Category Archives: Press

Preccelerator® Program Company Jambo Launches in Android and iOS App Stores

Jambo FeatureGraphic_1024x500

Congratulations to SAM Preccelerator Company Zero Mass Energy (“ZME”) on the launch of their first product Jambo in the Android Google Play and iOS App Stores. Jambo is a chat app that combines social productivity with integrated social gaming.  “Jambo’s approach is to allow these games and tools to be utilized right within your chat threads without having to leave the app” says founder and CEO, Carey Chico.   While this first version allows the user to play games, send real-time character animation, as well as voice and photos – future releases will add a large number of entertainment and productivity functions.

ZME has also launched their new Jambo Chat Platform, that is a licensable platform to help businesses scale and retain their user base by utilizing a diverse set of social productivity and social play features. Companies that have a large number of apps or sites, can take these fragmented user bases and combine them into a single community promoting engagement and retention.  “We see an opportunity to create a pervasive chat platform that goes where you want to go, rather than you having to go to it.  There are so many isolated and siloed app experiences that we think could benefit greatly from our technology.”

Get it On Google Play

App Store

To learn more about Zero Mass Energy, visit http://www.zeromassenergy.com/

For more information about the Preccelerator Program contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or visit www.preccelerator.com.

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Client Zephyr Receives $31M Investment from Frontier Capital

Press Release_Frontier-Capital-investmentLos Angeles, CA – May 13, 2016 Stubbs Alderton & Markiles announces that it represented its client D-Software, d/b/a Zephyr, one of the software industry’s fastest-growing providers of real-time, on-demand enterprise test management solutions, in an investment deal of  $31M from Frontier Capital.

Based in Newark, Calif., in the epicenter of the software industry, Zephyr provides more than 8,500 customers in over 100 countries with innovative applications, seamless integrations and unparalleled, real-time visibility into the quality and status of their software development projects. With additional operations in London and Bangalore, the company has more than doubled its customer base in the past 12 months by helping companies like LG Electronics, Adobe, HSBC, Honda, Oracle, Citibank, Amex, GE, Starz and Hyundai drive down costs and bring higher quality software to market faster.

The $31 million investment from Frontier Capital will be used to fund key growth initiatives for the company like enhancing the product portfolio and scaling sales and marketing capabilities, according to Zephyr founder and CEO Samir Shah.

“Partnering with Frontier Capital will help us realize our potential by investing in the critical business functions that will fuel our growth,” said Shah. “Their business acumen and experience helping similar next-stage growth companies achieve their goals will be just as, if not more, valuable to us than the money they have invested. We are excited to have Frontier on board as an engaged partner and look forward to working with them to build a market leader.”

SAM Partner Scott Alderton has represented D-Software, d/b/a Zephyr, since its inception and Stubbs Alderton as a whole is very proud of their success.  SAM Partners that led this deal include Scott Galer, Scott Alderton, Nick Feldman and Adam Bagley.

To read the full Zephyr press release, click here.

About Frontier Capital

Frontier Capital is a Charlotte-based growth equity firm focused exclusively on software and technology-enabled business services companies. Founded in 1999, Frontier partners with management teams that can benefit from capital to accelerate growth, fund acquisitions or generate shareholder liquidity. The firm makes minority and majority equity investments in high growth companies and has built an excellent track record of delivering returns to both investors and management partners. For more information, please visit frontiercapital.com.

About Zephyr

Zephyr is a leading provider of on-demand enterprise test management solutions, offering innovative applications, seamless integrations and unparalleled, real-time visibility into the quality and status of software projects. Zephyr products are the fastest-growing agile test management products in the world, with more than 8,500 global customers in over 100 countries. Their feature-rich products address today’s dynamic and global needs across a variety of industries including finance, healthcare, media, automotive, IT services and enterprise software. Zephyr is headquartered in Newark, Calif., with offices in Europe and India. For more information, please visit www.getzephyr.com.

About Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is a business law firm with robust corporate, public securities, mergers and acquisitions, entertainment, intellectual property, brand protection and business litigation practice groups focusing on the representation of, among others, venture backed emerging growth companies, middle market public companies, large technology companies, entertainment and digital media companies, investors, venture capital funds, investment bankers and underwriters. The firm’s clients represent the full spectrum of Southern California business with a concentration in the technology, entertainment, videogame, apparel and medical device sectors. Our mission is to provide technically excellent legal services in a consistent, highly-responsive and service-oriented manner with an entrepreneurial and practical business perspective. These principles are the hallmarks of our Firm. For more information, please visit www.stubbsalderton.com.

Media Contact:
Heidi Hubbeling
(310) 746-9803
hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com

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SAM Alert- Employers Must Now Provide Notice of Whistle Blower Immunity

Important Business News
from
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP

Employers Must Now Provide Notice of Whistle Blower Immunity

New Federal Trade Secrets Law Requires Immediate Changes to Employee and Contractor Agreements

Starting May 12, 2016, all agreements with employees and individuals that are independent contractors or consultants governing the use of trade secrets or confidential information must include a notice of immunity for the disclosure of a trade secret to the government or in a court filing.  Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), the disclosure of a trade secret will be immunized from civil and criminal liability if it is made (i) in confidence to a Federal, State or local government official, or to an attorney, solely for the purpose of reporting or investigating a suspected violation of law or (ii) in a lawsuit complaint or other court documents filed under seal.  Failure to comply with this new legal requirement may preclude a company from recovering punitive damages or attorneys’ fees in a lawsuit against an employee or contractor for trade secret theft.  Also, it is possible government agencies could bring regulatory enforcement actions and employees could bring class action lawsuits against companies that fail to provide this notice.

Our recommendation for adapting to the new law:

  • Update agreements with employees, independent contractors and consultants. The required notice must be included in any contract or agreement with an employee or individual that is an independent contractor or consultant that governs the use of a trade secret or other confidential information.  This includes employee confidentiality and intellectual property assignment agreements, independent contractor agreements, consulting services agreements, professional services agreements, advisory board member agreements, intern agreements and nondisclosure agreements, and any amendments and renewals of such agreements entered into prior to the date the new law went into effect.  Instead of stating the immunity notice in each agreement, the agreement may cross-reference to a policy document (e.g., employee handbook) containing the company’s reporting policy for a suspected violation of law.

How Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP can help.  We are a business law firm with expertise in intellectual property law. Our standard employee, independent contractor, nondisclosure and advisory board member agreements have been updated to comply with the DTSA’s notice of immunity requirement.  We can help update your employee and independent contractor agreements.

Kevin_DeBre
Kevin D. DeBré
leads the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions Practice Group advising entrepreneurs and growth companies on how to use technology and intellectual property in building successful businesses.  For more information, email Kevin at kdebre@stubbsalderton.com.

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Preccelerator® Program Company Trekk Featured in SMASHD

 

Trekk photo

CongratulTrekk Logo - High defations to Preccelerator® Program company Trekk on being featured in SMASHD.  Trekk is an on-demand moving service.  Trekk sends you a mover who will help you move your items. Their movers, also known as Trekkers, come equipped with a truck, van, or SUV.  Their service is available on iOS app and their web platform.

To read the full article click here.

SMASHD, is the brain child of Troy Carter of Atom Factory. They tell stories covering what entrepreneurs go through and how they build startups, how the tech and entertainment industries are merging, and how our culture is changing. Atom Factory is a diversified entertainment company with roots in talent and investments.

For more information about the Preccelerator® Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or (310) 746-9803.

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Preccelerator® Program Company Napkin Finance Partners with White House

Napkin Finance provided by CardBlanc, Inc

Congratulations to SAM Preccelerator® Program company Napkin Finance, a subsidiary of CardBlanc. Napkin Finance has teamed up with the White House to promote financial literacy among students and young adults, and assist them with preparing for college and Federal Student Aid.  This is part of President Obama and the First Lady’s Reach Higher, Better Make Room and National College Signing Day initiatives.

The White House just released the Fact Sheet “Celebrating Progress in Expanding College Opportunity for Every Student on College Signing Day.”  In regards to Napkin Finance it states, “Napkin Finance breaks down financial concepts in a simple, engaging, and visual way in 30 seconds or less. Most importantly, it teaches teens and young adults how to make smart money decisions and build a lifetime of financial well-being. For the First Lady’s Better Make Room initiative, Napkin Finance has created a course with “napkins” that prepare students for the financial challenges of a college education. The Better Make Room collaboration with Napkin Finance will inspire and empower teens to fill out the FAFSA, learn more about options for paying for college, understand how student loans work, and encourage ongoing engagement with the Reach Higher platform.”

To read the full Fact Sheet, click here.

To learn more about Napkin Finance visit: http://www.napkinfinance.com

For more information about the Preccelerator® Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or (310) 746-9803.

 

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SAM Client HitFix Acquired by Woven Digital

HitFix

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ client HitFix, a fan-focused publisher of entertainment news, reviews and video, has been acquired by Woven Digital.  Terms are undisclosed.

With the acquisition HitFix’s 17 employees are joining Woven, including CEO Jennifer Sargent, editor-in-chief Richard Rushfield, CTO Anurag Jain and TV critic Alan Sepinwall. Woven plans to boost HitFix’s video output, with higher production quality and frequency, and they believe that HitFix’s focus on the 18-34 year old market will help them expand the company’s reach into the highly sought demographic.

Prior to the acquisition, HitFix had raised $6.8 million. The company’s investors included Gordon Crawford, Golden Seeds, Angel Capital Entrepreneurial Fund, Liquid Capital Group and Tech Coast Angels. In 2008, Sargent co-founded HitFix with Gregory Ellwood, who left the company last September.

SAM attorneys on the deal included Louis Wharton, Scott Galer and Mariam Karson.

To view further press on the transaction, visit:
Variety
Hollywood Reporter 

About HitFix
HitFix is the fastest growing entertainment news brand, driving discovery, conversation and choices for passionate entertainment fans via breaking news, expert analysis, engaging reviews, recaps and live, on-the-scene event coverage of the biggest entertainment events across film, TV, music and more. HitFix offers partners access to an unparalleled editorial and video distribution network spanning desktop, mobile, social, video and out-of-home digital displays to the tune of 90+ Million interview streams and 300+ Million viewers each month. HitFix is truly everywhere.

About Woven Digital
Woven Digital is an award-winning digital media and content company. Woven’s unique approach to storytelling through a mix of documentary-style video and authoritative journalism covers subject-matter and individuals often overlooked by traditional broadcast and media. Through our brands, we engage with millions of young male consumers on a daily basis. Woven’s flagship destination, UPROXX, is a top-25 mobile site that delivers original programming celebrating humans and human culture (HUMAN), exploring tech and innovation (LUMINARIES), breaking the undiscovered in music (UNCHARTED) and covering the unknown stories in sports (UNDERBELLY). For more information about Woven, visit www.woven.com.

About Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is a business law firm with robust corporate, public securities, mergers and acquisitions, entertainment, intellectual property, brand protection and business litigation practice groups focusing on the representation of, among others, venture backed emerging growth companies, middle market public companies, large technology companies, entertainment and digital media companies, investors, venture capital funds, investment bankers and underwriters. The firm’s clients represent the full spectrum of Southern California business with a concentration in the technology, entertainment, videogame, apparel and medical device sectors. Our mission is to provide technically excellent legal services in a consistent, highly-responsive and service-oriented manner with an entrepreneurial and practical business perspective. These principles are the hallmarks of our Firm.

Press Contact:

Heidi Hubbeling
Director of Marketing
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com
(310) 746-9803

 

 

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Preccelerator® Program Now Accepting Applications!

 

SAM NewPreccelerator

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is one of the leading business law firms in Southern California. We pioneered a fixed fee start-up package making the formation and organization of your start-up as seamless as possible. Our Preccelerator® Program is a platform offered to select start-up companies out of our Santa Monica office that provides interim office space and sophisticated legal services, with the objective of helping you grow your idea from business concept to funded startup. The Preccelerator® Program provides free co-working space and other perks for 5-6 promising young startups.

The perks include:

  • Free 24/7 access to our co-working space on a rolling basis, including free wireless access to the Internet and access to conference rooms for meetings and presentations
  • Access to real-time legal advice and transactional legal services on site (under our standard engagement and/or fee arrangements)
  • Access to in-house educational workshops and activities
  • Access to our extensive network of mentors
  • Potential introductions to our network of investors and other service providers
  • Partnerships with Google Cloud for Startups, Amazon Web Services, FacebookStart, the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA), Trinet, Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS) and many more!
  • Perks package worth approximately $150K!

Apply Today

For more information about the Preccelerator Program, visit www.preccelerator.com or contact Heidi Hubbeling at (310) 746-9803 or hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com

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“How to Tighten Contracts & Minimize the Expense of Litigation” by Ryan C.C. Duckett

Simple Contract Drafting and Negotiation Tips

From the inception of creating a contract to the closing prior to execution, word accuracy and term clarity helps shield contracts from that not so slim chance that, my contract won’t be litigated.  Do not be so quick to “Frankenstein” a contract with a myriad of cut and pastes. A little precaution can save your client a great deal of fortune.

Introduction of Contracts: The introductory clause of a contract is as critical as the body because it identifies the parties of an agreement. What seems so simple is easy to overlook. For instance, in a 2015 celebrity case dismissed on 9/11, and affirmed in 2016 by the California Court of Appeal, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian filed suit against Chad Hurley and AVOS Systems, Inc. for broadcasting confidential video of Kanye’s marriage proposal to Kim in violation of a confidentiality provision precluding publishing any video of Kanye’s proposal before it was published by Kim’s reality TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The case was decided on whether Hurley’s tweet with a link to video of the proposal was a breach of the agreement by AVOS. Although Hurley was CEO of AVOS, he never signed the agreement on behalf of AVOS – according to him – and, whether someone is acting on behalf of a company is a question of facts, which means, it’s for a jury to decide[1]. Hurley was found liable but his company AVOS got off scot-free. Seriously? How could it be more obvious what was intended by Kanye and Kim? Simple…A quick definition defining all parties at the onset of the contract removes any question of fact, making it clear who the agreement binds.

Terms of Contracts: The terms of a contract should be as black and white as the paper it’s on. Many common words such as “material”, “full disclosure” or “efforts,” originally thought of as pinpointing the intentions, recently are vastly becoming more diluted from overuse, leaving too much room for interpretation. For example, what is material to one may not be so material to another, especially in contracts when interests are adverse and what one cares about, the other does not. Unfortunately, parties wait until the heat of litigation until clarifying what was originally intended.

By way of another example: Q. How are best efforts different from reasonable efforts?When parties enter into an exclusive distribution agreement, they like to set the tone for the distributor about the “efforts” the distributor must apply. Although California courts have yet to divulge into intricacies behind levels of effort, New York courts have and find it “murky.” Under the Uniform Commercial Code § 2-306(2), the producer may want to remain silent on the degree of effort to be expended by the distributor because it requires “best efforts…unless otherwise agreed.” In an original case defining best efforts, Falstaff Brewing Co. bought Ballantine brewing labels, trademarks, and everything else but the beer, with a promise to use “best efforts” to distribute it. Well, along came Guinness beer with an unprecedented low price. Falstaff intuitively succumbed to distributing the lower priced beer. Falstaff, however, was held in breach for failing to continue selling Ballantine, even though Falstaff was forced to incur an economic loss by doing so.[2]

Where parties have contracted to use a lesser degree of efforts, such as ”reasonable efforts” or “commercially reasonable efforts,” the courts held that such efforts are “interchangeable” with “best efforts.”[3]  Bottom line being to expressly articulate criteria intended to qualify as meeting your client’s “justifiable expectations,”[4]instead of leaving it to a precarious chance by courts’ “case by case” rulings.

Dispute Resolution of Contracts:  At the negotiation stage, many parties try to rush through the dispute resolution terms in the face of a breach, hoping this will never be the case. Coincidentally, this is the best and only time to negotiate such difficult terms. In a February 18, 2016 case initiated by Allstate Insurance for an insured’s alleged breach, the Defendants successfully dismissed the action immediately when the trial court ruled that a pre-litigation demand letter adequately satisfied the terms to enter into “good-faith negotiations” before filing a lawsuit.[5] Literally, “good faith negotiations before filing a lawsuit” really means an agreement to try to agree, but requires no back and forth process. If you want more good faith interaction before someone races to file a lawsuit, the contract should explicitly state each step a party must take.

Although, only a few primary examples are discussed, there are frequent circumstances that ultimately lead to litigation resulting from contracts using common pitfalls. Taking the time to contact an attorney like those at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, may be the solution to tighten a contract enough to minimize the potential expense of litigation.

________________________________

151215-Stubbs-116-retouched_600x400For any further information on tips or avoiding litigation, contact Ryan C. C. Duckett at rduckett@stubbsalderton.comor 818-444-4546. Ryan Duckett is an attorney of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP. Ryan’s practice focuses primarily on employment, commercial, intellectual property and entertainment litigation. He has successfully litigated cases for both plaintiffs and defendants with trials and appellate experience that has secured over millions of dollars in jury verdicts for his clients, to arguing California jury instructions that were created by the case he second chaired.  He manages and handles all aspects of civil actions from pre-litigation matters to law & motion to trials, post-trials & appeals.

 

[1] Pacific Concrete Products Corp. v. Dimmick (1955) 136 Cal.App.2d 834, 838.

[2] Bloor v. Falstaff Brewing Co. (1979) 601 F.2d 609, 609-613.

[3] Samson Lift Tech., LLC v. Jerr-Dan Co. (Sup. Ct. 2014)

[4] E. Allan Farnsworth, Contracts § 7.17 (3d Ed. 2004)

[5] Allstate Ins. Co. v. Berg (Cal.1st.Dist., Div. 4, Feb. 2016 – affirmed)

The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice or opinions.

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SAM Preccelerator® Program Featured in San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Trouble viewing the article? Click SFVBJ – Stubbs Alderton Article.

SFVBJ - Stubbs Alderton Article_Page_1 SFVBJ - Stubbs Alderton Article_Page_2 For more information about the Preccelerator® Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or (310) 746-9803.

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Preccelerator® Program Company District2 Featured in SoCalTech Article

District2.Co

Cassie Betts, CEO of SAM Preccelerator® Program graduate District2 was featured in SoCalTech.com’s article “Why District2 is Creating an Online Marketplace for the Fashion Industry.”

To read the full article, click here.

 

About District2

District2 is a B2B collaborative online platform within the shared economy Maker’s Space. New fashion designers don’t know where to get their prototypes made. Where do I find this screen-printer? This dye house? This factory? District2 is an online B2B platform that helps designers get prototypes made in half the time, at half the price with 90% less stress. Their free search directory allows users to search our virtual garment district for contractors & service providers.

Designers can also post their projects and receive competitive bids from factories and other service providers. They will be able to leave ratings, reviews and hire contractors safely within District2.

For more information about the Preccelerator® Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or visit www.preccelerator.com

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