With the pace of change of both technology and its marketplaces always far ahead the legal and regulatory environment in which it operates, counsel that is both experienced and informed is vital. Duane Morris has a dedicated group of tech attorneys with vast, industry-specific experience who utilize an interdisciplinary approach to the financial, transactional, regulatory and dispute resolution issues affecting clients in the technology, media and telecom space.
At Duane Morris, our goal is to address these unusually complex matters in an integrated and strategic manner, knowing that technology businesses hire AmLaw 100 firms for their leveraged value-added and superior resources, which only a sophisticated few national and international law firms can offer. Fortune 50 and 500 corporations, internet content providers, e-commerce firms, hardware and device manufacturers, technology start-ups, enterprise software and IT customers, emerging growth companies and venture capital fund managers all regularly look to Duane Morris attorneys for our best-of-breed technical knowledge and legal judgment.
Duane Morris lawyers work in such complementary legal disciplines as intellectual property, corporate formation and finance, licensing and business transactions, antitrust, complex commercial litigation, international trade, regulation, employment and taxation, among others. To better illustrate the scale, our group can be divided into a number of principal subdivisions:
Duane Morris attorneys have a broad range of experience handling regulatory issues for technology, media and telecom companies of all types, from equipment manufacturers, and software companies to internet service providers and wireless network operators. We’ve handled FCC licensing issues, regulatory approval for mergers and acquisitions, federal and state policy rulemakings, various enforcement proceedings, and issues regarding communications-related consumer protection laws, as well as right of way and fiber optic facility construction.
It’s key for any technology business to pay careful attention to the fundamentals of corporate formation and funding. Without a solid base of bylaws and incorporation papers, employment and securities agreements and financing instruments, no technology venture of any size can expect to prosper, let alone remain compliant with the maze of state and federal rules governing stock and option grants, HR and related corporate policies. Duane Morris offers clients a complete spectrum of venture capital, corporate finance, employment and securities law counsel. Our attorneys take pride in their hands-on philosophy and foundational understanding of clients' technological differentiation and the corporate/M&A parameters affecting each client's exit or liquidity strategies. We offer securities and M&A counseling and services with individualized representation on both transactional and compliance matters. For entrepreneurs and investors (institutional or accredited), we tailor advice with philosophy that stretches from the garage table to the NYSE boardroom for technology clients at every stage of their development.
Corporations are falling victim to cyberattacks that are growing in frequency, complexity and ferocity. Companies, large and small, are increasingly a target of sophisticated attempts to steal their data and compromise their systems as lawmakers around the world are struggling to keep up. Duane Morris cybersecurity lawyers have experience dealing with these type of attacks, using the benefit of our extensive contacts to help an organization detect, contain and respond to an attack. In most jurisdictions, the attorney client privilege of our lawyers will be recognized with an appropriately structured team. Our cybersecurity team includes lawyers in Asia, Europe and the U.S. with extensive knowledge of the technology, regulatory compliance, media relations, public perception and potential liability issues. From preventative planning, through discovering a breach and dealing with its aftermath, we help our clients protect themselves, their data, their customers and employees—and, most of all, their future.
Duane Morris attorneys have a broad range of experience in connection with legislation and public policy, at both the state and federal levels. The technology industry attracts frequent political attention, resulting in high-profile legislative initiatives and investigations. Many issues of regulatory significance to companies and customers will first, or simultaneously, be considered legislatively, as administrative agencies tend to be particularly receptive to informal congressional suasion. Conversely, clients faced with a renegade or uncooperative regulator often find it advantageous to increase their leverage by identifying legislative allies. Our lawyers have the legislative experience and bona fides to represent clients in all aspects of supporting, opposing and amending technology, media and telecom-related legislation.
Duane Morris' attorneys have significant experience in intellectual property and commercial litigation involving technology, media and telecom, including software copyright, source code infringement and fair use, business method and Internet-related patents, standards and anticompetitive practices, and employee non-compete agreements. We have substantial experience in public policy issues affecting technology, including FCC and FTC regulations, which are often litigated in the context of Administrative Procedure Act appeals from and challenges to regulatory agency actions. Duane Morris has lawyers experienced in complex litigation relating to failed software and systems development projects and advise clients on their legal remedies and, if necessary, prosecute and defend civil actions arising from systems failures, software license disputes and intellectual property matters. Our attorneys also utilize arbitration and mediation options where appropriate to assist clients in resolving disputes as quickly and economically as possible.
For media and communications industry clients, Duane Morris attorneys provide astute interpretation of the law and application of tested approaches to addressing their legal and business challenges. As the speed, reach and number of communication avenues proliferate at a rate that far outpaces changes to the law, we also develop novel solutions to the new issues that continually arise, whether they relate to data protection and privacy; libel, defamation and First Amendment law; regulatory and advocacy issues; or commercial litigation and enforcement. With lawyers in major markets across the U.S. and around the world, we represent social media platforms; large broadcast, newspaper and online content companies; internet service providers; and bloggers, authors and other industry leaders on matters affecting the wide range of communication channels.
Duane Morris patent litigators have handled disputes in fields such as software and systems, semiconductor manufacturing, display and content delivery systems, internet and email related technologies, optical disc technology, holographic imaging systems, data encryption, factory automation, energy technology and more. Our patent litigators combine mastery in trial advocacy, an in-depth knowledge of patent law, an aptitude for science and technology and a focus on our clients' business objectives. We represent clients in enforcing their patents, defending against claims of patent infringement, and disputes concerning inventorship and ownership of patents, and patent licenses. Our attorneys practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and many hold technical or scientific degrees in fields ranging from computer science to electrical, mechanical, chemical and nuclear engineering. Our approach makes it easier for clients to transfer complex technical information and enables us to present that to judges and juries in a simple and persuasive way. Duane Morris attorneys combine extensive trial experience as lead counsel in litigation before state and federal courts, as well as unique trial experience within the USPTO, to help clients take advantage of, and respond to, inter partes review (IPR).
Duane Morris is recognized as one of the United States' most-active law firms in terms of patent filing and protection. National publications, including U.S. News and World Report, have ranked Duane Morris among the leading law firms handling intellectual property, patents and patent-related issues. Our patent lawyers represent clients involving a wide variety of complex technologies, including business systems and methods, computer systems and software, chemical processes and products, electronic instruments, manufacturing processes and equipment, security and monitoring equipment, and telecommunications equipment, to name a few. Clients rely on the specific knowledge of Duane Morris' registered patent attorneys and agents to obtain patentability opinions, prepare and file U.S. patent applications in all subject matters and disciplines, and render validity and infringement opinions. We also coordinate with our international networks of law firms to secure and maintain patent protection throughout the world. Our Intellectual Property attorneys thoroughly grasp the science and technology behind each client's ideas. Many of the firm's patent lawyers and agents have science or engineering backgrounds, including real world experience in their respective disciplines.
The collection, retention, use and protection of personally identifiable or confidential information, including customer data, medical records, employee records and proprietary corporate information, is rapidly becoming businesses’ most valuable asset, and also biggest risk area. Attorneys at Duane Morris regularly handle security breaches and are highly knowledgeable about privacy and security laws—including U.S. federal laws, state laws and legislation in Europe and Asia—and frequently provide clients with compliance and auditing advice on privacy and security exposure. We have extensive experience in regulated industries (e.g., healthcare, financial services, telecom, insurance, etc.) and consult on the collection, processing and transmission of data outside the United States and pursuant to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other laws. Our attorneys develop and draft Web privacy policies and corporate IT security and technology policies, conduct compliance training for employees, assist in the legal aspects of IT security audits, and prepare data retention policies and reports (including issues involving the security of data in third-party data centers). As class action and related litigation arising from breaches increases, our lawyers are also well positioned to handle these often high-profile cases.
Attorneys in the Duane Morris Technology Transactions, Licensing and Commercial Contracts group assist a wide range of clients with maximizing company value from the intellectual property and technology assets that they own or license from third parties. Drawing on the resources of Duane Morris' Intellectual Property and Corporate practice groups, the attorneys in the group combine the elements of an intellectual property practice with a commercial transactions practice. They are trained in the best practices in these disciplines, enabling them to provide guidance on a wide range of intellectual property and business issues involved in IP licensing and technology matters and transactions.
Alternative Dispute Resolution in the technology space is highly specialized. Arbitrators, mediators and neutrals must not only be skilled at handling complex commercial disputes, but also be adept at understanding and translating technical details of emerging and intertwining technology and complex, multilayered implementations and systems. Leveraging experience gained representing technology clients for decades, Duane Morris can provide an experienced technology arbitrator, mediator or special master for cases involving software, intellectual property and information/data, with a focus on privacy, data security, Internet of Things (IOT), big data, wearable technology and all types of technology related disputes.
Duane Morris attorneys provide counsel to entities conducting business online on issues including website terms and conditions, common e-commerce risks—e.g., infringement, notice-and-takedown, unauthorized collection or disclosure of data, Internet-based defamation, etc.—website accessibility, taxation, Internet gaming, hacking, peer-to-peer file sharing, encryption, spam, blogs, phishing, and user data collection (including spyware/adware, cookies and bots). We structure contracts for website development and hosting, online sales, click-wrap or browse-wrap licenses, co-marketing and ad-share agreements and other online B2B or B2C agreements. Our lawyers are also adept at assisting both technology and general corporate clients with outsourcing deals, including electronic data interchange (EDI) and virtual data storage issues, and specifics regarding managed network services, data center operations, server hosting, help desk services, application development, maintenance and break-fix services and business process outsourcing. We regularly advise clients with respect to the RFP process, preparing and responding to requests for information, analyzing proposals and negotiating all varieties of resulting outsourcing agreements.
As Moore's Law results in faster and more powerful devices and exponentially expanding broadband capacity, the line between delivery services and the content carried thereon—whether video, sound/music, voice/chat or user-generated content—is becoming increasingly blurred. Duane Morris lawyers have represented providers of a wide array of content, including both legacy industries, such as the recording studios, and disruptive technologies like Web-enabled and mobile video distributors and social networks. Complex copyright and related IP issues are frequently presented in the course of developing a viable business plan for such technology ventures, with litigation a not-infrequent result. Our regulatory attorneys assist with the licensing or purchase of applicable wireless spectrum and compliance with the technical and service-oriented FCC and international rules governing its use, as well as importation and certification of telecom, computing and mobile devices.