Practice/Industry Group Overview
Lawyers in Mayer Brown’s Intellectual Property practice select the right options to fit each client’s business strategy, whether they are assessing an IP portfolio, performing due diligence for an acquisition, securing a patent, trademark, trade secret or copyright, or using litigation to resolve business disputes over infringement or misappropriation. We help our clients protect their investment, increase their market share and strengthen their competitive advantage. We are true interactive partners with every client.
We take a multidisciplinary approach to today’s emerging issues in the development, protection and exploitation of intellectual property assets. We are uniquely positioned with a full-service IP practice that is fully integrated with other practices, providing antitrust guidance on transactions and competition disputes and unsurpassed appellate capabilities before the federal courts, the US Supreme Court and international tribunals. Because today’s economy transcends national borders, we offer comprehensive assistance in key business centers around the world.
This global capability encompasses a large team of IP practitioners, located throughout the United States (with many of them admitted before the US Patent and Trademark Office), in each of the key European business centers, particularly London and Frankfurt, and in Brazil. Furthermore, our recent merger with Johnson Stokes & Master, one of the oldest and largest law firms in Asia, gives us a strong presence in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Thailand and Vietnam. In addition, we have relationships with firms around the globe to help us meet our clients’ worldwide IP needs.
Mayer Brown was ranked by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Firms 2013 as a Tier 1 firm across the board, for IP Litigation, Patent Litigation, Copyright, Patent and Trademark Law. In addition, leading ranking publications such as Chambers and Partners, Legal 500 and IAM Patent 1000 continually recognize our Intellectual Property group's excellence in the marketplace. Chambers USA 2012 noted that clients describe our lawyers favorably, mentioning that they “treat us like partners; communication is fantastic and they make sure that we always understand what is going on.”
The fact that we handle a full range of complex technologies reflects the fact that many of our lawyers have technical degrees in such fields as electrical and mechanical engineering, computer science, chemistry and microbiology. A number of them have worked as scientists and engineers before becoming lawyers. We thus know not only IP law, but its practical application.
Litigation and Enforcement
Clients throughout the world rely on Mayer Brown to fully protect their intellectual property assets and to aggressively enforce them. We represent clients as plaintiffs and defendants in claims involving patent, trademark and copyright infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, trade secret misappropriation and IP-related antitrust violations. At the federal trial court level in the United States, we handle disputes involving a variety of applications, including pharmaceutical, business method, biotech and electronics. In addition, our litigators have a proven track record of success with Section 337 litigation at the International Trade Commission. Because of our firm’s strong antitrust practice, we can handle any IP claim that has antitrust implications.
With the nation’s oldest and largest appellate and Supreme Court practice group, Mayer Brown is highly experienced at handling IP cases in the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit. The scope of our appellate experience means greater efficiency and effectiveness for our clients at every level of the appellate process.
We also conduct complex IP litigation before the specialized chambers of German District Courts, Courts of Appeals and the German Supreme Court (where upwards of 70 percent of the European patent litigation occurs), and are active in the courts of the United Kingdom and France, as well as the European Court of Justice and Court of First Instance. For clients with cross-border IP disputes, our lawyers appear before the International Trade Commission, the American Arbitration Association, and the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.
Counseling and Prosecution
Mayer Brown gives intellectual property clients a comprehensive approach to their IP portfolio. We work with clients in developing and protecting their intellectual property to meet current business objectives and to anticipate future needs. By taking such a complete approach to IP portfolio management, we can begin to protect IP assets from the moment of creation and help clients build a profitable IP portfolio. This approach includes leveraging Mayer Brown’s firm-wide capabilities to ensure maximum tax advantage, effective licensing protection and even the securitization of revenue streams from intellectual property assets.
We excel at working in collaboration with clients to create a strategic plan for building and protecting all IP assets. Our lawyers will identify any necessary steps to change the way rights are developed and protected, including trade secret procedures, employment agreements, registration and enforcement. Such broad strategic vision is typical of all Mayer Brown’s intellectual property services–and is why companies that have invested in developing their intellectual property assets depend on us.
With our broad technical experience, we prepare and prosecute patent applications across a full spectrum of technologies–pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, electrical and mechanical products, software and business methods. In addition to a cadre of experienced patent attorneys and agents in the United States, we work with local patent counsel around the world to ensure our clients’ inventions are protected.
Add to all this such advantages as secure, web-based extranet access to patent and trademark files for lower cost and better communication, and our patent and trademark prosecution strengths offer a clear competitive edge to every client.
We regularly counsel companies, helping them to accelerate their market penetration through strategic business combinations and alliances. We routinely work in conjunction with our Corporate, Antitrust, Tax and Securitization practices on transactional matters, including the negotiation and preparation of domestic and international license and transfer agreements, due diligence reviews and intellectual property ownership strategies in connection with corporate mergers, acquisitions, divestures, stock offerings, joint ventures and corporate reorganizations.
Whether the transaction is a pure licensing arrangement, a joint venture, a strategic alliance or some other arrangement, we can advise on the regulatory and antitrust implications as well as the IP issues. Our firm excels at helping clients navigate the increasingly congested intersection between intellectual property and antitrust, both in the United States and Europe. One of our lawyers was involved in drafting the 1995 DOJ and FTC Guidelines on the Licensing of Intellectual Property, which also influenced EU antitrust policies. We thus can offer effective insight on structuring intellectual property rights pools and distribution agreements (including field of use, geographic and price restraints) in ways to avoid problems with the competition laws in any global jurisdiction.
Our transactional innovation works in other ways, too. Using the resources of one of the world’s leading Structured Finance practices, Mayer Brown helped pioneer the securitization of IP assets by representing the underwriters of future royalty streams from music portfolios, and continues to structure offerings involving numerous copyrighted works and trademark rights. We see opportunities other firms don’t–and help our clients take advantage of them.