How do we as a startup define 'pre-existing obligations' with respect to our IP?

We are applying for a grant and they ask us to list this. In a grant application for funds they are asking us to provide a concise listed description of our venture’s: 1) Status of technology, 2) IP protection, 3) Ownership of IP, 4) Pre-existing obligations, 5) Expectation regarding future IP It's number 4 and 5 I'm confused by. I have so far written: 1) Our technology is built out and our platform is currently operating. 2) IP protection - our name is trademarked and copyright protected in the US and Canada. 3) Ownership of IP - we own all rights. We are the owner of all intellectual property, all improvements, written materials, logos, trademarks, trade names, copyright, patents, trade secret and moral rights, registered or unregistered. Is this enough? open to all suggestions. No idea what is meant by pre-existing obligations. If you know I'd be grateful for guidelines. Thank you!!


The questions seem quite open. Usually funds and serious institutions place description of the required fields, or at least underlined examples of what they expect.

You have answered the questions above, although I suggest structuring it and revising it. Have someone within the details of the business look at.
E.g. your platform is currently operating. Not even sure what operating is. It can be operating on your computer at home. It can be deployed on a cloud infrastructure and used by thousands/millions.
Built out is not really a term I would use. What is 'the technology", what part it is from the platform.

Write it in a way, so the person on the other side doesn't ask those questions, and understands where you are.

Further: in the ownership of IP you mention patents. If you really have it, you should also list in in IP protection part.

Number 4 is again a little bit open, but what they mean is an obligation of any kind. Starting from loans, any type of obligating contracts with 3rd parties, employees or others. E.g. a contract that states: I will help you raise this fund, and when you do, you will give me 50%.

Number 5 most likely refers to how do you plan to expand your IP (not only the protected one). Build more features to your software, add more products.

Hope this helps.

Answered 5 years ago

It refers to any pre-existing obligations your startup has to fulfill? Don't get confused with pre-existing IPs. Pre-Existing IP means pre-existing software, technology or other intellectual property, whether such pre-existing intellectual property is owned by Freelancer or a third party including, without limitation, code written by proprietary software companies or developers in the open source community.

Answered 5 years ago

Not sure if your question is still relevant, but here goes:
My interpretation to "Pre-existing obligations" would be, for example: licenses that you've given to others, licenses that you've received, claims against you/your IP (for example, someone who has filed a claim/complaint/court case saying that they are in fact the owners).
Regarding section 5: they mean what do you plan to do with you IP, and/or if you don't already have a patent, are you planning on filing for one? If so, in which jurisdictions...etc...
Regarding section 3, and even though you didn't ask: I find it unlikely that you really do own 100% of your IP. I am not sure what your business is, but if it includes code/programming, then there is a 99% chance that you used open source code, in which you case you probably don't own ALL the IP.
I hope that you got the grant. good luck

Answered 5 years ago

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