Technology Law Blog

Showing 31 posts in News & Events.

New Michigan Crowdfunding Website

Since the passing of the Crowdfunding Act in December 2013, many questions concerning the applicability of the law have surfaced. This past month, the Michigan Municipal League launched CrowdfundingMI.com, a website pertaining to crowdfunding in Michigan. It is an excellent resource intended to answer basic questions and importantly, aimed to help local businesses connect with investors. The website provides general information, along with frequently asked questions, and tutorials regarding the benefits of crowdfunding Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, News & Events, Venture Capital/Funding

Will the Government Force the Redskins to Change their Name?

On June 18, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") cancelled the Washington Redskins' trademark in its team name, concluding that the term "Redskin" was racially offensive and derogatory towards Native Americans. 

Under the Lanham Act, Federal Trademark Law prohibits the registration of trademarks that "may disparage" individuals or groups or "bring them into contempt or disrepute."  In a controversial 2-1 decision, the USPTO agreed with a group of petitioners who claimed the team name was disparaging to Native Americans, and thus was not permitted to receive the protections afforded by trademark law. The Washington Redskins plan to appeal the decision and have responded by saying that the term is meant to honor Native Americans and is not considered offensive by many. Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Trademarks

Copyright Doesn't Last Forever: Sherlock Holmes and the Public Domain

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has recently affirmed a decision stating that many of the older Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are in the public domain. The court held that just because later versions of a character are still protected by copyright, does not mean that the copyrights in those earlier stories continue to exist beyond the copyright term. The Doyle estate argued that the later stories added to the "complexity" of the characters and should provide some measure of protection. Read More ›

Categories: Copyright, News & Events

Bitcoin Update

The IRS has warned that virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, are to be treated as property and not as currency for tax purposes. Read this latest Bitcoin update on our tax blog.

Want to learn more about Bitcoin? Check out this blog post from November on what it is and where it is going.

Categories: E-Commerce, News & Events

PART 3: New Michigan Law Permits Intrastate Crowdfunding

Part 1 and 2 of this series discussed the basic requirements that must be met to utilize Michigan’s new intrastate crowdfunding exemption.

This post will discuss the definition of an “accredited investor.” The distinction between accredited and non-accredited investors is important. Non-accredited investors cannot invest more than $10,000 under Michigan’s new intrastate crowdfunding exemption. Accredited investors, on the other hand, are not subject to the $10,000 investment cap. Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, News & Events, Venture Capital/Funding

Part 2: New Michigan Law Permits Intrastate Crowdfunding

Part 1 of this series discussed the 12 basic requirements that must be met to utilize Michigan’s new intrastate crowdfunding exemption.

This post will take a deeper look at Requirement 2. As noted in Part 1, Requirement 2 states that the offer must meet the requirements for the federal exemption for intrastate offerings under Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”). Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, News & Events, Venture Capital/Funding

New Michigan Law Permits Intrastate Crowdfunding

Note: This post is Part 1 of a multi-part series regarding Michigan's new crowdfunding law

It's official, crowdfunding is legal in Michigan. So, what does that mean for your business? Let's start with the basics.

Federal and state law prohibit a business from selling a security unless: (A) the security is registered with the SEC, or (B) an exemption from registration is applicable. Registration is expensive, so nearly all businesses try to satisfy an exemption from registration. Historical exemptions have made it difficult for businesses to receive investment from "non-accredited" investors and flat out prohibit "general solicitation" (i.e., public advertising of the investment, including advertising on the Internet). Those historical difficulties, however, have recently been eased. Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, News & Events, Venture Capital/Funding

The SEC Proposed Crowdfunding Regulations: Funding Portal's Transaction Responsibilities

Posting of Issuer Disclosures. In prior blog posts, we described the disclosure obligations imposed on the issuer (the company that is raising capital) under the SEC's proposed crowdfunding regulations. (Read: The SEC Crowdfunding Proposed Regulations: Overview of Offering Statement & Non-Financial Disclosure Requirements and The SEC Crowdfunding Proposed Regulations: Overview of Issuer Financial & Disclosure Requirements). The proposed regulations impose certain requirements on the funding portal to make sure that these issuer disclosure obligations are met. Specifically: Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, News & Events, Venture Capital/Funding

The SEC Proposed Crowdfunding Regulations: Investor Accounts for Platforms

In the release accompanying the proposed crowdfunding regulations, the SEC explains its view that Congress anticipated that crowdfunding would occur exclusively through electronic media. The SEC's proposed rules are intended to facilitate the exclusive use of electronic media. 

Under the proposed rules, before an investment commitment may be accepted by an intermediary, the intermediary must require the investor to:

  • Open an account with the intermediary; and
  • Provide a consent to the electronic delivery of materials.
Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, News & Events, Venture Capital/Funding

The SEC Proposed Crowdfunding Regulations: Required Intermediary Measures to Reduce Fraud

The SEC's proposed crowdfunding regulations include a number of specific steps that an intermediary is required to take in order to reduce the risk that an issuer (the company raising capital) does not use the intermediary's platform to engage in fraud. The intermediary is viewed as a check and balance on the crowdfunding marketplace. Among an intermediary's responsibilities are the following: Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, News & Events, Venture Capital/Funding