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Legal Challenges for Startups

  • 05 Jan 2010
  • 7:00 PM - 9:59 PM
  • Conference Center at Bay Colony, 1100 Winter St., 1st Floor, Waltham, MA


Registration is closed

Meeting Presentations:

Peter Moldave – Gesmer Updegrove LLP, Presentation

J. Scott Southworth, Attorney at Law, Presentation

Ed Walsh, Attorney and Shareholder at Wolf Greenfield, Presentation

“Legal Challenges for Startups”, the first meeting of 2010 for the Boston Entrepreneurs' Network (ENET), features a panel of three attorneys with extensive experience in the legal and business issues faced by high technology companies and their founders. The panel has provided counsel for the wide variety of practical situations that all entrepreneurs face. Whether it involves incorporation and choice of entity decisions, employment matters, promises of equity participation in the early stages, protection and licensing of intellectual property, or day-to-day issues like sales and collection matters, these panelists will share the benefits of their experience while providing insight into how to work with a business attorney in a productive and cost effective manner.

The objective of this meeting is to provide a forum for discussion of the critical legal issues facing the founders, investors, and managers of technology companies. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer (Q&A) session moderated by Bill Byrnes, where you will be invited to present your own legal questions and seek guidance from the panel. While not intended as a substitute for securing your own legal counsel, previous attendees have found this to be a particularly valuable forum for seeking initial understanding of the issues that confront startup companies. For additional information, please see the E-Net web site (www.boston-enet.org ) or contact Bill Byrnes at wrbyrnes@aol.com .


Peter Moldave – Gesmer Updegrove LLP (www.gesmer.com )

Mr. Moldave concentrates his practice in the areas of computer software licensing transactions and corporate and securities law. He advises a wide variety of clients in the software industry, including emerging software companies in the internet and enterprise software area, investors in software companies, and individual executives, authors and consultants, on issues including business formation, angel and venture capital financing, mergers and acquisitions, equity-based compensation, and software development, distribution, publishing and licensing arrangements.

Since Spring 2002, Mr. Moldave has been an adjunct faculty member at Suffolk University Law School, where he teaches a course on licensing intellectual property.

Prior to joining the firm, he worked at Apple Computer, Inc., where he was responsible for federal securities law compliance and legal aspects of corporate finance transactions and technology joint ventures, as well as general corporate legal advice, and at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he concentrated in corporate and securities transactions, including mergers and acquisition of publicly and privately held companies and public and private placements of securities.

Mr. Moldave has a J.D. from the University of California (Boalt Hall) and a B.A. in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard College. He is a member of the California and Massachusetts Bars.

J. Scott Southworth, Attorney at Law, www.southworthpatent.com

Mr. Southworth is founder of an independent private practice in patent and intellectual property (IP) law established in 2003. He has worked extensively with entrepreneurs and start-up companies developing patent portfolios and counseling them on a broad range of IP and due diligence issues. He has also performed patent and IP legal work for major technology and computer companies, as well as educational institutions. Technical areas include computers, electronic devices, software, networks, wireless communications, and related areas. His legal publications and presentations have covered several topics, such as provisional patent applications and publicizing inventions on web sites. He has had patent and IP experience at several Boston area law firms, including Testa, Hurwitz, and Thibeault.

Prior to obtaining his law degree, he has had extensive work experience in the computer field at Digital Equipment Corporation, Apollo Computer, and Hewlett-Packard. He has published several technical articles and books, including several articles on hypertext linking. Mr. Southworth obtained his J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School, Magna Cum Laude, and his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a member of a number of legal and technical organizations, including the Boston Patent Law Association, the American IP Law Association, the IP Law section of the ABA, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the MIT Enterprise Forum, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Ed Walsh, Attorney and Shareholder at Wolf Greenfield, www.wolfgreenfield.com

Ed Walsh, a shareholder at Wolf Greenfield works with electrical and computer-related clients in IP strategy development and execution, including patent prosecution, clearances and counseling, licensing, consulting agreements, and joint development agreements. His technical areas include semiconductor processing and high-speed circuit design, wireless communication and signal processing, software, networks and network management, connectors and interconnection technology, and many types of test equipment.

Ed served 14 years as in-house counsel, including Chief IP Counsel for Teradyne. Before Teradyne, Ed served as Division IP Counsel for Textron Specialty Materials and as a patent attorney for Raytheon. Prior to law school, Ed was an electrical engineer, developing operating system software and analyzing communications systems.

Ed holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Boston University , a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University , and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School .


William R. Byrnes, Esq. - Byrnes & Associates wrbyrnes@aol.com

William Byrnes is an attorney and senior executive with 25+ years of experience building value by commercializing information and technology. Bill's focus is on creating value through a unique application of legal and business management experience with a focus on the management of all elements of the product, sales, and contract life cycles as the core of the enterprise. This approach is applied externally to transactions with customers, vendors, and third party business development relations and internally to facilitate deal making. Subsequently, a "benefit of the bargain" analysis can be validated against the real world marketplace and value driven to the bottom line and increased shareholder value are the results. Byrnes & Associates is a network of professionals providing business services to entrepreneurs and early stage companies.

Bill received his undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Boston University, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, and a L.L.M. degree in Taxation from Boston University Law School, Graduate Tax Program. He is also a Boston Entrepreneurs' Network board member.