Licensing and Transactions

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Overview

The value of any asset is determined by what someone will pay for it. This is particularly true for intellectual property. Poorly thought-out or strategically unsound deals can result in valuable IP assets failing to return adequate revenue, despite being of considerable underlying value. Rothwell Figg's Licensing and Transactions practice helps clients structure, negotiate, and execute agreements that translate innovation into income.

Our team specializes in developing IP licensing and agreements that are comprehensive, strategic, and maximize results for our clients. This can mean revenue, expansion of their IP base, or both. We guide them through the full range of IP-related transactions, including leveraging IP for out-licensing, in-licensing third party IP, navigating what technology is patentable or not patentable, and helping determine what technology should be maintained as trade secret/know-how information for purposes of licensing, and what should not.

Ideally, and increasingly, IP can be a major source of value and revenue for any enterprise, from a global behemoth to a promising startup. Because it is intangible, IP is also cross-border, and can be both the subject of a transaction and a source of competitive advantage, negotiating leverage, and just plain opportunity. In this setting – ever-changing, and keyed to IP – Rothwell Figg’s knowledgeable legal counsel, technical expertise, and strategic thinking is a major business force multiplier for our clients. We help their enterprises compete, and succeed.

First, and foremost, our licensing professionals provide world-class strategic guidance with licensing and technology agreements because they have a deep understanding of both the underlying technology, and perhaps more importantly, of each client’s specific business. Most of the attorneys in the group have advanced degrees in a pertinent technical/scientific field, relevant industry experience, or both. Out of the gate, we are conversant in the technical subject matter of the agreements with which we work. This not only makes us efficient practitioners, it enables us to frequently envision potential strategies clients have not considered. Innovative thinking like this goes a very long way when negotiating agreements.

Another major advantage we bring to the table is that we take a tailored approach to each client. We take the time and make the effort to develop a deep understanding of our clients’ business, from every angle. We dig deep, and learn their competitive strategy, their strengths and weaknesses, the probable trajectory and velocity of their markets, and most importantly, their goals. We work to understand their negotiating posture, and the personalities of the parties involved. With this knowledge, we develop a comprehensive, cost-effective strategy to protect their technology and power their growth. We very much do not believe in anything like a one-size-fits-all approach to licensing IP, and we also do not believe that the success of a transaction is measured simply by price. We strive to structure licensing transactions so that all the strategic factors are taken into account.

As part of this process, we also work to integrate ourselves into each client’s team. We typically work side-by-side with other professionals – in-house counsel, attorneys from other firms, accountants, consultants, experts in technology, and others – whose knowledge will help shape a transaction. Our expertise does not end at the border. We often work with clients who need counsel on global transactions, and in doing so, draw on Rothwell Figg’s experience at helping evaluate global patent portfolios.

Our ability to deliver this level of counsel is in many respects a deliberate byproduct of the size and nature of our firm. Our structure enables us to work effectively in focused teams, to staff cases with attorneys with both depth and breadth of experience, and when necessary, to bring considerable legal bench strength to complex or large engagements. It also results in attorneys who are not hyperspecialized and siloed. Rather, because most members of our team have both litigation and patent prosecution experience, they can bring a broader perspective to engagements, and provide commensurately better guidance.

Much of IP law is necessarily extremely specific, regimented, and narrow in scope. Transactions, which are where IP and the marketplace collide, shouldn’t be. By bringing a broader perspective, and a client-focused perspective, the Rothwell Figg Licensing and Transactions team delivers exemplary client service, strategy, and most importantly, results.

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