Transactional Practice

Ramey & Schwaller’s seasoned team aggressively represents clients engaged in the development of advanced technology in order to address the future implications of their investment, ideas and inventions. We craft tailored strategic and protective intellectual property policies that can be enforced and defended, enabling our clients to support, protect, commercialize, license and capitalize on their IP assets. Our attorneys are efficient and focused on achieving our clients’ objectives while working within an agreed-upon budget.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys are highly skilled and possess extensive engineering and scientific backgrounds. We counsel regional, national and international clients in areas where science, technology and commerce intersect. Our clients include manufacturers, educational institutions, hospitals, research centers, entrepreneurs, individual and joint inventors, and other developers of leading-edge technologies across a wide range of industries. These clients range from local start-ups to well-established companies around the world.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys advise clients in all areas of intellectual property transactions, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, contracts, due diligence, enforcement, unfair competition disputes, licensing agreements, public offerings for high-technology companies, regulatory guidance, employment agreements and related legal issues. Our attorneys negotiate innovative business and strategic collaborations, such as joint ventures, co-development arrangements, and manufacturing and distribution agreements.

Ramey & Schwaller’s IP attorneys place our clients in optimal positions to succeed in today’s complex global marketplace.

Our transactional practice covers the following areas:

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys often represent clients in corporate law on behalf of both purchasers and sellers during corporate transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. We deliver a thorough evaluation and analysis of issues triggered by impending purchases, policies, procedures and audits.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys handle complex agreements and licensing, including:

  • Technology Transfer Agreements
  • Technology Marketing Agreements
  • Patent, Trade Secrets and Copyright Licenses
  • Technology License Agreements
  • Entity formation documents
  • Manufacturing agreements
  • Master Service License Agreements
  • Outsourcing Agreements
  • Professional Services Agreements
  • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Non-compete Agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Employee Trade Secret Agreements
  • Intellectual Property Assignment Agreements (Employee Invention
    Assignment Agreements)
  • Web Site Agreements
  • eCommerce Agreements
  • Software Development Agreements

Specific technical areas of prosecution:

  • Mechanical (including oil field technology and service tools, medical devices and other complex mechanical applications related to downhole applications/methods), chemical engineering and processing equipment;
  • Chemical, including applications related to the polymer arts (polyethylene, styrene, copolymers and the like), gas separation, metallocene and other catalysts, and agricultural chemicals and equipment;
  • Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, including biochemistry, cell immunology, small molecule and cell biology, siRNA, virology and genomics;
  • Agricultural patents related to bioremediation equipment and plant patents, including hibiscus plants and other plant-variety patents;
  • Co-generation; process improvement and fluidized beds;
  • Nanotechnology, including MWCNN, SWCNN, Carbon nanotube synthesis, processing, modification and composites, Carbon nanotube spun fibers, Nanoparticles and their applications, Block co-polymers and Photovoltaic devices;
  • Business methods and insurance improvements;
  • Electrical, including computer programs and semiconductors;
  • Software;
  • Databases;
  • Network architecture;
  • Compression standards;
  • Oilfield equipment;
  • Computer hardware ;
  • Wireless networking;
  • Handheld communication devices;
  • Telecommunications;
  • Semiconductor technology;
  • Electrical engineering; and
  • Mechanical engineering.

Business Counseling & Strategic Planning

We assist our clients by helping them determine where they are going in reference to the competition, developing plans to protect their intellectual property by providing counseling on current options and assisting them in preparing a strategic business plan. The preparation of a strategic plan is a multi-step process covering vision, mission, objectives, values, strategies, goals and programs. These are discussed below.

The Vision

The first step is to develop a realistic Vision for the business. This vision should present an image of where you see your company in the future and serve as the inspiration for all of your planning.

The Mission

The nature of a business is often expressed in terms of its Mission, which states the purpose and activities of the business in terms of operations, (unique) characteristics, functions, customers, offerings, sectors/segments, scale/scope/penetration, methodologies, technologies and resources.

The Values

The next element to address is the Values governing the operation of the business and its conduct or relationships with society at large, customers, suppliers, employees, local community and other stakeholders.

The Objectives

The fourth key element is explicitly stating the business’s Objectives in terms of the results it needs/wants to achieve in the medium/long term. Aside from presumably indicating a necessity to achieve regular profits (expressed as return on shareholders’ funds), objectives should relate to the expectations and requirements of all the major stakeholders, including employees, and should reflect the underlying reasons for running the business. These objectives should cover growth, profitability, technology, offerings and markets.

The Strategies

Next are the Strategies — the rules and guidelines by which the mission and objectives may be achieved.

The Goals

Next are the company’s Goals. These are specific interim or ultimate time-based measurements to be achieved by implementing strategies in pursuit of the company’s objectives.

The Programs

The final elements are the Programs, which set out the implementation plans for the key strategies. These should cover resources, objectives, time-scales, deadlines, budgets and performance targets.

Business Methods

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys have proven experience in helping clients document and patent their business methods. Some examples of business methods we have patented are systems for buying stocks, identifying undervalued assets, insurance strategies and placing value on mutual funds.

Copyright

Copyright protection is one of the most often overlooked pieces of IP law that provides one of the easiest mechanisms for protection. We provide a full range of copyright services to help our clients protect their valuable works of authorship.

Corporate Practice

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys often represent clients in corporate law on behalf of both purchasers and sellers during corporate transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. We deliver a thorough evaluation and analysis of issues triggered by impending purchases, policies, procedures and audits.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys handle complex agreements and licensing, including but not limited to

  • Technology Transfer Agreements
  • Technology Marketing Agreements
  • Patent, Trade Secrets and Copyright Licenses
  • Technology License Agreements
  • Entity Formation Documents
  • Manufacturing Agreements
  • Master Service License Agreements
  • Outsourcing Agreements
  • Professional Services Agreements
  • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Non-compete Agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Employee Trade Secret Agreements
  • Intellectual Property Assignment Agreements (Employee Invention Assignment Agreements)
  • Website Agreements
  • eCommerce Agreements
  • Software Development Agreements

Employment

Ensure ownership of work created by your employees and vendors. Don’t assume the employer owns the work regardless of the rules in place in your state. Secure a clear assignment of rights and make sure everyone signs, including board members, management, company owners and employees. And don’t forget about your vendors and contractors. Take steps to ensure you own all research and development created by these people on behalf of your company. Ramey & Schwaller assists its client in preparing employee agreements, including non-compete and non-disclosure documents, in order to protect their valuable intellectual property.

Due Diligence

Savvy buyers inspect property thoroughly before making a purchase. They have mechanics test used vehicles and home inspectors pour over every inch of a house they are planning to buy. The same reasoning applies to corporate purchases, and mergers and acquisitions. All patents are not created equal. Our attorneys at Ramey & Schwaller are experienced at “inspecting” intellectual property and providing assessments as to the strength of the portfolio.

Intellectual Property

Ramey & Schwaller’s patent practice includes preparation and prosecution of patent, trademark and copyright applications in the United States and abroad, particularly in North America, South America, Middle East, Asia and Europe. Services include reexamination, reissue and interference cases, electronic filing, monthly docket reports to clients, and tracking and reminders of deadlines and renewal/maintenance fee payments. We also offer opinions regarding patentability, infringement and validity.

At Ramey & Schwaller, we know how imperative it is for every company to have an intellectual property strategy. We work with our clients to develop a system the client can use to capture all of its intellectual property.

Our attorneys and professionals perform a wide range of services that are designed to maximize the client’s intellectual property position and internal strategy. These services include:

  • Clearance Opinions
  • Portfolio Development
  • Agreement Drafting
  • Patent Landscape Analysis
  • Internal Patent Diligence Analysis and Development
  • Validity Opinions
  • Patent Searches
  • Trade Secrets

We utilize the latest patent search processes and research tools, including the LexisNexis database, PubMed database and the USPTO website. We are well versed in the use of the Index to the U.S. Patent Classification and the Classification Schedule in the Manual of Classification. For international patent research, our experience includes in-depth knowledge of the WIPO search database, Canadian Patent Search Database, European Patent Register, British Gateway, British Patent Status Enquiry, Japan’s Industrial Property Digital Library, Germany’s DEPATISnet database and Australia’s AusPat database.

Our intellectual property transactional practice includes:

Design Patents

Design patents are granted on the ornamental characteristics of your invention and are an important tool for creating overlapping protection in your intellectual property portfolio. Design patents are relatively easy to obtain and should be layered with other patents, such as utility patents, to fully protect your invention.

International Patents

Once you have filed your U.S. patent application, the clock starts ticking on one of the three routes available to U.S. applicants to seek foreign patent protection. Although foreign filing can be expensive, it is important to protect your property from being duplicated in other countries. The most direct route is to file the patent application directly in the applicable patent office in each country or region of interest. Alternatively, you can choose to file an application with the International Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system or via the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). Ramey & Schwaller intellectual property attorneys can assist in determining which route is best for your assets and inventions, and prosecute your international application until your work is patented and protected.

Plant Patents

Plant patents are granted to inventors of new strains of asexually reproducing plants. Ramey & Schwaller attorneys are experienced in organic plant patent prosecution, including hibiscus plants.

Post Grant Review Proceedings

The enactment of the America Invents Act opens an entirely new process for challenging the validity of a patent within the Patent Office at, presumably, a lower cost. Ramey & Schwaller remains ahead of these changes and is committed to keeping our clients informed of these and any other impending changes. Due to our diligence in remaining knowledgeable about this new legislation, we are well positioned to assist our clients in making use of the new procedures. We anticipate the dynamics of patent practice and litigation to change with the institution of the Post Grant Review Procedure, and we will be there to guide our clients through these changes.

Utility Patents

Utility patents concern three main factors: operability, beneficial uses and practical uses of invention. Utility patents protect the way your invention is used and works. These patent filings concerning the “nuts and bolts” of your invention are one of the most common types of patents filed, and our attorneys have successfully prosecuted hundreds of these applications.

Licensing

Licensing agreements are formed between the intellectual property rights owner and those entities or people authorized to use those rights. Examples of licensing rights are copyright licensing agreements, technology licensing agreements, trademark licensing and franchise agreements. Ramey& Schwaller attorneys are experienced in forming licensing agreements that protect both the rights of the owners and the licensees.

Opinion of Counsel

It is helpful for companies to receive opinions of counsel when they are starting a new product line or preparing to advance new technology. Our attorneys are skilled at conducting prior art searches and patents searches so you can have peace of mind knowing your new project is patentable and unlikely to be the subject of an infringement suit.

Our attorneys are also experienced in the reexamination process and can assist in having patents modified, restricted and, in some cases, rendered unenforceable. Reexamination is considerable less costly than an infringement lawsuit and, successfully presented, can result in early dismissal of an infringement lawsuit.

Trade Secrets

Ensure ownership of work created by your employees and vendors. Don’t assume the employer owns the work regardless of the rules in place in your state. Secure a clear assignment of rights and make sure everyone signs it, including board members, management, company owners and employees. And don’t forget about your vendors and contractors. Take steps to ensure you own all research and development created by these people on behalf of your company. Ramey & Schwaller assists its client in preparing employee agreements, including non-compete and non-disclosure documents, in order to protect their valuable intellectual property.

Trademarks

We provide a full range of trademark services to help our clients protect their valuable brands throughout the trademark life cycle. Our attorneys are also experienced in worldwide trademark prosecution.

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