Intellectual property

A&O Shearman represents the world’s leading businesses, helping them to invest in and protect their critical intellectual property as well as defending them when plaintiffs allege that they have violated intellectual property rights. 

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Whether developing, acquiring, registering, licensing, or enforcing IP rights – or defending against alleged IP violations – we help our clients to navigate the legal and commercial challenges they face globally. 

Significant track-record of success in IP litigation 

Many of our IP lawyers have advanced degrees in technical fields and advise with confidence in matters involving the most complex science and technology.  

Our clients trust us with their most commercially important IP disputes involving patents, trademarks, advertising, copyright, designs and trade secrets.  

We represent them in the key courts and tribunals worldwide (including before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC)), as well as in arbitration. We know how to leverage the procedural and tactical possibilities that different forums offer to achieve successful outcomes for our clients, including at trial.  

We have a reputation for advising clients in precedent-setting cases, including some of the first disputes examining Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) and FRAND terms. We have also advised in relation to Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) and on the first Second Medical Use (SMU) case. 

A&O Shearman’s rapid response in critical trade secrets cases has successfully prevented the exposure of confidential information, saving clients millions of dollars and preventing the loss of critical competitive advantage. 

Our market-leading advertising litigation team helps domestic and international clients protect their valuable brands and reputations from false advertising and unfair competition.  

Cutting-edge transactional IP expertise 

As the most valuable corporate assets become increasingly intangible, protecting and leveraging IP in transactions is critical. 

Our commercial IP team have acted on many of the biggest IP-rich transactions in the world in recent years, across industries such as technology, media, life sciences, consumer and financial services.  

We advise on the full range of transactions including licensing agreements, joint ventures, collaboration deals, portfolio transactions, IP due diligence and IP-related commercial agreements.  

We also assist clients with the analysis of in-licensed IP and the potential for licensors to exploit those rights, as well as on strategies for exiting licensing/collaboration arrangements.  

Trademark and design portfolio management 

A&O Shearman’s trademark and designs team supports brand owners in developing, protecting and exploiting their brands at every level: from initial clearance and selection to filing, managing complex international portfolios, and dealing with any enforcements or disputes that arise. 

Unlike most major law firms, we provide the full spectrum of legal support for trademarks and designs with a team of specialist administrators and trademark attorneys working with our IP lawyers. 

Representative matters

  • Bayer in coordination of pan-European validity and infringement proceedings in more than 25 EPC countries as well as in handling the national enforcement and defense of Bayer’s patents protecting its blockbuster blood thinner Xarelto in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and the U.K. 
  • Regeneron in patent revocation proceedings regarding Amgen’s patents to binding molecules for BCMA and CD3 for treatment of plasma cell disorders including multiple myeloma. 
  • DISH Network, the US-based television and direct-broadcast satellite provider (part of the ECHOSTAR group), in patent infringement proceedings relating to adaptive bitrate video streaming in the UPC, UK and Germany.  
  • Nichia and OSRAM in patent litigation brought in the United States International Trade Commission seeking to block importation into the United States of LED products worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  
  • Coinbase in defending actions brought by Dr Craig Wright, who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin.  
  • A major manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE) against several companies for trademark infringement, false advertising and price gouging during a global pandemic. The defendants agreed to a consent judgment disgorging their profits as well as a permanent injunction. 
  • SS&C Technologies, Inc. as plaintiff in trade secret litigation, resulting in USD44 million jury award, plus fees, against a key competitor. 
  • Exscientia on numerous commercially significant AI discovery partnerships, including its USD5.2 billion multi-target collaboration with Sanofi.  
  • Corning Incorporated on its acquisition of 3M Company's Fiber and Copper Connectivity Solutions Business, involving the acquisition of over 1,000 patents and patent applications worldwide. 
  • Boston Scientific in connection with IP considerations in its USD3.7bn acquisition of Axonics, a company with technology related to differentiated devices to treat urinary and bowel dysfunction. 
  • Boltex and Weldbend against a foreign competitor falsely advertising its products as ASTM compliant. After a two-week trial, the jury entered a unanimous, multimillion-dollar verdict for our clients and the court subsequently entered a permanent injunction and recall. 
  • Nestlé Health Science against a competitor falsely advertising products as equivalent to the client’s brand medical food. After a two-week jury trial, the case settled on favorable terms that included substantial payments and a discontinuation of the advertising. 

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