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Rapid SEC Action Against AriseBank Reveals New Playbook For Allegedly Fraudulent ICOs

On January 25, 2018, the SEC filed a sealed civil Complaint in federal court in Dallas against AriseBank and its founders. The Complaint alleged that the defendants had committed securities fraud in raising more than $600 million in an initial coin offering ("ICO") of AriseCoin, starting in December 2017. The SEC immediately made a series of rapid legal moves designed to gain control of AriseBank and its assets.

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Giga Watt ICO Faces Tezos-like Securities Litigation Challenge

Giga Watt, Inc. and a related entity got a late Christmas present on December 28: a lawsuit alleging that Giga Watt violated federal securities laws in its initial coin offering (“ICO”). The plaintiff seeks more than $5,000,000.

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Medical Marijuana Creates Unanswered Trademark Litigation Issues

Ohio’s Department of Commerce is ramping up efforts to begin the state’s medical marijuana program.  Standards and licensing procedures for cultivators, laboratories, dispensaries and others will be set up over the next year, and the program must be fully up and running by the summer of 2018.  But at the same time, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) is doubling down on the marijuana ban, keeping the drug listed alongside heroin as a top-level controlled substance.

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Trademarks And Craft Brewing: What Do Federal Courts Think Of Craft Beer Lovers?

An exploding craft beer industry has led to an uptick in lawsuits about beer names and labels.  Craft beer lovers do not always appreciate the lawsuits.  But what do the federal courts think about them?

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2, 4, 6, 8! Who Does Big Fashion Appreciate? The Sixth Circuit Protects Clothing Design In A Thrilling Overtime Victory.

The Sixth Circuit shook up copyright law – and had some fun with it – in the recent decision Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, with reasoning that hinged on an unusual proposition: “[a] plain white cheerleading top and plain white skirt still cover the body and permit the wearer to cheer, jump, kick, and flip.”  (No. 14-5237, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14522, *51 (6th Cir. Aug. 19, 2015).)   The decision, which found a protectable copyright in stripes, chevrons and patterns on uniforms, stood conventional wisdom on its head, flipped the usual script of copyright analysis, and gave new cheer to fashion designers, who are typically shut out from copyright protection. 

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