Do I Own My Company's Website? Blog by Jeffrey Kass for Startup Denver, March 2012.
A website can be a powerful tool for any business. But if you’re thinking about launching a website for your company or redesigning your current site, consider this scenario and how you might avoid costly problems and potential legal issues.
Last year, John had a great idea for a new company. He talked to his family and with some financial help from his grandmother, he launched his new dream Internet-based company. After obtaining commercial insurance and talking to suppliers, he talked to his friend Elaine, who worked for a web development company, about creating his website. Elaine was excited to take on this new project. Her company said it could develop and optimize John’s website for $40,000. John and Elaine shook hands on it, and Elaine and her co-workers developed a great website for John. However, the final bill to John was $60,000, and he could not afford to pay that amount. He also did not think it was fair to pay an extra $20,000. Elaine said that John changed the scope of the project many times, which is why the bill increased. Elaine’s company decided not to pursue John for the extra $20,000 at that time. Elaine ultimately went to work for a different web development company.
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Jeffrey Kass is a shareholder in the firm's Intellectual Property and Business Litigation practice groups. He has more than 17 years of experience representing clients in many areas of law. He practices out of Polsinelli Shughart's Denver and St. Louis offices.
Mr. Kass focuses his practice on trademark, patent, trade secrets and copyright litigation, as well as technology law, business and commercial litigation, broker-dealer arbitration and business planning matters. His practice also focuses on contract issues, software licensing, Internet domain name disputes, and related areas of law. He is experienced handling preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders, jury and non jury trials, disputes before the United States Patent & Trademark Office, and he has participated in securing multiple intellectual property victories in federal court, including winning a significant trademark jury trial in 2009. Mr. Kass also provides expert witness opinions and testimony in trademark and unfair competition cases. He advises companies on various business planning issues, and he is general counsel to multiple startup companies. In 2009, the publication Small Business Monthly named Mr. Kass one of the top ten lawyers for entrepreneurs.
Mr. Kass is the author of numerous articles, and he has given many presentations to businesses and lawyers, on a wide range of IP, litigation, and business related topics. He also is an adjunct law professor teaching IP litigation. He is a member of the board of directors of the St. Louis County Economic Council Enterprise Centers, among many other commitments to professional and community service.