I used to keep a big file of agreements and contracts to use as templates for future documents. That was until the internet came along. Then I chucked out my file.
I have several resources that I look at regularly when wanting to create a new agreement.
The first is Dilanchian Lawyers in Sydney, a firm that keeps large number of articles on topics that interest me, being around technology start-ups.
Another great resource is Onecle Inc. This is a firm that basically takes a copy of every contract that is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US. There are thousands of contracts in hundreds of categories – all free.
Thinking about an incentive plan for staff? There are 169 plans, from Abercrombie & Fitch to Zale Corp – lodged from 1993 to 2006.
Another resource I like, generally alongside the legal theme, is Google Patents. It covers about seven million patents that have been lodged with the US Patent and Trademark Office between 1790s to the middle of 2006.
This is a fantastic resource for those that have a good idea. No point writing a business plan, building a prototype and conducting a whole lot of market validation before approaching venture capitalists if your idea has already been patented in the US.
I believe that IP Australia has a similar type of functionality, but I just couldn’t figure it out. Its site wasn’t particularly user friendly for non-patent attorneys.
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