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Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFT) continue to pose difficult and controversial legal questions under U.S. securities, commodities and tax laws. In “Legal Implications of Secondary SAFT Sales,” Daniel N. BudofskyLaura E. WattsRiaz A. KaramaliCassie LentchnerJames T. Chudy and Ryan S. Brewer explore these questions at length.

 

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USPTO-seal-300x300Though the USPTO typically examines trademark applications in the order received, special circumstances can from time to time justify examination out of order. The USPTO has determined that the COVID-19 pandemic is such a special circumstance, recognizing the need to bring COVID-19-related medical products and services to market as quickly as possible.

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DOJ-seal-300x300In this time of social distancing, working from home and school closures, people and businesses are relying on the internet more than ever to engage with friends, family, clients, consumers and the public at large. Social media and content-sharing websites are providing individual communities and the entire nation with 24/7 accessibility to forums for public discourse, communication and the dissemination of news.

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GettyImages-1166134576-ai-privacy-300x183As the world continues to deal with the unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems have emerged as a potentially formidable tool in detecting and predicting outbreaks. In fact, by some measures the technology has proven to be a step ahead of humans in tracking the spread of COVID-19 infections. In December 2019, it was a website-leveraging AI technology that provided one of the key early warnings of an unknown form of pneumonia spreading in Wuhan, China. Soon after, information sharing among medical professionals followed as experts tried to understand the extent of the unfolding public health crisis. While humans eventually acted on these warnings, the early detection enabled through use of AI-supported data aggregation demonstrates both the promise and potential concerns associated with these systems.

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Industry-Podcast-cover2-300x169On the newest episode of Industry Insights podcast, host Joel Simon and Daniel Budofsky discussed digital securities and virtual currencies.

Joel Simon: While the world has been busy battling COVID-19, it has been making startling progress in an area that has held a lot of promise but was struggling at times to gain traction—digital securities and virtual currencies. What just a couple of years ago seemed like a Wild West of scams and frauds has quickly been evolving into a mature, efficient alternative of capital raising and trading, that has been embraced by traditional financial institutions and governments alike. With me today to chat about these developments is a leader of our FinTech practice and head of our Derivatives and Structured Products group, Daniel Budofsky.

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SEC-logo-300x300As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect industries worldwide, companies are working to stay abreast of—and to proactively react to—the effects and the unique risks of this pandemic. The inherent uncertainty concerning timeframe and magnitude of market disruptions has caused many companies, and even industries, to reevaluate status quo operations and adjust both short-term plans and long-term risk assessments. In light of this, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently released guidance for public companies regarding its current views on such companies’ risk factor disclosures in light of COVID-19’s distinctive disruptions.

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iStock-953443738-productivity-tracking-300x150I am not at all embarrassed to admit that I love working in my pajamas. A lot of us are working from home now to help flatten the curve, and while social distancing has created a lot of challenges for most people, one of the perks is the ability to socially distance yourself from your hairbrush and roll into the office in your sweatpants. I don’t think I’m alone on this. According to one survey, 60% of office professionals report a better work-life balance when working from home, and 74% of workers would like to telecommute more often after social distancing restrictions are lifted. Not coincidentally, the widescale adoption of telecommuting has resulted in a corresponding uptick in employee monitoring tools.

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ABC_TTB-300x169As many of us venture into our third month of sheltering in place, businesses have been forced to be creative in their operations despite the many restrictions. Wineries are no exception. In the past several weeks, there has been a proliferation of “virtual” wine tastings via remote videoconferencing and social media platforms, and it seems every major winery player is offering one. Virtual wine tasting allows consumers to try new wines from the comfort of their own home as winery experts explain the tasting notes, winemaking process, favorite pairings and answer questions, all in full compliance with the social distancing orders.

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An exponential increase in telework prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a parallel increase in cyberattacks, requiring companies to actively monitor cyber risks. On Pillsbury’s Industry Insights podcast series, colleague Brian Finch, a partner in the Public Policy group and co-leader of the COVID-19 taskforce, discussed two types of threats that have skyrocketed in the current crisis. The following describes three key takeaways on the increased risk for cybersecurity and measures businesses should take to mitigate threats in the case of a cyberattack.

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iStock-1152159025-music-copyright-song-300x200Copyright infringement lawsuits based on sound-alike songs are nothing new. Shortly after releasing the Billboard No. 1 single “My Sweet Lord” in 1970, George Harrison was sued for copyright infringement by the publisher of “He’s so Fine,” the 1963 hit released by the Chiffons. In the early ’90s, Vanilla Ice settled a copyright infringement suit for using the famous bass line from Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” in his single, “Ice Ice Baby,” without permission.

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