eSports on the Rise as Collegiate Sport

Across the country, colleges and universities are turning to eSports as a new addition to their athletic programs. Earlier this year, the University of Utah became the first school from a major athletic conference to offer varsity eSports. With an increasing number of institutions offering scholarships to the top high school video gamers, a single administrative body will likely emerge to regulate recruiting, monitor the amateur status of participants, and govern other issues related to the bourgeoning collegiate sport. Continue Reading

Video Game Network Patent Found to Be Patent Eligible – Not an Abstract Idea

The Federal District Court in Delaware recently denied a motion to dismiss a patent infringement case involving a video game networking technology patent based on the patent allegedly being  invalid for lack of patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Despite all of the recent press regarding the so-called Alice test, which revised the test for patent-eligible subject matter, video game related patents are still obtainable and enforceable. It is critical that patent applications for these inventions be carefully considered, the patent applications be properly drafted and the claims be presented in a way that complies with the relevant test. Continue Reading

China Halts ICOs

China has put a halt to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in China. In a recent notice, China declared ICOs to be an illegal fund raising tool and indicated it is reviewing previous ICOs for possible fraudulent practices. Money previously raised will also have to be returned. It is unclear yet whether this will be a permanent ban or whether China will permit ICOs subject to regulatory requirements. Chinese companies reportedly have raised $400 million through ICOs. Stay tuned for further developments.

 

Cryptocurrency Traders Beware – The Taxman Cometh!

As the collective market cap of the cryptocurrencies has jump above $150 billion, traders and investors have accumulated significant gains. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Internal Revenue Service is stepping up efforts to ensure that taxes are reported and paid. To assist in this effort, it has contracted with company that provides software that analyzes and tracks bitcoin transactions. Continue Reading

SEC Issues Warning on Certain ICOs

As the number and dollar volume of Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) continue to increase, the SEC has taken a greater interest in this activity. As we previously reported, the SEC issued its initial ICO guidance on July 25, 2017. In this guidance it declared that depending on the facts and circumstances, an ICO offering may involve the offer and sale of securities. If that is the case, the offer and sale of virtual coins or tokens must itself be registered with the SEC, or be performed pursuant to an exemption from registration.  Continue Reading

eSports League Expands with Addition of NFL Owners and Cloud9

Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League gained two new teams this month as Stan and Josh Kroenke, owners of the Los Angeles Rams and numerous other professional sports franchises, and Jack Etienne, founder and CEO of American eSports organization Cloud9, each acquired a team in the expanding league. The team acquired by Stan and Josh Kroenke will be based in Los Angeles, and the team acquired by Jack Etienne will be based in London. Continue Reading

SEC Declares That Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) May Be Securities; Finds DAO a Security

The SEC has opined that, depending on the facts and circumstances of each individual ICO, the virtual coins or tokens that are offered or sold may be securities. If they are securities, the offer and sale of these virtual coins or tokens in an ICO are subject to the federal securities laws. Continue Reading

Court Enjoins Milwaukee Over AR Location-based Game Ordinance

A U.S. District Court Judge issued a preliminary injunction against enforcing a Milwaukee county ordinance requiring a permit before implementing certain AR location-based games. As we previously reported, Candy Lab AR, makers of the augmented reality poker game Texas Rope ‘Em, sued Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, over an ordinance that states: “Permits shall be required before any company may introduce a location-based augmented reality game into the Parks…” Continue Reading

A Deeper Dive Into the FTC Crack-Down on Social Media Influencers: What You Should Know Before You Post

In our previous blog post, “Brands Beware!!! FTC Scrutinizing Influencer Posts for Compliance with Endorsement Guides,” we reported that the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) had issued more than 90 letters to brands and influencers, making it clear that it is paying close attention to influencer-based marketing.  More recently, the letters have been made publicly available, providing valuable insight into the types of disclosures that the FTC considers unacceptable or inadequate. Continue Reading

DraftKings and FanDuel Call Off Merger Following FTC Intervention

On July 13, 2017, daily fantasy sports providers DraftKings and FanDuel announced their decision to call off their proposed merger. Last month, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the proposed merger until a decision can be reached regarding the complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC’s complaint alleges that the merger would create a monopoly in the market for paid daily fantasy sports contests in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Continue Reading

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