Fenwick’s Top 10: Our Most Popular Articles of 2018

Venture financing trends, SEC enforcement actions, U.S. tax law changes and the IPO market dominated our readers’ attention in 2018. Convertible debt financing trends, which we covered in a new Fenwick report, also generated interest. Read on for more on these and other popular 2018 topics — many of which we continue to follow — to provide context and insight for the year ahead.

  1. FTC: New HSR Thresholds for 2018
  2. The annual adjustment of the dollar thresholds for pre-acquisition filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act took effect in March 2018. Fenwick’s Mark Ostrau and Ashley Walter parsed what this meant for transactions closing on or after the effective date.

  3. Advanced Copyright Issues on the Internet
  4. In an updated version of this popular in-depth treatise, Fenwick’s David Hayes explores important intellectual property protection issues for materials available through the internet, including U.S. legislation regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

  5. Technology and Life Sciences IPO Survey — 2017, Full Year
  6. This biannual report analyzes key aspects of initial public offerings for technology and life sciences companies, with this well-read edition focusing on the second half of 2017. In our latest IPO report we found that despite significant market volatility at the start of 2018, life sciences and technology IPOs around the world came out strong in H1 2018.

  7. Intellectual Property Bulletin — Winter 2018
  8. Led by lawyers Stuart Meyer, Christopher Joslyn and Emily Bullis, Fenwick’s team of intellectual property, tech transactions, privacy and IP litigation lawyers provide analysis of the most important developments in IP law for our quarterly Intellectual Property Bulletin. The winter issue, 2018’s most popular, looked at crowd-sourced content in video games, the U.S. Copyright Office’s wet signature requirement, and more.

  9. Convertible Note Financing Term Sheet for Seed-Stage Startups
  10. Fenwick’s Kristine Di Bacco and Doug Sharp composed a financing term sheet for convertible notes issued in connection with the seed-stage financing of a startup company. It includes practical guidance, drafting notes, and alternate and optional clauses.

  11. IRS Notice 2018-26: Important New Guidance on the Mandatory Repatriation Tax
  12. IRS Notice 2018-26 offered guidance on the mandatory repatriation tax under § 965. Fenwick lawyers Adam Halpern and Julia Ushakova-Stein covered the complex web of new rules that taxpayers and their advisors needed to become familiar with to determine tax liability.

  13. Convertible Debt Terms – Survey of Market Trends 2017/2018
  14. Convertible debt financing has emerged as an enormously popular method of fundraising for early-stage startups. In this report, released publicly for the first time, Fenwick’s Kristine Di Bacco and Alicia Ryan analyzed more than 100 of our issuer-side convertible debt transactions from Jan. 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018.

  15. SEC Fines Private Company in First Enforcement Action Resulting from Rule 701 Option Grants Investigation
  16. Fenwick lawyer Michael Dicke explored the significance of the first enforcement action to result from a sweeping SEC investigation into the Rule 701 option-granting practices of late-stage private companies.

  17. A Concise Summary of the New Tax Law
  18. In 2017, Fenwick’s Adam Halpern summarized some of the more significant changes made to U.S. federal tax laws by the bill signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017, including implications for business, employee compensation and international tax.

  19. Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey — Fourth Quarter 2017
  20. In 2018, Fenwick’s Cynthia Clarfield Hess, Mark Leahy and Khang Tran continued their quarterly in-depth analysis of venture financings closed by Silicon Valley-based companies. In our Q4 2017 survey, we found the internet and digital media industry scored the highest valuation results in the last three months of 2017. Check out our most recent VC survey: Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey – Third Quarter 2018.

Honorable Mentions

Readers were also interested in the latest developments in gaming law and Telephone Consumer Protection Act case law. The following three articles logged the highest reads for 2018 on our third-party publishing platforms.

In-Game Currency Triggers State Gambling Laws, Rendering Mobile Game “Illegal Gambling”

Fenwick’s Nicholas Plassaras, Jennifer Kelly and Eric Ball explored the significance of this case involving virtual currencies for game companies and their potential exposure under state gambling laws.

Crowdsourced Content in Video Games: How Ownership Issues Almost “Ganked” a Copyright Case

In their analysis of this copyright case, Fenwick lawyers Jennifer Kelly, Nicholas Plassaras and Chieh Tung discussed how important it is for would-be claimants to have their chain of title documents in order, lest they be "ganked" in the early stages of litigation.

DC Circuit Offers Companies Measure of Relief from FCC’s 2015 Omnibus TCPA Ruling

Fenwick’s Tyler Newby analyzed what this ACA ruling and its rejection of the FCC’s broad interpretation of what constitutes an Automatic Telephone Dialing System means for companies that use SMS to communicate with their customers or help users of their service connect with friends through SMS messages.


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