Many small businesses are suffering due to legal pressure from larger companies in their markets.

Don’t let competitors use the legal system to fight innovation

March 8, 2013 4:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When it comes to the formation of new business, one of the biggest goals is to emerge as a commercial disrupter for a particular market with either a new technology or new spin on existing utilities that breathe new life into an industry. What entrepreneurs often don't think about, though, is that getting strong small business legal advice may be necessary to keep a revolutionary service within legal boundaries.

A recent article from the Harvard Business Review looked into how the legal system addresses such technological advancement and business innovations. The Review concluded that, more often than not, rival companies force the courts into overreacting. One such instance cited in the story was the advent of new internet-based limo and livery vehicle companies that work by having customers remotely "hail" a car through online communications. The success of these upstarts, however, has drawn the ire of classic taxi cab companies, who are calling the legality of such services into question.

What's worse is that the article claims that, in many cases, competitors often don't expect to get the legal system to find anything legally wrong with new innovations. Instead, their aim is to simply hamstring new market disrupters enough so that they cannot draw customers away from incumbent businesses. The trend of larger companies targeting entrepreneurs through the courts is an increasingly common one in today's business landscape, with the process occurring sooner and sooner, as business try to nip prospective challengers in the bud.

"One result of the uncomfortable and increasingly frequent collisions of once-separate worlds of innovation and law is that entrepreneurs now engage with lawyers much sooner in their lives," the Harvard Business Review writes. "They must, if only to secure their own patents and copyright or fight off life-threatening lawsuits."

Local businesses looking to avoid legal pressure from competitors are encouraged to seek out a small business law firm in Phoenix.

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