Ward and Smith, P.A.'s Technology Practice Group is comprised of experienced attorneys from several different areas of legal practice and provides technology based companies with integrated services to fit their specific needs.
Our clients include growth companies, founders, management, shareholders, directors, and investors in a wide range of technology sectors, including software, hardware, semiconductors, medical devices, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, energy, "green" technology, and telecommunications.
Client Growth Cycle - Birth to Exit
Although each client has its own unique story, most of our technology clients typically go through a cycle of events to grow and achieve their goals. Growth oriented, technology based companies commonly spin off from other companies or universities. They then hire employees; develop, identify, and protect intellectual property; and bring new technology based products and services to the market. Throughout this process, these companies also obtain the necessary financial resources to sustain their business goals and, finally, exit in a way that rewards the founders, employees, and investors for their efforts and risks. The attorneys in our Technology Practice Group understand what is needed at each stage of these companies' growth cycles to provide a primary "value add" for our clients.
Legal Team Resources
To assist our clients in achieving their goals at each stage of their growth cycles, we have assembled a multidisciplinary team of attorneys with skill and experience in business, finance, employment, and intellectual property. These attorneys apply their core skills and draw on the Firm's other resources (including attorneys in tax, regulatory compliance, and litigation) to enable our clients to overcome challenges and maximize their growth potential.
The Technology Practice Group provides day to day advice and counsel to clients to maximize their return on investment, while minimizing legal pitfalls. Typical projects include the following:
- Company organization;
- Employment and consulting agreements that protect invention ownership;
- Patent, trademark, and copyright applications;
- Confidentiality agreements and other trade secret protection;
- Angel capital, venture capital, and private placements;
- License agreements;
- Distribution, reseller, original equipment manufacturer, and other channel partner agreements;
- Mergers and acquisitions; and
- Public and private securities advice.
Attorney Leadership Roles
Attorneys in the Technology Practice Group have extensive experience in their areas of law and maintain leadership positions and memberships in many related organizations, including the American Intellectual Property Law Association; the Carolina Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law Association; the Council for Entrepreneurial Development; and the North Carolina Bar Association. Members of this Practice Group also serve on government advisory boards that create state policies related to growing technology industries in North Carolina.
Several members of this Practice Group contribute articles to a variety of local and national publications, including the Triangle Business Journal and WRAL's TechWire®. These articles inform business executives and employees about cutting edge issues in all areas of law that may affect their businesses.
Relationships and Team Building
Ward and Smith has a long-standing commitment to developing strong, effective attorney-client relationships. As we apply our legal expertise, we also serve as strategic counselors for our clients. Our attorneys' years of experience working closely with technology-based companies have created familiarity with market trends, technology, and the related business issues. This familiarity enables us to counsel our clients about the strategic risks and opportunities at different points in their growth cycles. As part of the Firm's strategic counseling role, we form teams of knowledgeable professionals from within the Firm, from outside the Firm, and from related disciplines to help our clients achieve their goals.