Intellectual Property / Antitrust

ipantitrust

From product lifecycle management to the coordination of worldwide IP/antitrust strategies, Ropes & Gray anticipates and resolves the antitrust issues that arise as clients enforce, acquire and license intellectual property.

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“The team assists clients with a range of antitrust work, including transactional, counseling, and litigation.” Chambers USA
“They really bring a good commercial sense which is a hard trait to come by. They can look at a problem and come back with a creative solution. They not only look at it from a legal perspective, but also give us something which fits the business perspective.” Antitrust Client, Chambers USA
“This team draws considerable acclaim from commentators for its expertise in handling merger clearance, cartel investigations and price-fixing cases.” Chambers USA

Overview

Ropes & Gray’s antitrust practice is at the forefront in addressing the numerous issues that arise at the intersection of antitrust law and intellectual property. We advise leading companies on matters relating to patent portfolios, standard essential patents, and patent assertion entities. We litigate complex patent/antitrust disputes, and represent companies before antitrust enforcement agencies, both in defending intellectual property practices and in bringing objectionable conduct to the attention of enforcement authorities.

Working seamlessly with our leading life sciences, IP litigation, patent strategy, and IP transactions groups, we guide clients safely through the various antitrust issues that IP licenses and associated business practices can present. Our versatile practice ranges from advising branded life sciences companies on life-cycle management issues and REM agreements, to counseling leading technology companies in connection with standard-essential patents and patent assertion entities.

Litigation

Led by a veteran of the landmark Microsoft case, our antitrust litigation group has extensive experience litigating issues for intellectual property owners that involve monopolization, tying, and exclusive dealing cases, and have successfully handled patent/antitrust counterclaims for patentees and alleged infringers. We have also successfully defended standard-setting organizations and led litigation in connection with the many antitrust issues that arise in in the context of Hatch-Waxman patent settlements and related conduct.

Mergers & Transfers of Intellectual Property

Our attorneys have handled numerous transactions across many industries in which intellectual property plays a central role. We handle matters ranging from pipeline issues in pharmaceutical transactions to licensing commitments in transactions involving standard-essential patents. We have also represented third-party buyers of divested rights.

Standard Setting, Patent Pools and Patent Assertion Entities

We represent numerous clients in resolving antitrust issues that arise in connection with standard-setting organizations and patent pools. We also represent clients in responding to the challenges posed by the activities of certain Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs). 

Life Sciences IP/Antitrust Counseling

Our antitrust team has played a central role in helping life sciences companies successfully overcome IP/antitrust obstacles. Working seamlessly with Ropes & Gray’s leading FDA, life sciences and intellectual property groups, our antitrust attorneys possess an in-depth knowledge of the regulations that govern the activities of our clients in the life sciences, and provide antitrust counseling in the following areas, among others:

  • Enforcing IP rights
  • Settling patent litigation
  • Authorized generic agreements
  • REM agreements
  • Managing product life cycles
  • Licensing intellectual property rights
  • Developing new products
  • Pricing and distribution practices 

Experience

Ropes & Gray’s impressive record of success includes the representation of:

Litigation & Investigations

  • Google in connection with rivals’ patent practices
  • A major technology company in developing antitrust claims respecting patent assertion entities
  • A leading pharmaceutical company asserting antitrust counterclaims against a rival in a “bet-the-product” patent infringement litigation
  • A wireless telephone technology provider against an antitrust attack on its patent licensing practices
  • A major biotechnology company in obtaining intellectual property rights and other assets as a condition of other parties’ consummating their merger

Mergers & Transfers of Intellectual Property

  • A major licensor of telecommunications technology in successfully securing clearance from the DOJ for a merger with its largest rival
  • A major diagnostic company in persuading the FTC not to challenge its acquisition of an infringing rival in human genomic testing 
  • A major life sciences company in obtaining the revision of all IP and commercial rights as a condition of permitting a merger of its former commercialization partner to proceed 
  • A consumer products licensor in securing FTC clearance for its acquisition of numerous licensees

Standard Setting, Patent Pools & PAEs 

  • Counseling numerous life sciences and medical device companies on the full-range of lifecycle management antitrust issues 
  • Counseling technology companies involved in standard-setting activities, as well as the formation of patent pools 
  • Counseling major telecommunications, computer hardware, retail, pharmaceutical, healthcare, medical device, avionics, automotive, mechanical device, Internet, and manufacturing clients in connection with licensing agreements, distribution practices, and other antitrust issues 
  • Counseling numerous companies in connection with the formation of research & development joint ventures, joint selling agreements, joint buying programs, and other collaborations