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Dear Congress: Your District Needs a New E-4 Visa for Promising Entrepreneurs

Procedural History In August 2016, the Department of Homeland Security proposed an “International Entrepreneur” parole rule that would allow qualifying foreign entrepreneurs to develop and grow their start-up companies in the United States. After public comment, the rule was finalized and released in the closing days of the previous Administration.… Continue Reading

The “Blockchain Amendments” to the Delaware General Corporation Law

Two amendments have been proposed to the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) to permit corporate record keeping utilizing blockchain databases (the “Blockchain Amendments”). Specifically, “stock ledger” is to be defined in Section 219 of the DGCL to include ledgers “administered by or on behalf of the corporation,” in order to permit a record keeping … Continue Reading

Taking Stock in Blockchains

Corporate lawyers and software developers have been watching eagerly as the State of Delaware takes steps to enable Delaware corporations to issue shares of their stock as digital tokens. Instead of recording shares on paper ledgers, corporations will record ownership using “Blockchains”: ledgers that are secured by cryptographic keys that can be distributed around the … Continue Reading

Changes In Intrastate Crowdfunding Rules: Will They Make A Difference?

On October 26, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission amended its existing safe harbor rule for intrastate investing, Rule 147, and added a new intrastate safe harbor, Rule 147A in an effort to reflect the realities of modern business. While these changes could provide a useful tool for small businesses, the SEC’s evolving stance on … Continue Reading

Building a Kick-Ass Team: 5 Lessons

As published on Medium. Sheppard Mullin, along with Silicon Valley Bank, recently co-hosted a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs at Runway on “Building and Motivating a Kick-Ass Team.” The combined experience of these panelists was incredible, and we heard some great advice about how to build and manage teams, which sometimes requires ignoring conventional thinking. The following … Continue Reading

…And The Unicorn You Rode In On (Silicon Valley – Episode 26)

Alas, poor Erlich!  We knew him; ‘a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne us on his back a thousand times; and now,’ as Jared poetically recounts, “Erlich’s Bachmanity boondoggle has led to his being unceremoniously bucked off the Pied Piper unicorn, [lock-] stock-and-Board-seat-wise.”  Unfortunately, Erlich’s lavish over-spending of Bachmanity’s capital, … Continue Reading

Happy Times, High Crimes and Misdemeanors (Silicon Valley – Episode 25)

In this week’s episode of Silicon Valley, Richard enjoyed an unprecedented run of success, culminating with the official launch of Pied Piper’s platform.  Richard has suffered so many setbacks, it’s little wonder he is initially reluctant to launch even a beta version—certain that the platform is buggy and will only subject Pied Piper to further … Continue Reading

Bachmanity – From Sizzle to Fizzle and Maybe Bachruptcy (Silicon Valley – Episode 24)

At its heart, Episode 24 was about relationships – from the wayward dating lives of Richard and Dinesh to Big Head and Ehrlich’s marriage of “Bachmanity,” the Pied Piper entourage found themselves faced with the messy unraveling of unsuccessful relationships.  To recap some of those relationships, Richard loses a girlfriend over his obsession with code … Continue Reading

Laurie & Monica Out-Action Jack…and Other Fiduciary Duties (Silicon Valley – Episode 22)

Episode 22 provides a decisive and satisfying showdown between Jack’s Box plan and Richard’s consumer platform option.  Richard’s not-so-secret skunkworks project is dead, and the team sets to work on the Box believing that as soon as they deliver a working prototype, they will be free to build the platform.  But when they deliver the … Continue Reading

Jack’s Box (Silicon Valley – Episode 20)

Episode 20 of Silicon Valley explores numerous classic conflicts: consumer-oriented v. enterprise business model; engineers v. sales; revolutionary vs. safe; long-term goals v. short-term profits; Erlich v. Jian-Yang … Richard’s plan has been to transform the world by giving away the basic version of Pied Piper’s revolutionary compression technology, rapidly building a huge user base, … Continue Reading

Potential Revisions to the Definition of “Accredited Investor”

On December 18, 2015, the staff (the “Staff”) of the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) released a report on their review of the definition of “accredited investor” under the Securities Act of 1933. This review was undertaken in accordance with Section 413(b)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the … Continue Reading

The Days of the Vultures (Silicon Valley – Season 2 Finale)

This season’s finale of Silicon Valley provided Richard with only the briefest moment of victory before he once again faces losing Pied Piper.  First, the arbitrator rules that because Richard used a Hooli computer while developing Pied Piper, under the invention assignment provision of Richard’s employment agreement with Hooli, Hooli would have the right to … Continue Reading

Rogue Witnesses (Silicon Valley, Episode 17)

In Episode 17, Hooli’s lawsuit appears to be nearing its end – with Hooli poised as the apparent victor.  In Episodes 9 and 10 the show had positioned the case so we thought Pied Piper was sure to win.  What happened?  The impact of a rogue witness should not be underestimated. Click here to read the … Continue Reading

Board Games (Silicon Valley, Episode 16)

Episode 16 culminates with a disastrous end to the Intersite bake-off, and highlights an issue that’s cropped up in several episodes:  troublesome or under-performing board members.  To recap, Pied Piper is competing against nemesis Endframe in a “bake-off” to win a $15 million contract with Intersite.  In the course of the bake-off, Pied Piper’s (formerly) … Continue Reading

Other Peoples’ Content (Episode 15)

There are so many legal issues in Episode 15 that it’s hard to know where to begin, so I’m going to start at the end: porn.  Pied Piper is competing against nemesis Endframe for a $15 million contract from the online porn company Intersite.  If Pied Piper wins the contract it will allow Pied Piper … Continue Reading

“‘Say it ain’t so!’” (Episode 14)

Previously we’ve discussed Hooli’s reverse engineering of Pied Piper’s technology and the threatened lawsuit for ownership of the technology.  In Episode 14, Pied Piper faces a new threat:  Endframe, a Pied Piper competitor, has also stolen Pied Piper’s technology, in collusion with VC firm Branscomb Ventures.  This started back in Episode 10, when the Pied Piper … Continue Reading

Hooli is suing Pied Piper (Episodes 9 and 10) continued

Last post I mused that had Richard taken certain steps in the first season of Silicon Valley, he might now have ammunition to use against Hooli’s lawsuit. What am I talking about? To very crudely recap what happened last season, Richard invented Pied Piper, a music copyright search service that hid within it amazing lossless … Continue Reading
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