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San Francisco, CA

Jonathan Rubens

Moscone Emblidge and Rubens LLP


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, and he also represents clients in commercial finance transactions. Jon’s work on M&A transactions has included working with closely held and family businesses in selling the enterprise to private equity and strategic buyers, he has been engaged to represent management teams and individual shareholders or shareholder groups involved in large transactions, and he has served as local counsel and US counsel for non-US strategic and financial buyers in transactions involving US-based targets. He also works with enterprise clients on financing transactions ranging from seed financing and early-stage debt to venture and later-stage growth equity financings

Over the years, Jon 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 14 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 is the editor-in-chief of the Business Law Section’s publication Business Law Today, he was previously on the Section’s leadership council, and he is a former 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 Credit d’Equipment des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises in Paris, studying developments in small business lending and early-­stage financing.

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