By combining business acumen, technical training, and legal skills, our intellectual property (IP) lawyers protect and leverage our clients’ products, brands, and innovations. We advise clients through every stage of brand and product development, providing a coordinated approach that leverages patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret protections in the most cost-effective way, and guiding the marketing efforts so that they are compatible with and support the protection strategy. We partner with clients to define and implement product and brand protection objectives around the world.
Our complete-life-cycle services include providing guidance on the development process (including clean-room protocols to minimize risk to copyright and trade secret claims); evaluating products; implementing domestic and international patent, design, and trademark clearance and protection and related advertising campaigns; and providing guidance on IP monitoring and enforcement, product design protection and litigation, and licensing and transactions. We take into account the nuances of trademark and trade dress, patent and design, trade secret protection, and copyright strategy in a coordinated, efficient way.
Our work on product and brand development includes transactions and agreements. We handle mergers and acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures, distribution agreements, licensing agreements, strategic alliances, and corporate reorganizations, as well as a wide variety of innovative arrangements for marketing. We also have experience structuring global IP ownership structures, whether in the context of tax planning or M&A transactions.
Our product and product design protection work ranges from software, hardware, and the “Internet of Things,” to medical devices, industrial designs, fashion, home accessories, and a broad range of other consumer, technical, and pharmaceutical products. Our IP lawyers coordinate with other legal professionals to address unique product and marketing issues, including product safety, medical device regulation, import and export restrictions, and privacy regulations.
Product design protection, using a range of legal theories and IP protection strategies, can have a significant impact on a company’s ability to combat knock-offs and counterfeit goods, as well as to create valuable assets. Morgan Lewis lawyers have experience working with clients to develop and implement creative strategies for international product design protection that complements protection for utilitarian and trade secret aspects of the product or its manufacture. We work with clients to develop international design patent protection, understanding the significant differences in countries around the world—such as differences in novelty requirements, protection for color, use of disclaimers to protect products with interchangeable features, and acceptability of omnibus and continuation applications. We also work with clients to identify and register trade dress and nontraditional marks, as well as works of authorship protectable by copyright, and advise on marketing strategies that support and are consistent with the IP protection strategy. Our IP lawyers have experience working with clients on clearance issues for their product designs, developing appropriate strategies within budget constraints.
Our IP transactional work includes M&A, joint ventures, distribution agreements, licensing agreements, strategic alliances, and corporate reorganizations, as well as litigation relating to all of the foregoing.
Licensing continues to grow as an important means for commercially exploiting patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Our team is well versed in every aspect of licensing, and we have experience in domestic and international licensing and strategic alliances in a wide range of industries, including life sciences, technology, software, media, and consumer products. We also have experience with franchise and business opportunity regulations compliance and related structuring strategies.
Our IP team regularly handles intellectual property issues in connection with M&A transactions. We develop cost-effective strategies for diligence, draft and negotiate agreements, and handle postclosing integration in connection with acquisitions. We also have experience structuring global IP property ownership structures, whether in the context of tax planning or M&A transactions.
We also handle a wide range of brand development and marketing agreements, including innovative arrangements for licensing, sponsorship, product placement, brand integration, celebrity spokespersons, merchandising, and cross-promotional and crowd-sourcing agreements, as well as creative services agreements with advertising, branding, promotions, and talent agencies.