November 2007

Angel Financing Could Do With A Little Streamlining

by Lee Gesmer on November 15, 2007

Investments by angel groups have become too complicated. As groups get more aggressive in pursuing profits, and seek more protection against downside risk, their deals have become as complex as venture capital deals. This complexity costs time and money, reducing the benefit to both investors and companies. By streamlining the transaction structure, angel groups could simplify negotiations, shorten the time it takes to do a deal, reduce transaction costs, put more money to work building new companies and ultimately improve their own returns.

Click here to continue reading this article, by my partner Bill Contente, which was published in the November 9, 2007 issue of the Boston Business Journal.

And, as long as I’m shamelessly showing off all the brilliant people I’ve been able to surround myself with, here is an article recently published by my partner Andy Updegrove in the October 26, 2007 issue of Mass High Tech:

How often have you heard it said that “patents foster innovation?” That phrase rings true in pharmaceuticals, where investment requirements are enormous and failure common.

Read the full article

This quote, attributed to General Phillip Sheridan in 1868, describes how many patent defendants feel about Texas, and particularly Marshall, Texas, which has become a patent litigation black hole, sucking in unwilling defendants from around the nation.

A blog, titled the Patent Troll Tracker, closely follows events in Marshall. Here is an abbreviated excerpt from a recent post concerning patent litigation in Marshall:

This is really the year of the patent troll. Last year, approximately 6,000 defendants were sued nationwide in about 2,800 patent cases. This year, the 6,000th defendant was sued sometime in early October. With the number of cases up nationwide probably 5% over last year, we’re still projected for at least a 30% increase in the number of defendants sued. More on that data in a later post.

Why? It’s because of the numerous multi-defendant patent litigation cases being brought by non-practicing entities and patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas.

Read the full article

ScotusWiki

by Lee Gesmer on November 13, 2007

ScotusBlog is, in my view, an example of just how good a legal blog can be. A group of lawyers at Akin Gump, assisted by attorneys at several other firms and universities, provide in-depth, daily briefing and commentary on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). If you are inclined to follow the Supreme Court, this is the first place to go. You may never need to go elsewhere.

Now ScotusBlog has added ScotusWiki, a companion site that provides comprehensive information on each SCOTUS case and will, presumably, allow universal editing, a la Wikipedia.

However, even in its current, nascent form the wiki is facsinating. The editors dedicate a page to each case, where they provide a case summary and links to all of the briefs, and more, for each case. For example, here is a link to the page dedicated to Stoneridge v. Scientific-Atlanta, a case that received enormous attention leading up to oral argument.… Read the full article

The Globe article begins:

Judge Allan van Gestel dismisses the buzz that is making its away around Boston’s legal community that he is stepping down from the state’s business court that he shaped so effectively over the last seven years because he ruffled the feathers of his fellow judges and his bosses with his concerns about the future of the court. He is not, however, backing down a bit about those concerns. [click here to continue reading]

To read Judge van Gestel’s letter to the the adminstrative judges (described in the Globe article) click here.

To read the administrative judges’ response, click here.… Read the full article