M&A Due Diligence Guides

IP Competitive Analysis, M&A, & Due Diligence

Providing you with a deeper understanding your competitive landscape from both a technology and IP perspective.

Fountainhead Attorneys Put The “Diligence” In Due Diligence

Whether you’re starting a new venture, merging, acquiring technology, or investing in a new technology space, our team has the experience and expertise to ensure your success.

Freedom to Operate/Risk Assessments:

When defining or entering new technology markets, it is essential to clearly understand the competition and/or prior efforts in that space from both a business and technology perspective. Our attorneys have performed Freedom to Operate analyses to identify and assess risks, competitors, and potential roadblocks. We craft solutions that give our clients a clearer and more robust path forward.

State-of-the-Art/Competitive Analysis:

All too often, entrances into new technology spaces by startups and larger corporations are foiled by unknown and unexpected work or IP rights performed by others, either previously or contemporaneously.

Prior art searches can and should be about much more than patentability assessments. Understanding the technological state-of-the-art and competitive landscape sheds light on our client’s true technical and business differentiation, allowing them to hone their strategies and tactics.

Knowing what prior work and IP are out there, knowing who the stealth mode companies are and what they are doing, and knowing the existence and status of various skunkworks projects (past and present) can all yield potentially critical information, which is all too often publicly available and simply overlooked or ignored.

M&A Technology Evaluations/Due Diligence:

How often do M&As or other technology investments go wrong? Is it preventable? We think we have a better way.
From our perspective, properly performed due diligence is more than just checking assignments and ownership documents, which is all too often the scope of work attorneys on the deal are expected to perform. For us, due diligence is about more. Much more.

We strive to understand our client’s expectations and goals for the transaction, study the underlying technology and related assets in excruciating detail, and advise on whether the goals are aligned with the realities of the deal. Will the technology being acquired do what it is expected to do? Do the patents cover what the product does (sometimes they don’t)? Are competitors blocked from copying the product (sometimes they aren’t)?

Fountainhead attorneys have the requisite strong technical backgrounds, tenacity, and legal acumen to ferret out the issues that can undermine the initial value proposition and arm our clients with the information they need to ensure the deal produces the expected results.

Simply put, our attorneys put the “diligence” in due diligence.

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Ensenta, Inc. (acquired by Private Equity fund)

After linking Ensenta’s core technology innovations to its target market space, Fountainhead successfully navigated Ensenta’s patents through the Patent Office to protect their innovations and markets. Over the years, Fountainhead worked with Ensenta to successfully fend off IP attacks from competitors. These efforts culminated in a successful exit when the company was sold to a private equity firm.

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Power Analog Microelectronics (acquired by Diodes Inc.)

Power Analog Microelectronics (PAM) was a multinational analog and mixed signal startup. Fountainhead’s expertise in analog, mixed signal, and global IP strategy helped PAM to build a comprehensive IP program to support their global marketing efforts, leading to a successful acquisition by Diodes Inc.

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Summit Microelectronics (acquired by Qualcomm Inc.)

Summit’s battery charging technology changed the world. When Summit invented a charging algorithm that reduced battery charge time by orders of magnitude (“TurboCharge”), they turned to Fountainhead to protect these vital IP assets. Knowing that companies around the world would stop at nothing to “design around” Summit’s innovations, Fountainhead worked with Summit engineers to craft numerous claim strategies to make their IP as impregnable as possible. Summit was later sold to Qualcomm for hundreds of millions of dollars based in large part on their IP portfolio, portions of which was later asserted against Apple.

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SAP is a global leader in business process software. Since the seminal Supreme Court case of Alice Corp. v CLS Bank, which significantly raised the bar for patenting business process software patents, protecting these key IP assets has been no easy task. For almost two decades, Fountainhead Law has worked with SAP to lead the field in patenting business process software patents, having successfully obtained hundreds of valid and granted patents for SAP and other clients in this nuanced and challenging technology space.

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When wireless titan Qualcomm launched its seminal patent lawsuit against Apple, from over 200,000 patents in their arsenal, they selected just 12 patents deemed capable of withstanding the rigors of Apple’s rigorous patent defenses. Fountainhead Law proudly prosecuted two (2) of the selected 12 Qualcomm patents, contributing to Qualcomm’s favorable settlement with Apple of this epic patent battle.

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Software Systems​

When Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, set out to transform Microsoft’s strategic vision, the legal team turned to Fountainhead’s broad range of expertise in software, hardware, AI, and other technologies to protect the new technology areas that Microsoft was venturing into. Fountainhead has helped Microsoft preserve the wealth of innovations along their technology roadmaps from software to AI and spanning both the analog and digital semiconductor worlds.