Retail Innovation Booming in Israel

Posted in Emerging Growth Companies, Israel, Retail, Tel Aviv, 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 DOJ Guidance: What Is Your Compliance Program Worth?

Posted in Anti-Money Laundering, Banking & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, compliance, Corporate

On April 30, 2019, to provide greater transparency into prosecution decisions, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published “The Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” an update to its February 2017 guidance on the same topic. The new guidance complements the principles previously described by DOJ’s Fraud Section that prosecutors should consider when “conducting an investigation of a corporation, determining whether to bring charges, and negotiating plea or other agreements.” According to the Justice Manual, those factors include “the adequacy and effectiveness of the corporation’s compliance program at the time of the offense, as well as at the time of a charging decision” and the corporation’s remedial efforts “to implement an adequate and effective corporate compliance program or to improve an existing one.” The new guidance attempts to provide more detail as to how DOJ will evaluate corporate compliance programs in this context while better harmonizing the Criminal Division’s guidance with the rest of the department.

The guidance is organized in a comprehensive fashion under three basic, overarching questions that compliance departments should consider:

  1. Is the corporation’s compliance program well designed?
  2. Is the program being applied earnestly and in good faith? In other words, is the program being implemented effectively?
  3. Does the corporation’s compliance program work in practice?

Click here to read the full GT Alert.

New USPTO Guidance May Clear Path for More Technology Patents

Posted in Intellectual Property, patents, Technology

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.

UPDATE: Israel to Join Countries Qualified for E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

Posted in Immigration, Israel

As previously announced on our blog, the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa will soon be available to Israeli nationals wishing to make a substantial investment in or set up a business in the United States. USCIS announced on April 22 that eligible Israeli nationals already in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, as well as their dependents who are also already in the United States, can request a change of status to E-2 classification starting May 1, 2019.

The U.S. Embassy in Israel announced on April 11, 2019, that it will implement the U.S. E-2 Investor Visa for Israeli nationals beginning May 1, 2019.

For more on immigration, click here.

Greenberg Traurig Spring 2019 China Newsletter

Posted in Banking & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Blockchain, Corporate, Cybersecurity, Global, Technology

You are invited to learn about recent legislative updates and professional insights pertaining to Chinese law and business conduct.
Among  topics discussed in this current issue are the release of Second Draft of Foreign Investment Law to boost market; the establishment of a Quick Channel for expedited approval of Foreign New Drugs Regulatory Commission; the unveiling of Administrative Provisions on investment in the Automobile Industry by the NDRC; release of administrative provisions for Blockchain Information Services by the Cyberspace Administration of China; and many more.

Greenberg Traurig’s Tel Aviv office frequently supports Chinese clients seeking to do business in Israel, as well as Israeli companies interested in the Chinese market. Leading China-Israel activities in Israel is Ephraim Schmeidler, who has broad experience in working with unique Chinese-Israeli ecosystem.

Greenberg Traurig is the only major international firm with registered offices both in China and Israel.


Israel to Join Countries Qualified for E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

Posted in Immigration, Israel

On May 1, 2019, the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa may be available to Israeli citizens wishing to make a substantial investment in or set up a business in the United States. After several rounds of negotiations between the two countries and U.S. citizens already able to obtain a B-5 Israeli Investor visa, the United States is expected to approve the proposed May 1 launch date in early April.

The E-2 Visa grants qualified treaty investors and employees, as well as their dependent family members, a maximum initial stay of two years. Extensions may be granted in increments of up to two years, with no maximum limit so long as the E-2 nonimmigrant maintains an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.

To qualify, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicates a treaty investor must show at least 50 percent ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device. The enterprise must have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. In addition, the treaty investor must risk a substantial amount of capital with the objective of generating a profit.

Given the flexibility of the E-2 Visa and Israel’s prominent position in the hi-tech sector, this new development has great potential to advance Israeli business interests and streamline entrepreneurial ventures.

For more on immigration, click here.

Greenberg Traurig Represents Wells Fargo Strategic Capital in Its investment in Israeli Company EarlySense

Posted in Corporate, Firm News, Investments, Israel, Medical Technology, Technology, Tel Aviv, Venture Capital

In a matter led by Shareholder Joey Shabot and Associate Aaron Katz, Greenberg Traurig recently represented Wells Fargo Strategic Capital – the venture capital arm of Wells Fargo & Co and a specialized capital provider that partners with the bank’s wholesale businesses to identify and provide customized capital solutions to its clients – in its investment in the Israeli company EarlySense. In a notable deal widely reported in the Israeli and venture capital news markets. EarlySense, an Israeli maker of medical monitoring systems, raised $39 million in a financing led by affiliates of Hill-Rom, Inc. and Wells Fargo.