With drone technology rapidly advancing and the FAA recently starting to open the door to commercial drone use, companies across industries are evaluating how drones can add value to their businesses.

Morrison & Foerster’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) practice group is at the vanguard of this emerging area. We combine the talents of our aviation, environment and energy, administrative law, product liability, privacy, corporate/M&A, and patent attorneys to address UAS matters for clients. Through this cross-disciplinary effort, we are fully equipped to serve the needs of our clients who are operating in this highly-specialized and quickly-evolving space.

Our group provides counsel on a wide range of regulatory and legal issues, including:

  • obtaining access to the National Airspace System for commercial use of UAS
  • potential product liability risks associated with increased use of UAS, such as using insurance, contract, and statutory protections, including the SAFETY Act, to mitigate risk
  • privacy laws implications for UAS operations
  • cybersecurity for UAS manufacturers, operators and government contractors, including intellectual property protection
  • operating in the highly regulated commercial airspace
  • corporate transactions relating to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and teaming arrangements
  • avoiding FAA and other regulatory enforcement actions
  • aircraft, pilot, and maintenance personnel certification for UAS operations

What we’ve done:

Morrison & Foerster’s UAS practice has provided practical and strategic counsel on a wide range of UAS-related matters:

  • represented clients across industries in designing strategies to obtain access to the NAS for commercial UAS use through FAA exemptions, waivers, and airworthiness certificates
  • represented an aerospace manufacturer in a dispute regarding the crash of a UAS during performance under government contract
  • counseled clients on strategic UAS initiatives and the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking process for UAS
  • provided guidance to global non-profit organization seeking to use UAS to further conservation efforts
  • provided guidance to financial institutions regarding the intentional and incidental collection of consumer information by drones
  • advised UAS clients on corporate transactions
  • handled complicated UAS import and export matters, including providing counsel on ITAR licensing
  • provided risk-management advice on product liability issues arising from UAS operations

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