Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland works closely with medical technology pioneers to effectively protect innovations that may improve millions of lives.
Medical device companies face a complicated and evolving landscape that presents unique challenges in developing and monetizing medical device innovations. Members of Sutherland's medical devices team hold science and engineering degrees that complement their legal training and experience. Several members have advanced technical degrees or medical industry experience. These backgrounds provide them with unique insight into the intellectual property matters they handle for our clients—they understand the technology and the legal implications of innovations in the medical devices field. Our team is well-versed in various disciplines from chemistry, molecular genetics, microbiology and immunology to cellular biology, medicine, and pharmacology, as well as in neuroscience, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering.
We work with clients engaged in a range of technologies including: biomaterials; biosensors and diagnostic systems; transdermal and implantable drug delivery systems; nanofiber tissue engineering; bioadhesives and orthopedic, cardiovascular and neurological devices. Sutherland clients include private and public research institutions and universities, investors, non-profit corporations, start-up businesses and established, publicly traded multinationals. We regularly handle patentability opinions, patent application drafting, and domestic and international patent prosecution and enforcement. Our team also routinely provides freedom-to-operate opinions, performs IP transaction due diligence, negotiates and drafts licensing and other technology transfer agreements, and enforces our clients’ IP rights in opposition proceedings and litigation when necessary.
To support our clients’ needs, we assemble a mix of legal talents drawing not only on our intellectual property attorneys but also on those with a focus on corporate structuring, tax matters, employment and labor law, product liability and regulatory issues. The result is a team chosen to suit the technological focus and legal needs of each client.
Technical qualifications. Several of our medical devices team members hold degrees in technical fields, many at the postgraduate level, in addition to their legal qualifications. They have studied and taught at the university level in fields including biology, chemistry and engineering. As a result, they possess unique insight into the legal needs and potentials of our clients, with whom they can discuss matters as equals.
Multidisciplinary approach. The commercial and financial landscape facing our medical device clients requires varied talents to effectively manage their legal needs. Our team readily calls on firm colleagues to draw on the knowledge that resides in our tax, finance, product liability and litigation departments—all working in concert to achieve our clients’ objectives.
Deep patent understanding. Our attorneys have engaged in virtually every aspect of intellectual property law as it relates to medical devices. They are capable of handling all aspects in patent portfolio management, from prosecution to licensing and transfers, to enforcement and litigation.
Commercialization capabilities. Our attorneys regularly help create appropriate corporate structures to exploit the latest technical developments, craft strategies to minimize our clients' tax liabilities, and work with investors to provide seed capital. They ensure that employment agreements maintain confidentiality, that clinical trials meet regulatory requirements, and that stakeholders from investors to patients benefit from technological advances.
Broad client base. Our medical device team has worked with virtually every type of client in many different scientific fields. We counsel private research institutions and public research universities. Our team advises non-profits, start-up enterprises and established multinationals. This diversity strengthens our practice for both existing and future clients by exposing our lawyers to a variety of legal issues; the creative solutions that apply in one field often apply in others.
Nuts and Bolts
We have worked with patents in a broad range of medical device technologies, including:
- Biomaterials for treating urinary incontinence
- Devices useful in interventional cardiology
- Drug-eluting cardiovascular stents
- Hydrogel biomaterials for vascular embolization
- Implantable devices for neuro-stimulation
- Mechanical devices for vascular graft vessel growth
- Microfabricated implantable biosensors
- Microneedle patches for transdermal drug delivery
- Molecular microarray diagnostics
- Nanofiber tissue engineering scaffolding
- Orthopedic and dental implants
- Rapid blood warming infusion pump devices
Sutherland offers IP legal services for clients who seek to develop and commercialize medical technology products. Our services include:
- Patent drafting and U.S. and foreign patent prosecution
- Patentability analysis and opinions
- Patent infringement analysis and strategy counseling
- Product clearance and freedom to operate opinions
- Intellectual property due diligence
- Technology transfer, licensing and other cooperative research, commercialization and development agreements
- Complex intellectual property litigation and interferences
- Regulatory matters before agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Organization of corporations, partnerships and LLCs
- Angel, seed and venture capital financing
- Initial public offerings
- Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
Sutherland's IP attorneys combine legal talent with technical qualifications to protect and advance the interests of our medical device clients. Using their knowledge and drawing on the talents of attorneys in other parts of the firm, they provide comprehensive support in this highly technical industry.
Sutherland handles IP needs of developer of cardiovascular products, hemostatic materials and protein hydrogel products.
Sutherland handles the intellectual property needs of a Georgia-based, publicly traded biological medical device company that develops cardiovascular products, hemostatic materials and protein hydrogel products. This service includes domestic and foreign patent and trademark prosecution, IP counseling and opinions, and portfolio management, as well as intellectual property transaction diligence and other IP counseling.
Sutherland represents two universities in microneedle patent prosecution and subsequent portfolio management.
Sutherland represents two research universities in patent prosecution and portfolio management of licensed microneedle technology for ocular drug delivery.
Sutherland helps client build portfolio of 150 patents to protect pioneering implantable device.
We provided patent prosecution and IP counseling services to help our client build a portfolio of more than 150 domestic and foreign patents and applications to protect a new generation of implantable drug delivery devices and biosensors.