Jonathan Rubens

Jon has worked with businesses and investors on transactions and intellectual property issues since the early 1990s. He represents investors and private companies in new venture formation, equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, commercial loan transactions, data security and privacy issues, intellectual property protection, and a variety of strategic transactions. Jon frequently acts as outside general counsel to privately held businesses and provides US representation to non-US public and private companies.

Jon represents businesses and their principals in M&A transactions, on both the buy side and the sell side, from fire sales through large public company acquisitions, and he also represents clients in commercial finance transactions. Over the years, he has worked with many entrepreneurs and investors involved with technology startups and early stage companies. He has set up angel investment funds and venture accelerators, advised on corporate and LLC structuring for new technology and online media businesses, drafted founder and adviser agreements, executive employment agreements and incentive compensation plans, and he has helped his clients close many investment rounds, from seed stage through late equity. The firm has active I.P. and information law practices, and Jon works with clients on copyright, trademark, data security and privacy matters.

Jon speaks to business, industry and trade groups on preparing companies for exit, structuring acquisitions, forming new entrepreneurial ventures, closing equity financing rounds, privacy compliance, trademark strategies, and professional ethics in the use of social media. For more than 12 years Jon has organized and taught a multi-day and all day course for California’s Continuing Education of the Bar on representing early-­stage companies and leading them through financing, and he also has spoken to business school students on private financing, new company formation, and intellectual property.

At the American Bar Association, Jon currently is a member of the Business Law Section’s leadership council, and he is the immediate past chair of the Section’s Cyberspace Law Committee, which provides a forum for analysis of corporate, transactional and regulatory issues related to the internet and the online world. The Committee works within many legal disciplines including electronic commerce and contracts, intellectual property, cybersecurity & privacy, jurisdiction, internet governance, and online financial activities. The Committee produces programming and publications on the law of electronic contracting, and the privacy and intellectual property issues raised by cloud computing, social media, location-­based services, mobile payment systems, smart utility meters, regulation of near‐field communication systems, and other technology developments. Jon authored the chapter Launching the New Online Business in the American Bar Association’s IP Deskbook for the Business Lawyer, and he contributed to the Association’s The Law of the Internet, second edition. In 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2015 he authored surveys of online trademark and copyright law for the ABA law review The Business Lawyer in the annual Survey of the Law of Cyberspace.

Jon started his career as a litigator, representing publishers, media companies, and entertainment businesses and investors in cases involving corporate fiduciary duty, trade secret misappropriation, defamation, privacy, and copyright infringement. Prior to attending law school, he interned at the French small business administration (the Credit d’Equipment des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises) in Paris, studying developments in small business lending and early-­stage financing.

Jon earned his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 1990, and he received his BA in 1985 cum laude from Dartmouth college, where he studied comparative literature and foreign languages. Jon speaks French and German. He is admitted to practice in the California, and in the Central, Eastern and Northern Districts of California. He lives with his family in Mill Valley, California.

Selected Presentations & Publications

  • From Notes on a Napkin to Series A: Representing Startups and Emerging Growth Companies, Bar Association of California Continuing Education of the Bar, 2002 – 2015.
  • Exit Planning: What Every CEO, Business Owner and Board Advisor Needs to Know, TiE Interconnect, November 2010
  • Term Sheets for Early Stage Private Financing Transactions From Start-Up to Series A, University of Maryland Robert Smith School of Business Entrepreneurship Program, 2006
  • “The Survey of the Law of Cyberspace – developments in online copyright cases” – The Business Lawyer, November 2015.
  • Privacy and Data Security Soup To Nuts, ABA Business Section, Business Law Basics series, 2015
  • “Launching the New Online Business,” The IP Deskbook for the Business Lawyer, second edition, and third edition 2012, ABA Publishing.
  • The Law of the Internet, Introduction, Second Edition, ABA Publishing 2012.
  • “Survey of the Law of Cyberspace – Trademarks,” The Business Lawyer, November 2009
  • ”Like” My Brand: Promoting and Defending IP on Social Media, California Continuing Education of The Bar, social media series Spring, 2014.
  • Trademarks and the Startup or Early-Stage Company, Institute for the Young Business Lawyer, March, 2012.

Education

  • JD UCLA School of Law (1990)
  • B.A., cum laude Dartmouth College (1985)

Admissions and Courts

  • California
  • Central, Eastern and Northern Districts of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit

Languages

  • French
  • German