Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland understands the law and technology of e-commerce and electronic payment systems and helps clients shape the future of digital commerce.
Sutherland's Payments and E-Commerce lawyers guide clients through the complex interplay of business trends, technological developments, intellectual property matters, and banking and financial regulations. Our lawyers’ deep understanding enables them to ask the right questions and anticipate potential problems when structuring a joint venture, acquisition or when trying to raise capital. We know the current norms in the industry on terms for joint ventures, growth equity and acquisitions. We also analyze the important intellectual property issues that frequently arise in this industry. In addition, we help our clients attract and retain exceptional talent through employee benefits and executive compensation know-how, and bring to bear broad knowledge of corporate law, securities, finance, taxation and litigation.
Our clients are some of the largest companies in the payments and e-commerce arena as well as some of the rising stars. Our lawyers stay abreast of the technological developments in e-commerce that have increased this market's size significantly since 2008 and revolutionized how customers select goods and services and make payments—including Mobile Wallet and M-Commerce transactions. We structure deals and establish business relationships that take into account all of the distinctive stress points in the industry.
In the payments area, we represent payments processors, financial institutions, and technology providers. In some areas, we represent numerous industry participants facing similar challenges. For example, we launched the Sutherland SALT Digital Economy Forum, which provides legislative monitoring and advocacy, as well as a venue for sharing insights and research, for businesses grappling with the complicated state and local tax landscape in the digital economy.
Business and technical understanding. We understand the business of payments and e-commerce, including knowing how payment systems work, and understanding the demands of intellectual property law, information security standards and the rules of card networks. This enables us to help clients find creative solutions to the legal issues raised when an innovative payments concept comes to market or a potential acquisition or joint venture is contemplated.
Independence. Our practice deliberately avoids tying itself to a single payment card issuer or network, to allow us to serve the needs of other participants in the market. This lets us build a reputation as objective legal professionals capable of aiding any payments or e-commerce business. As a result, we have contacts and relationships throughout the industry that we can bring into play as circumstances warrant.
Intellectual property savvy. IP represents one of the most important areas in e-commerce and payments. We know the patent landscape in the payments arena, enabling us to spot potential issues before detail patent searches are run. We regularly engage in domain name acquisitions, work with clients on Web 2.0 policies, web-content monetization and draft linking agreements. We handle infringement issues unique to the Internet (for example metatags and other electronic coding) and litigate and arbitrate claims of cybersquatting and online infringement.
Transactional experience. In a rapidly changing field like payments and e-commerce, mergers and acquisitions play a huge part in many companies' business strategy. We are adept at licensing and other transfers of technology; we help clients engaged in the development, manufacturing and sale of new technology and products. We know technology joint ventures and R&D agreements as well as outsourcing of IT and related computer/data services.
Nuts and Bolts
Our clients in this area include:
- E-commerce businesses
- Financial services companies
- Online retailers
- Specialty retailers
- Chemical distributors
- Hotel conglomerates
- Health care providers
- Luxury goods manufacturers
- Entertainment software providers
- Distance learning businesses
- Online training businesses
- Auction sites
- Affiliate marketing syndicates
- Electronic publishers
- Internet service providers
Our payments and e-commerce services include:
- M&A transactions involving purchases and sales of payments industry businesses and networks
- Purchases and sales of portfolios of payment card contracts and related assets
- Joint ventures and other strategic relationships involving parties engaged in the payment card industry, including referral arrangements among financial institutions, payment processors and independent sales organizations
- Analysis of issues related to the introduction of new types of payment products and structuring strategic alliances to bring them to market
- Advice on card network rules and compliance issues
- Implementation of mobile commerce products and services, including establishing relationships among application and infrastructure partners necessary to implement m-commerce products and services
- Technology and intellectual property licensing arrangements
- Review and analysis of the patent and intellectual property landscape related to payment cards, electronic payments and related financial services products
- Analysis of issues and implementation of solutions related to stored value cards, including structuring arrangements to address “breakage”
- Prosecution and litigation of patents and other intellectual property used in payment card and payment network applications
- Advice on the implication of banking and financial services laws and regulations to bank and non-bank financial services companies
Our m-commerce services include:
- Structuring and implementing multiparty arrangements for the development and implementation of mobile wallets
- Structuring and negotiating customer and supplier m-commerce transactions, including:
- joint marketing agreements
- carrier agreements
- software acquisition and implementation agreements
- manufacture and supply agreements
- infrastructure outsourcing agreements
- payment processing agreements
- financial institution and network agreements
- trusted service manager agreements
- Developing customer and supplier agreement forms for m-commerce solution providers.
Sutherland's lawyers combine an understanding of the business of electronic payments and e-commerce, knowledge of technological trends and extensive legal experience to find creative solutions for our clients.
Sutherland represents a global electronic payments company in the formation of a joint venture.
Sutherland served as lead counsel to a major global payment processing service corporation in its joint venture to create the largest U.S. provider of payment card processing services to merchants. We have represented this client in numerous other transactions and projects in the payments and technology fields.
Sutherland provides general patent advice to leading payment processing service and technology provider.
Sutherland serves a leading payment processing service and technology provider to financial institutions by providing patent counseling and worldwide patent prosecution services. Our guidance covers patent portfolio strategies, technology and intellectual property licensing and third-party patent issues.
Sutherland advises on international large-scale outsourcing.
Sutherland assists a payment processor/payment solutions provider with their multimillion dollar outsourcing arrangement.