Energy Technology

Energy Technology


Intelligent Energy Law

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP offers a multi-disciplinary approach to advising our energy clients, particularly when it comes to their investments in technology. Our primary goal is to secure the maximum competitive advantage for our clients through the effective exploitation and protection of their assets.

Understanding the Issues

Our firm is on the forefront of addressing the legal issues relating to the increasingly complex technologies used by international energy companies. We call this Intelligent Energy® Law.

We have worked with companies in the energy industry since 1902, expanding our reach in the United States, to Europe, to the Middle East and to the Asia-Pacific. We apply our deep and rich experience with the energy industry and with the legal challenges posed by deploying advanced technologies to anticipate and resolve the legal and contractual issues confronting our energy clients as they develop, acquire and use such technologies in the exploration, appraisal, development, production, refining and transportation of energy resources.

We are focused on the leading edge legal and technology developments. We also assist our clients as they navigate legal and contractual issues associated with data and information harvesting, acquisition, analysis and use—as well as the vexing data security problems that technological advances enable.

We can offer industry-focused guidance on cutting-edge technology legal issues arising with respect to:

  • Petroleum and gas extraction technologies
  • Deepwater exploration and production
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Automation and smart well completion
  • Horizontal drilling
  • Managed pressure drilling
  • Digital oilfields
  • Liquefied natural gas
  • Gas to liquids
  • Clean fuels
  • Oil shale
  • Tight gas
  • Heavy crude oil
  • Intervention systems
  • Catalyst development
  • Biofuels
  • Hydrogen fuel cells
  • Distillation and refineries

How We Can Help

Our energy sector work includes:

  • Building and strengthening their intellectual property rights and competitive positions in their respective technology fields and markets, and avoiding unnecessary and costly conflicts with others in those industries
  • Acquiring and protecting technologies and information assets, including prosecuting and acquiring patents worldwide
  • Defending against infringement and other intellectual property claims
  • Understanding competitor’s intellectual property positions
  • Preparing specialist personnel contracts and restrictive covenants that maintain confidentiality and control for proprietary technology
  • Identifying and developing strategies to address intellectual asset theft
  • Creating plans to capture and commercialize on intellectual asset value
  • Developing, documenting and negotiating commercial transactions, including licenses and technology services agreements, related to technology and information assets
  • Applying in-depth knowledge of governing contract and statutory law with customized dispute resolution planning conforming to the unique issues and requirements of each applicable jurisdiction
  • Performing intellectual property asset assessments and audits to proactively identify intellectual asset portfolio gaps and vulnerabilities
  • Advising as to corporate entrance/exit strategies and intellectual property due diligence

Leading Your Transactions

As energy technology continues to evolve, we help our clients fashion legal strategies to address new market dynamics and techniques for transacting as to intellectual property, information, and technology assets.

We also help our energy clients evaluate their approaches in light of the new energy intellectual property/technology value chain and create comprehensive strategies for extracting value from energy intellectual property and international market collaborations, ventures and transactions. Our teams work with our clients throughout their transactions, including the initial strategic development, advising on due diligence issues when entering energy transactions, negotiating and documenting transactions, and developing and implementing transaction exit strategies appropriate to the project and location.

Protecting Your Assets

To manage our clients’ intellectual assets, we have a dedicated team of intellectual property and technology transactions lawyers experienced in the energy industry. We routinely help clients devise strategies to safeguard and maximize their investments in technology throughout each step of the intellectual asset life cycle.

Creation – Securing intellectual property rights across multiple jurisdictions, through clearly structured and documented assignments, ownership agreements and licensing terms.

Acquisition – Crafting assignments, license agreements and targeted acquisition strategies informed by a realistic assessment of intellectual property gaps and vulnerabilities.

Protection – Assessing and securing the most optimal intellectual property protection available to preserve intellectual asset values worldwide through patent prosecution, trademark and copyright registration and drafting and enforcing trade secret arrangements.

Commercialization – Pursuing economic realization of intellectual assets through carefully structured transactions and agreements.

Enforcement and Defense

We help clients implement strategies to establish and secure intellectual property rights, allowing us to vigorously enforce our clients’ intellectual property rights should the need arise.  We also assist our clients in defending against intellectual property claims by other, including through new administrative procedures that allow patent challenges to be made at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

We are skilled in litigation involving energy technology, including:

  • Patent Enforcement: Dealing with the rise in related lawsuits as patent filings in traditional and alternative or renewable energy dramatically increase.
  • Patent Trolls: Asserting a credible and effective defense against the rising threat of non-practicing entities (NPEs), commonly called patent trolls.
  • Trade Secrets: Offering protection against the threat of trade secret theft with a clear recognition of the security dangers posed by widespread data availability. For example, we recently handled trade secret litigation for a midsize oilfield services company pertaining to wear coatings for mud motors.


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