Artificial Intelligence + Robotics


Morrison & Foerster provides sophisticated, full-service representation to a wide range of clients with companies that both develop and use cutting-edge, rapidly changing technology in the AI and robotics space. Our clients span the spectrum from start-ups to Silicon Valley industry leaders to global Fortune 100 power players. They rely on our cross-practice, integrated approach to all aspects of their business operations, whether it’s protecting valuable intellectual property or navigating tricky regulatory hurdles. We take the time to immerse ourselves in our clients’ technologies to provide the highest and most sophisticated level of legal and business advice.

Our team understands that the artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics industry is dynamic and evolving daily. Through our extensive industry experience and our collaborative global approach, we are able to offer our clients fast access to comprehensive counsel to help them tackle the latest issues related to:

  • Intellectual property
  • Privacy and data security
  • Products liability
  • Technology transactions
  • Corporate/M&A
  • Litigation
  • Regulatory
  • Safety Compliance

Intellectual Property: We work with clients from the earliest stages of technology development. Our Intellectual Property and Patent lawyers help clients protect innovations and perfect intellectual property rights. We have guided clients in obtaining patent coverage for inventions that will shape the future of transportation, including drone technologies, like assisted landing and route planning. We have also helped clients secure patents on technologies related to:

  • Automation
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer learning
  • Graphics processing
  • Battery usage
  • Data aggregation
  • User interfaces

In addition, we have developed and implemented an IP enforcement strategy for the largest technology company in the world.

Privacy and Data Security: Our Global Privacy + Data Security Group includes more than 60 lawyers across the United States, Europe, and Asia, who provide creative yet practical advice to established companies and start-ups as they develop cutting-edge technologies or expand into new markets. We counsel clients on compliance with ever-evolving global privacy laws and regulations, including:

  • The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Cyber incident preparedness and response
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Complex regulatory challenges

As one of the first dedicated data protection practices of any global law firm, our team is familiar with the privacy laws in every jurisdiction in which they exist and advocates before data protection authorities worldwide.

Products Liability: We counsel product companies at every stage of the product lifecycle, advising on product liability risk management, product recalls, insurance, and indemnification. Safety is a top priority for our clients. We work with them to develop warnings, safety management systems, manuals, service bulletins, and other technical documents, anticipating novel claims or risks that they may face as a result of new technologies. We are also the go-to trial and national coordinating counsel for transportation clients facing major products liability and class action litigation.

Technology Transactions: Our Technology Transactions Group is recognized as one of the world's leaders in handling complex technology transactions. We routinely bring this experience to bear for the latest leading intelligent transportation, delivery, and manufacturing technologies. We also regularly advise companies operating in, or that offer products that operate in, data and algorithm-rich environments, helping clients to do everything from securing rights to training data sets and services and data management platforms to rolling out connected technologies to enterprise customers and consumers. Our work includes strategic collaborations; manufacturing, supply, development, distribution and sale agreements; terms or service; counseling and negotiation of technology-related agreements; sourcing and IT procurement; IP licensing; and IP and technology issues related to investments and M&A deals.

Corporate/M&A: Our M&A practice is renowned for its work in the technology sector. Our M&A attorneys regularly advise both emerging and established companies on transactions involving artificial intelligence, robotics, and intelligent transportation solutions. We provide counsel to clients on the full range of transactional activities, from acqui-hires and serial acquisition programs to big-ticket public company acquisitions.

Litigation: We regularly litigate IP and trade secret cases involving of-the-moment technologies, including autonomous systems. In early 2018, we secured a favorable settlement for Uber in its action against Waymo, one of the highest profile trade secrets cases to date involving the development of autonomous vehicles. The size and experience of our litigation team has provided us with expertience in a variety of venues, including all of the district courts that handle high volumes of patent litigation, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. We are adept at making this complex technology, and the legal issues surrounding it, understandable to lay judges and juries. Our IP litigators are known for their courtroom skills, their ability to analyze the key issues in a case and develop novel solutions for resolving or winning it, and their depth of experience.

Regulatory: We are the go-to outside regulatory counsel for some of the world’s leading companies with business models and technology platforms operating within both emerging and established regulatory frameworks, including in high-risk markets. We advise clients on regulations at the international, national, state, and local levels and across voluntary and mandatory regimes. For example, our team has assisted clients with autonomous transportation regulatory issues in both aerial and terrestrial contexts. For clients with or seeking an international footprint, we offer unrivaled experience before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), obtained through dozens of extended and challenging CFIUS investigations.

Safety Compliance: With comprehensive knowledge of the safety regimes in a number of industries including transportation, health care, and consumer electronics, we are skilled at counseling clients on safety issues related to the development, deployment, and integration of any system or device that will be connected and operated based on self-learning algorithms. We understand machine-learning technology and the new challenges it presents for automated systems clients.

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