A Non-Compete Law Roadmap for Tech Start-Ups in Key Jurisdictions

Posted in Israel, Labor & Employment, Startup Nation, Startups

Israeli companies doing business in the United States have a wide range of states from which they hire employees. As our colleagues in the California, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas offices demonstrate in the article below, laws governing non-competition restrictions can vary substantially from state to state. An employee’s location can therefore significantly impact the company’s right to (i) hire an employee from a competing entity, and/or (ii) limit an employee’s competitive activity following termination of employment.

Click here to read the full GT Alert, “A Non-Compete Law Roadmap for Tech Start-Ups in Key Jurisdictions,” by Ashley Farrell Pickett, Jack Gearan, Jerrold Goldberg, Shira Yoshor, Angeles Garcia Cassin, and Melanie Sarver.

Loot Box or Pandora’s Box? Regulation of Treasure Chests in Video Games

Posted in Advertising, Gaming, Global, Video Games and Esports

One form of digital promotion that has recently drawn attention across several states and countries is the sale of treasure chests or “loot boxes” in video games and apps. Loot boxes typically offer players a chance-based opportunity to obtain virtual items for use in a game. These in-game items may help improve a player’s chances of success in the game, or they may merely be decorative and simply give a player bragging rights based on rarity (often called “skins”).

Although the items found in a loot box often are available by “grinding,” or continuing to play the game over time, buying a loot box gives a player a chance to obtain the same item faster. In short, it can be a trade-off of time vs. money (though without a guarantee what is in any given loot box).

Loot boxes also may give a player the psychological excitement and stimulation of feeling like the player has “won” something (regardless whether the “thing” has any real-world value or utility outside the virtual world of the game). It is largely based on these psychological factors that some jurisdictions have begun to take the position that the selling of loot boxes may constitute a form of gambling – or at least warrant some form of regulation – even in the absence of prizes with real-world value being available in the loot boxes (such real-world value/prizes generally being a threshold requirement for a finding of illegal gambling under most existing U.S. precedents at this time).

In this GT Alert, we explore how certain jurisdictions around the world are addressing loot boxes. Click here for the full alert.

For more on gaming, click here.

Mexico’s 2019-2024 National Development Plan

Posted in Israel, Israel-Mexico relations, Uncategorized

Introduction (by Joey T. Shabot and Manuel Rajunov)

The passage of the Mexican National Development Plan (NDP) for 2019-2024 brings with it opportunities for Israeli companies of many kinds looking to do business with Mexico, as it realizes its vision for continued development. Over the years, Israel and Mexico have engaged in mutual cooperation initiatives, sharing Israel’s accumulated academic and technological knowledge and experience, with special emphasis on the fields of agriculture, water treatment, and hi-tech. Bilateral trade volume currently stands at US $600 million, and expectations are that this sum will continue to increase. With Israel’s new incoming Ambassador to Mexico, Mr. Tzvi Tal, the relationship between Israel and Mexico is poised for growth. Israeli companies stand to benefit from closer economic ties with Mexico and the rest of Latin America.

Click here to read the full GT Alert.

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Newsletter – Spring/Summer 2019

Posted in Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Data protection, FinTech, Intellectual Property, Privacy and Data Security, SEC, Tax, Technology

In this Spring/Summer 2019 newsletter, Greenberg Traurig’s Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Practice covers the latest developments in digital assets, utility tokens, security tokens, convertible virtual currencies, smart contracts, initial coin offerings, crypto investment regulation, and more, both in the United States and around the globe. Our team stays abreast of existing laws, recent enforcement actions, and decisions, rulings, and orders, and keeps track of legal trends, upcoming legislation, and technical developments, helping clients anticipate and prepare for potential compliance requirements and legal and regulatory changes.

This issue covers the following:

  • SEC Guidance
  • FinCEN Guidance
  • Fintech Update
  • Tax Update
  • Cross-Border Developments
  • State Law Developments
  • Escheat/Unclaimed Property

Click here for the full GT Newsletter.

Greenberg Traurig Team Represents Future Media Group in its Acquisition of W Magazine from Condé Nast

Posted in Firm News, Intellectual Property

When Future Media Group set out to acquire W Magazine from Condé Nast, it turned to its long-standing counsel, Adam Snukal, a shareholder in the Intellectual Property & Technology Practice in the New York and Tel Aviv offices of global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Greenberg Traurig represented Future Media in an acquisition that brought W Magazine together with Surface and Watch Journal to form Future Media Group. Following the acquisition, the Group said in a press release that it would “continue to publish eight print issues of W annually while also expanding the brand’s digital and experiential footprint.”

To read the full press release, click here.

NSLComm Launches 1st Nano-Satellite Fitted With Expanding Antenna Into Space

Posted in Corporate, Israel, Startup Nation, Startups, Technology, Tel Aviv, telecommunications

Israeli communications tech startup NSLComm launched its first nano-satellite, the NSLSat-1, into space on Friday, July 5, fitted with an innovative antenna that expands and offers high performance and affordability.

Greenberg Traurig’s Tel Aviv office is excited to have been part of the team involved in this groundbreaking nano-satellite launch, having assisted NSLComm with various key agreements, including its launch services agreement. We wish NSLComm lots of success as they continue to revolutionize the satellite communications industry. 

For more details on the launch, please click here.

A Global Regulatory Overview of Token Offerings

Posted in Blockchain, Corporate, Corporate & Securities, Investments, Securities

The world’s attitude toward token offerings, sales and issuances is ever-shifting. The positions of various countries range from an official recognition of no interference to a full ban on digital currencies. Many nations are pursuing changes to their regulatory policies to keep pace with broad market interest in cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. This article summarizes recent developments by lawmakers and regulatory authorities in certain key jurisdictions around the globe, including Israel, (other than the United States, which is the subject of a separate article [Payment Systems and Electronic Fund Transfers Guide 100:800]) and the related impact on the market for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. The regulations and guidance noted in this article are applicable only with the specified jurisdiction. Consequently, global or multi-jurisdictional offerings or sales of tokens must take into account the local law of each jurisdiction in which the tokens are being offered, sold or otherwise distributed.

Click here to read the full article by GT Blockchain & Crytocurrency Practice Co-Chair Barbara Jones, originally published by Thomson Reuters Westlaw.

Greenberg Traurig Opens in Milan as Greenberg Traurig Santa Maria; Celebrates 10th Anniversary of London Office

Posted in Firm News

MILAN, 1 July 2019 – Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, one of the largest in the United States, has opened in Milan, Italy, its 41st office worldwide and its fifth in Europe, as Greenberg Traurig Santa Maria. Today the firm also celebrates the 10th anniversary of its dynamic and growing London office.

In May, the global firm announced it would combine with its longstanding ally Santa Maria Studio Legale, an elite Italian boutique, and simultaneously add stars in the real estate and finance fields in Milan.

“On July 1, during 2009, a challenging time in global markets, we opened our doors in the United Kingdom with a small group of brave souls, including Paul Maher and Fiona Adams. Paul is now a Vice Chair of our firm and continues to be a leading M&A lawyer, Fiona is the Managing Shareholder of the office and a Co-Chair of our Global Corporate Practice. It is fitting that today we celebrate still another significant milestone in the firm’s history,” said Richard A. Rosenbaum, Executive Chairman of Greenberg Traurig.

Click here to read the full release.

Greenberg Traurig Represents Volvo Group Venture Capital in Mobility Start-Ups Investment

Posted in Firm News, Investments, Israel, Startup Nation, Startups, Tel Aviv, Venture Capital

Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, led by Tel Aviv office Managing Shareholder Joey T. Shabot and Of Counsel Ephraim Schmeidler, represented Volvo Group Venture Capital in its investment in Next Gear Ventures, a Tel Aviv-based early-stage venture capital fund focusing on Israeli mobility start-up companies.

GT congratulates Volvo on closing this key investment!

Click here to read more about the deal.

Proposed Regulations for Qualified Foreign Pension Funds that are Exempt from U.S. Tax on Disposition of U.S. Real Property Interests

Posted in Investments, Israel, Tax

The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, as amended (FIRPTA), imposes tax on gain realized on disposition by nonresident alien individuals or foreign corporations (non-U.S. persons) of a U.S. real property interests (USRPI) by treating such gain as effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business by such non-U.S. persons (effectively connected income, or ECI). The FIRPTA tax is enforced by requiring the purchaser (or other transferees) of a USRPI from a foreign person to withhold an applicable percentage (generally 15%) of the gross proceeds and pay over to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). On June 7, 2019, the IRS and the Treasury Department issued proposed regulations (the Proposed Regulations) on Section 897(l) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) that provides an exemption from the FIRPTA tax for qualified foreign pension funds (QFPF) on gains or losses attributable to dispositions of USRPI. The Proposed Regulations provide rules for determining the qualification for the exemption under Section 897(l), including certain organizational structures that are eligible for such exemption. The Proposed Regulations also clarify certification and documentation requirements with respect to withholding obligations under Sections 1445 and 1446. In addition, the Proposed Regulations provide certain anti-avoidance rules by imposing conditions on the sale of certain investment vehicles wholly owned by a QFPF.

Click here to read the full GT Alert.