Practice Areas & Industries: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sullivan & Cromwell’s Intellectual Property and Technology Group brings together lawyers from all aspects of the Firm’s practice to assist clients around the world with the full spectrum of intellectual property and technology issues that confront today’s businesses. These include enforcing patents, trademarks and other intellectual property rights against infringers and defending claims of infringement; negotiating, structuring and advising on transactions involving technology and intellectual property, including complex patent licenses; assessing and managing intellectual property risks in various corporate transactions; providing advice regarding intellectual property protection and strategy; and obtaining security interests in intellectual property. Lawyers in the Group are regularly recognized as leading intellectual property practitioners by prominent legal media, including Chambers, Lawdragon, New York Super Lawyers, Northern California Super Lawyers and The Los Angeles Area’s Best Lawyers. The Group has a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes for our clients across multiple disciplines, including:

IP Litigation

Litigators in S&C’s Intellectual Property and Technology Group have extensive experience in handling complex intellectual property disputes, including those that raise competition law isues. We have substantial trial experience and frequently appear in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

  • S&C litigators are not solely “patent” counsel who handle only technical and scientific cases; they have a wide range of experience, enabling them to communicate effectively with judges and juries regardless of the complexity of the technology involved.
  • The Group’s success in directing large and important litigation enables the Firm to provide outstanding representation in the most complex and difficult intellectual property lawsuits.
  • The Firm’s lawyers take a multidisciplinary approach to every matter. Because many, if not most, intellectual property litigation now involves antitrust issues (sometimes pleaded in the form of a patent misuse defense), the lawyers in the Group are well-suited to handle such matters because of the Firm’s complementary antitrust experience.

IP Transactions

S&C provides specialized advice to clients relating to transactions involving intellectual property and technology.

  • S&C advises on numerous intellectual property and antitrust issues that arise in complex licensing, including with respect to patent pools. Our lawyers regularly speak about these issues, and their publications are widely cited. S&C has represented a number of clients in connection with the formation of patent pools involving standardized technologies such as MPEG-2, MPEG-4, IEEE 1394, DRM, Blu-ray disc, HDDVD, CD, DVB-T, ATSC, VC-1 and others. Our practice in this area extends outside the U.S. to the European Commission and other governmental or regulatory agencies.
  • We have extensive experience in structuring, drafting and negotiating licensing, development, joint venture, manufacturing, supply, commercialization, outsourcing, settlement and other transactions in which intellectual property and technology are critical.
  • We regularly advise on intellectual property and technology issues in significant and complex mergers and acquisitions, financings and other corporate transactions.
  • We are well-versed in transactions involving patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and other intellectual property rights, as well as issues relating to e-commerce, open source software, and rights of publicity and privacy. The Firm has been heavily involved in the development and regulation of financial markets and exchanges and IP-related litigation stemming from these areas.

IP Counseling

S&C regularly counsels clients on a wide range of strategic and day-to-day intellectual property related issues associated with the development, acquisition and maintenance of intellectual property portfolios. We routinely consult with clients about the development and management of intellectual property, including trademark clearance, brand strategy, patent licensing programs, the establishment and maintenance of website policies, trade secret protection and tax planning. We also assist companies in the interpretation and application of various licensing arrangements.

Selected Clients

Recognized for its superior track record, S&C’s Intellectual Property Group is retained, year after year, as counsel to leading companies worldwide in many of their most significant and complex intellectual property matters. The Group’s clients have included The Clearing House Association, Columbia University, Dyson, Eisai, France Telecom, j2 Global Communications, Mitsubishi, MPEG LA, Novo Nordisk, NXP Semiconductors, Omnicom Group, Panasonic (f/k/a Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.), Philips Electronics, Sony, Technicolor (f/k/a Thomson), Tudor Investment and VeriFone.