Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Solving legal issues for the commercial drone industry from the beginning


  • Corporate
  • Litigation
  • Regulatory
  • Intellectual Property
  • Represent 1 in 5 of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Drone Companies of 2016

  • Outside counsel to many of the leading UAV companies, including 3D Robotics, Skyfront, SkySafe, Landr and Mountain Drones

  • Assist entrepreneurs in bringing pioneering technology to market, from company formation and financing through liquidity events

  • Represent financial institutions, from investment and commercial banks to private equity firms, in analyzing regulated industries and identifying new opportunities

  • Unparalleled access to the largest and most influential network of venture capital investors in the world, including many of the most active investors in the drones industry

  • Think like our clients think  – providing advice that is pragmatic, tailored and cost-effective

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  • Regularly handle civil disputes and commercial litigation for our aerospace clients, including government contracts disputes, antitrust claims, False Claims Act investigations, intellectual property cases and white collar and regulatory defense actions

  • Experience in more than 100+ state, federal and international courts, arbitral forums and administrative bodies

  • Recognized by The American Lawyer as an honorable mention in its Litigation Department of the Year competition

  • Team includes 5 Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers and 20+ former Assistant US Attorneys and Department of Justice lawyers

  • History of litigating landmark, precedent-setting cases that establish industry-wide resolutions or new procedural protections for our clients

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  • Successfully secured the first 8 exemptions allowing clients to commercially operate UAVs

  • Ranked #4 for Expanding Clients Business in the Financial Times’ 2015 Most Innovative Law Firms for our regulatory work in the drone space

  • Counsel on compliance with regulatory requirements imposed by the FAA, federal, state and local agencies, including preparing and obtaining Section 333 exemptions, Certificates of Waiver or Authorization and Special Airworthiness Certificates

  • Advise on privacy concerns associated with the operation of drones, including the use of UAV technology in information gathering

  • Assist proponents of emerging technologies with legal and business issues arising from proposed and existing legislative and regulatory regimes, including before Congress and in agency rulemaking

  • Significant experience with government agencies that allow us to more efficiently and effectively guide clients through the process using proven methods

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  • Provide holistic patenting and trademark services and advice to UAV clients including Vision13, 3D Robotics, Orbital Australia and Proxy Technologies

  • Patent due diligence support on 75+ business transactions, including venture financings, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings and licensing transactions in 2015

  • 100+ inter partes review and covered business method review proceedings; 100+ inter partes/ex parte reexaminations

  • 24,000+ patents under our management across 120+ jurisdictions worldwide

  • 22,500+ trademarks under our management across 180+ jurisdictions worldwide

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Financial Times Recognizes Cooley’s Impact on Innovation

FAA Clarifies and Unveils Drone Regulations

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Group Contacts
Michael Rhodes  Partner San Francisco
Andrew Lustig  Partner Reston
Scott Talbot  Partner Reston
Eric Jensen  Partner Palo Alto, San Francisco
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