Technology Transactions and Licensing

Attorneys in the Duane Morris Technology Transactions & Licensing practice group assist a wide range of clients with maximizing company value from the intellectual property and technology assets that they own or license from third parties. Drawing on the resources of Duane Morris' Intellectual Property and Corporate practice groups, the attorneys in the group combine the elements of an intellectual property practice with a commercial transactions practice. They are trained in the best practices in these disciplines, enabling them to provide guidance on a wide range of intellectual property and business issues involved in IP licensing and technology matters and transactions.

Attorneys in the group have experience with clients in many industries, such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals; medical devices; diagnostics; life sciences; healthcare; information technologies, including hardware and software; Internet and e-commerce; telecommunications; video games; entertainment; retail; and financial services. Attorneys in the group work with companies of all sizes at all stages of development, including emerging growth companies, middle-market companies and established vendors of technology goods and services, to partner or sell their IP and technology assets. They also assist clients to in-license or otherwise acquire IP and technology assets, as well as to establish technology service arrangements.

Attorneys in the Technology Transactions & Licensing practice group counsel clients on structuring, negotiating and implementing collaborative and licensing transactions that often have a significant impact on a company's business. With their extensive experience in these types of transactions and knowledge of both sides of contract issues, our attorneys assist clients on establishing the core IP and business terms and structure of the deal. They also act as problem solvers for complex and difficult contract issues. Clients value the ability of the attorneys in the group to manage the deal negotiation process in an effort to maximize speed-to-signing while minimizing legal expenses.

Duane Morris Technology Transaction & Licensing practice group attorneys frequently help clients with regard to:

  • Joint ventures and strategic alliances
  • Collaboration and co-development agreements
  • In-bound and out-bound patent and technology licenses
  • Third-party arrangements with employees and consultants
  • Manufacturing and supply agreements
  • Distribution and reseller arrangements
  • Branding and marketing arrangements
  • Business process outsourcing arrangements
  • Nondisclosure agreements

Attorneys in the group work closely with attorneys in the firm from other practice areas, which are often relevant for technology transactions, such as FDA; antitrust; bankruptcy; export control; government contracting; revenue recognition rules; security interests; and complex, multi-jurisdictional issues relating to privacy and security of information.

In conjunction with deal structuring, attorneys in the group also assist clients with IP due diligence, and their strategic planning and/or open innovation strategies, including assessing and identifying the client's existing intellectual property; advising on protecting this intellectual property and counseling on areas of growth and the potential for licensing; and acquiring and selling intellectual property in order to realize maximum value for the business. For software matters, attorneys in the group advise on open source issues.

Attorneys in the group also assist clients with IP management and audits, including software audits.

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"In my discussions with Duane Morris leaders, they frequently speak about how diversity within their firm has enabled them to better serve their diverse clients. They understand that investing in diversity is a wise business decision that positions them for the marketplace of the future."

Don Liu
Senior VP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Xerox Corporation

At Duane Morris, achieving diversity is paradoxical. By supporting and celebrating the differences of our attorneys - and the individual strengths that they bring - our firm culture expands, fostering creative solutions for our clients. But diversity at Duane Morris does not mean that we have a certain number of diverse attorneys; true diversity means that it is no longer noteworthy to see diverse lawyers leading our practice groups or managing client relationships. Ascending to positions of leadership and greater responsibility and providing the highest levels of client service is simply what is expected of all our lawyers. Diversity is another strong asset that adds to our collective abilities to meet the needs of our clients.

Our vision of diversity at Duane Morris is to realize an environment in which our lawyers' outstanding qualities are not just measured by ethnicity, race, gender and sexual orientation, but more importantly, that our lawyers are remarkable as excellent attorneys above all else. Only then can we celebrate our differences while focusing on the common pursuit of legal excellence which everyone shares at Duane Morris.

To reach this goal, Duane Morris understands that the familiar diversity strategies and policies that most law firms have are needed. Without demanding results from such policies, most law firms are bound to fail in even achieving numerical hiring and retention goals. Duane Morris has been proactive and ambitious in its efforts to improve diversity at the firm, and has set deadlines for reaching the milestones which mark our progress. To create a more diverse law firm, Duane Morris is:

  • Committed to strategically increasing our diversity levels, which is currently at 10 percent.
  • Bringing together our Diversity Committee and our Hiring and Retention Committee to raise diversity as an important factor in our hiring decisions.
  • Dedicated to improving retention by building upon our monitoring and mentoring program for all diverse associates.

Combining new initiatives with our longstanding diversity efforts, Duane Morris has seen increasingly positive results. In the Minority Law Journal's annual diversity survey of the nation's largest 260 firms, Duane Morris continued to improve its regional and national ranking, rising to number 136 of all firms surveyed. Our strides in Philadelphia are encouraging; in a city known for both the racial diversity of its population and the lack thereof in its law firms, Duane Morris is one of only two law firms to exceed the national average of minority partners at all law firms. Additionally, Duane Morris leads all national law firms based in Philadelphia in the number of Latino partners. Nearly 30 percent of all of our attorneys are women, and more than 20 percent of our partners are women.

In our approach to diversity, progress in racial, gender and cultural diversity cannot be measured in numbers alone. Duane Morris has focused our diversity initiatives on both increasing the number of diverse associates and addressing the challenges diverse attorneys face in building lasting careers and rising to senior and leadership positions. While several of our key practice groups are led by diverse partners and female partners, Duane Morris endeavors to create a culture which will foster a deep pool of such attorneys who can then develop into the firm's future leaders. Duane Morris understands that simply hiring diverse associates will not change the diversity of the firm; Duane Morris is working to mentor and retain diverse associates so that our progress in racial, gender and cultural diversity is also reflected at the highest levels of leadership within the firm.

Our progress on gender diversity has been profound. We have no glass ceilings: women hold positions of leadership at all levels of management at the firm. Women lead a number of our key practice groups, including our Energy, Immigration and International practices, and serve on the firm's Executive Committee. The success of our female attorneys at Duane Morris has not gone unnoticed. Barbara Adams was chair of the firm's Finance Practice until her appointment by Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell to serve as General Counsel of the Commonwealth. In 2004, our longtime General Counsel, Gene E.K. Pratter, was approved by the United States Senate and is now a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Our efforts to improve diversity extend beyond our firm's walls. The chair of our Diversity Committee, Nolan N. Atkinson, Jr., recognized the lack of diversity in Philadelphia's legal community and formed the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group. Nolan now serves as the chair of the organization, a consortium of 25 law firms and corporations that commits to employing at least one diverse first-year law student each as a summer associate. From this program, law students of diverse backgrounds gain access to what was once an exclusive legal community, and now have the opportunity to learn and develop their legal careers with experience at Philadelphia's top law firms.

In addition to our involvement in the Philadelphia area, Duane Morris has increased our presence at national conferences and events focused on diversity. We sponsor the Hispanic National Bar Association and its job fair. Duane Morris is also a longtime supporter and sponsor of the Equality Forum, a national gay and lesbian rights organization. Duane Morris continues to sponsor the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and is active in other associations of diverse attorneys including: the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley; the Charles Houston Bar Association; Cuban Bar Association; Korean American Lawyers Association; National American Indian Housing Counsel and the National Bar Association.

The challenge of improving gender, ethnic and cultural diversity at Duane Morris is an ongoing effort that has the support of the entire firm. Duane Morris has been at the vanguard in supporting gender diversity throughout the firm beginning a generation ago. Our diversity programs are leading to similar success in improving racial and national origin diversity at Duane Morris. But even as we share these examples of Duane Morris attorneys and our involvement in numerous legal events, associations and programs for diversity, our hope is that such examples will no longer be necessary to mention in the future. We hope that through our efforts, and the efforts of other law firms, these stories become so common that they are no longer the remarkable accomplishments they are today, but simply routine aspects of the legal world tomorrow.