Where Technology Meets Business
We also assist clients in negotiating technology and intellectual property focused business agreements like licenses, material transfer agreements, and technology development agreements. We understand the business side of technology deals. We also understand how a strong brand can be critical to creating value. We work across a broad range of industries, including software, hardware, novel chemistry and manufacturing. We can help with something as simple as an NDA or SaaS agreement and as complex as a joint development agreement or technology based joint venture.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TRANSACTION LAWYERS MINNEAPOLIS MN
We Understand Your Urgency
We take a practical approach to getting technology deals done and keep our client’s business goals front and center. Technology development moves rapidly, and we understand the urgency you feel in getting a deal completed.
Minneapolis Intellectual Property Law Firm
We also know that a technology deal can be confusing, so we translate the legalese into English so you can take informed risks and move your business forward. We have worked in the legal departments of some of the most respected fast-paced technology companies in the world.
We bring the same urgency and experience that those clients require to meet the needs of your business.
Serving a Wide Range of Clients in Minneapolis
We service a broad range of clients, from startups who are putting systems and strategies in place to protect and monetize their intellectual property, to established companies looking to partner with technology providers or partners.
Contact Our Minneapolis Intellectual Property Transaction Lawyers
If you have questions about the protection of your intellectual property, reach out and talk to us!
Frequently Asked Questions about IP Transactions Law Firm & Lawyers
Your intellectual property (confidential information, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, and patents) provides you with a competitive advantage. It is critical to take reasonable steps to protect your confidential information as secret, for example, by only disclosing it under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This is because information like customer lists, proprietary research and development activities, and chemical formulas can lose their trade secret status if you do not use reasonable efforts to keep the information secret. A court is less likely to take action to help you if you do not treat your own secret information with proper care.
Patents, trademarks, and copyrights only have value because they exclude others from using them without permission. If you do not actively protect these intellectual property rights, you may as well not have them at all. In addition, if you do not actively police others from using trademarks that are confusingly like yours, you could lose your trademark rights and your competitive advantage.
We help clients protect their intellectual property by putting non-disclosure and material transfer agreements in place, counseling on strategies to protect trade secrets and registering and enforcing copyrights and trademarks.
Licensing in technology or intellectual property can help you short cut research and development timelines and bring products to market faster or with features that you are unable to develop on your own. For example, it sometimes makes sense to license in a specific technology that another company has developed and integrate that technology into your product if you don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to develop it on your own. Your enhanced product will be able to tap broader markets and increase your revenue.
Licensing out technology or intellectual property can help grow revenue by allowing your company to access manufacturing capacity and sales channels that would take too much time or money to develop on your own. If another company has expertise in manufacturing or sales that your company has not been able to develop, you can license your technology to them and leverage their manufacturing expertise and sales channels. By sharing revenue with a partner through a technology license, both companies have access to additional opportunities for growth.
We often help companies with in licensing and out licensing, including licensing out technology from public and private universities.
- Never share confidential information without a non-disclosure agreement in place.
- Train your employees on how to protect trade secrets.
- Ensure that you have written agreement with your employees and contractors to assign trade secret rights to your company and to treat them as confidential.
- Share or permit access to trade secret information only on a need-to-know basis.
- Mark all tangible trade secret information as confidential or proprietary.
Material transfer agreements or “MTAs”are used to share confidential or proprietary materials with third parties. They could be used, for example, to share proprietary organisms used in manufacturing or food or drug development, or experimental chemicals that are not yet commercial. Material transfer agreements typically restrict the further transfer of the materials that are the subject of the agreement and they limit the use of what a recipient can do with the materials – typically limiting the recipient to using the materials for evaluation purposes only and restricting the recipient from analyzing the chemical composition of materials or the genetic makeup of organisms. Points that are typically negotiated include allocation of ownership of the data and results of the recipient’s evaluation of the materials and limits on publication and patenting of any intellectual property that results from the evaluation. We routinely represent companies in negotiating both inbound and outbound MTAs for proprietary chemicals and biological materials, such as organisms.
It is always important to avoid the situation where the tail is wagging the dog. The legal terms should never drive the business terms of any deal. Rather, the business needs of the client always should drive the legal structure and terms of a deal. For any technology deal, it is important to understand what is driving the deal – is it gaining a time to market advantage, carving out a market niche by developing patentable technology, or leveraging a manufacturing capability that it would be very difficult to develop on your own?
For example, a client who is interested in time to market advantage might license technology and give up a bit on price or legal terms to gain a quick foothold in a market, and then once the foothold is achieved, swap out one technology for another by bringing a new product version on-line. Negotiating royalty structures in that kind of deal may be less important than timing and the ability to easily swap the licensed technology out for a competing technology. If the lawyer understands the business deal, they will be able to tailor their efforts to a client’s goals and avoid unnecessary cost, delay and even the risk of not getting a deal done.