Many clients have come to adopt us as their outside general counsel, particularly scaling tech and social impact enterprises. As a result, we’ve come to identify as the GC+ firm. We offer the accessibility and advocacy of a general counsel, but with greater resources, as well as distributed and enhanced legal and market inputs.

Business Organizations
Commercialization
Copyrights
Patents
Trademarks
Litigation

BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS

A business organization is its own evolving life form, and you’re its caretaker. You assume the rights and responsibilities — both legally and practically — that nurture its ongoing growth. Of course you want to sell and scale. But selling and scaling must not be achieved in sacrifice of sound corporate compliance that benefits employees as well as shareholders. These intrinsic legal steps are the crux of maximized potential — detailed attention today, for big dividends tomorrow.

Compliance
We understand that regulations get convoluted. It’s one thing to establish a business entity, and another thing to govern it. You don’t want to expose your corporation or LLC to unnecessary liabilities. Your business’s size, structure, jurisdiction, board makeup, stock class, and multiple external factors influence how you choose to run and record your enterprise. We give you the structures and operations that put you in a position for desirable investment and acquisition.

Contracts
There are the money clauses, and then there are the non-money money clauses. The non-money money clauses are the ones that take you by surprise. Often overlooked as downstream or low-probability hypotheticals, these clauses actually include legalese like indemnification, setoff, venue and jurisdiction, notice, warranties, covenants, representations — a sweep of coded language you need to stay abreast of. Our attorneys have gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Google, Samsung, IBM, Honeywell, Synthetic Genomics. We’ve been exposed to all the tricks that skew a fair term sheet into a bad deal and how to help businesses negotiate not only the best terms, but also the best contracts. This ensures that today’s closing doesn’t mean tomorrow’s closure.

Filings
Just because you live in D.C. doesn’t mean your company should be chartered in D.C. You might be better off as a Delaware corporation, or public benefit corporation, or a public benefit LLC. Where and how to organize your business is critical to your market objectives. We can help you evaluate the pros and cons of certain formations over others to optimize your potential for success.

M&A
If you’ve got 100+ pages of fine-print gobbledygook surrounding an asset transaction, why not make sure that gobbledygook sufficiently protects you? Especially if the goal is to never see it again. For tech companies in particular, IP constitutes a big pieces of the due diligence process. We’ll help you evaluate your position in a potential purchase or sale, and follow through with all the proper negotiations, disclosures, and formalities.

COMMERCIALIZATION

As our attorneys have dealt with companies like Affymetrix, Atomic Energy, BASF, Intuitive Surgical, and Lockheed Martin, we’ve transitioned early-stage inventions out of academic and federal labs, and into products that benefit society. In representing licensors, licensees, and spinouts, we know how to maneuver through the financials and regulations in a way that makes open innovation practical.

CRADAs: Cooperative Research and Development Agreements
Because hundreds of U.S. federal labs use CRADAs as mechanisms for collaborative R&D, each lab adopts its own variations to sections like data control and intellectual property rights. The result? A federal template with thousands of nuances. If you’re looking to collaborate with the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), or other federal research agency, we can help you secure the best possible terms in the best possible timing. We’ll also help you avoid unnecessary red tape, and the collaboration landmines that stymy your innovation.

Licensing
Whether in-licensing or out-licensing for patents, trademarks, or copyrights, we’ll help you secure the terms you need for freedom of operation, optimal monetization, or collaborative iteration.

SBIR: Small Business Innovation Research / STTR: Small Business Technology Transfer
The SBIR + STTR programs represent a coordinated effort among federal agencies to enable small businesses (defined as fewer than 500 employees) to develop processes, technologies, and tools that meet the needs of their particular missions. Our attorneys provide a valuable liaison between your company and the granting agencies. We’ve served on review panels and assisted awardees on partnerships, IP strategies, patent filings, and regulatory approvals at every level. Let us assist your company at its earliest growth stages and position you for this valuable, non-dilutive funding.

Sponsored Research
Indirect costs, royalties, derivative invention rights, publication rights — we speak the language of tech transfer. Our attorneys and agents have backgrounds within the world’s most powerhouse tech transfer offices. Now we put those experiences to work for you. We build success strategies, develop relationships, and negotiate the most advantageous terms for your company’s sponsored research or joint research collaboration.

COPYRIGHTS

Unlike patent law, copyright rights vest in the creator the moment the copyrightable content is fixed in a tangible medium. Additionally, just because something is patentable doesn’t mean it can’t find protection under copyright law. We know the ins and outs!

Let the experienced team at RVL® help you with… 

Copyright Registration

Cat got your tongue — aka contractor got your copyright? That’s just one of the issues that we’ll help resolve as we position your art or software for registration. 

Open-Source Software Audit / Software Due Diligence

Working through the 31 flavors of open source to determine where your software stands? We can help you untangle the web of mismatched license restrictions to get you commercialized in the marketplace.

Master Service Agreements / Licenses

You’ve already done the heavy lifting by creating a product that everybody wants. Let us develop the framework for how to monetize it.

PATENTS

A patent (or portfolio of patents) may secure your market position in a particular technology — or provide distinctive positioning in a research grant application. In novel biopharmaceutical cases when a company expends billions of dollars in development costs, a patent is critical. In other instances, it may be subservient to other intellectual property rights in fast-growth technology or creative content industries. The need for a patent often depends on numerous considerations, and we’re here to help clarify.

Our patent-related services include…

Patent Search / Prior Art Search

We shake the trees, sift the sands, excavate the boulders… whatever it takes to identify prior art that might impact the ability to patent your invention.

Patent Search Opinion / Freedom to Operate

We’ve heard it a million times: “I know this industry and swear I’m the only one that’s come up with this.” Inevitably, we nearly always find something relevant in our prior art searches. Our goal, of course, is not to hamper your ability to patent or market your invention, but to keep you safe in the marketplace. Our opinions provide you with the analysis you need to develop a patent claims strategy, proceed with an R&D plan, tailor your marketing, confidently discuss your ideas with investors and, often, save money.

Patent Prosecution / Patent Registration

With backgrounds in business development and entrepreneurship, our patent team drafts patents with a particular focus on marketable claim sets.

Patent Litigation

Trust us, there’s no glamour in suing or getting sued. It’s a risky business with endless scenarios and technical interpretations. So when push comes to shove, you want a team that grasps the scientific, legal, and social components of litigation. We’re entrepreneur-attorneys — we know how to sell science both on the pitch and in the courtroom. 

Patent Licensing

Our patent team has locked up with the big boys, negotiating intellectual property deals with Affymetrix, BASF, Google, Honeywell, Merck, Samsung and Synthetic Genomics, to name(drop) just a few. We’ve got the mettle to ensure you don’t settle.

Patent Strategy

Attempting to patent internationally? Debating between a design patent and a utility patent? Questioning whether a particular change might invalidate your patent? Perhaps you’re observing what your competitors are patenting and are curious how much your own patents are worth. Maybe you want to challenge your competitors’ patents, or learn about whether your own patents be challenged. We’re here to answer these concerns and more.

TRADEMARKS

Generating a strong trademark continually proves to be one of the most difficult tasks when developing new business names, logos or products. Too often, new companies pick names based on what seems easy to advertise — which may not align with the name’s ability to register. RVL® helps you understand all trademark considerations and makes them work for you. We manage the dual task of protecting your ideas from infringement, while also protecting you from outside claims of infringement. Our spectrum of trademark-related services include… 

Trademark Search

Google’s algorithmic eyes will only take you so far in identifying the business names, product names, and logos you’ll want to avoid. We’ve got you covered with trademark-specific databases and search platforms that comb not just ecommerce and store shelves, but also corporate pre-market pipelines.

Trademark Search Opinion + Freedom to Operate

Trademark law is the law of confusion and dilution. It’s about far more than just avoiding the names, phrases and graphics you see on store shelves. We’ll advise on the how and why of what to avoid prior to your launch.

Trademark Prosecution +  Trademark Registration

Here’s a free tip: Examiners are government employees with quota-based metrics for advancement. Examiners have limited time to spend with your application and might actually be incentivized to act against you by the nature of the system. From the outset, we use this information, along with extensive knowledge and experience, to position your trademark application for success.

Trademark Licensing

One of the best parts of creating a successful brand? Reaping the profits. But we know this business is still your baby. When you want to retain some control without selling everything you’ve worked for, it’s time to talk about licensing. We’ll help you maneuver these deals with even the largest companies. You won’t get stepped on once we step in. 

Trademark Strategy

What new brands and products are your competitors launching? Do you need to pursue state or federal trademark registration, and what exactly is the difference? Is your brand strategy helping you build a robust trademark portfolio? How should your approach change within international markets? We’re here to develop an optimal strategy for your venture. Read more here about what makes a good trademark. 

Trademark Oppositions + Cancellations

Opposition and cancellation proceedings are quasi-litigations brought by third parties that don’t want you to register trademarks or maintain your registrations. Practically speaking, in many cases, oppositions and cancellations are brought by large corporations aggressively policing their brand portfolios.

An opposition occurs when a third party files a challenge in the form of a complaint against a trademark application that has received a green light from a trademark examiner for publication and registration.

A cancellation in brought by a third party in an attempt to terminate a previously registered mark. This may be launched by an upstart wanting to knock your trademark out of the way for that challenger’s own mark to register, or it may be brought by a competitor that has been monitoring your activities and looking for a chink in your brand armor.

When these situations arise, RVL® helps you go to battle and take all the reciprocal actions that best support your company and brand.

LITIGATION

Protecting, defending, and enforcing IP is vital for corporate success in today’s technology driven economy. Our litigation team understands that when it comes to patent, software, and trade secret litigation, it’s not necessarily the story you tell but how you tell it that wins the day. We’re here to leverage all of our real-world experience litigating for and against Fortune 500 companies, and crafting trial narratives around medical devices, electronics, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agriculture and chemicals.

IP litigation is a risky business with large sums of money on the line. We have the fortitude and know-how to counsel clients through all phases of litigation and help you come out on top.