Legal services for standards-setting orgs, open source initiatives, and large and small firms.
Brad offers a comprehensive set of legal services for standards developers, open source initiatives, and large and small businesses navigating interoperability challenges. His clients include major global standards-setting organizations, Fortune 100 information technology companies, and emerging software and hardware start-ups. Brad engages with clients independently and, as needed, collaboratively with specialized co-counsel.
Information and communications technology products and services exist within a complex web of interoperable networks. The methods used to form these ecosystems of interoperable products and services vary widely, and involve a balance of business, technical and legal factors. Brad helps clients develop strategies for creating and shaping technology ecosystems.
Entity formation and governance.
New standards-setting efforts and open source projects face consequential choices about organizational structure and decision-making models. Organizational options include operating under purely contractual regimes, nesting under existing organizations, forming 501(c)(3) or 510(c)(6) non-profits, or forming social benefit or traditional for-profit entities. Governance models must balance the interests of founders with community credibility and organizational sustainability. Brad helps clients select and implement appropriate organizational models.
Intellectual property counseling.
Recent high profile lawsuits focused on standards-essential patents (SEPs) highlight the immense stakes associated with patents and standards. Similarly, clashes between tech giants over Java demonstrate the key role of copyright. And trademarks have long played a critical role in standards compliance and interoperability regimes and for open source projects. Brad provides comprehensive intellectual property counseling, including the development of IPR policies and software licensing structures. In association with co-counsel he provides associated trademark registration and patent prosecution services.
Standards and open source efforts involve competitors collaborating. Antitrust law is fundamentally about policing collaboration among competitors, and competition law authorities worldwide enforce antitrust rules vigilantly. This tension creates serious risks. Brad counsels clients on best practices for mitigating these risks.
Collaborations between standards and open source organizations can be a tool for resolving clashes between competing business ecosystems, and thus the business and legal stakes can be high. Brad negotiates and drafts Liaison Agreements and similar documents. Further, Brad assists clients with navigating interactions with formal international standards development bodies, such as via the ISO/IEC/JTC1 PAS process.
Compliance and interoperability (C&I) processes.
Compliance testing processes and associated logo licensing programs are a fundamental component of many standards organizations. Brad counsels clients about establishing relationships with testing service providers, hosting plugfests, and developing and licensing certification marks.
Open source management.
Open source software is increasingly relevant, even for hardware-focused organizations and companies. Traditional specification development organizations are grappling with how to manage their constituents’ desire for open source reference implementations, and with how to incorporate informal open source development processes into formal spec development models. Brad helps clients understand open source license options and to implement code maintenance and decision-making processes.
General counsel services.
Standards-setting organizations and open source initiatives face a wide range of legal issues, just like any business: Board support, non-profit or for-profit corporate entity maintenance, contract negotiations, engagements with employees and independent contractors, lease agreements, licensing deals, etc. Brad serves as outsourced general counsel for organizations, providing a comprehensive set of legal services either directly or via select engagements with co-counsel, as needed.
Companies engaged in mergers and acquisitions face a risk: standards-related IP licensing commitments made by a target company can have a significant impact on the patent portfolio of an acquiring company. In cooperation with patent co-counsel, Brad has developed a unique service focused on quickly and cost-effectively assessing the standards IPR commitments made by a target company, and providing the acquirer with recommendations for managing the identified risks.
Patent pools are one of many tools available to manage standards essential patents. Brad assists clients in understanding different patent pool structures and can coordinate pool formations.
Policymakers worldwide are focused on a wide range of standards-related issues, and creating laws and regulations that will impact the ICT industry. Brad advises clients about relevant developments, and represents clients in policy forums.
Drawing from his academic engagements, Brad performs qualitative and quantitative research on a variety of standards and intellectual property-related matters for private sector clients.