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IP Issues in Business Transactions 2018 (SF)


Speaker(s): Aaron P. Rubin, Christian H. Nadan, Deborah Fishman, Debra A. Dandeneau, Dr. Lothar Determann, Ed Medlin, Eric A. Prager, Heather J. Meeker, Jason D. Kipnis, Jeffrey D. Osterman, Jeffrey L. Van Hoosear, Jiarui Liu, Kai Westerwelle, Karen N. Ballack, Kevin P. Smith, Marjorie M. Goux, Martin J. Collins, Mary A. Fuller, Ray Strimaitis, Suzanne Y. Bell, Thomas F. Villeneuve, Volha Samasiuk
Recorded on: Feb. 8, 2018
PLI Program #: 218864

Lothar Determann practices and teaches international technology, commercial and intellectual property law.

At Baker & McKenzie LLP in San Francisco and Palo Alto, he has been counseling companies since 1998 on data privacy law compli-ance and taking products, business models, intellectual property and contracts international. He is admitted to practice in California and Germany. He has been recognized as one of the top 10 Copyright At-torneys and Top 25 Intellectual Property Attorneys in California by the San Francisco & Los Angeles Daily Journal and as a leading law-yer by Chambers, Legal 500, IAM and others. For more information see www.bakermckenzie.com.

Prof. Dr. Determann has been a member of the Association of German Public Law Professors since 1999 and teaches Data Privacy Law, Computer Law and Internet Law at Freie Universität Berlin (since 1994), UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall, annually since 2004), Hastings College of the Law (since 2010), Stanford Law School (2011) and University of San Francisco School of Law (2000-2005). He has authored more than 120 articles and treatise contributions as well as 5 books, including Determann’s Field Guide to Data Privacy Law (3d Edition, 2017) and California Privacy Law - Practical Guide and Commentary (2nd Ed. 2017).

 


Debra A. Dandeneau is co-chair of Baker McKenzie's Global Restructuring and Insolvency Group and chair of its North America Restructuring and Insolvency Group. Her practice focuses on business reorganizations and debtor and creditors’ rights.

Ms. Dandeneau has been ranked by The Best Lawyers in America 2011-2018 in the practice areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and Litigation-Bankruptcy. She has also been recognized by Legal 500 US for Municipal Bankruptcy and Super Lawyers 2006-2017 for Bankruptcy. Super Lawyers has also named Debra among the 2017 Top Women for Bankruptcy Business in New York.

Ms. Dandeneau has dealt with a variety of entities experiencing financial distress, as well as a range of industries. Over the course of her career, her work has included representations in the real estate, manufacturing, power generation, healthcare, municipal, retail, and service sectors.

Ms. Dandeneau's professional honors include:

  • "Top Women" for Bankruptcy: Business in New York, Super Lawyers, 2017
  • "Super Lawyer" in Bankruptcy, Super Lawyers, 2006-2017
  • Pro Bono Publico Award, The Legal Aid Society, 2008
  • Recommended Lawyer in Municipal Bankruptcy in the US, Legal 500 US, 2015
  • "Best Lawyer" in Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Litigation, Best Lawyers in America, 2011-2018


Eric A. Prager, a partner in the firm’s intellectual property practice group, assists clients with all types of intellectual property issues. His practice involves contentious and non-contentious work, including strategic counseling, due diligence of IP assets, sophisticated licensing and agreement work, and litigation. He has litigated copyright, false advertising, patent, trademark and trade secret cases in courts around the country.

 With significant experience in the area of digital content distribution and protection, Eric represents one of the Big Three record companies and a major online subscription music service in their digital content matters. 

 Eric assisted in drafting several “digital agenda” copyright treaties for the World Intellectual Property Organization, including the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.  He has also served on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Public Advisory Committee for Trademark Affairs.

 Eric serves as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School in New York co-chairs the New York version of this PLI program.


Heather Meeker advises technology clients on intellectual property matters. Her practice focuses on counseling in the following areas:

  • Technology transactions, including licenses, channel sales agreements, development agreements, university technology transfer, and consumer contracting 
  • Open source software licensing, including IP strategy, compliance, transactions, and disputes 
  • Technology and IP issues in mergers and acquisitions
  • Copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, and other IP matters  

Heather has achieved national and international recognition for her leadership in the field of intellectual property law. Drawing on her technical knowledge and experience, she approaches matters with a practical and business focus. Heather handles technology transactions and intellectual property-related aspects of mergers and acquisitions for companies in all technology sectors and for non-technology companies doing technology deals, with an emphasis on IT and software.

Prior to joining O’Melveny, Heather practiced at an AmLaw 20 firm, where she served as chair of the firm’s IP/IT Licensing and Transactions Group, as well as the co-managing shareholder of its Silicon Valley office.

 

Education

  • University of California, Berkeley, J.D., 1994: Order of the Coif; Editor-in-Chief, Berkeley Technology Law Review (1993-1994)
  • Yale University, B.A., Economics, 1979: magna cum laude

 

Experience

  • Provided representation in open source disputes, including Oracle v. Google, Continuent v. Tekelec, and FSF v. Cisco.
  • Participated in drafting team for Mozilla Public License version 2.0.
  • Serves as advisor to the ALI project on the law of software contracting and the Restatement of Copyright Law.
  • Provided counsel to many open source software and technology efforts, including Mozilla Foundation, Cloudfoundry.org, OROPO Foundation, Open Compute Project, and Open Networking Foundation.
  • Authored "Open Source for Business," a handbook for engineers, business persons, and lawyers to understand the use of open source licensing in private enterprise.

 

Professional Activities

  • Former Council Member, American Bar Association Science and Technology Section (2006 - 2010) and Former Chair, Open Source Committee, Section of Science and Technology Law
  • American Law Institute (2006 - present)
  • Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights for the San Francisco Bay Area (2006 - present)


Jeffrey Osterman is a partner in Weil’s Technology & IP Transactions practice and concentrates on matters with deep commercial or technical complexity. He has had extensive experience with pure patent licensing, technology transfer, outsourcing, technology integration, content licensing and merchandising.

Mr. Osterman recently advised Sanofi in its worldwide exclusive licensing agreement with MannKind Corporation to develop and commercialize Afrezza (insulin human) Inhalation Powder; Verizon in connection with the acquisition of cloud TV technology from Intel; Lenovo in connection with the acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google; and Mubadala and Sony/ATV in connection with the proposed $2.2 billion acquisition of EMI Music Publishing. Mr. Osterman also regularly represents Panasonic in connection with a wide variety of transactional matters involving consumer electronics and GE in connection with the IP aspects of numerous corporate transactions. He also counsels clients with respect to their rights under existing agreements and the development of new technologies.

Mr. Osterman lived in Japan from May 1997 to May 1998 where he worked in-house on loan to the headquarters of Panasonic Corporation.

Mr. Osterman is a member of the State Bar of New York and is admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He has appeared on national television and lectured on intellectual property, electronic privacy and e-commerce throughout the United States and on U.S. intellectual property and contract law in Japan. He is also the Vice Chair of the IP Licensing Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners’ Association and is active in the open source legal community.

Mr. Osterman has received a number of awards for his expertise including being ranked by Chambers USA and Chambers Global as a national and global leader in the technology and outsourcing fields and by Legal 500 as a leading lawyer in the field of intellectual property. He is also recognized as an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars for Copyright, Counselling and Licensing, by Best Lawyers in America for Information Technology Law and in IAM Patent 2014.

Education

Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1995)

Cornell University (B.A., cum laude, 1992)


Karen Ballack is an intellectual property transactional attorney with emphasis on representing technology companies, particularly in the computer (hardware and software), Internet, semiconductor, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Ms. Ballack has extensive experience in a wide variety of complex technology and intellectual property alliances and transactions. Representative matters include: licensing arrangements; research and development collaborations; joint ventures; strategic alliances and corporate partnering transactions; intellectual property acquisitions and divestitures; manufacture and supply arrangements; distribution and reseller arrangements; co-marketing alliances; consulting and professional services agreements; and other arrangements involving the commercial exploitation of technology and intellectual property. Ms. Ballack’s practice also includes providing intellectual property assistance in connection with private equity, M&A and other corporate transactions. Ms. Ballack is frequently engaged as a guest speaker on topics relating to technology and intellectual property transactions.

Experience

Yahoo! in connection with a variety of Yahoo’s strategic technology and intellectual property collaborations, arrangements, acquisitions and divestitures and all technology and intellectual property aspects of over 30 of Yahoo’s M&A deals.  Most recently, Ms. Ballack served as Yahoo’s lead intellectual property counsel on Yahoo’s highly publicized reverse spin-off of its operating business, auction sale of that business, and ~ $4.48 billion acquisition of that business by Verizon, as well as Yahoo’s transfer of approximately 4,000 patent assets to a new Yahoo subsidiary, Excalibur, for monetization purposes.

Technology and intellectual property alliances, transactions, acquisitions and divestitures on behalf of Advanced Technology Investment Company, Apple, Applied Materials, ArthroCare, Cardinal Health, Getty Images, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, HCL Technologies, Illumina, Intel, Maxim Integrated, Micron Technology, Orix USA, Panasonic, PDL Biopharma, Pioneer Hi-Bred International (a DuPont company), Sumeru Equity Partners, Texas Instruments, The Progeria Research Foundation, TPG, Trimble Navigation, United Way, Vonage, and Wind River Systems.

Research and development collaborations involving technology companies, universities (such as California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Texas A&M and University of California), and research institutions (such as National Institutes of Health).

Ms. Ballack is actively involved with the Firm’s diversity and pro bono efforts. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Progeria Research Foundation.

Ms. Ballack is widely recognized in the industry. Among her recent accolades, she was named among “The World’s Leading IP Strategists 2018” by IAM Strategy 300 and among the “Top 250 Women in IP 2017” by Managing Intellectual Property. The Recorder named Ms. Ballack a “Trusted Advisor” for technology transactions in 2016 and 2017. She was named by The Silicon Valley Business Journal as one of Silicon Valley’s 2015 Women of Influence. Ms. Ballack was named to the Daily Journal’s 2017 list of “Top 100 Lawyers in California.” She was also named to the Daily Journal’s 2014 - 2016 lists of Top Women Lawyers in California, with the publication noting “When Weil represents major technology giants in high-value corporate transactions, the firm calls on Ballack to handle the complex intellectual property aspects of the deals.” She has also been included in The Recorder’s 2013, 2015 – 2017 lists of Women Leaders in Technology Law, which recognizes women lawyers who have demonstrated leadership and expertise in solving the most pressing legal concerns in the technology sector. She has been ranked by Chambers USA 2010-2018 as a leader in California in the field of IT & IT Outsourcing. Sources in Chambers USA 2015 describe Ms. Ballack as having the ability to “cut through and find areas of compromise” in major M&A deals and as being “a superb drafter and negotiator.” She has been recognized by The Legal 500 US 2010-2018 in the field of Intellectual Property, Patent Licensing, and has also been named an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars 2013-2018. Ms. Ballack has also been named to the 2017 and 2018 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers list.  In addition, Ms. Ballack is included in IAM Licensing 250’s “World’s Leading Patent & Technology Licensing Lawyers” and IAM Patent 1000’s “World’s Leading Patent Practitioners.”


Mary has served in diverse rolls from electrical engineer, to law firm attorney, head of litigation, chief IP counsel, and general counsel.  Drawing on her diverse experiences, Mary partners with clients by understanding their challenges, then working together to solve problems in the way that best fits the client’s legal and business needs.  As an integral and trusted partner, Mary is comfortable doing business as outside counsel or acting as an extension of the in-house team by serving as fractional in-house or general counsel.  Mary serves her tech clients on a variety of business and legal issues, including company-wide training programs, preparing for board meetings, writing board minutes, intellectual property counseling, Standards, litigation strategy and management, pre-litigation analysis, privacy, monetization strategies, licensing strategies and negotiations, M&A, and contract negotiation, drafting and editing.  

In addition to working hard at the Fuller Tech Law Group, Mary serves as an Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney in Santa Clara University’s School of Law, Entrepreneur's Clinic, where her students provide pro-bono legal services to high-tech startups.  Mary has a demanding speaking schedule, and regularly speaks to audiences on topics ranging from intellectual property, patent licensing strategies, artificial intelligence, litigation and risk management, and IP ownership issues, to contract law. 

Select Prior Positions 

Kudelski Intellectual Property and Innovation: Vice President, Chief Policy Officer and Head of Legal 

Adaptive Spectrum and Signal Alignment, Inc.: General Counsel and Corporate Secretary 

Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.: Chief IP Counsel 

Marvell Semiconductor, Inc.: Director and Managing Counsel for Litigation and Assistant Corporate Secretary 

Bingham McCutchen: Counsel 

Pennie & Edmonds: Associate 

Hewlett-Packard Company: Design for Manufacturing and Hardware Reliability Engineer


Aaron Rubin is co-chair of the firm’s Technology Transactions Group. He advises clients on a wide range of complex transactions involving intellectual property and technology, including structuring and negotiating strategic licensing, development, collaboration, procurement, and distribution deals. Mr. Rubin also maintains an active practice counseling companies on the intellectual property aspects of mergers, acquisitions, asset spin-offs, and private equity investments.

Mr. Rubin's practice focuses on advising both established and emerging companies in a variety of data- and technology-intensive sectors, including software, SaaS, cloud computing, AR/VR, AI, gaming, healthcare, consumer electronics, social media, e-commerce and other online business models, and mobile applications. He has represented clients such as Autodesk, Facebook, Gap, Konami, Kaiser Permanente, Oculus, Softbank, Visa, and Yahoo, among others. Mr. Rubin is also a co-editor of Socially Aware, Morrison & Foerster's award-winning newsletter and blog devoted to the law and business of social media.

In addition, Mr. Rubin regularly provides pro bono assistance to various non-profit and charitable organizations such as Common Sense Media and the Starlight Children's Foundation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of California Lawyers for the Arts.

Mr. Rubin received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991. In 2001, he received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where he was an executive editor of the California Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Following law school, Mr. Rubin served as law clerk to the Honorable William H. Orrick and the Honorable Martin J. Jenkins, both United States District Judges for the Northern District of California.


Chris Nadan is SVP & General Counsel of Actian Corporation, a leader in Data Management, Integration and Big Data Analytics software offered both in the cloud and on-premise. He heads the legal department and is responsible for all legal affairs for Actian (formerly Ingres Corp.).

Mr. Nadan was formerly Senior Director and Deputy General Counsel for Sun Microsystems, Inc., heading the legal group responsible for supporting Sun software.

In addition, Mr. Nadan has been an adjunct professor of law at the U.C. Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law for 17 years teaching a course on intellectual property transactions.

Mr. Nadan is also a co-author of the Common Development & Distribution License (CDDL), an open source license certified by the Open Source Initiative.

Before joining Sun, Mr. Nadan was an attorney at Farella, Braun & Martel in San Francisco where his practice included IP litigation and client counseling for high technology companies. Mr. Nadan received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his J.D. from U.C. Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law.


Deborah Fishman focuses her practice on intellectual property, with a particular emphasis on biopharmaceutical and medical device patent litigation. She also handles antitrust, trade secret, and general commercial disputes. Ms. Fishman has successfully represented Fortune 500 companies in business-critical patent cases and commercial disputes, and has litigated cases worth more than $1 billion through trial.

As an IP litigator, Ms. Fishman has represented leading life sciences companies like Elan Pharmaceuticals, Olympus Surgical, and Amgen in all aspects of complex patent litigation. Her experience includes bringing and defending patent infringement actions concerning biologic therapeutics (such as recombinant proteins and antibodies) and medical devices (such as bipolar surgical instruments and ophthalmic imaging techniques). Ms. Fishman is also registered to practice before the USPTO and has an active practice in post-grant contentious proceedings before the Patent Trials and Appeals Board, before district courts, and on appeal to the Federal Circuit.


Dr. Kai Westerwelle is a partner of the international law firm Taylor Wessing. He co-chairs the firm's U.S. Group and the Silicon Valley representative office. 

Kai is a German Certified Specialist Attorney for Information Technology Law and advises major national and international companies, in particular U.S. technology companies, in all areas of IT-Law and data protection. He has supported a substantial amount of international restructuring, cloud and outsourcing projects, as well as many M&A transactions and international Venture Capital investments. As U.S. representative of the Taylor Wessing group, he also supports U.S. companies with their international expansion to and/or their business in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. 

Kai studied in Germany and Switzerland, followed by an assistant professorship at the University of Trier/Germany. After having worked as a specialized IT attorney in Germany for over 20 years, he co-founded the representative office of Taylor Wessing in Menlo Park in 2014.

Kai is the author of numerous publications and regularly speaks at national and international congresses. He lectures at the University of Dresden and the Frankfurt School of Business and Finance. He is an active member of the German Society of Law and Information, the Bitkom e.V. – Germany’s leading association for IT & Telecom companies, the German American Business Association, and the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Kai is listed in iam 250 “The World’s Leading Patent & Technology Licensing Lawyers”, “Best Lawyers” of Handelsblatt, Juve, Legal 500, and Chambers. Furthermore, he was several times awarded the “ILO Client Choice Award“ for IT-Law in Germany, and is one of the most recommended data protection specialists according to the German Association of In-house Counsels.


Ed Medlin joined Maxim in 1999 as Director and Associate General Counsel. Prior to joining Maxim, Ed had 10 years of commercial law practice and seven years of corporate experience as general counsel at two previous companies. He was promoted to Vice President in 2006, to General Counsel in 2010, and to Senior Vice President in 2015. Ed also serves as Maxim’s Chief Corporate Compliance Officer. Ed’s team includes Legal, Compliance Ethics and Risk, Cyber Security, Administration, Human Resources, and Security.

Ed has been a member of the Semiconductor Industry Association Public Policy Committee since 2014, and has served as Committee Chair since 2016.

Ed is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, and sits on the NACD General Counsel Steering Committee. Ed focuses on Board duties in Governance and Cyber Security. 

Ed is a sitting member of the NASDAQ General Counsel Advisory Committee.

Ed is a frequent speaker and moderator on the Practicing Law Institute Faculty. He has been a returning faculty member of the Santa Clara University School of Law In-House Counsel Institute. Ed is also a guest instructor for Santa Clara University School of Law and a speaker on various topics, including communications, law department management, in-house practice, risk and crisis management, and the responsibilities of general counsel and boards of directors with respect to cybersecurity risks.

Ed holds a degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University.


Jason Kipnis focuses his practice on complex intellectual property matters and advises clients on IP portfolio management, litigation, enforcement and dispute counseling, and audits and due diligence. His experience includes trade secret protection and management, standards counseling, open source matters, international rights management and identification and acquisition of intellectual property of third parties. In addition, he has advised clients at various stages of development in a wide range of technologies, including computer architecture and system design, software, semiconductor design and fabrication, optics, networking and telecommunications, biotechnology and medical devices.

Mr. Kipnis is an adjunct lecturer at Stanford Law School, where he teaches IP Strategy for High Technology Companies. He is also a frequent speaker on intellectual property matters at professional and academic conferences, and he is the President of the Board of the Bay Area Video Coalition.

Prior to beginning his legal career, Mr. Kipnis worked as a consultant for Oracle Corporation, where he designed and implemented database applications.”


Jeffrey L. Van Hoosear is a partner in the Orange County office. He focuses on international trademark and unfair competition matters. His practice also includes domestic and foreign trademark selection and clearance, trademark and copyright prosecution, proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, intellectual property licensing, domain name and website content issues and state rights of publicity.

Mr. Van Hoosear represents a number of clients in the apparel and sporting goods industries, and also represents clients in the food and beverage, automotive, academic, entertainment, fashion, financial, insurance, real estate and software industries. He has represented clients in a wide variety of industries, including Kate Spade, Pacific Life, First American Financial, Green Street Advisors, Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, Lee & Associates, Orexigen Therapeutics, House Foods, 99 Cents Only Stores, and Public Storage.

Education

Boston University School of Law (J.D. 1986)
Beloit College (B.A. Government 1983), cum laude, Dean's List, Martha Peterson Award, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society


Kevin is the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Sirtex Medical, a medical device company based in the Boston area.  Kevin is an accomplished life sciences attorney and supports Sirtex across all aspects of its legal and compliance matters.  

Prior to Sirtex, Kevin was the VP & Associate General Counsel for Flexion Therapeutics focused on focuses on intellectual property, securities, business development and other matters faced by early-stage, commercial biopharmaceutical companies.  He was also previously the General Counsel for the Danaher Life Sciences Platform, managing the legal, compliance, intellectual property, trade compliance and EHS functions for the companies within the platform.  Before that, Kevin held several senior legal leadership positions within Novartis, including as the General Counsel for the Novartis Molecular Diagnostics Unit, Head of Legal for the Emerging Growth Markets and Head of Legal for the General Medicines unit (NSO, IID and Established Medicines).  Before moving in-house, Kevin worked for international law firms in New York, Silicon Valley and London.   

Kevin is admitted in New York and California and is a registered patent attorney.  He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School. 

 


Marjorie Goux is Chief Legal Counsel at the quickly growing Clif Bar & Company in Emeryville, California. She thrives the spaces of growth and change where she finds that new categories and changing directions open important and energizing intervals for business and legal innovation. Working together, Marjorie feels high-impact teams can seize these opportunities and meet the challenges of great things to come.

Previously, she served as The Clorox Company’s Chief Counsel for its global strategic partnerships group and as the general business counsel to the Glad Products Company (a Clorox/P&G JV) and Clorox’s North American Homecare business. She began her in-house journey at Hewlett-Packard Company as the Global Trademark and Anti-Counterfeiting Counsel for the Imaging and Printing Division. Her early career included a wonderful time, well spent, as a member of Baker McKenzie’s award-winning private practice IP team, both in London and Palo Alto.

Outside of business, Marjorie passionately seeks ways to disrupt the poverty cycle in this country, and in particular, she advocates for education reform and improving conditions for women and girls in the workplace, home, and school.
 
Marjorie is a graduate of the University of Washington (BS Chemistry) and University College, London (Honors Law).


Martin Collins has served as General Counsel since April 2014 and as head of Compliance and Corporate Development since October 2014.

Prior to joining QuinStreet, Mr. Collins served as vice president of corporate development at Bloom Energy, a distributed energy provider, where he was in charge of all corporate development and legal matters. Prior to that, Mr. Collins was the general counsel and head of internal audit at Novellus Systems. He was also previously in charge of M&A and corporate and securities matters for Oracle Corporation’s legal department.

Mr. Collins received his law degree from Georgetown and holds a B.A from Williams College.


Ray Strimaitis currently serves as Vice President at AST where he is oversees Corporate Development & Global Strategy.  Previously, Ray served as Vice President of Intellectual Property and Deputy General Counsel for Yahoo, and as Vice President of Excalibur IP, LLC.  He led a global team of IP professionals and was responsible for all IP matters at Yahoo and Excalibur.  As part of his role, he was responsible for setting patent strategy, monetizing the Yahoo and Excalibur patent portfolios, managing patent risk, guiding patent advocacy and overseeing all trademark/copyright matters. During his tenure at Yahoo, Ray successfully established and led a program to monetize Yahoo patents that generated $600 million in patent sales and license transactions.  In 2016 he led the effort to form Excalibur IP, LLC – a wholly owned Yahoo subsidiary that was created to further optimize patent value to Yahoo shareholders. Before joining Yahoo, Ray served in various legal, management and patent monetization roles at IBM.


Suzanne Bell has more than 20 years of experience representing some of the world’s most prominent technology companies in their most significant technology and intellectual property transactions. Recognized as a leading practitioner in Chambers USA for her "wealth of experience," clients describe her as "service-oriented, delivering high-quality work product in a practical and friendly manner."

Ms. Bell focuses on technology and IP transactions—with an emphasis on complex strategic alliances—for a wide range of software, electronics, AI, IoT, autonomous vehicle, telecommunications, cloud computing, digital media, Internet, fintech, digital health, and clean technology companies. Her practice also includes strategic intellectual property asset purchases and sales; technology mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs; and intellectual property litigation settlement agreements. In addition to her transactional work, she provides product counseling and advice on structuring business models for emerging technology companies and traditional companies that are embracing technology. Ms. Bell works with both growth and mature companies, and she has advised many of Silicon Valley's most prominent companies from start-up to maturity.


Tom F. Villeneuve, a founding partner of the firm, is a nationally recognized authority in the areas of U.S. and international corporate partnering, strategic alliances, joint ventures, and licensing, as well as in intellectual property strategy and commercialization. He has extensive expertise representing start-up/emerging companies and multinational corporations in these areas, and has successfully represented emerging company clients in major corporate partnering/strategic alliance and/or licensing arrangements with a great many of the largest U.S. and international information technology, communications, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, as well as with the major research universities and institutes.
 
Tom was the only licensing/partnering lawyer named among the "Top 25 IP Lawyers" by California's leading legal trade publication. He is also one of only a handful of licensing/partnering attorneys named to Global Counsel's "Most Recommended Lawyers" lists and is recognized as one of California's top corporate transactional lawyers in both "Best Lawyers in America" and the Chambers USA guide to "America's Leading Lawyers for Business," as well as one of the Northern California "Super Lawyers." 

Tom has been a Federal court-appointed expert arbitrator, and has been appointed as an expert negotiator and expert counselor/witness regarding intellectual property issues and licensing/partnering practices in various industries. This includes such notable matters as: amicus counsel to the Software Industry Coalition and the Computer Software Industry Association with respect to the U.S. Supreme Court review of the seminal Lotus v. Borland copyright case; appointment by the California Attorney General as the lead strategist and negotiator in resolving the State's highly-publicized Oracle licensing scandal; and serving as the expert consultant and witness on corporate partnering/strategic alliances in the Beckman Center/City of Hope dispute with Genentech.


Volha Samasiuk is Privacy Counsel at Autodesk, Inc., a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Previously she was Senior Counsel and Privacy & Compliance Officer at Wargaming, an international video game company, where she focused on data privacy and security counseling. Volha also worked as a subject matter expert at the World Bank’s IFC and the UNDP and served as an adjunct professor at the Belarusian State University School of Law and a visiting scholar at the University of Washington School of Law. Volha is admitted to practice law in California and Belarus.


Assistant Professor Jiarui Liu focuses his research on intellectual property law, in particular the interactions between intellectual property protection, technological innovation, and the development of cultural industries. He is a fellow at the Center for Internet and Society of Stanford Law School. Before that, he was a tenure track assistant professor of law at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. He has published 32 academic articles in U.S., European, and Chinese law reviews. One of his articles has been included in the suggested readings of the World Intellectual Property Organization, and another has been selected and reprinted by West as one of the best law articles of 2010 in the areas of art, entertainment, and publishing.

He obtained his JSD at Stanford Law School, where he was an Olin Fellow in Law and Economics, a Microsoft Fellow in Intellectual Property and Antitrust, and a Stanford Program in International Legal Studies Fellow. He has also served as a senior editor of the Stanford Technology Law Review. He has a PhD in Jurisprudence from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He has worked for Baker & McKenzie and Jones Day, practicing entertainment and media, computer and information technology, intellectual property litigation and transactions. He has been involved in several high-profile cases in China, including some designated as the “Top 10 Intellectual Property Cases of the Year” by the Supreme People’s Court of China. He has also assisted various industrial associations and international organizations in intellectual property-related policy projects.