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Summer Angel / Entrepreneur Panel – Registration Open! 07/06/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Events, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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Pitfalls, Perspectives and Possibilities of Angel Investments – Register Today!

With the proliferation of angel groups in the Boston area over the past several years, it has become increasingly challenging for entrepreneurs to navigate the process of raising money from angel investors. Better understanding the angel network and process can be extremely helpful to entrepreneurs as they go through this process.

Please join us for a lively discussion with our distinguished panel of angel investors and entrepreneurs which will address:

  • What criteria do angels use when considering an investment in portfolio companies?   How do they evaluate startup business plans? 
  • How should entrepreneurs prepare when targeting various angel groups? 
  • What common mistakes do companies make during the due diligence process?  
  • How can angels add value to their portfolio companies? 

Panelists:
Monica Brady-Myerov, Founder ListenCurrent
Paul Liberman, Co-founder, DraftKings
Ryan Moore, Partner, Accomplice (f/k/a Atlas Ventures) 
Vinit Nijhawan, Co-founder & Board Member, LearnLaunch

Get details here.

FTC Reaches Settlement in First Crowdfunding Case 06/15/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Games & Interactive Entertainment.
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It took the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) less than 48 hours to settle its first ever crowdfunding case against a deceptive Kickstarter campaign, The Doom That Came to Atlantic City!

According to the FTC’s complaint, project creator Erik Chevalier raised more than $122,000 from 1,246 backers to purportedly “develop, produce, and distribute” a board game entitled The Doom That Came to Atlantic City.

Chevalier launched his Doom campaign in May 2012 with a funding goal of $35,000. Only 30 days later, Chevalier nearly quadrupled his goal –“But, after 14 months, Chevalier announced that he was cancelling the project and refunding his backers’ money.”

Chevalier did not provide refunds to his backers. According to the FTC’s complaint, “Chevalier spent most of the money on unrelated personal expenses such as rent, moving himself to Oregon, personal equipment, and licenses for a different project.”

Under the settlement order, Chevalier is required to honor stated refund policies and prohibited from making misrepresentations about any future crowdfunding campaign, including:

(a) the purposes for which funds raised from consumers will be used;

(b) that by making a contribution, consumers will receive a specific good, service, or other reward deliverable;

(c) the performance, efficacy, nature, or central characteristics of such good, service, or other reward deliverable; or

(d) the qualifications or expertise of any person associated with the crowdfunding campaign.

Although the settlement order also imposes a $111,793.71 judgment against Chevalier, project backers are unlikely to see any return on their contribution – at least for the foreseeable future – as the fine has been suspended “due to Chevalier’s inability to pay.”

The FTC’s action against Chevalier highlights the shortcomings of self-regulation. Kickstarter, and others like it, provide project backers with limited protection, generally dictated by the site’s terms of service.

“Many consumers enjoy the opportunity to take part in the development of a product or service through crowdfunding, and they generally know there’s some uncertainty involved in helping start something new,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “But consumers should be able to trust their money will actually be spent on the project they funded.”

In its press release, the FTC provides:

This case is part of the FTC’s ongoing work to protect consumers taking advantage of new and emerging financial technology, also known as FinTech. As technological advances expand the ways consumers can store, share, and spend money, the FTC is working to keep consumers protected while encouraging innovation for consumers’ benefit.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and proposed stipulated order in federal court was 5-0.

For Kickstarter campaigners, an important lesson is to be learned – keep your promises when crowdfunding. Use funds collected for a specific purpose only for that purpose. Provide refunds when necessary and rewards when promised. Or be prepared to suffer the potential legal consequences.

Stories from Formation to Exit – One Week from TODAY! 06/11/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Events, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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TiE BostonJoin TiE-Boston serial entrepreneurs Deepak Taneja and Gaugarin Oliver for a fireside chat as they discuss the life cycles of their companies from formation to acquisition.

Hear two success stories; get two perspectives. One entrepreneur raised venture capital and the other grew his company organically. One offered a IT security solution and the other a marketing platform. Both of their companies were acquired by industry leaders.

Come to hear their stories and participate in an interactive Q&A session on important legal issues related to startup companies.
Recent data related to current trends in early-stage venture capital financings will also be presented and discussed. 

Moderated by MBBP’s Scott Bleier.

Limited Seating – Register Today!

Upcoming Event at CIC – Cross-Atlantic Collaborations: Strategies and Tactics 05/19/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Events, Industries, MBBP news, Telecommunications & Networking.
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Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC)On Friday, June 5th MBBP will host an event at the Cambridge Innovation Center entitled “Cross-Atlantic Collaborations: Strategies and Tactics”. The panelists will discuss the creation and structuring of international licensing and collaboration deals in Europe, avoiding the tax traps and structuring pitfalls. This program is designed for smaller biotech and other emerging companies exploring the fertile frontiers of collaborations Across the Pond.

Moderated by:
Peter Barnes-Brown, Partner, Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC


Panelists:
Aidan ByrneChartered Tax Adviser, Partner, Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon
Andreas McConnellPartner, PhilipLee
John Hession, Partner, Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC

 

This event is complimentary, but space is limited. Register today!
Please visit our event page for more details and to register.

MBBP Clients Among BBJ’s Honorees – “Best Places to Work of 2015” 05/04/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Computer Software & Hardware, Events, Industries, Internet and E-Commerce, Public Companies.
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2015-04-30_15-23-12On Thursday, April 30th, the Boston Business Journal announced the 80 honorees for its annual Best Places to Work of 2015 program. This year’s employers were divided among five different categories based on company size, and were selected based on survey responses provided by employees. The BBJ will recognize this year’s honorees on June 18th at the Citi Performing Arts Center.

Among the 80 nominees, are several MBBP clients:

Congratulations to all! View the full list of “Best Places to Work of 2015“.

MBBP to Sponsor Upcoming TiE Startup Con 04/28/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Events, M&A, MBBP news, Nonprofit, Public Companies, Telecommunications & Networking, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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2015-04-23_9-30-48MBBP is proud to sponsor TiE Startup Con, taking place at the Cambridge Marriott on Friday, May 1st. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is a non-profit, global community supporting entrepreneurs all over the world by offering education, mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities. TiE’s upcoming conference seeks to help early-stage entrepreneurs along their journey to launch and build their own companies. It will provide several companies with the opportunity to negotiate with some of Boston’s top angel investors for access to valuable capital. With upwards of 600 annual attendees, the conference boasts three tracks focusing on the “Entrepreneur’s Journey”, “Tales from the Start-up Trenches”, along with traditional insight into “What’s Hot in Tech and Pharma in 2015″.

Find out what all the excitement is about, learn more and register for TiE Startup Con!

Team Wine or Team Tequila? Upcoming TUGG 9th Annual Tech Charity Wine and Tequila Party 04/13/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Clean Tech, Events, Industries, Life Sciences, MBBP news, Nonprofit, Public Companies, Telecommunications & Networking, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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2015-04-13_8-13-29On Thursday, April 16th, MBBP will be sponsoring the TUGG 9th Annual Wine and Tequila Party. Join 1,500+ of Boston tech’s entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and philanthropists as we raise $400K+ to support six local nonprofits, while enjoying top-shelf wine and tequila. The non profits at this year’s party will consist of three returning favorites from the TUGG portfolio, and three new and promising ones. Meet and mingle with representatives from these nonprofits and hear their stories during the event. Then cast your votes for your favorite returning and your favorite new nonprofit. The winning non profit will be awarded up to $50,000. 

 

Don’s miss out! Learn more and register for the TUGG 9th Annual Wine and Tequila Party.

MBBP Clients Named 2015 MITX Awards Finalists 04/09/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Clean Tech, Client News, Events, Internet and E-Commerce, Public Companies, Publishing & Media, Telecommunications & Networking.
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2015-04-09_13-16-10On Wednesday, April 8th, the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange announced the finalists for the 2015 MITX Awards. The MITX Awards is the largest and most prestigious annual awards competition in the country for digital marketing and technology innovation, bringing together 1,200 of the best and brightest minds in the digital media, marketing and technology industry. The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 14th, 2015 at the Marriott Copley.

Among this year’s finalists, are several MBBP clients:

Forge Worldwide
Yottaa
Mullen Advertising, Inc.
LogMeIn
Nanigans
Interactions, Corp.

Congratulations to all! To see the full list of finalists, please visit MITX.

Tap into the Power of Games With the MIT Enterprise Forum 04/09/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Games & Interactive Entertainment.
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Today billions of people around the world play games, and not just for fun.  Many people are now playing games to stimulate their minds, improve their health, and change their behavior, as companies beyond those traditionally thought of as game companies incorporate game mechanics and business models into their offerings. On April 13, 2015 The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge will host a half-day conference, The Big Game Theory: Gaming Beyond Gamers. This conference will focus on topics of interest to companies seeking to adopt game elements, including Universal Best Practices, Gaming in Healthcare, Driving Engagement and much more!

MBBP partner Mike Cavaretta is the founder, former chair, and current steering committee member of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge’s Games and Interactive Entertainment Community Circle, which played a key role in organizing the conference.

The agenda and registration can be found here.

MBBP Clients Named SBANE New England Innovation Awards Finalists 04/07/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Clean Tech, Client News, Events, Industries, Manufacturing, Retail & Service, Nonprofit, Publishing & Media, Telecommunications & Networking.
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2015-04-07_11-01-36The Smaller Business Association of New England recently announced this year’s Innovation Awards Finalists. MBBP would like to congratulate clients OYO Sports and Comark on advancing to the final stage of this prestigious competition. Innovation is at the heart of economic prosperity and SBANE continues to recognize those companies and organizations that have transformed their innovative ideas into a product or service that delivers proven value to customers. Former winners come from varying fields such as technology, manufacturing, service (both for profit and not for profit), and retail / distribution. Winners and Finalists will be honored at the “Evening of Innovation” Gala Dinner on May 6, 2015 at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA.

To learn more about all of the Finalists of the 2015 Innovation Awards via SBANE.

Newest Issue of VC Spotlight Highlights 2013 & 2014 First Institutional Rounds Data 04/02/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Legal Developments, New Resources, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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Each quarter, MBBP compiles a comprehensive database of venture capital transactions that have closed within New England, New York and New Jersey. In our most recent VC Spotlight, MBBP presents the 2013 & 2014 First Institutional Rounds Deal Terms – as seen below.

2015-04-01_11-26-14

 

Further data analysis, as well as featured articles, can be found in this quarter’s VC Spotlight Newsletter.

Infringement v. Homage: Pharrell Williams, et al. v. Bridgeport Music Inc., et. al. 03/30/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, Publishing & Media.
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By: Callie L. Pioli

Callie L. PioliThe music industry did not get far into 2015 before delivering a blockbuster copyright case. Pharrell Williams’ and Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit Blurred Lines was in fact only 50% their hit, according to a jury verdict in mid-March that found in favor of Marvin Gaye’s children.  As co-owners of his original 1977 hit, Got to Give it Up, Gaye’s children successfully argued that Williams and Thicke had copied numerous aspects of their father’s song and had infringed the copyright in the 1977 hit. The jury accepted the Gaye family’s contention that if Got to Give It Up had been properly licensed, the family would have received royalties of 50% of the $8 million in Blurred Lines revenue. Additionally, Williams and Thicke were forced to surrender $3.4 million of their earned profits from Blurred Lines sales.

Ironically, the lawsuit was commenced by Williams and Thicke themselves, who originally sought a preemptive ruling that Blurred Lines “shared no similarities”[1] with Got to Give It Up after receiving complaints from members of the Gaye family. The Gayes, as defendants, successfully litigated a counter-claim, arguing that the songs were substantially similar and that they were owed $25 million in royalties, profits, and statutory damages. Williams and Thicke lived up to their reputations as performers while on the stand, doing their best to persuade the jury to re-interpret copyright law as excluding the “feel” or “sound”[2] of music, and taking the opportunity to sing to the jury.

While much has been made of the spotlight on Thicke’s admitted drug use in the studio, the blatantly inconsistent statements regarding exactly how much influence Gaye had on Williams and Thicke during the writing process, and the whopping total award of $7.3 million to the Gaye family, the suit also illustrated the importance of both copyright compliance and honoring fiduciary duties. Continue reading…

Any interested “ordinary observers” can listen to a direct comparison of Blurred Lines and Got to Give it Up online.

For more information on copyright law and intellectual property licensing, please contact Callie Pioli or any member of our copyright group.

[1] Complaint for Declaratory Relief at ¶ 1, Pharrell Williams, et al. v. Bridgeport Music Inc., et. al., No. 13-06004 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 15, 2013).

[2] Id. at ¶ 2.

MBBP Managing Partner Lisa Warren Panelist at MassBio Annual Meeting 03/20/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Life Sciences, MBBP news.
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M0164549On Thursday, March 26th MBBP Managing Partner Lisa Warren will sit as part of a panel at The MassBio Annual Meeting.  The discussion will be on the topic of Externalizing Pharma R&D.

The MassBio Annual Meeting is a two day event that focuses on the most timely and critical challenges facing the Massachusetts biotechnology industry. As MassBio’s largest event, drawing close to 400 industry leaders, the meeting program is compiled by a Steering Committee and includes keynote presentations, plenary discussions, two panel tracks (Better Business and Trends in Science), and extensive networking opportunities.

For more information contact MassBio.

MBBP Client OtoSense Earns Top Award at GSMA Global Mobile Awards 03/12/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Clean Tech, Client News, Computer Software & Hardware, Intellectual Property, Manufacturing, Retail & Service, New Resources, Public Companies.
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2015-03-12_9-40-31MBBP client OtoSense, a Cambridge-based start-up, has recently been recognized for its sound recognition technology. The company has developed an app that enables hearing impaired end users to select various traditional sounds such as bells, alarms, timers, etc. that occur within an everyday environment and then identify such sounds as they occur and alert the end user via non-acoustic means such as flashes, vibrations or text messages. Selected out of more than 800 entries and judged by a panel of international experts, the start-up won the “Best Mobile App of the Year” Global Mobile Award, in the category of Accessibility & Inclusion, at the 20th annual GSMA Global Mobile Awards.

Well done, OtoSense!

You can view a full list of 2015 Global Mobile Award winners here.

Insights on Corporate Venture Capital 03/04/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Corporate, Legal Developments, New Resources, Public Companies, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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Corporate Attorney Scott BleierLast week, MBBP’s Scott Bleier attended a panel discussion hosted by the Johnson & Johnson Boston Innovation Center, which featured three corporate venture capitalists from Sanofi-Genzyme Bioventures, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture USA Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Development Corp.  In a very informative and candid discussion, the panelists shared the investment philosophies behind their companies’ CVC funds, what issues they consider when making an investment and their insights for start-ups seeking access to CVC funding.  The panel revealed several points of apparent consensus in the CVC community while also highlighting a divergence of philosophical approach in certain important areas.

To learn more about the panel discussion regarding CVC funds, please visit our VCs and Start-Ups blog.

Apotex’s Second Biosimilar Application Accepted by FDA 02/26/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Industries, Life Sciences, New Resources.
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Patent Attorney Joanna Brougher Patent Attorney David FazzolareBy: David A. Fazzolare and Joanna T. Brougher

On February 18, 2015, Apotex Inc., announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had accepted its application for a biosimilar version of Amgen Inc’s Neupogen®. Apotex is second to Sandoz Inc. to propose a biosimilar version of Neupogen® (filgrastim), which is administered during chemotherapy to boost white blood cell counts and help fight infections. This is Apotex’s second biosimilar application, following Neulasta® (pelfilgrastim), a long-acting version of Neupogen®, filed last year. The approval of both Sandoz’s and Apotex’s Neuopogen(r) biosimilar applications could shed some light on the extent to which biosimilars will impact biologic sales.

Apotex hopes its biosimilar will be designated as an “interchangeable” product under the Biosimilars Act, which means that pharmacists filling prescriptions for Neupogen(r) could potentially substitute it without consulting the prescribing physician. However, it it is unclear whether it will benefit from the exclusivity period awarded to the first interchangeable product in view of Sandoz’s earlier filed Neupogen(r) biosimilar application. Even though Sandoz has publicly stated that it is not seeking interchangeability status for its Neupogen® biosimilar product, if the FDA nevertheless designates it as interchangeable Apotex would not be entitled to exclusivity for its Neupogen® biosimilar, and would have to wait until Sandoz’s exclusivity expired before the FDA would designate Apotex’s Neupogen® biosimilar as interchangeable.  On the other hand, if the FDA does not designate Sandoz’s Neupogen® biosimilar as interchangeable, then Apotex’s biosimilar could be designated as interchangeable, as well as benefit from the exclusivity awarded to the first biosimilar to receive designation as interchangeable.
For more information on this topic, please contact David A. Fazzolare or Joanna T. Brougher.

Forging Successful Strategic Alliances for Life Sciences Companies 02/25/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Corporate, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, Life Sciences, M&A, New Resources, Public Companies.
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M0744200When entering into an exclusive licensing arrangement, the odds of success are against most companies. Typically within the first twelve months of an arrangement, 2/3 of all alliances crumble.  If these ventures are so prone to failure, what preventative measures can a company employ to ensure success?

To learn how to achieve success when entering an alliance, read John Hession’s full article.

MBBP Client Demiurge Studios Acquired by SEGA Networks 02/20/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Computer Software & Hardware, Games & Interactive Entertainment, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, New Resources, Public Companies, Publishing & Media.
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2015-02-19_10-29-40MBBP Client Demiurge Studios, an independent game developer out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been acquired by SEGA Networks, a multinational video game developer, publisher, and hardware development company. Founded in 2002, Demiurge Studios made the transition into mobile gaming in 2008 and found success with Marvel® Puzzle Quest™, a top 100 grossing app on the App Store and top 50 grossing apps on Google Play. Previously, they worked with world-class developers like BioWare™ and Irrational Games™ on AAA console and PC games, contributing to titles such as BioshockBorderlands, and Mass Effect. Demiurge Studios will continue to make games under the Demiurge Studios name.

Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton serves as counsel to Demiurge Studios, and advised it in connection with the structuring, negotiation and documentation of this transaction.

Joe Martinez was the lead corporate attorney on MBBP’s team, which also included attorneys Mike Cavaretta, Diana Española and Hillary Peterson.

To learn more, read the full press release.

The Industrial Internet Consortium Announces Release of “Track and Trace” 02/18/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Industries, Manufacturing, Retail & Service.
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2015-02-12_12-25-14

MBBP client The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), a non-profit group whose mission is to accelerate growth of the Industrial Internet by identifying, assembling and promoting best practices, has announced the release of the Track and Trace testbed. The goal of this project is to manage handheld power tools in manufacturing and maintenance environments by efficiently tracking and tracing the usage of these tools for proper use. During this two year project, five Industrial Internet Consortium members will be lending their expertise to the testbed. With the Track and Trace testbed, companies will be able to enhance productivity, production quality, and work safety in manufacturing.

To read the full press release.

MBBP’s Carl Barnes on Panel for Boston University Law School Symposium: The Legal Challenges of Funding Startups 02/17/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Events, MBBP news, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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Corporate Attorney Carl BarnesCarl Barnes will be a panelist at a symposium presented by the Boston University School of Law Review of Banking and Financial Law on Friday, February 27, 2015. The symposium will bring together legal scholars and practicing lawyers to discuss key financial issues that startup companies face, including crowdfunding, startup financing, and the tension between state and federal law.

For any questions regarding venture capital and start-up financing, please contact Carl Barnes.

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