CFTC’s Recent Spoofing Settlement

Emily HayesCase Studies, Market Rules & Responsibilities, Operations


Igor Oystacher, the now-infamous trader nicknamed “the Russian,” and his proprietary trading firm, 3Red Trading, informed the Northern District of Illinois on October 19, 2016, that the parties agreed to settle with the CFTC on the agency’s spoofing allegations. The settlement announcement came after Oystacher and 3Red failed to convince the court to dismiss the case in September 2016. Yet, while the terms of the agreement are currently unavailable, this case demonstrates the federal government’s increasing scrutiny of market manipulation and suspect trading practices.Read More

Trademark Fee Changes

Genna HibbsBest Practices, Operations, Startup Tips & Resources


Effective Jan. 14, 2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will be revising its fee schedule. The upcoming changes are set forth in full in this final rule and summarized in this USPTO publication. Most fees will increase, as the USPTO attempts to “align fees with full costs.” At the same time, the changes aim to make electronic filing less expensive, and hence more attractive, than paper filing. With the USPTO having seen seven years of consecutive increases in the number of trademark filings and the trend expected to continue, this price differential is intended to encourage a shift to more efficient electronic filing.Read More

Copyright Your Choreography

Ashley MorrisonBest Practices, Operations, Startup Tips & Resources


This article discusses how original dance choreography can be protected from imitation, so that choreographers can protect and profit from their creativity and hard work.

Prior to the Copyright Act of 1976 (the “Act”), a choreographer’s right to his or her work was uncertain.  Since the enactment of the Act, “choreographic works” have been expressly included among the categories of creative works that are entitled to legal protection.Read More

10 Things You Should Do to Capitalize on the Illinois Film Production Tax Credit

Ilya ZlatkinBest Practices, Operations, Startup Tips & Resources


When we’re sitting on the couch at home watching TV, it’s easy to forget how much effort and resources went into creating that content. In most circumstances, film production entails a significant investment on the part of the filmmakers and their financiers. These funds, in turn, create jobs and generate revenue.

Many state governments have realized the impact that film production can have on the local economy and have attempted to incentivize it within their borders. Illinois is one of these states. The Illinois Department of Commerce encompasses the Illinois Film Office (“IFO”), which administers the Illinois Film Production Tax Credit (“Tax Credit”). The IFO claims that last year this tax incentive accounted for around $330 million of revenue within the state.

The helpful IFO staff recently presented on the topic in detail at the Museum of Broadcast Communications and at 2112. If you’re interested in taking advantage of the Tax Credit, here are top 10 things we think you should keep in mind to capitalize on it.Read More

Art and the Art of Raising Money: Part 4, Asset Classes Q&A

Julianne DardanesBest Practices, Video

Part 3 of our Art and the Art of Raising Money series focused on certain factors of production and distribution that correlate with a film’s financial success. All three of our panelists agreed that the best strategy involves investing in a promising production team.

The remaining portion of the event was opened up to the audience for questions, and it was no surprise that a crowd full of creatives and aspiring producers wanted to know more about how to capitalize on creative content.

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Ending the EU Affair: Brexit and the Markets

Julianne DardanesCase Studies, Market Rules & Responsibilities


In the words of famous English rock band The Clash, Britain has been asking itself “should I stay or should I go?” for the past ten months now – the relationship in question being its affair with the European Union. After a year-long campaign on both sides of the coin to determine the country’s political and economic future, the U.K. finally voted to call it quits.

But, as we all know, break-ups can be messy and cutting ties is easier said than done. The case of Britain and the EU is no different. Exit procedures outlined in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty state that a member must withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements – meaning the final decision will likely be in the hands of parliament. Since the government is not legally required to act on the results of the referendum, Britain will remain a member of the European Union until its politicians decide otherwise (which may take a while from the sounds of Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation announcement).Read More