Practice Areas & Industries: Burr & Forman LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Protecting the value of your business

For our clients who depend on proprietary products and technologies, business methods, and brand identification for their bottom line, no aspect of legal representation is more critical than the protection of intellectual property. Our intellectual property attorneys help clients develop appropriate strategies to identify and protect inventions and technology and, when necessary help our clients enforce their rights in those inventions and technology.

Our lawyers assist clients with all aspects of intellectual property law, including, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, domain name and internet issues, social media, privacy, licensing and protective agreements. We assist clients in transactions involving these critical assets, and we handle litigation related to each of these areas.

For many companies, a brand is the value of the company. We work diligently to assist clients with all stages of brand management from developing branding strategies, selecting and clearing marks, obtaining Federal and State registrations for those marks, developing and implementing appropriate licensing strategies, and enforcing the brand rights.

Our attorneys have experience in each of these areas as well as experience handling proceedings at the TTAB, conducting IP due diligence for transactions, handling domain name issues and litigating trademark related disputes including infringement, unfair competition and false advertising.

We assist clients in the registration of their copyright interests as well as the licensing and sale of their works. Our copyright attorneys regularly advise clients with respect to protectability of their works, infringement concerns, fair use, proper use of others' materials, and commercialization of their works. We also assist clients in developing appropriate internet policies that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Our patent attorneys evaluate our clients' inventions for patentability and infringement purposes, assist in obtaining patent protection for the inventions, develop profitable licensing strategies, and enforce those rights when appropriate. We assist clients with portfolio management, due diligence efforts, development and licensing agreements, and all aspects of patent prosecution.

Trade Secrets
First and foremost we work with clients to identify their trade secrets and develop plans to protect those trade secrets. Our services include development of an overall trade secret protection plan, preparation of confidentiality agreements, employee agreements, necessary manuals and other individualized policies. We work with clients to understand not only how to identify their trade secrets but how to take steps on a daily basis to protect and maintain their rights in these trade secrets.

Technology Transactions and IP Due Diligence
In conjunction with our mergers and acquisitions group, we assist clients in transactions involving their intellectual property assets. We help clients determine the value of the intellectual property, assess their intellectual property portfolios, identify areas for growth, and verify IP ownership, and negotiate the corresponding transaction documents to close the deal.

Our IP attorneys prepare and negotiate technology agreements to manage rights in our clients' intellectual property, including licenses, assignments, joint development agreements, and research agreement. We regularly work with our clients to develop strategies for exploiting an existing intellectual property portfolio and maximizing its value as well as to license necessary inbound technologies on favorable terms.

Intellectual Property Litigation
Our attorneys represent and defend our clients' interests in federal and state courts and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Our intellectual property litigation group has experience handling trademark, copyright, unfair competition, trade secret, and patent claims as well as claims of unfair competition, false advertising, counterfeiting, and antitrust violations.

Our technology attorneys focus on all aspects of representing technology based companies. We work with these companies throughout their life assisting with start-up issues specific to technology companies, techniques and strategies for protecting and exploiting their technology, development of appropriate employee agreements and policies, development of licensing strategies, acquisitions of related technologies, and when the time comes, due diligence and assistance in negotiating the best exit strategy for the company. Our technology expertise includes representation of clients and handling transactions in the software, biotechnology, entertainment, health care, manufacturing, consumer products, telecommunications, life sciences, food and beverage, energy, hospitality, and franchise industries.


Contract Negotiation for Country's Largest Industrial Project
Represent owner in the construction of a $5 billion heavy industrial manufacturing facility in Alabama. This representation includes drafting and negotiating construction contracts, equipment purchase contracts, equipment erection contracts, purchase order terms and conditions, logistics contracts, and consulting contracts. Representation of this client also includes managing construction claims, and defending against contract and project disputes.

Disposition of Assets
Represented Bill Heard Enterprises in the disposition of 8 automotive dealerships and the winding down of 12 other dealerships during the first quarter of 2009. Dealerships were located in Tennessee, Nevada, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Alabama. Transactions were negotiated and closed as part of the Chapter 11 reorganization of Bill Heard Enterprises and its subsidiaries conducted in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The firm handled the bankruptcy proceeding and dealt with complex franchise and financing issues in conveying the assets to eventual purchasers. Sales procedures included controlled auction sales of several of the businesses.

Global Settlement
Represented limited liability properties corporation in Global Settlement of $51 Million Bank Loans to three affiliated syndicated real estate investment limited partnerships. The scope of the transaction involved negotiation of settlement agreement with a large bank, formation of holding company for the consolidation of real property owned by the investment partnerships, the consolidation of the restructured bank debt, tax planning on formation of the holding company and restructure of the indebtedness.

Sale of Assets
Represented National Car Credit, Inc., a finance and insurance services company with operations in four states, in the sale of substantially all its assets to Crescent Bank and Trust Company, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The transaction closed in the second quarter of 2009. Assets consisted primarily of active retail installment contracts and other accounts receivable, as well as tangible personal property and related systems and software. Real estate assets were also conveyed.

Sale of Assets
Represent the sellers of a large, multiple location family-owned pharmacy business to a national pharmacy chain buyer.