Start-Up companies face daunting challenges arising from their unique circumstances, simultaneously seeking funding, conducting research, developing products, interacting with potential partners and suppliers, and creating infrastructure for a nascent business, to name a few. Since inventions often constitute the most valuable assets of start-ups, strong intellectual property (IP) rights protecting these inventions can be crucial to their survival. However, with so many critical activities occurring at the same time, start-ups may not have the time and energy to focus on and secure robust IP protection for their innovations.
OBLON is a leading IP law firm that understands the challenges facing start-ups as well as the intricacies and dynamics involved in successfully protecting innovation. Through our in–depth understanding of all types of IP, we help our clients identify not only the most appropriate form of IP to protect their innovations, but also the most efficient and effective ways to obtain and manage their IP during the different stages of a company to provide maximum IP value.
- Invention Identification - Our specialized team can help identify valuable inventions, as well as the best way to strategically protect those inventions. Whether it be protection through patents, design patents, trademarks, trade secrets, or copyrights, we guide our clients through the decision-making process to determine which forms of IP maximize protection for their innovations and how to most efficiently and effectively obtain the IP.
- Patent Drafting - Once patent protection has been identified as a preferred way to protect innovation, our team of over 100 professionals with experience and advanced degrees that run the gamut of technologies stands ready to aid in the application drafting process. After drafting the application, we develop the best strategy for how, when and where to file the application to achieve our clients’ goals and maximize IP value.
- Procurement – For nearly 30 years, Oblon has obtained more utility patents than any other law firm in the United States. Our experience in dealing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), combined with our business-minded approach and technical capabilities, allow us to provide comprehensive IP services and obtain valuable patents for our worldwide clientele.
- IP Ownership – Employment agreements, assignments, licenses, joint-venture agreements and non- disclosure agreements can be crucial in determining ownership and allocation of IP rights. Oblon can help navigate the waters of these types of agreements to best protect employers’ rights in their innovations.
- Licensing - Our attorneys have been on both sides of the negotiating table in the commercialization and licensing of a wide array of technologies. Our knowledge and unique qualifications allow us to structure and negotiate to maximum advantage our clients’ most important IP transactions.
- Legal and Regulatory Compliance - The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations are but two areas that can impact start-ups and commercialization of technology. Oblon can provide guidance and counseling to help navigate through such governmental frameworks, especially as they relate to IP, clinical trials, and agreements.
- Due Diligence – Whether our clients are acquiring or being acquired, investing or being invested in, our analysis of IP portfolios can uncover hidden value or risk associated with a transaction. Working together with our clients, we can help identify potentially-valuable patents and potential infringement of those patents. Alternatively, we can identify defective patents of lesser value in a portfolio, or possible infringement of third party patents which could substantially increase monetary risk.
With an office located directly adjacent to the USPTO in Alexandria, Virginia, we are ideally situated for conducting proceedings at the USPTO and interacting with Examiners. Such face-to-face interaction has been a critical component of our unparalleled record of success in obtaining patents. Especially in cutting-edge and rapidly changing technologies where many start-ups occur, meeting with Examiners can ensure that novel intricacies are understood and appreciated.