Cryptocurrencies and Unclaimed Property: Potential Implications of State Escheat Laws for the Blockchain Technology Industry

Posted in cryptocurrency, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, GT Alert, Privacy and Data Security

This GT Advisory considers the application of state unclaimed property laws to cryptocurrencies, and the potential implications and challenges of such application for both industry participants and state unclaimed property administrators.

The use of blockchain technology and the issuance of cryptocurrencies have grown considerably in recent years, inviting heightened scrutiny and regulation. While federal securities, tax, and other financial services regulatory agencies, such as the SEC, the IRS, state securities commissioners and others, have begun applying their rules and regulations to cryptocurrency businesses, the cryptocurrency industry has not yet faced significant enforcement from state unclaimed property administrators.

To read the full GT Alert, click here.

Forget About Fake News, How About Fake People? California Starts Regulating Bots as of July 1, 2019

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, GT Alert, Technology

California SB 1001, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17940, et seq., takes effect July 1, 2019. The law regulates the online use of “bots” – computer programs that interact with a human being and give the appearance of being an actual person – by requiring disclosure when bots are being used.

The law applies in limited cases of online communications to (a) sell commercial goods or services, or (b) influence a vote in an election. Specifically, the law prohibits using a bot in those circumstances, “with the intent to mislead the other person about its artificial identity for the purpose of knowingly deceiving the person about the content of the communication in order to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election.” Disclosure of the existence of the bot avoids liability.

Click here to read the full GT Alert.

Florida Creates Blockchain Task Force to Study Benefits of Blockchain Technology

Posted in Blockchain Technology Task Force, Data Protection, GT Alert, Technology

On May 23, 2019, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1024 (Florida Blockchain Bill) into law to establish the Florida Blockchain Task Force (Blockchain Task Force) within the Florida Department of Financial Services. The Blockchain Task Force will study if and how Florida’s state, county, and municipal governments can benefit from a transition to blockchain-based systems for recordkeeping, data security, financial transactions, and service delivery, and identify ways blockchain technology can be used to improve government interaction with businesses and the public.

The Florida legislation recognizes that blockchain and distributed ledger technology allow the secure recording of transactions and that blockchain can facilitate more efficient government service delivery, including facilitating safe paperless transactions and recordkeeping protected from cyberattacks and data destruction. With the passing of the Florida Blockchain Bill, Florida has joined a growing list of states – including New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Wyoming — that have formed task forces to study the potential benefits of blockchain.

To read the full GT Alert, click here.

*Special thanks to Alexander M. Capelli˘ for his assistance with this Alert.
˘Not admitted to practice law.

Demystifying Legal Diligence in Tech Deals

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property, investments, Patent, Patent Strategy, Start-up, Technology, Trade Secrets

Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Todd Basile authored an article titled “Demystifying Legal Diligence in Tech Deals,” published June 3, 2019, on IPWatchdog.com.

Click here to read the article.

Retail Innovation Booming in Israel

Posted in Retail, Venture Capital

Retail innovation is booming in Israel and corporate executives best take notice, as reported in a recent Forbes article. Hardly the first time Forbes has taken notice, this most recent article was inspired by a major retailer CEO’s visit to Israel. The article lists the staggering numbers boasted by Israel’s impressive retail technology start-up scene and advises, “if you are a retail executive, and you have yet to visit to Israel, it is time to book your ticket.”

Greenberg Traurig is the only major international law firm with a multidisciplinary, registered office in Tel Aviv and serves as a gateway for Israeli businesses and entrepreneurs seeking opportunities around the world, as well as for companies exploring opportunities within Israel. Our Emerging Technology Practice offers clients the global reach of Greenberg Traurig’s international network, connecting Israel’s booming technology scene to major commercial retail investors across the globe.

For more on emerging tech in Israel, click here.

New USPTO Guidance May Clear Path for More Technology Patents

Posted in Patent, Software Patents, Technology, USPTO

On January 4, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released new Patent Examiner Guidance (Guidance) for subject matter eligibility. The updated guidance could benefit any technology patent applicant who has a computer-related invention — from smartphones to artificial intelligence — and who has previously had difficulty acquiring patents under the USPTOʼs procedures for determining patent subject matter eligibility.

The Guidance is intended to provide some much-needed direction for technology patent applicants on how to formulate and prepare their patent applications to avoid potential subject matter eligibility issues. In addition, to the extent subject matter eligibility is raised by an examiner during the review process, the Guidance is intended to now allow patent applicants clearer understanding, and provides a pathway for responding to subject matter eligibility rejections under 35 U.S.C. § 101, particularly for those in the software sector. 

To learn more about the Guidance’s impact on technology innovators, read the TechCrunch Extra Crunch article, “New USPTO Guidance May Clear Path for More Technology Patents,” co-authored by James J. DeCarlo and Chinh H. Pham.

Greenberg Traurig’s Chinh Pham featured in TechCrunch Article: ‘Verified Expert Lawyer: Chinh Pham’

Posted in Intellectual Property, Small Businesses, Start-up, Technology

Chinh Pham, co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Emerging Technology Practice, was featured in a TechCrunch article as part of a series covering start-up lawyers who founders love to work with. In this piece, Chinh shares his insights about start-ups and discusses his beginnings in the legal profession. To read the article, click here.

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Newsletter – Winter 2019

Posted in Blockchain Technology Task Force, cryptocurrency, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Entrepreneurship, FAA, Privacy and Data Security, Tax, Technology

2018 was a year of transformation for the blockchain industry. While the market continued to see technological advancements in smart contracts, platform functionality, scalability and security, regulators took a firmer rein in pursuing those seeking to exploit the uninitiated or those engaged in outright fraud. In this issue of Greenberg Traurig’s Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Newsletter, we discuss some of the key enforcement actions and proceedings during 2018 that have shaped the regulatory environment in the United States and the continuing uncertainty over the classification of digital assets as securities.

In this issue:

1 – Disrupting the Disruptors: 2018 – The Year in Review

2 – Noteworthy Federal Securities Cases During 2018

  • Securities and Exchange Commission v. Blockvest, LLC et al.: SEC’s Request for Preliminary Injunction Denied
  • In the Matter of TokenLot, LLC et al.: SEC Order Against Unregistered Broker-Dealer
  • In the Matter of Crypto Asset Management, LP: SEC Order Against Unregistered Hedge Fund
  • In re Tomahawk Exploration: SEC Deems Token Airdrop as Sale of Securities

3 – 2018 State Regulatory Overview

  • NASAA’s Operation Cryptosweep
  • Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Enforcement Actions by States

4 – Traps for the Unwary: Federal Income Tax

5 – FinCEN Update

Click here to read the full GT Newsletter.

Impact of New Massachusetts Noncompete Law on Emerging Tech Companies

Posted in Employers, GT Alert, non-competition agreements, Start-up, Trade Secrets, Uncategorized

The Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act, M.G.L. c. 149, § 24L, has been the law of the Commonwealth for almost four months. The statute only applies to agreements entered into between employers and certain employees and independent contractors on or after Oct. 1, 2018, so the law’s ramifications are still largely yet to be determined. Nevertheless, even in the short time the law has been operative, its implications for emerging technology and start-up companies have been significant.

To read the full GT Alert, click here.

Greenberg Traurig’s IP Group Congratulates 4 Clients on 2018 BPLA ‘Invented Here!’ Honor

Posted in Intellectual Property

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Boston Intellectual Property (IP) Group congratulates four of its clients – Cruzar Medsystems, Inc., Kaleidoscope, Platelet BioGenesis, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute – for being honored with the 2018 Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA) Invented Here! award for their patented innovations. Their innovations are among only 12 patents that were selected from numerous nominations.

To read the full press release, click here.

LexBlog