Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


Energy & Clean Technology Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sutherland’s IP attorneys help energy and clean technology companies protect innovations, build assets, protect markets and develop income streams.

Companies in the energy and clean technology industries need savvy advice to swiftly protect their proprietary technologies in the face of increasing competition, evolving regulations and heightened cost pressures. Sutherland’s Intellectual Property Practice Group understands these pressures, as well as the wealth of opportunities that breakthroughs afford. Our IP Group provides the complete range of services that clients need to identify and protect their inventions and innovations. These services include patent, trademark and copyright prosecution, counseling, litigation and licensing, as well as trade secret and technology litigation and counseling, and intellectual property audits and evaluations. We help clients protect their technological advances, and ensure that no one infringes their proprietary technology.

We use our strong technical knowledge and industry experience to respond quickly to IP issues that energy and clean technology clients face. A number of our attorneys have earned undergraduate and advanced degrees in petroleum and chemical engineering, organic and inorganic chemistry, and mechanical and electrical engineering. Many of our attorneys worked as engineers, biochemists, researchers or professors within a variety of industries before coming to Sutherland, including in the upstream and downstream aspects of the oil and gas industry.

As consumers and governments increasingly recognize the importance of environmentally sustainable business practices, companies are investing in efforts to find more cost-efficient, green alternatives. Growing global demand for alternative energy sources, energy-efficient materials and safe food, air and water create business and legal challenges for companies. Sutherland is well-positioned to help companies as they strive to protect and enforce their critical proprietary technologies in this space.
Why Sutherland
Academic and industry experience.
Many of our IP attorneys have undergraduate and graduate training in energy and engineering issues. A significant number of our attorneys worked in various industries in technical, research or teaching capacities, so we understand the technical intricacies of our clients’ innovations.

Firm-wide resources. Our IP attorneys work closely with Sutherland colleagues in other fields, such as environmental, energy trading, tax, venture and corporate finance, real estate and litigation. This allows us to seamlessly handle all our clients’ issues, while ensuring that we remain focused on client goals and strategies.

Ability to litigate. When faced with infringement allegations, litigation may be the best course of action to protect invaluable intellectual property assets. Our IP litigation attorneys have proven track records in court. We are particularly adept at explaining highly complex IP issues to judges, juries, mediators and arbitrators.

Exceptional patent breadth. Most of our IP attorneys are registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and some have worked for government agencies. This experience allows us to anticipate concerns, issues and changing priorities and respond quickly.

International reach. We assist energy and clean technology clients in developing and implementing global patent strategies. We have significant experience working with foreign patent offices and have an extensive network of law firms throughout the world that provide seamless jurisdiction-specific service to our clients.

Nuts and Bolts
Our attorneys advise our energy and clean technology clients to protect and commercialize technologies in areas that include:

  • Agricultural chemicals and biotechnology
  • Aquaponics systems
  • Battery management systems
  • Biodegradable plastics
  • Biodiesel production equipment
  • Bioengineered ethanol fermentation
  • Biomass to energy conversion
  • Carbon black
  • Catalysts
  • Chemical processing equipment
  • Combustion control systems
  • Electro-chemistry
  • Emulsion polymers
  • Environmental control software systems
  • Enzymatic catalysis of organic compounds
  • Fuel cells
  • Hydrocarbons emissions compliance
  • Materials recovery and recycling
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Oil upgrading
  • Organic synthesis
  • Polymer extrusion equipment
  • Rheology control processes
  • Soil remediation
  • Solar energy generation and conversion
  • Surfactants
  • Syngas production
  • Turbine-related energy generation equipment
  • Water and air purification products for consumers and industry

We provide the full range of IP services for energy and clean technology clients, including:

  • Due diligence
  • Freedom-to-operate opinions
  • Intellectual property litigation, interferences and foreign oppositions
  • International patent prosecution
  • Licenses and other technology transfer agreements
  • Patent drafting
  • Patent landscaping
  • Patentability opinions

Take Action
The technical and industry knowledge that our attorneys possess, coupled with broad patent prosecution, licensing and litigation experience, result in a keen understanding of the legal issues affecting businesses in the energy and clean technology industries.

Selected Experience
Sutherland represents an international oilfield service company in acquisition of a global oilfield service technology firm.
Sutherland represented a publicly held, Austrian-based oilfield service company in its acquisition of a global downhole drilling technology company together with related intellectual property.

Sutherland advises major barge line on proprietary IP related to preparing and processing coal-biomass mixtures.
Sutherland advised a major barge line in connection with the development of proprietary intellectual property in the preparation and processing of coal-biomass mixtures. These services include due diligence, drafting and negotiation of various joint development and license agreements with third parties and general counseling.

Sutherland advises GE on patent counseling and prosecution.
Sutherland provides general patent counseling and prosecution services to GE related to green/renewable energy technologies.