Skip to the main content

Venture Capital and the Technology Start-up - Winter 2008

Winter term
M,T,W,Th,F 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Professor John Palfrey and Mr. David Hornik
2 classroom credits LAW-48315A Winter

This course focuses on the legal and business aspects of technology start-ups, with an emphasis on matters relating to intellectual property. A primary objective of the course is to explore the key legal and business decisions that an entrepreneur faces throughout the company life-cycle and the intersection of these interrelated issues. Central legal topics will include IP and related issues to which the ordinary operations of a technology start-up give rise, including copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, privacy, and speech. We will also consider significant start-up-related business matters, such as the implications of corporate formation, the hiring of the management team, the selection of a technology platform, the development of a technology product and process design, the licensing of intellectual property, financings, and the successful exit. The course will emphasize the novel legal issues related to the current crop of Internet technologies ("web 2.0"). The class is oriented toward the study of practice-relevant cases and examples. Students should come prepared to experiment with new technologies and modes of pedagogy, including working in teams.

This seminar is particularly appropriate as an offering for those students who intend to take, or have taken, the Clinical Program in Cyberlaw at the Berkman Center. Students who wish to enroll in the class with a clinical component must do so through the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs. Please refer to the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs website at for early drop/add deadlines and rules for all clinical courses.