2007/03/28

FS3: Legal Agreements

This morning's working breakfast with one of the FireSeed Streaming Supercomputer (FS3) advisors was quite helpful in understanding important details of the two primary legal documents needed for the project.

Those two documents are the Stockholder (or Buy/Sell) Agreement and the Employment Agreement.

The primary purpose of these two documents at this stage is twofold. First, the project must have a legal entity which can receive funds for the project. Second, it must be clear to everyone, both inside and outside the project, exactly how decisions are made and what the ground rules are when differing opinions arise about matters related to the project.

Because of the nature of the FS3 project, it is important to have one or more attorneys working with the project be knowledgeable about computing intellectual property (IP) and the high tech industry in general. Depending on the IP developed by the FS3 project and the relative progress made by other GPU-cluster projects, IP could be a very important part of FS3.

One issue of particular interest regarding the agreements is the value of having certain company policies and procedures spelled out in an easily-amendable addendum. This precludes the need for an attorney to review and sign off on the two legal documents each time we change how the project is run. Planning for that addendum ahead of time saves the FS3 project several headaches and more than a few hours of legal time.

During the next project teleconference, we will discuss issues raised this morning about the two agreements. Also to be discussed is the need to get several attorneys involved with the FS3 project. At least one of those attorneys should live in the Milwaukee area. It would also be good to find a Silicon Valley attorney who likes the concept of the FS3 project and wants to work on it.

Once the legal agreements have been developed and finalized, we'll be ready to form an LLC and open a checking account. Need to have an account number to give to the NSF, the DoD, and any other grant sponsoring agencies or private investors who feel FS3 is a worthwhile project and a fantastic or intriguing investment opportunity!

A big thanks goes to the project adviser who met with me today. Having the advice of someone who has been there and done that is much appreciated...

*****

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