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 >

FLEX by Fenwick is the only service created by an AmLaw 100 firm that provides flexible and cost-effective solutions for interim in-house legal needs to high-growth companies.  MORE >

Fenwick & West handles significant cross-border legal and business issues for a wide range of technology and life sciences who operate internationally..  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


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

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

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

New York Office
1211 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, NY 10036

Shanghai Office
Unit 908, 9/F, Kerry Parkside Office
No. 1155 Fang Dian Road
Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201204
P.R. China
+86 21 8017 1200

About Our Patent Practice

Fenwick & West has more than 60 patent professionals, many with advanced technical degrees and actual business experience in disciplines such as chemistry, molecular biology, electrical engineering and computer science. From software to semiconductors, and biotechnology to business methods, Fenwick's patent professionals have served innovative companies and research entities across the globe for over three decades. Our patent practice involves patent prosecution, strategic patent counseling, open source counseling, post-grant proceedings and patent litigation.

Patent Prosecution and Counseling

  • File 1,000 – 1,500 applications every year
  • Work directly with our clients’ engineers and programmers to implement ongoing patent filing programs
  • Develop invention and innovation programs to provide incentives for engineers to identify patentable technology
  • Organize and participate in invention committees ​to strategically evaluate technology and to proactively identify areas in which to focus patent protection
  • Handle portfolio management—for U.S. patents and international patents—for leading technology companies in the United States and abroad
  • Strong IP audit practice that regularly performs:
  • Strategic analysis of patent portfolios
  • Pre-acquisition and pre-investment due diligence
  • Analysis of competitors' patent portfolios for license negotiations or avoidance of infringement
  • Preparation of clearance opinions where appropriate
  • Unparalleled deal support due to superior knowledge of technologies, which permits a direct interface with engineers and technical experts

Our Approaches to Patent Strategy

  • Enhance efficiency and reduce costs through our innovative patent operations model, including providing routine patent services from our back office in Vermont and an entirely paperless system

  • Include collaboration with management on design and implementation
    • Address business development, marketing, engineering and production interests in an integrated manner
    • Ensure mechanisms are in place for executive-level endorsement and inspiration to ensure successful implementation
    • Constant attention to cost-benefit balance of IP activity with goal that IP is seen as a profit center
    • Example: Developed internal procedure for immediate and regularized processing of patent demand letters, which reduced internal cost and stress, and shifted command of the situation in the company's favor
  • Consider potential uses of patents
    • Defensive patents
    • Offensive patents
    • Technology development/exchange
    • Licensing
    • Considers what your competitors are doing
    • Strategies are two-sided: clients' and their competitors'
  • Include patent portfolio analysis and IP audits, which are often a part of the IP due diligence we perform in connection with our mergers and acquisitions practice