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Intellectual Property/Technology

We provide comprehensive service in a specialty area that is set apart by the speed of change.

Our Intellectual Property/Technology Group has a diverse practice focused on helping our clients gain the most from their intellectual property and technology assets. These types of assets are unique, and the applicable law is complex and not always well settled, often requiring analysis of the interplay of the laws of various jurisdictions and/or the applicability of existing laws to new forms of technology and IP.

We represent clients in all stages of development from start-ups to large public companies. These companies operate across diverse sectors, including computer software/hardware, bio-pharmaceuticals, fashion, toys, games, other consumer products, hospitality, energy, financial services, semiconductors, and medical devices. We address cutting-edge issues in areas such as mobile, interactive, and cloud-based applications and platforms. We also advise on digital rights management issues that are important to both leadership and investors in emerging growth and traditional enterprises alike.

We manage international IP portfolios for our clients and protect copyrights and trademarks through comprehensive, worldwide enforcement programs that rely on intelligent, cost-efficient decision-making tailored to each client’s strengths and priorities. Our intellectual property experience extends deep into the hospitality and fashion industries as well as to the negotiation and acquisition of film, television, music, and publishing rights. We have also represented clients at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and in ICANN proceedings, and counsel regularly on all aspects of fair use.

We handle all forms of stand-alone transactions involving intellectual property and technology assets, such as content creation agreements, technology transfer agreements, development agreements, R&D agreements, licenses, strategic alliances and other forms of collaborations, co-promotion and marketing agreements, internet/e-commerce arrangements, IP acquisition agreements, and outsourcing agreements, among others. We also collaborate with our colleagues in other practice groups to provide value-added legal teams in corporate mergers (where Intangible assets such as technology and IP can be one of the most valuable and important parts of a transaction), financings, and restructurings involving technology and intellectual property assets.

Case Study

Non-Compete & Trade Secrets

Non-Compete Claims

As part of its strategy to enter a new geographical market, our client, one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, hired a group of employees in that market from another of the world’s largest insurance brokers.

The Situation

As part of its strategy to enter a new geographical market, our client, one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, hired a group of employees in that market from another of the world’s largest insurance brokers.  One of the new hires became the President of our client’s affiliate in that market.  Shortly thereafter, the former employer initiated an action in Michigan state court against our brokerage client and its affiliate’s President, whom we also represented.  Plaintiff alleged that the new President misappropriated confidential information and was soliciting plaintiff’s clients and employees in breach of her employment agreement’s restrictive covenants, allegedly with her new employer’s encouragement and assistance.

Months later, during the course of discovery, two of plaintiff’s corporate clients transferred their health and benefits insurance business from plaintiff to our brokerage client.  Plaintiff filed an emergency motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.  In its motion, plaintiff sought to enjoin our clients not only from soliciting, accepting, and servicing business from plaintiff’s current or prospective clients, but also from servicing the two clients that had already moved their business.

The Solution

In the span of a little more than a week, the GEABP team drafted a 20-page opposition brief and secured three supporting affidavits, two of which were provided by the non-parties who had transferred their business from plaintiff to our brokerage client.  When plaintiff submitted an untimely and improper reply brief less than 48 hours before the hearing, we – less than 24 hours later – submitted opposition in response to that brief as well.

The Result

The preliminary injunction hearing was held remotely via Zoom.  After hearing oral argument, the judge gave his ruling from the bench, adopting all of our key arguments and denying plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief in its entirety.  The case settled shortly thereafter.