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For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Nearly 15 percent of Fenwick partners named America's Leading Lawyers for Business by Chambers USA and Chambers Global
  • Selected as a "Go-To" law firm by in-house legal departments at Fortune 500 companies in Corporate Counsel magazine
  • Named to The National Law Journal's inaugural "Intellectual Property Hot List" for outstanding patent, copyright, trademark and IP litigation services

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We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

Mountain View Office
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650.988.8500

San Francisco Office
555 California Street
12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
415.875.2300

Seattle Office
1191 Second Avenue
10th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
206.389.4510

Shanghai Office
36/F, Room 3690, Tower 2
Shanghai IFC
8 Century Avenue, Pudong
Shanghai 200120, China
+86 21 6062 6104

Academic and Research Institutions

About Our Academic and Research Institutions Practice

A recognized leader in IP counseling and litigation to universities and other primary research organizations, Fenwick & West has a long history of helping some of the world’s most distinguished academic and research institutions protect their inventions and maximize the commercial value of their investments. We collaborate with these clients to capture and build value from basic, clinical and translational research activities. Given our practitioners’ advanced technical degrees, we are extremely comfortable communicating with inventors in academic and research environments.

And because we thoroughly understand the complex ownership, commercialization and enforcement issues faced by these organizations, it’s no surprise that leading academic and research institutions such as the University of California, The Scripps Research Institute, the University of Washington, Vanderbilt University, Harvard, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory rely on Fenwick for a full range of IP and technology transaction services, including strategic IP counseling, patent prosecution, patent infringement and enforcement counseling, dispute resolution, IP litigation, licensing and other transaction work.

What You Can Expect With Fenwick on Your Team

One of the nation’s highest ranked IP practices

In 2012, The National Law Journal named Fenwick to its inaugural "Intellectual Property Hot List," one of only 20 firms selected. The firm is also ranked consistently as one of the top five West Coast firms in both intellectual property litigation and protection over at least the past 10 years by Euromoney’s Managing Intellectual Property publication.

Sophisticated technical and business advice

Our more than 50 patent professionals include patent attorneys, agents and engineers – many of whom are registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office – and have advanced technical degrees, including more than a dozen Ph.D.’s, in a variety of scientific areas. Our patent professionals have deep expertise managing patent portfolios in a wide range of technologies, including business methods, computer hardware, personalized medicine, clean technology, small molecule chemistry, semiconductor processing and physics. And because our patent attorneys routinely work on cross-practice teams for high-stakes litigation, large corporate deals and complex technology transactions, we excel at incorporating the perspective and skills of other legal practices into our prosecution practice. This cross-fertilization keeps us current with issues pertinent to patent prosecution; it allows us to develop sophisticated approaches that anticipate rejections and how the patents are likely to be deployed and challenged in the commercial context.

Strategic licensing advice

Our firm’s size, culture of cross-practice collaboration between corporate, litigation, patent and licensing groups, and proximity to the epicenter of innovation, means our licensing practitioners are closely attuned to product cycles, and the application of core technologies to commercial products. This allows us to provide strategic licensing advice that encompasses the cyclical nature of invention and commercialization, enabling our academic and research institution clients to commercialize inventions efficiently while coaxing maximum value out of core research.

24/7 electronic access to all patent prosecution files

In addition to handling ground-breaking patent work for some of the world’s most innovative organizations, we invest heavily in ways to improve the delivery of services while reducing costs. Our paperless patent practice – a service that Fenwick will provides at no charge to our clients – provides full electronic access to client patent prosecution files, including images for prior art and correspondence received from the Patent Office, streamlining the patent portfolio management process in a seamless and confidential manner.