Michelman & Robinson, LLP (M&R) attorneys help businesses navigate the rapidly evolving Internet, software and technology industry. We assist Internet-based businesses, startups, global software developers, new media companies and investors with financing, mergers and acquisitions, and branding and rebranding campaigns, in addition to software development, distribution, and marketing and licensing agreements. We also provide sophisticated corporate and transactional counseling to digital film studios, social gaming companies, mobile marketing companies, online securities firms and e-commerce companies, among many others.
Our attorneys are nimble, innovative and forward thinking. We advise on confidentiality agreements and a host of other employment issues, litigating when necessary. We routinely represent software companies in high exposure lawsuits involving breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.
Utilizing the deep bench strengths of our Intellectual Property and Advertising and Digital Media attorneys, M&R has successfully prosecuted numerous patents before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and litigated claims involving trade secret misappropriation, employee raiding and trademark infringement.
Our attorneys stay abreast of developing technology trends to understand this growing industry and our clients' unique businesses, legal needs and objectives.
As an industry-focused law firm, we are actively involved in various trade organizations, including the Audio Engineering Society, Software and Information Industry Association, National Society of Professional Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Areas Of Expertise
- Corporate Technology Transactions
We handle sensitive, complex technology transactions. We work with our corporate and securities attorneys to represent owners of proprietary technology, from inception through initial and follow-up rounds of financing. Clients rely on our experience and expertise when seeking to acquire, develop or adopt new technologies, and when they wish to commercialize, divest or monetize technology assets.
- Employment Counseling & Litigation
Our attorneys draft employment policies and procedures, and counsel and litigate on behalf of Internet, software and technology clients in all employment matters, including wage and hour, harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination claims. They also conduct EEOC investigations.
- Licensing, Contracts & Marketing Agreements
We routinely advise companies on licensing and marketing strategies, and draft and negotiate licensing, marketing and merchandising agreements for our Internet, software and technology clients.
- Software Development Agreements
Software development agreements are often complex, especially given that laws regularly change to keep pace with rapidly evolving technologies. We draft and negotiate software development agreements on behalf of various corporate clients, including software developers, and have defended against litigation arising out of these agreements such as breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.
- Trademark & Copyright Infringement
Rapidly evolving technology has given rise to a myriad of Internet and software-related trademark and copyright infringement claims. We have successfully litigated numerous trademark and copyright infringement disputes, as well as unfair competition and false/misleading advertising claims in courts throughout the country.
The following is a select sampling of our representative matters:
- Breach of Contract Defense: Represented a major computer memory retailer in an action alleging breach of contract through the sale of allegedly defective hardware products installed in a global Internet search engine company’s technical infrastructure. M&R attorney successfully resolved the action in mediation for a fraction of the claimed damages initially sought by the plaintiff.
- Computer Trade Secrets: A young entrepreneur hired M&R after his “life’s work” was stolen by a large corporation who claimed the work was owned by the company. M&R quickly filed a lawsuit for damages. After a four-year legal battle, pitting M&R against some of the largest national law firms, the case went to trial. Our client obtained a multi-million dollar verdict that represents one of the largest awards in the United States for the misappropriation of computer trade secrets.
- Copyright Infringement: A popular game manufacturer retained an M&R attorney to prosecute a copyright infringement action against a counterfeiting ring comprised of local and China-based corporate and individual defendants who sold knock-off products in the United States and abroad. After extensive discovery efforts, the attorney achieved a stipulated judgment against defendants that required payment to the client of the maximum statutory damages allowable under the law for willful copyright infringement, as well as a permanent injunction against the future sale of counterfeit products.
- Defense of Software Company: Representing SSD Software Solutions in a multimillion dollar lawsuit against a large corporation based in Houston, Texas for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud arising out of a software development agreement, Work For Hire, and later partnership.
- Distribution Agreement: Drafted and negotiated home video distribution agreement for 13 episodes created by a startup digital animation content provider.
- Domain Name Dispute: Represented a local world-renowned science and education museum as a plaintiff in a dual trademark infringement action and domain name dispute against a competing science museum. An M&R attorney successfully prevailed in the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceeding resulting in the forced transfer of defendant’s domain name to client, and thereafter resolved the federal infringement action with defendant’s complete relinquishment of all offending use of client’s trademarks.
- Financing: Represented the owner of proprietary technology comprised of hardware, software and data-management solutions for prison systems, from its inception through its initial and follow-up rounds of financing.
- Illegal Bootlegging: M&R client, a major hard rock act, was negotiating with distributor for a repackage release in Europe, but encountered problems when the distributor cited seven unauthorized third-party bootleg concert DVDs on Amazon’s German website. Client’s entertainment counsel attempted via the Amazon “take-down” procedures to have the infringing product removed but was unsuccessful, so they engaged M&R. We wrote a strong demand letter and followed it up with email correspondence. Amazon took down the product. Further, many of the sellers provided contact information for the distributors from whom they sourced the infringing product. The resulting total victory (within less than a week) ensures the client can move forward with the planned new release, while enjoying reduced fallout from unauthorized third-party product sales.
- Marketing and Licensing Agreements: Negotiating and drafted e-commerce affiliate marketing and content licensing agreements for major online securities firm.
- Prosecution on Source Code Ownership: Achieved a successful result on behalf of SSD Software Solutions in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against a large corporation based in Houston, Texas, for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud arising out of a software development agreement, a work-for-hire agreement, and a partnership dispute. Through M&R’s representation, our client received payment of his invoices and all intellectual properties associated with the source code for the client’s product, and settled out the remainder of the claim during mediation.
- Purchase/Merger Agreements: Drafted and negotiated the intellectual property clauses of a $35 million merger agreement by which VeriFone Systems, Inc. acquired the retail commerce solutions of Global Bay Mobile Technologies, Inc.
- Rebranding: Provided end-to-end management of IP aspects of corporate-wide rebranding effort for large entertainment company client.
- Service Provider Agreements: Drafted Internet service provider’s agreements, guaranteeing the security of its client’s property.
- Software Development Agreements: Drafted and negotiated a financial market data retrieval and stock weighing software development agreement between Scout Capital Management LLC (a hedge fund) and Susquehanna International Group LLC (a software developer).
- Software Development Agreements: Drafted and negotiated a real estate valuation, data entry and delivery system software development agreement between a large mid-west appraisal company and global software developer.
- Software Service Agreements: M&R attorney represented an emerging software company in negotiations with a global media and entertainment corporation in connection with a valuable business services agreement. Throughout the negotiations, the attorney protected his client’s software development and intellectual property rights resulting in a mutually beneficial transaction.
- Technology Transaction – Software Development Agreement: Represented an investment fund in negotiating a financial market data retrieval and stock weighing software development agreement with a software developer.
- Trade Secret Claims: Represented a major social gaming company as a plaintiff in litigation against a large competitor that included claims of trade secret misappropriation and employee raiding. Former employees had left the plaintiff’s company with designs for a new game that was yet to be released, threatening to be the first to bring the game to the market. Our attorney helped obtain a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction.
- Trade Secret Misappropriation; Patent Infringement: Represented the designer and manufacturer of a unique medical device in a trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement case against a competitor, a disgruntled former CEO of the company before the International Trade Commission. An M&R attorney obtained a favorable result for the client, with the competitor being forced to cease the manufacture and sale of the competing devices.
- April 21, 2017
- March 15, 2017
- April 14, 2016
- April 13, 2016
- April 13, 2016
- March 17, 2016
- September 8, 2014
- November 2013
- June 14, 2011
- April 15, 2011
- IPFrontline, September 5, 2016
- IPFrontline, August 19, 2016
- Hotel News Now, August 12, 2015
- Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association Newsletter, Spring 2014
- Law360, February 20, 2014
- Technique Magazine, February 2014
- Controversial Federal Court Ruling Could Shape Future of Computer Trespass Prosecution August 18, 2016
- Pokémon Oh No! Augmented reality raises specter of personal injury claims August 11, 2016
- Courts and Patent Litigants Continue to Wrestle With Scope of Supreme Court’s Alice Test July 11, 2016
- Mobile Advertising Company Settles FTC Charges It Tracked Consumers’ Locations Without Permission June 23, 2016
- Taken for a Ride: Under-Fire Uber Pays the Price June 17, 2016
- Mondo.NYC Music, Technology and Innovation ConferenceNew York, New York, September 16, 2016