Cleary Gottlieb’s intellectual property practice offers our clients the complete range of legal services for enforcing, defending, commercializing, exploiting and acquiring patents, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks.

Our clients’ most valuable assets are often their intellectual property and associated products and technology. Cleary lawyers leverage a full-service global practice to address corporate, tax, antitrust and other issues that impact IP in financial services, telecommunications, information technology, e-commerce, computer hardware and software, consumer products, media and entertainment, metals and mining, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and other industries.

Clients from around the world and a wide range of industries rely on the firm’s intellectual property litigation and arbitration experience, and when intellectual property disputes are fought in multiple jurisdictions, Cleary’s global reach sets us apart.

Notable Experience


  • Google in more than 20 transactions, including its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

  • Entities controlled by Jeffrey Bezos, the founder and CEO of online retailer, in their $250 million purchase of The Washington Post and various regional publishers.

  • Endurance, a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus, in its acquisitions of HostGator and the websites business of Intuit.

  • Stanley Black & Decker in the $1.4 billion sale of its Hardware & Home Improvement Group to Spectrum Brands Holdings.

  • GlaxoSmithKline in its acquisitions of a number of publicly traded companies, including Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Praecis Pharmaceuticals, CNS and Corixa.

  • The Raine Group on the IP aspects of its investment in Important Media, LLC, a joint venture with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the co-creators of the TV show "South Park" and the musical production "The Book of Mormon."

  • Nortel Networks and affiliates in their record-breaking auction of around 7,000 patent assets to Rockstar Bidco, a consortium consisting of Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research In Motion and Sony for $4.5 billion. Also counsel to Nortel in several other significant sales of multiple divisions with critical IP assets, including GENBAND, Ericsson and Kapsch CarrierCom, and its sale of internet protocol address blocks to Microsoft, generating $7.5 billion in total proceeds.

  • Numerous financial institutions in the IP aspects of establishing industry-wide consortia and technology standards, developing trading and operating platforms, and engaging in strategic alliances and joint ventures with third parties.

See More

Litigation and Arbitration

  • United Test and Assembly Center in a patent licensing dispute and ultimate settlement agreement with Tessera relating to semiconductor technology.

  • Texas Instruments and Broadcom in global litigation against Qualcomm for breach of undertakings given in connection with the licensing of patents for 3G mobile telephone standards worldwide, including successful appeal proceedings in the United States, and settlements resulting in payment above $2 billion to our clients.

  • People's United Bank in successfully defending against trademark infringement claims by PeoplesBank of Holyoke, Massachusetts and Peoples Federal Savings Bank of Boston, Massachusetts, relating to bank naming rights, including defeating claims for injunctive relief before the district court and on appeal.

  • Atlantic Tele-Network in defending against claims of misappropriation of trade secret brought by Verizon Wireless, following ATN's hiring of a Verizon Wireless employee (including defeating multiple requests for injunctive relief).

  • The Heisman Trophy Trust in winning preliminary and permanent injunctions against Smack Apparel Company as the result of its infringement of Heisman Trophy trademarks.

See More