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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:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney

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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 >

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Under Alice, Ultramercial's Online Advertising Claims Are Patent Ineligible

November 21, 2014

Fenwick & West patent partner Robert Sachs was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal’s story on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s November 14 ruling in Ultramercial, Inc v. Hulu, LLC.

In this decision, the Federal Circuit ruled that Ultramercial’s method of improving online advertising was a patent-ineligible abstract idea not saved by being implemented over the Internet. This decision marked the third time the Federal Circuit ruled on Ultramercial’s claim but the first time the court decided against patent eligibility. Two previous Federal Circuit rulings in the case were remanded in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Mayo and Alice regarding patent eligibility standards under Section 101.

In an email to Bloomberg BNA, Sachs described the latest Ultramercial decision as ‘‘yet another indication that the Federal Circuit is firmly swinging against software and business method patents, without providing a coherent and consistent articulation of how to separate between abstract ideas and technological implementations.’’

Sachs also commented that ‘‘anything can be described as an ‘abstract idea’ when generalized, and what’s left over can be thrown out as either routine, conventional, or pre/post solution activity. As a weapon of mass patent destruction, this methodology is awesome in its perfect irrefutability and self-confirmation.’’

The full article is available through the Bloomberg BNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal (subscription required).