Stoel Rives Forms Nanotechnology ("Nano") Team to Serve Evolving Needs of the Sector
Kristen Leis, Business Development Manager, (503) 294-9343
Stoel Rives LLP announced the formation of a multi-disciplinary team of attorneys focused on servicing the evolving legal needs facing the nanotechnology sector. The group - the Nano Team - is the latest step in the firm's strategy to develop technology initiatives in strategic niche areas.
"The nanotechnology sector represents one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.S. economy, and its hotbeds mesh well with our regional platform," said Wally Van Valkenburg, Chair of the Stoel Rives Technology and Intellectual Property Group. "The formation of our Nano Team is another example of the firm's strategy to leverage our substantial expertise and capabilities in specific technology sectors."
The interdisciplinary team consists of more than 20 attorneys located in Portland, Seattle and Salt Lake City. Team members bring expertise from diverse legal and scientific areas, reflecting the unique needs of the nanotechnology sector. Stoel Rives represents a wide variety of clients in the technology arena, including Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc., The Cobalt Group, Inc., FEI Company, Oregon Health & Science University, Tektronix, Inc., Utah State University.
The Nano Team is led by chair Micah Stolowitz, a partner in the Firm's Portland office. Stolowitz is a patent law attorney whose technical experience spans a variety of electronics and computer science technologies, including semiconductor integrated circuit fabrication and testing, CMOS and bipolar analog and digital circuits, microprocessor architectures, and semiconductor memory circuits and systems. He is immediate past President and serves on the Board of the Oregon Patent Law Association.
"Nanotechnology is unique in that it cuts across traditional boundaries of science and engineering disciplines, bringing together physics, chemistry, electronics, materials and life sciences in new ways to produce startling results. To support these exciting new endeavors, we have assembled a team with a correspondingly broad range of technology and legal backgrounds," Stolowitz said. "Our team is poised to assist emerging clients through each stage of their development because our attorneys understand both the legal and technical issues involved, from patent applications to venture capital financing, from licensing agreements to mergers and acquisitions, from patent litigation to initial public offerings."
According to a recent Lux Research survey, the nanotechnology sector in the U.S. has experienced a confluence of funding triggered by President Bill Clinton's launch of the National Nanotechnology Initiative ("NNI") in January 2000, which had an initial budget of $470M. In 2004 the government spent $1.6B, an amount well over twice that invested in the Human Genome Project at its peak. ("Small Wonders: A Survey of Nanotechnology," The Economist, January 1, 2005). Lux Research estimates that the government will spend an additional $982M on the sector in 2005. In the private sector, corporations were estimated to have spent $3.8B globally on nanotechnology research and development in 2004. Approximately $900 million in venture capital has gone to nanotechnology companies since 1999, with $386 million invested in 2003.
Stoel Rives's Nano Team advises clients on venture financing, patent strategies, tech transfer, joint venture agreements, regulatory approvals, as well as business issues such as licensing, government contracting, environmental and health law, and products liability.
About Stoel Rives LLP: Stoel Rives LLP is a multipractice business law firm with operations throughout the western United States. With more than 350 lawyers, Stoel Rives is a regional leader in corporate, litigation, natural resources and environment, energy and intellectual property law. For more information about Stoel Rives and its offices in Oregon, Washington, California, Utah and Idaho, visit www.stoel.com.