Donald Verplancken, Partner

Case Studies

M&A Due Diligence Saves Company Millions

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By identifying potentially problematic third-party patents in the early due diligence stages of an M&A transaction, Patterson + Sheridan helped lower the overall acquisition cost by tens of millions of dollars. 

Our client, an international technology company, was acquiring an overseas entity. While conducting due diligence, we identified patents held by the acquisition target’s competitors that would affect the acquisition target’s main product. This knowledge enabled the client to negotiate a significantly lower acquisition price—by tens of millions of dollars. Following the acquisition, we worked with non-US counsel and caused that patent to be revised so that it no longer affected the acquired business.

International Experience and Technical/Legal Expertise Allows us to Quickly Protect a Client from Infringement Accusations

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One of our large multi-national clients approached us when a competitor accused it of selling a device that infringed on the competitor’s Chinese patent. The device was made in Europe and being sold to a customer in China. Worried that it would lose the order, our client contacted us on a Thursday afternoon, US time, and asked us to determine whether the device infringed the Chinese patent. We did not know the Chinese patent number or the features of the accused device.

Working with the client’s executives and engineers in the European manufacturing facility, the client’s Chinese sales team, and local Chinese counsel, we were able to obtain detailed information concerning our client’s products, as well as an identification of the patent in issue. Because of our capabilities in Asian languages, in addition to our technical/legal expertise, we were able to quickly identify and explore the issues with our client. By Sunday afternoon, we were able to communicate our legal advice to the client, resulting in the customer maintaining the order with our client.