The C+L Advantage

We are lawyers first and use our legal expertise to help our clients attain their goals

C+L’s patent practice primarily focuses on two areas. First, we have considerable expertise relating to biotech inventions, including those involving pharmacology, vaccines, gene therapy, stem cells, diagnostics, immunology, medical devices, plant biology, biofuels, bioagriculture, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, biosynthetics, bioengineering, pharmacogenomics, bioinformatics, nanotechnology, and personalized medicine. We are often invited to be featured speakers and lecturers on cutting edge biotech patent issues at conferences and seminars. Second, we have expertise in a number of engineering areas, including aerospace mechanisms and structures, control and communication systems, semiconductor and MEMS devices, fabrication and computer hardware, and software.

We have technical degrees in biology, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and engineering. Although we have extensive R&D experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and aerospace industries, we are lawyers first and use our legal expertise to help our clients — the inventors, universities, and companies — attain their goals by protecting and enforcing their intellectual property rights.

C+L in the IP Space – C+L does not have interns, trainees, junior attorneys, large paper libraries, or the many personnel groups carried as overhead by large and multi-international law firms. At C+L, substantive legal work is done directly by a senior attorney. We leverage technology to minimize the need for administrative and secretarial staff. The cost savings afforded by C+L’s lean staffing allows us to deliver IP legal services at billing rates considerably lower than those charged by other firms for attorneys with comparable experience and expertise.

A few key advantages C+L has over other law firms include:

+   Partner Level Work at Associate Level Rates

C+L’s attorneys have experience and expertise that were honed at large firms, and all of our attorneys have been partners at other firms. None of our attorneys has less than 16 years of IP legal practice. We provide partner-level work. We do not have junior associates, so our clients do not, directly or indirectly, bear the costs of training junior attorneys or reviewing and revising their work. Thus, we provide high quality partner-level work at rates comparable to that large firms charge for their associates.

+   No Double-Billing and No Delays for Review

Unless requested by clients, only one attorney works on a given client case. Consequently, our clients are not “double billed” by having multiple attorneys, e.g., a junior and a senior attorney, work on one project. There is no layering of partners and associates. Clients interact directly with the senior attorney who does the actual preparation and prosecution work. This means there is no delay while waiting for partner review and approval of associate work.

+   Deep Experience in Serving Research Institutions

C+L attorneys collectively have almost 60 years of experience representing academic and research institutions. We understand that universities pursue patents for different reasons, and that not all cases require the same prosecution strategy or investment and so we offer different tiers of service for different situations. We can work with clients who prefer to defer costs to later stages of prosecution to optimize viability of yet-to-be-licensed cases. We can scale up the aggressiveness of our prosecution strategy when appropriate, and recognize that the best approach to a given portfolio can change over time.

+   In-House Experience

Before entering private practice, Karen and Larry worked in the technology transfer offices of the University of Washington and the National Institutes of Health, respectively. Kelly, our technical specialist, worked in the University of Washington’s technology transfer office after earning her PhD. Our paralegal, Jane, was a patent prosecution specialist at the Office of Intellectual Property of the University of California, Los Angeles. Thus, we understand and can readily address IP issues specific to academia and research institutions.  In addition to his extensive experience working with large aerospace companies, Brad worked in-house in the legal department of a large company.  Having been in-house counsel and clients of IP firms ourselves before entering private practice, we understand, and avoid, the things that frustrate clients about working with outside counsel.

+   Leadership Roles in Major IP Organizations

Karen and Suzannah hold leadership roles in the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), the national organization representing intellectual property practitioners, Karen as a member of the Board of Directors and Suzannah as the immediate past Chair of AIPLA’s Biotechnology Committee. Suzannah also serves as an ACI Expert Speaker for the American Conference Institute (ACI), while Karen serves on the Advisory Board to the Center for Advanced Study and Research on Intellectual Property (CASRIP) of the University of Washington School of Law. Our involvement in AIPLA, ACI, and CASRIP keeps us informed of the latest developments in IP and provides us with a wealth of resources similar to that of large firms.

+   We Build Long-Lasting Relationships

C+L attorneys have built long-lasting relationships with their clients. For example, Suzannah, Karen, and Larry have represented the University of California (including the Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, and San Francisco campuses, and the central office in Oakland) throughout their careers. In fact, Suzannah has represented the University of California and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command since the beginning of her career, Karen has represented the University of Washington since 1998, and Larry started working with the University of Rochester in 2003 and with Tulane University in 2004.