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Two Recent Developments in Bankruptcy Law: SCOTUS on Trademarks & the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019

Produced on October 03, 2019

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Course Information

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC that a debtor’s rejection of a trademark license agreement in which it is the licensor, does not deprive the non-debtor licensee of its right to use the trademark. This decision resolved a split among several of the federal Courts of Appeal about how a debtor-licensor’s rejection of a trademark agreement in bankruptcy affects the rights of the non-debtor licensee.

In addition, in August 2019, the President of the United States signed the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 into law. This law, which will become effective in February 2020, is designed to foster successful restructurings of small businesses, and thereby save jobs and preserve enterprise value. By creating more expeditious Chapter 11 procedures, this law promises to expand the class of small business debtors who may benefit from restructuring in bankruptcy. Join Tannenbaum’s Michael Riela as he addresses these two major developments in bankruptcy law.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Dissect the Supreme Court’s holding in Mission Product Holdings v. Tempnology, LLC, and its implications on trademark licenses and other types of executory contracts in bankruptcy
  2. Identify the principal provisions of the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 and how they may change the way that small businesses restructure their obligations in Chapter 11

Credit Information

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Michael Riela

Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP

Mike Riela is a partner in Tannenbaum Helpern’s Creditors’ Rights and Business Reorganization practice. With more than 15 years of experience, Mike advises companies on complex restructuring, distressed M&A, loan transactions and bankruptcy related litigation matters. Mike has in-depth experience in advising clients on corporate and real estate bankruptcies, workouts, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, debtor-in-possession (DIP) and bankruptcy exit loan facilities, secondary market trading of distressed debt and trade claims, Section 363 sales and bankruptcy retention and fee agreements and disputes. His clients include banks, administrative agents, indenture trustees, hedge funds, private equity firms, professional services firms, trade creditors, contract counterparties, shareholders, debtors and investors.

Mike has represented buyers of assets in Section 363 and out-of-court sales from sellers such as Evergreen Solar, Inc., Sonic Telecommunications International, Ltd, Urban Communicators PCS Limited Partnership, US Aggregate, Inc., and Vectrix Corporation, as well as representing lenders, trustees and administrative agents in major Chapter 11 cases and workouts such as Delta Air Lines, Inc., Extended Stay Inc., Buffets Inc., Legends Gaming LLC, Nortel Networks, Premier International Holdings Inc., and many others.

Mike also works with clients on cybersecurity and data privacy issues, including the assessment and investigation of information security and data breach incidents. Before any data breaches occur, Mike prepares and helps clients implement written information security programs, systems access policies, and incident response plans. After clients suffer a breach, Mike assists with their response and advises on their legal duties, including clients’ duties under various security breach notification laws.

Prior to joining Tannenbaum Helpern, Mike was a shareholder at Vedder Price and was a counsel at Latham & Watkins. He has been recently selected to serve on the 2016 Bankruptcy editorial advisory board for the Law360 publication.


David S.

Great overview of the new small chapter 11.

Rachel C.

Thought-provoking and interesting!

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