IP & Tech Transactions
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The practice area of intellectual property (IP) is broad and can take many forms.
– IP prosecution lawyers work with clients on strategy for protecting their technology, brands, and “soft IP” (such as trade secrets), and work on drafting patent, trademark, and other applications to be filed with the USPTO and its international equivalents. Within this area, there are several sub-specialties, such as pharmaceutical IP, semiconductors, or hi-tech products. Many patent attorneys have a technical science or engineering background.
IP prosecution can be an attractive option for attorneys interested in understanding and analyzing the company’s technology and/or valuable brands on a deep level and a more consistent pace (compared to the faster pace and “ups and downs” of traditional corporate practices).
– Transactional IP (or “tech transactions”) lawyers, work on IP-related deals, such as technology/software licenses, trademark/brand licenses, media-related deals, joint IP development agreements, and other commercial contracts (this is often referred to in law firms as “standalone licensing” work). Transactional IP lawyers also participate in the IP- and technology-related aspects of mergers and acquisitions as “specialists” on the deal team, performing due diligence of IP assets and contracts and negotiating IP-related provisions (often referred to as “M&A support”). Tech- and startup-focused firms are more likely to do more standalone licensing work, while traditional “white-shoe” firms are more likely to do more M&A support. Tech transactions can be an attractive option for attorneys interested in the technology that helps the business run, working on several transactions at a given time, and analyzing, drafting and negotiating contracts related to technology and other IP.
(Note: This page does not include content related to IP litigation; please visit our “Litigation” page for content related to litigation more generally.)
Summer Associate Hub’s video series, where we interview BigLaw attorneys about their practice in under 6 minutes (also known as 0.1 billable hours).
Tech Transactions Associate
Check out these short and helpful videos from Hotshot Legal, a video-based learning platform used by top law firms.
These videos are a great way to gain an overview of tech transactions practice, to determine if this practice area is right for you and to prepare for networking calls and interviews.
Hotshot provides content free for law students – these links will direct you to Hotshot’s website, where you may be required to create a free account.
What is M&A practice? What do deal lawyers do? This course will help you understand this practice area, whether you want to be an M&A lawyer or not.
Note: Although this video covers M&A generally, this topic is an important part of technology transactions practice, which includes participating in the IP-related aspects of M&A deals.
This is a podcast interview with Albert Tawil, Founder & CEO of Lateral Hub & Summer Associate Hub and former IP/tech transactions associate, about the day-to-day work of a tech transactions attorney. At the time of this interview, Albert was an associate in the Tech Transactions group in Fenwick's NY office.
Check out these interactive exercises brought to you by Praktio, a modern training platform for reviewing and drafting legal documents. Use these exercises to practice these tasks, make mistakes, and learn from them!
Praktio has teamed up with Summer Associate Hub to make these exercises available to law students for free – these links will direct you to Praktio’s platform, where you may be required to create a free account.
These courses are a great way for law students to get a glimpse of tech transactions practice. We selected these exercises as only some of the key tasks on which tech transactions associates work (and, of course, this practice involves many other types of exercises).
Learn how to review target contracts and chart key data points for practical use.
Due diligence is important for tech transactions attorneys, who are usually tasked with reviewing the company's IP-related contracts and other commercial agreements. Due diligence goes hand in hand with drafting disclosure schedules, which are the subject of the exercise below.
This course teaches how disclosure schedules work with the larger agreement and the diligence process to allocate risk between the parties.
Disclosure schedules are a central part of tech transactions practice, as the team is often tasked with managing the lists of contracts and IP in the disclosure schedules, as well as exceptions to statements made in the agreement regarding the target company's IP, based on the team's due diligence.
Learn the key components, best practices, and pitfalls of confidentiality agreements.
Particularly in "standalone licensing" work within tech transactions, drafting and negotiating confidentiality agreements (aka, "NDAs") can be a common task for attorneys.