Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights

We obtain, enforce and defend intellectual property rights on behalf of higher education clients throughout the nation.  Our efforts in connection with patent, trademark and copyright protection extend from prosecution and licensing to litigation.  Our registered patent lawyers prosecute patent applications in the United States and around the world, and they counsel clients on patentability, validity and infringement questions.  We also work closely with clients to capitalize on patented inventions through licenses, joint ventures and sponsored research programs, and by establishing new companies.

We assist clients, including several major universities, in developing and pursuing effective strategies for protecting and making the best use of their trademarks to enhance the strength of their brands.  Our services include assistance in selection of trademarks, registration of marks throughout the world, licensing and enforcement through litigation.  We also counsel clients on the protection and proper use of copyrighted materials such as articles and books, audiovisual materials, software and entertainment.

Information Systems

Information systems have become a critical part of the infrastructure for all educational institutions.  Our information technology lawyers have been assisting clients for more than 20 years in the acquisition, implementation and use of information systems.  Software developed in-house requires protection through employee policies and agreements, trade secret procedures, copyright registrations and, in some cases, patent applications.  Software and software-related services obtained from third parties require appropriate licensing and performance terms.  Many such projects include customization and implementation services; other systems may be outsourced.  In all such transactions, proper counseling, negotiation and contract drafting are critical to motivate the vendor to complete the project to specifications as close to the budget and schedule as possible and, in the event that the project is not successful, to empower the client with the practical and legal capability to use and maintain the system without the vendor.

Our information technology lawyers assist clients in responding to emerging issues involving information systems; emergency notification systems, including student and staff privacy issues; legal aspects of system security; website development agreements, issues relating to website terms and conditions, privacy policies and enforceable electronic contracts; and Internet and intranet usage policies, including use of peer-to-peer networks.

Information Systems and Intellectual Property