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Venture Briefing: Innovative Ideas: Protecting the Valuable Intellectual Property Assets of Agribusi Venture Briefing: Innovative Ideas: Protecting the Valuable Intellectual Property Assets of Agribusi

Venture Briefing: Innovative Ideas: Protecting the Valuable Intellectual Property Assets of Agribusiness Innovators

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2014 Proved Best Year for Venture Funding Since Height of Dot-Com
Venture funding last year had its best year since the height of the dot-com boom, and Silicon Valley companies received nearly half of all the investments, according to a report. Venture firms in 2014 invested $23.4 billion in Silicon Valley-based tech startups, an 86 percent increase over 2013 and the best year since 2000, according to the MoneyTree report, produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
(Source: Mercury News, 2015-01-16) Read the full article
Businesses Oppose Congress' Move to Cut Corporate Tax Rates
The latest plan in Congress to cut business tax rates faces a major obstacle: U.S. businesses. Many Democrats and Republicans, including new House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, agree that they will try to reduce the 35 percent corporate tax rate and curb business tax breaks to help pay for it, but the complication is that millions of U.S. businesses -- from the largest hedge funds to neighborhood restaurants -- don't pay taxes through the corporate system.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2015-01-13) Read the full article
SEC Considers Hiring Transfer Agents to Root Out Stock Fraudsters
In their battle to root out microcap stock fraudsters, U.S. securities regulators are turning their attention to the obscure world of transfer agents, who are sometimes in a position to prevent scams, or help enable them. Transfer agents are back-office businesses hired by companies to keep track of shareholder records and changes in ownership.
(Source: Reuters, 2015-01-12) Read the full article
FBI Steps Up Efforts to Search Out Corporate Bribery
Corporate counsels take note: The number of federal agents hunting for corrupt executives is about to surge. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's foreign corruption program will more than triple the number of agents focused on overseas bribery this year to more than 30 from around 10, according to bureau officials.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2015-01-15) Read the full article
SEC Backs Off Proxy Ruling in Light of Whole Foods Challenge
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission backed off a ruling it made regarding when companies may ditch shareholder proposals, drawing praise from activists aiming to add their own directors at grocer Whole Foods Market and other companies. The SEC said it "will express no views" in the current proxy season on challenges to shareholder proposals that cite similar pending management proposals.
(Source: Reuters, 2015-01-16) Read the full article
Investors Want In on Secondary Market Transactions
Investors are clamoring to get into private companies through any means they can, which has led to a boom in the secondary market for private shares. SecondMarket Inc., which facilitates repurchases of shares in private companies, said more than $1.4 billion in such transactions took place on its platform last year, four times the number in 2013.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2015-01-15) Read the full article
Obama Unveils New Proposals to Protect Against Cyberattacks
In the wake of several high-profile hacks, President Barack Obama unveiled privacy legislation that would require U.S. companies to notify consumers within 30 days of discovering a cyber-security breach when sensitive information has been disclosed. The 30-day standard included in the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act would, if the law passes, replace state laws on data-breach notification that differ from state to state.
(Source:, 2015-01-12) Read the full article
Women Making Up Larger Percentage of Corporate Boards
In the United States, women hold 19.2 percent of S&P board seats, according to a new census by Catalyst, a non-profit group that works to promote women in business and leadership. Several CEOs and board diversity experts say what could actually boost the numbers here is pressure from investors.
(Source: The Washington Post (free reg. req'd), 2015-01-13) Read the full article
73% of Surveyed Family Businesses Don't Have Succession Plans
Many leaders of family-owned businesses stay long past their prime and even refuse to plan for a successor -- often making the transition much more difficult for the next generation, according to the U.S. family business survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC surveyed 154 owners, leaders and top executives of U.S. family businesses and found that 73 percent of respondents admitted they do not have a documented and robust succession plan in place for senior roles.
(Source:, 2015-01-14) Read the full article
Facebook Launches Workplace Corporate Edition
Facebook doesn't just want to be the world's leading social network for people to communicate about their personal lives -- it wants to host workplace chatter, too. The Silicon Valley company says that it has begun formal pilot testing of Facebook at Work, a corporate edition of its service intended to be a social network for individual companies and organizations.
(Source: The New York Times, 2015-01-14) Read the full article
Innovative Ideas: Protecting the Valuable Intellectual Property Assets of Agribusiness Innovators


Holiday Banta Thomas Walsh

Feeding a growing world using finite resources: that is the challenge of modern agribusiness. The need to increase yields and decrease resource consumption demands innovation. One modern innovation is the use of agricultural practices that are data driven. Read full article here


By The Numbers

There are now a growing number of major investors, led by private equity firms and healthcare companies, seeking to take advantage of a market for addiction services that experts say has grown to $35 billion a year now from $21 billion in 2003.


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.

Anthony Aaron
Haley Altman
Jennifer Andres
James Banister
Richard Barnhart
Samuel Beavers
Edward Braum
Jessica Brown
Kristine Camron
Timothy Capen
Joshua Christie
Ryanne Bush Dent
Dustin DuBois
Stephen Edwards
Michael P. Farrell
Jasmin N. French
Harry Gonso
Eric Goodman
Jon Groff
Stephen Hackman
David Hight
Steven Humke
Michael Jordan
Josef Keglewitsch
Patrick Kennedy
John Lawlor
Dean Leffelman
Chris Michael
Laurie Miller
Michael Millikan
Brent Mosby
Robert Ouellette
Thomas Pampush
Matthew Servies
Brittney Sharp
Brent Showalter
Scott Snively
Dale Stackhouse
John Thornburgh
Richard Thrapp
Kristina Tridico




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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