High-technology is a key economic force in Colorado and, as a result, licensing activity abounds. As the state continues to develop as a clean-tech centre, the emergence of gamechanging new technologies is also boosting licensing activity. The federal government is a major player and the general consensus is that it has become a more assertive player in the licensing arena of late. The Colorado licensing market is served by a small, but highly competitive and specialised legal contingent.
Cooley is an undisputed national leader for patent and technology licensing, and its Broomfield office – like others in its network – is replete with top-tier expertise in this specialist area of practice. The Colorado group is anchored by two popular and highly respected luminaries. Special counsel Charles Schwab has “an amazing knowledge of the law” and is “the lawyer clients need for a tough negotiation”. An acknowledged expert on clean-tech issues, particularly alternate fuel and photovoltaics, he is also regarded as an authority on internet issues and digital media. Meanwhile, partner Keith Berets is a “solid, versatile and experienced lawyer”, whose practice is clean-tech and IT-oriented – in particular involving software licensing and outsourcing. The firm stresses the value of working as a single unit across different offices and departments, and this joined-up approach to licensing sets it apart in the market.Holme Roberts & Owen LLP
Holme Roberts & Owen boasts several qualities which are highly prized in the patent and technology licensing field: “The firm is business minded and understands the commercial needs and aims of its clients. The advice given is never overly esoteric or theoretical, and is refreshingly practical.” Standalone IP transactional work and corporate and M&A support work are equal pillars upon which the practice is built. The licensing and technology transactions team is active in the life sciences and clean-tech sectors, among many others, although information technology and the Internet are also core focuses. Its lawyers “understand the commercial objectives of the client and how to achieve them”; they are also “a pleasure to work with and have deep deal experience”. Leading light and IP co-chair Jason Haislmaier “is entrepreneurially minded and thinks about commercial issues in a very sophisticated manner. He is highly proactive, rolls up his sleeves and gets stuck in, while an added strength is his ability to translate complex legal points into easily understood language”. Peers regard him as particularly effective on mid-market deals; this is also borne out in positive client feedback. Although he has broad technical experience, information technology is his strongest suit and he is a top authority on open source software.Perkins Coie LLP
This revered international firm has made significant investments in its already substantial licensing practice; most notably, in 2010 it recruited Peter Kinsella to the Denver team. Given the extent of his licensing knowledge, his arrival is a major boon to the group. “He has a very high degree of technical expertise and a fantastic understanding of the law, and he always gets clients what they need in a deal.” The firm as a whole wins plaudits, with its swift response times, depth of resources and individual talent cited as especially deserving of praise. Driving the licensing practice is a huge range of technologies, with current hotbeds including clean tech and information technology, particularly in the healthcare sector. Its client base is impressively diverse, with emerging companies and Fortune 500s equally well catered for. Clients benefit not only from the firm’s specialist licensing practice, but also from its excellent corporate practice, with the two often working in tandem to satisfy client needs.
David London of Hogan Lovells provides firstclass counselling to clients on all aspects of their intellectual property, from protection to monetisation. Licensing and the IP aspects of corporate and commercial transactions are a particular focus. He is commended for his ability to deliver highly complex deals through to completion smoothly and effectively. Stephen Jewett of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton is an admired IP generalist working primarily in the IT and telecommunications sectors. “He is meticulously detail oriented, though he never loses sight of the big picture.”