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Venture Briefing: Hot Topics in Trademark Law 2015 Venture Briefing: Hot Topics in Trademark Law 2015

Venture Briefing: Hot Topics in Trademark Law 2015

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Private Equity Firms Didn't Cash in on Mega-M&A Deals in 2015
Private-equity firms couldn't keep pace with Corporate America's appetite for mega-deals this year. Financial buyers this year have accounted for the smallest slice of U.S. mergers and acquisitions volume since 2009, according to data from Dealogic.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2015-12-09) Read the full article
Hot Merger and Acquisition Market Expected to Cool Down in 2016
The merger and acquisition market has been red-hot this year, but things are expected to cool down in 2016. Although the first quarter is expected to bring a slight year over year increase in M&A deal volume because of how many deals were entering the due diligence phase this past summer, it's simply going to be difficult for 2016 to be able to match the sheer number and size of this year's deal activities.
(Source: Value Walk, 2015-12-13) Read the full article
Venture Capital-Backed IPOs Experienced Mixed Performance in 2015
2015 was a tricky year to buy into IPOs of venture capital-backed companies. Over half of the 79 VC-backed companies that went public on U.S. exchanges this year were trading below their IPO price, according to a Fortune analysis, but at the same time the winners often were stronger than the losers were weak -- with the average share price rising 5.27 percent from IPO.
(Source: Fortune, 2015-12-11) Read the full article
Once P.E. Allies, Activist Hedge Funds Turning Up as Rivals
Activist hedge funds, once trusted allies to private equity firms in their pursuit of companies, are emerging as their rivals. With the stock market close to all-time highs, buyout firms can only offer relatively small premiums to take companies private, pitting them against activists who have snapped up stakes in a broad range of businesses at the fastest pace since 2008.
(Source: Reuters, 2015-12-09) Read the full article
Financial Audits Better Since SOX Implementation, SEC Chair Says
Investor confidence in audited financial statements and independent auditors is "high," but there are still too many cases of companies and their auditors failing to fulfill their obligations adequately, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White. In a speech White said there had been a general reduction in the number and severity of restatements of financial statements since the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reflecting in part "improvements in audit quality and the enhanced role that auditors generally now discharge in providing an essential check in the financial reporting process."
(Source:, 2015-12-10) Read the full article
Watchdogs Concerned Too Many Board Memberships Impact Performance
How many public boards are too many for one person to handle? Sitting on too many boards can make it difficult for directors to fully prepare for meetings and challenge senior management, say watchdog groups who advocate for limits on board membership.
(Source: The Boston Globe, 2015-12-10) Read the full article
Most Family Offices Planning to Increase P.E. Allocations
More than half of single-family offices invest in private equity and the majority of those expect to increase their allocations over the next two years, according to a survey. The secretive firms, which handle the daily and financial affairs of the world’s richest families, typically had at least 10 percent of their portfolios in the asset class, iCapital Network said in a report.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2015-12-03) Read the full article
Google Ventures Pulls Away from Investing in Seed-Stage Startups
Google Ventures has reduced its involvement in seed-stage startups, said Bill Maris, president and chief executive of the venture firm that draws capital from Alphabet Inc., and has about $2.4 billion under management. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Ventures did fewer deals in the $100,000 to $300,000 range in 2015, he said, without discussing the exact number of deals.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2015-12-07) Read the full article
Small Businesses Seek Creative Ways to Retain Best Talent
A record number of job openings, with worsening skill shortages and a tendency among young adults toward briefer tenures, is forcing small-business owners to find increasingly creative ways to hold onto their best and brightest. After rising in recent years, quit rates in private businesses held steady at just less than prerecession levels in 2015, but survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which looks at job openings and labor turnover by size of establishment, suggest that the number of employees voluntarily leaving small companies remains on the rise.
(Source: The New York Times, 2015-12-02) Read the full article
Company Creates Tinder-Like Match-Making Software for M&A
If you're into hooking up, you've probably tried Tinder. If you're a small company, and you want to hook up with another company, Axial Networks can be your go-between.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2015-12-02) Read the full article
Hot Topics in Trademark Law 2015
Kevin O'Shea

We have had a number of significant trademark-related decisions handed down in 2015, including two from the U.S. Supreme Court and several from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and other Circuit Courts. Going forward, these rulings will impact how parties protect their trademark assets, including in particular the strategies that parties will need to employ to maximize their likelihood of success in litigation. Read full article online.


By The Numbers

The Internet of Things (IoT) spending is expected to be $698.6 billion in 2015, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). This figure is forecast to grow at a 17.0 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to nearly $1.3 trillion in 2019.


Services Group

Ice Miller has been one of the most active law firms in the private equity industry over the last decade, representing both entrepreneurs building great companies and the private equity firms and individuals that invest in them. We have extensive experience with all types of funds (formations and operations); mezzanine and senior secured financing; leveraged buyouts, roll-ups, build-ups, and consolidations; divestitures and exits; and complex litigation on behalf of investors and privately financed companies. In addition, over the past 10 years, Ice Miller has represented hundreds of emerging growth businesses in various industries on such matters as entity formation, capitalization, capital raising, alternative financing, intellectual property rights and protection, growth and exit strategies, corporate governance, tax matters, and many other legal issues that are critical to the growth and success of an emerging company.

Read the complete profile of the Business Group.

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Michael Jordan
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This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader must consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.

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