John W. Mashni will be speaking at the 2015 Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA) Winter Conference Jan. 13. John’s presentation covers legal issues surrounding UAVs and drones. Click here to view Power Point slides for John’s talk.
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The FAA has released several helpful summaries of the current state of the regulatory landscape. Below are a few of the most helpful links: Read More ›
Categories: News & Events
The term "competitive intelligence" is the process of legally gathering information about one's competitors to gain a strategic advantage in the marketplace. Large corporations will have strategic intelligence experts as a part of their marketing department. These experts specialize in discovering promotional activities, sales figures, and other information about the company's competitors. Ideally, strong competitive intelligence enables a company to predict the strategy of a competitor and adapt with a strategy of its own that will result in an advantage in the marketplace.
The good news is that small and medium-sized businesses are not usually the targets of professional competitive intelligence experts. However, a business owner would be wise to protect itself from amateur intelligence gathering by its competitors. Competitive intelligence gathering begins by identifying the strategy of your own business and how your competitor's strategy will interfere. Then the intelligence gathering begins. Read More ›
As part of the recent tax bill, Section 181 of the U.S. Tax Code was renewed allowing a 100 percent tax write-off for the first $15 million of the cost of producing a film in the U.S. Click here to read more about Section 181 in Forbes.
In a prior post we reported that in June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that streaming television service, Aereo, violated U.S. copyright law in connection with its business and legal battle with the major broadcast networks. At the time, we posed the question of whether, despite losing the lawsuit, Aereo had a future as a cable company?
The answer, it seems, is no. On November 20, Aereo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for for the Southern District of New York, listing assets of $20.5 million and debt of $4.2 million. Read More ›
The term “offer” is broadly defined under the securities laws as "every attempt or offer to dispose of, or solicitation of an offer to buy . . . for value." An offer, even without completion of the sale of securities, can run afoul of the securities laws.
An interesting case from 2011 punctuates this point and demonstrates the risks of unknowingly violating securities laws. Two advertising executives hatched an innovative, although imprudent, plan to purchase Pabst Brewing Company by offering to sell shares on Facebook and Twitter to cover the $300 million cost of the transaction. The campaign, which may have begun as simply a publicity stunt, was wildly successful, attracting five million pledging $200 million. A bit too successful, it turns out.
The SEC soon took notice and halted the campaign via a Cease and Desist Order due to a violation of securities laws by the ad men. They failed to register the public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and could not meet an exemption. A settlement was reached and the men, who never actually collected any money, paid a fine and agreed to stop selling shares to the public.
The SEC, which has an entire enforcement unit devoted to Internet surveillance, is paying increasing attention to online activity. By law, public offerings - online or otherwise - must be registered with the SEC or meet an applicable exemption before promoters begin to offer or sell shares. Read More ›
Amazon and Hachette Book Group have officially reached a multi-year agreement announcing jointly that Hachette will be able to set the price of e-books. This settlement is important because it affects some of the largest players in the literary industry. Check out these articles delving into the conflict and much needed resolution.
Categories: News & Events
Did you know that one court has ruled that a police officer can force a person to unlock a phone with Apple's Touch ID technology? Understand the risks with enabling this feature on your phone. Check out the story here.
Chris Holman interviews attorney John Mashni on the Michigan Business Network discussing social media policies. Listen to the podcast here.
Categories: Social Media
On October 22, 2014, Governor Snyder signed Public Act 355 of 2014 into law. The cardinal rule of securities laws is that a person cannot sell a security unless the security is: (A) registered, or (B) exempt from registration. Public Act 355 creates a new exemption for secondary sales facilitated by a Michigan Investment Market. Read More ›
Did you know that playing music in a commercial setting can be copyright infringement? Listen to this six-minute interview with attorney John Mashni to learn more.