Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup 2012 Week 30: Market Glitches, Insider Trading, Olympic Updates

U.S. Stock Market News

Glitches in System Cost Knight Capital Group $440 million Knight Capital Group, one of the largest trading firms in the U.S., stock plunged nearly 50% by midday Thursday, trading at its lowest price since 1998. The steady plunge resulted from faulty software forcing the company to buy a great number of stocks at an inflated value and then sell all those stocks at a lower price, which sent dozens of U.S. stocks swinging more than 10 percent.

The company is scrambling to secure a buyer or investor to facilitate a potential merger to save the company after the severe loss. Knight intends to continue trading and market-making while it considers its options.

U.S. Securities Regulation

Bristol-Meyers Executive Accused of Insider Trading In...

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Business Startup

News Roundup Week 29: Venture Capital; Mergers and Acquisitions; Executive Compensation

Venture Capital

VC Firms Changing Promotional Tactics Nicole Perlroth wrote an interesting article in the New York Times this week on the changing approach VC firms are taking to public relations.

“A number of V.C. firms ranging from some of the oldest, like Bessenmer Venture Partners to some of the youngest, like Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, are now seeking full-time marketing experts. Even Sequoia, which sniffed at the notion when the trend began, has hired P.R. staff.”

Ms. Periroth suggests that the paradigm shift is the result of a few different forces: (1) the approach has been massively successful for firms such as Andressen Horrowitz; and (2) the V.C. industry has consolidated–there are 50% fewer V.C. firms now as compared to 2000, and as...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 28: Trademarks; Management; Taxation; Online Privacy; etc.

Trademarks

Hershey’s Granted Trademark for Bar Configuration The US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board granted Hershey’s trademark application for the design and shape of its chocolate bar. The Examining Attorney for the USPTO had refused registration on two grounds: (1) Hershey’s proposed mark was a functional configuration of the goods; and (2) it was a non distinctive configuration that had not acquired distinctiveness as required under Trademark Act Section 2(f), 15 U.S.C. § 1052(f). The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board overruled the examining attorney, finding that the configuration was not functional, and that it was sufficiently distinctive.

Hershey’s Trademark Application Hershey’s description of its mark: “The mark is a configuration of a candy bar that consists of twelve (12) equally-sized recessed rectangular...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 27: Corporate Finance; Public Offerings; Contracts; Etc.

Securities Regulation & Corporate Finance

JOBS Act Deadline Comes & Goes without SEC Action Congress imposed upon the SEC a July 4th deadline to implement rules under Title II of the JOBS Act that would enable companies to engage in general solicitation under Rule 506 of Regulation D. But on June 29th SEC Chair(wo)man Mary Schapiro testified before Congress that the SEC would not be able to enact rules within the 90 period proscribed by Congress. Ms. Schapiro did state that the SEC anticipates having a vote on a draft rule later this summer:

“The Securities and Exchange Commission will miss its first rulemaking deadline to lift the general solicitation ban as mandated by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, but a draft...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 26: Corporate Management; Shareholder Activism; Succession Planning; Intellectual Property; Class Actions; etc.

Corporate Management

News Corporation Splitting Into Two Companies Rupert Murdoch has confirmed that News Corporation, a $54 billion media company, will be splitting into two different entities. The existing company will retain the news-related assets of the company, while the new company will focus on the entertainment-related assets of the company including FX and Fox News (yes, it seems that News Corporation execs categorize Fox News as primarily entertainment, and not news). The split will be completed in the next year. News Corporation shareholders are expected to receive one share of the new corporation for each share they have of the current one. News Corporation elected to split the company’s holdings because they, “determined that creating this new structure would simplify operations and...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 25: Securities Regulation; Mergers and Acquisitions; Local News; Etc.

Securities Regulation

Congress Examining IPO Process in Wake of Facebook Offering A bipartisan group of congressional members are calling for an overhaul of the initial public offering process after Facebook’s stock dropped precipitously after it became listed on a public exchange. In a June 19, 2012 letter to Mary Schapiro chairman of the SEC, Rep Darrell Issa chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, expressed concern that under existing securities laws:

“underwriters have discretion to determine the price of an IPO, while subject to conflicts of interest stemming from economic relationships with those institutional clients that ultimately will purchase the bulk of an issuance. In conjunction with this discretion, communications restrictions and legal liability enable underwriters to provide information to institutional...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup 2012 Week 24: Securities Law; Shareholder Activism; Shareholder Litigation; and Mergers and Acquisitions

Securities Law

SEC Approves New FINRA Rule 5123 Back in October of 2011, the SEC published for comment a proposed new Rule 5123. This week the SEC approved new FINRA Rule 5123, which requires broker dealers who participate in private placement offerings to file with FINRA all offering materials including private placement memoranda within 15 days of the first sale of securities.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Microsoft Reported to Have Acquired Yammer for $1.2 Billion Software giant Microsoft is reported to have purchased Yammer a social media company that targets businesses. Microsoft is expected to announce that it has purchased Yammer for $1.2 billion at the end of June. Yammer was founded in 2008, and has raised more than $140 million in venture funding. Microsoft stock jumped more than 2% on...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 23

Social Media Law

Facebook Likes not Protected Free Speech A Virginia sheriff fired employees after learning that they had “liked” his political rival on Facebook. The employees brought suit complaining that their “likes” were free speech. But in Bland v. Roberts, a federal court in Virginia held that Facebook Likes are not protected free speech. The primary basis for the judge’s ruling was that the “like” was not substantial enough to qualify as protectable speech.

A “like” on Facebook, “is not the kind of substantive statement that has previously warranted constitutional protection.”

Social Enterprise Law

Washington Now Offering Social Purpose Corporations as Choice of Entity As of yesterday, June 7th, Washington businesses can now form social purpose corporations. Social purpose corporations (SPCs) are a hybrid entities that have some features...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 22: Marina Biotech Scaling Back, U.S. Job Growth Slows Down, Spike in Auto Sales

National News

Trustee in Madoff Case Cashing In A recent article posted by The New York Times pointed out that Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee that is seeking to recover funds for the victims of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, is making around $850 an hour. Thought of initially as a modern-day Robin Hood, advocating for those poor individuals who were taken advantage of, Picard has obtained nearly $554 million in legal  and other fees.

Thus far, Picard has reached settlement deals worth nearly $9 billion, but the Madoff victims have only seen $330 million of that money because many of the settlement deals have been challenged in court. As far as Picard’s fees, the good news is that the fees do not come out of the Madoff...

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Intellectual Property

News Roundup 2012 Week 21: Microsoft battles Google, Facebook IPO Flops, Amazon Shareholder Meeting, SpaceX

International News

Microsoft wins Patent Battle with Google In a battle between two of the largest US companies, round one goes to Microsoft. A German court ruled that Motorola, which was recently taken over by Google, infringed one of Microsoft’s patents which allows long text messages to be divided into smaller parts and reassembled by the receiving mobile phone.

Microsoft can now demand that a German sales ban on Motorola products if it chooses, or it may demand a license fee to be paid by Google for the rights to use the Microsoft patent. Google says it may appeal the decision.

National News

Facebook IPO Flops; Morgan Stanley Hit Hard Facebook’s epic IPO flop has hurt more than the social media giant. Morgan Stanley,...

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