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About Our Copyright Practice

Now-standard tools of technology practice, such as the intellectual property audit and the software clean room – designed to reduce the risk of infringement in new product development – were pioneered at Fenwick & West. We regularly provide advice on the reach of copyright law into such uncharted areas as the Internet and the ever-expanding realm of digital devices. Services include:

  • Innovative solutions to emerging copyright issues
    • Internet and digital distribution copyright issues
    • Fair use issues in a digital environment
    • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbors
    • DMCA, European and other foreign anti-circumvention law
    • Post-Grokster inducement liability issues
    • Secondary liability for infringing uses of technology products and services
    • Interoperability and compatibility issues
    • Open Source compliance and audit issues
    • Copyright management information (CMI) issues
    • Emerging legislative issues (broadcast flag, audio flag, analog hole, consumer digital rights, broadband services, net neutrality)
  • Cutting edge advice at the intersection of technology and copyright
    • Clean room development
    • Command set and protocol emulation
    • Architecture of software to incorporate technological measures for legal control of access and copying
    • Reverse engineering
  • Performing IP audits of copyright issues
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Asset valuations for investors
  • Practical copyright counseling
    • Managing infringement risk and strategic planning for copyright protection
    • Copyright registrations, assignments and security interests

David Hayes, former chair of the firm's Intellectual Property Group, is also the author of the comprehensive treatise Advanced Copyright Issues on the Internet, which is updated quarterly and provides detailed analysis of the latest developments in a wide range of Internet-related copyright issues.

Because we understand our clients' technologies and business environment as well as the law, and because our judgment has been honed in novel litigation at the limits of copyright law, Fenwick & West is uniquely situated to advise on managing risks in an uncertain legal environment and on safeguarding intellectual property assets.