1997 | Case No. E239
Examines several legal issues faced by Samantha Fine, the CEO of Next Step, a software concern that is focused on the World Wide Web and planning an initial public offering. Describes Fine’s computer-related experience prior to founding Next Step and discusses the actions associated with transforming WebSaver from an unproven idea for a software product to one of the most successful Web-based software products. Provides a brief description of the origins of the Internet and the Web, the Web search engine market, and advertising on the Web. Although the subject of this case is a company whose primary product is an innovative program in a relatively new and rapidly changing medium, the legal lessons that can be learned from this case are applicable to a wide variety of entrepreneurial ventures. Legal issues include domestic and international protection of intellectual property, effect of assignments of intervention, non-compete clauses and non-disclosure agreements, equity rights of a founder who leaves, and tax and accounting consequences of a last-minute issuance of cheap stock.
This material is available for download by current Stanford GSB students, faculty, and staff only. For inquires, contact the Case Writing Office. Download
Available for Purchase