Scott Alderton Featured Speaker at South Bay Economic Forecast Annual Event at CSU Dominguez Hills


Scott_Alderton_cropStubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Partner Scott Alderton was a featured panelist at South Bay Economic Forecast’s annual event at Cal State Unviversity Dominguez Hills Thursday, October 27th. Scott spoke about how new technology businesses often face road blocks in regards to policy and regulation.

For more information, click here.

To learn more about our Venture Capital & Emerging Growth practice, contact Scott Alderton at (818) 444-4500 or



Scott Alderton Featured As Panelist at OC Tech Happy Hour at The Cove

Scott_Alderton_cropStubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Partner Scott Alderton was featured yesterday, October 26th, as a panelist on the topic of Funding & Growth at the OC Tech Happy Hour that was held at The Cove at UC Irvine’s Applied Innovation Center.

For more information on the event click here.

For more information about our Venture Capital & Emerging Growth Practice, contact Scott Alderton at (818) 444-4501 or






Stubbs Alderton & Markiles Represents Client NEOGOV in Investment by Warburg Pincus

ngv-logo_2015-1Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ client NEOGOV, the leading talent management software platform focused on government, education and public sector clients announced that Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing has invested in them. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2000, NEOGOV provides market-leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) talent management solutions to automate and streamline the recruitment, onboarding and performance evaluation processes for government and other public sector institutions. NEOGOV’s software is designed specifically for the unique human capital management requirements of these complex and regulated end-markets and serves more than 1,500 organizations including over 40% of the largest U.S. cities and more than 20 state customers.

“The team at NEOGOV has built the leading provider of human capital management software to the public sector,” said Alex Berzofsky, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus. “We are excited to invest in the company and partner with the NEOGOV management team as they continue to broaden the product platform and identify additional opportunities to serve their large and growing customer base.”

“Warburg Pincus has deep experience in cloud-based software and the firm will be a valuable partner as we continue to focus on growing our whole talent management suite tailored for the local government sector,” said Damir Davidovic, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NEOGOV. “With this investment, we plan to enhance our product offerings, serve more customers and accelerate growth of the business.”

“As more companies continue to use SaaS-based systems to deliver HR solutions, we see a significant growth opportunity for NEOGOV given it is configurable specifically for the needs of the public sector, where fewer organizations have adopted these technologies,” said Brian Chang, Principal, Warburg Pincus.

Stubbs Alderton attorneys representing NEOGOV in this deal were Sean Greaney and Scott Alderton.

NEOGOV HR software automates the entire hiring, onboarding and performance evaluation process, including position requisition approval, automatic minimum qualification screening, test statistics and analysis, and EEO reporting. NEOGOV works with more than 1,500 federal, state and local government, universities and K-12 organizations nationwide, ranging in size from 100 to over 100,000 employees, including agencies such as the State of South Carolina, the State of Tennessee, City of Dallas, TX; City of Houston, TX; Baltimore County, MD; City and County of Denver, CO; City and County of Honolulu, HI; City of Nashville, TN; and more than 25% of California’s Counties, including Santa Clara County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, and Orange County. Because NEOGOV’s solutions are both easy-to-use and fast to implement, it is able to offer a public sector model that is low risk, but offers a high ROI at the same time.

About Warburg Pincus
Warburg Pincus LLC is a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The firm has more than $40 billion in private equity assets under management. The firm’s active portfolio of more than 120 companies is highly diversified by stage, sector and geography. Warburg Pincus is an experienced partner to management teams seeking to build durable companies with sustainable value. Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus has raised 15 private equity funds, which have invested more than $58 billion in over 760 companies in more than 40 countries. Warburg Pincus has been an active investor in SaaS companies, with current investments including The Gordian Group, DocuTAP, Liaison International, PayScale, and Avalara, among others.

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 about our Venture Capital & Emerging Growth Practice, contact Sean Greaney at or (818) 444-4554


Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP Client THX Acquired by Leading Lifestyle Brand for Gamers, Razer

thx-logoStubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP client THX announced this week that Razer™, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, has acquired the majority of the assets of THX Ltd. and brought onboard the management and employees of the company. THX will continue to operate as an independent entity under its own management and apart from the ongoing business of its parent company. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ attorneys representing THX in the transaction include Scott Galer, John McIlvery, Sean Greaney and Nick Feldman


To read the full press release, click here.


About Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP (SAM) is a California business law firm with robust intellectual property, litigation, corporate, public securities, mergers and acquisitions, and entertainment practice groups.  SAM focuses on the representation of emerging growth companies, middle market public companies, large technology companies, celebrities and entertainment companies. SAM’s mission is to provide technically excellent legal services and outstanding results in a highly-responsive, service-oriented, and cost-effective manner. These principles are the hallmarks of our firm.


To learn more about our Mergers & Acquisitions practice, contact SAM partner Scott Galer at or (818) 444-4513.


Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Partner Greg Akselrud to Speak at Digital Hollywood – Fall 2016

SAM Partner Greg Akselrud, Chair of the Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice,  will speak at Digital Hollywood – Fall 2016 on a panel entitled “Investment, Financing & Packaging Projects: Unique Content – Unique Technology”  this Thursday, October 20th at 2:15pm in Skirball Center’s Herscher Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 305.

Other panelists include:

Diane McGrath, Managing Director Media and Technology, Streicher, J Streicher Capital

Monica Dodi, Managing Director, Women’s Venture Capital Fund

Josh Stein, Special Counsel, MG+

Michael Terpin, CEO, Transform Group

Joey Tamer, President, S.O.S. Inc., Moderator

To view the full announcement, click here.

To learn more about our Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice, contact Greg Akselrud at or (818) 444-4503.


AOP Ventures, Inc. Prevails Against Defendants One Hit Wonder, Inc., Steam Distribution, LLC, Steam Wholesale and Anthony Tellez III for Trademark Infringement of its the Milkman Mark

dclogoStubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP (SAM) announced today that its client, AOP Ventures, Inc. (AOP), a leading provider of electronic cigarette liquid, prevailed in its motion for summary judgment filed in the United States District Court for the Central District Of California against defendants Steam Distribution, LLC; One Hit Wonder, Inc., Havz, LLC d/b/a Steam Wholesale, and Anthony Tellez III.

At issue in the case was whether the Defendants had acquired sufficient common law rights to their mark MILK MAN based on local sales by Tellez in Whittier, California, sufficient to gain priority over AOP, who launched its popular THE MILKMAN e-liquid nationwide in January 2015.

In her order granting summary judgment to AOP on its claims for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and unfair competition, the Hon. Virginia A. Phillips, Chief United States District Judge, permanently enjoined Defendants from distributing e-liquid under their infringing MILK MAN mark, ordered the cancellation of Defendants’ California state trademark registration for MILK MAN for e-liquid, and awarded AOP $6,487,861.00 in damages. In so holding, the Court stated:

The Court enjoins Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, parents, subsidiaries and related companies, and all persons acting for, with, by, through or under them [“Defendants’ Affiliates”] having notice of this Order by personal service, electronic mail, or otherwise, and each of them, from marketing, advertising, distributing, offering to sell, or selling any product, packaging, or any other item that was named or labeled with the marks MILK MAN, MILKMAN, THE MILK MAN, or THE MILKMAN, or otherwise using said marks in commerce.  The Court orders Defendant’s California MILK MAN trademark cancelled and awards Plaintiff damages in the amount of $6,487,861.00.

Although Defendants had filed counterclaims against AOP and claimed priority based on Tellez’s local sales, the Court rejected Defendants’ arguments and dismissed Defendants’ counterclaims with prejudice.  In doing so, the Court held that Tellez’s sale of eight bottles of e-liquid to two local vape shops were token use, de minimis, and insufficiently public to create trademark rights at common law.  In addition, the Court found that six of the eight Sleekcraft factors for a likelihood of confusion supported a finding of infringement by Defendants.  Most notably, the Court found that the marks MILK MAN and THE MILKMAN were legally identical, and that the goods being sold by direct competitors were legally identical.  Finally, the Court found that Tellez’s sales were unlawful, because the bottles of e-liquid contained nicotine, but did not provide a public warning.  Nicotine is a controlled substance that the State of California has listed as triggering a Proposition 65 warning since 1990.  Because the sales were unlawful, Tellez’s sales could not create trademark rights.

“We are pleased with the Court’s decision, which has vindicated our long-standing position that One Hit Wonder, Inc., Steam Distribution, LLC and Steam Wholesale infringed our well-known THE MILKMAN mark in order to profit from the goodwill we have built up in the mark since its launch in 2015,” states AOP’s CEO, Mike Zhang.  “Aggressively enforcing our trademarks is critical to ensuring that our customers receive the exceptional quality they have come to expect from AOP and our brands. As a global consumer products company that sells to customers across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, AOP is committed to protecting and preserving its rights to its trademarks worldwide.”

“The issues decided in this case are critical to any business relying on common law rights in the absence of a federal trademark registration,” stated AOP’s attorney, Konrad Gatien.  “Not only in the e-liquid space, but also in the growing market for medical marijuana, because that market is regulated from state to state and the United States Patent and Trademark Office is not granting federal registrations for marks used in connection with those goods.”

About AOP Ventures, Inc.

California-based AOP Ventures, Inc. does business as THE DRIP CLUB, and is the creator of THE MILKMAN brand of e-liquid as well as its popular ANML VAPORS, ANML UNLEASHED, and MODUS VAPORS brands of e-liquid. The Drip Club aims to significantly reduce the six million preventable deaths that take place each year around the world due to tobacco and cigarette-related illnesses. AOP is a leader in sales of e-liquid worldwide. The company is led by serial entrepreneur Mike Zhang, and has a diverse and experienced management team comprised of senior managers who have held roles at Goldman Sachs & Co., Facebook, U.S. Bank, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. For more information about AOP and its brands, visit

About Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP (SAM) is a California law firm with robust intellectual property, litigation, corporate, public securities, mergers and acquisitions, and entertainment practice groups.  SAM focuses on the representation of emerging growth companies, middle market public companies, large technology companies, celebrities and entertainment companies. SAM’s mission is to provide technically excellent legal services and outstanding results in a highly-responsive, service-oriented, and cost-effective manner. These principles are the hallmarks of our firm.  For more information about SAM and its attorneys, visit

Media Contact:

Heidi Hubbeling
Director of Marketing
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
(310) 746-9803



Preccelerator Program Company Voter Featured in New York Times Article



This week Preccelerator Program company Voter was featured in a New York Times article entitled, “Answering the Call of the Election Season.”


To view the full article click here.

To learn more about the Preccelerator Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling, Director at (310) 746-9803 or


SAM Attorney Louis Wharton Represents Michelle Gaster Wasserman in Employment Deal with Adam Lippes


michelle-gaster-wassermanSAM Client Michelle Gaster Wasserman, who most recently led the North America e-commerce business for Coach, Inc. has been named the new CEO for Adam Lippes.  SAM Partner Louis Wharton represented Gaster Wasserman in negotiating the employment deal.

To read the full press release, click here.


Preccelerator® Program Company Napkin Finance Featured in Forbes Article


Congratulations to Preccelerator® Program company Napkin Finance for being featured in Forbes this week, discussing the evolution of the idea for Napkin Finance and what the future holds for the company.

To view the full article, click here.

Credit: Napkin Finance


Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Kills Music Legend Price – by Anthony Keats

counterfeit-pharmaceuticalsCOUNTERFEITING IS NOT A VICTIMELESS CRIME. In the last 24 hours it has been reported by CNN and others that the iconic music legend, PRINCE, became another victim of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. In bottles marked as Vitamin C and Aspirin pills were found containing the powerful anesthetizing drug, fentanyl. It is reported that fentanyl is fifty times stronger than heroin and one hundred times stronger than morphine in its debilitating effects on the human body. It is legitimately used with terminal cancer patients or as an anesthetic during surgery.

The US Food and Drug Administration (“USDA”) refers to counterfeit prescription drugs as: “fake, contaminated, ineffective, or otherwise unsafe ingredients; drugs that have not been tested by the FDA for safety and efficacy; drugs that don’t carry the correct amount of active ingredients or; drugs that carry harmful ingredients. How far are counterfeiters willing to go to victimize the pill-popping citizens of the United States? These organized efforts are part of a criminal secondary market that has produced incredible profits because legitimate prescription drugs are often too expensive for the average American. Part of the problem rests with big pharma itself which over the past several decades has inundated media with consumer advertising for prescription drugs from Viagra to Avastin.

The problems arising from counterfeit prescription drugs has been documented since at least as early as the 1980’s.Two well-publicized incidents attracted headlines. First, counterfeit Ovulen-21 birth control pills were being sold to American women. These pills had originated from Panama and were found to be ineffective. Second was the distribution of counterfeit Ceclor, an antibiotic, and Naprosyn, a pain reliever, by a sophisticated pharmaceutical educated resident of Iran. In line with these developments Congress passed the 1987 Prescription Drug Marketing Act or PDMA. The PDMA required states to license prescription drug wholesalers; put in place a requirement for non-authorized distributors to show the “pedigree” of the drug; and third, imposed requirements for the distribution and accountability of drug samples. Under pressure from various interest groups Congress and the FDA delayed imposing the “pedigree” requirements for decades until technology was developed in the form of Radio Frequency Devices (“RFD”) which allows manufacturers to track and trace each of the prescription drug products. Unfortunately, track and trace technology does not necessarily get used during the supply chain process of base chemical ingredients which are often sourced from third-world or lesser developed nations with lax quality control oversight.

In 2015, Congress enacted the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, which required all health care providers to provide prescription drugs to patients which are purchased from authorized licensed trading partners. However, as evidenced by a July 22nd release from the FDA; see “Counterfeit Prescription Pills Containing Fentanyls: A Global Threat” at When it comes to fentanyl, the danger appears to be increasing. Chinese suppliers of legitimate ingredients are at the same time manufacturing large amounts of uninspected synthetic ingredients like fentanyl. The report indicates that counterfeiters can transform as little as one kilogram of fentanyl powder costing a few thousand dollars into hundreds of thousands of counterfeit pills reaping millions of dollars in profits.

Trafficking in counterfeit pharmaceuticals is subject to both criminal and civil penalties. So when consumers think that it’s fun to buy knock-offs they ought to think about the fact that they themselves could be a victim of this dangerous game. The death of the icon of the “Minneapolis Sound” in his Paisley Park home will effect America’s culture for decades to come.

To learn more about anti-counterfeiting, contact Anthony Keats,  the co-chair of the Copyright & Trademark Practice at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP. You can reach him at or (310) 746-9802.