Technology, Communications & Media

In the technology, communications, and media sectors, knowing what’s ahead can help you thrive in a business environment that is constantly changing. Because our attorneys are deeply involved with the rules, regulations, and business challenges in these industry sectors on behalf of our clients, we can help you translate changes in your industry into opportunities.

We represent entrepreneurs, developers, established entities, and venture capitalists doing business in the software, hardware, wireless, wireline, satellite, digital and social media, mobile media, apps, cable, and cloud computing markets. Our capabilities cover all the issues faced by established technology, communications, and media businesses as well as those involved in innovative and emerging technologies.

In the highly competitive technology, communications, and media sectors, antitrust issues often occur. If you have a competition issue, Mintz Levin has the experience and drive to help you resolve it as quickly and efficiently as possible. The breadth of our experience and the wide variety of clients we represent enable us to approach your issue from a comprehensive perspective and provide legal solutions focused on your business objectives. We have worked with clients, including those in the telecommunications, cable, wireless, and Internet industries, on obtaining approvals for mergers and other transactions. We can help you through competition policy issues that arise during transactions or multiparty disputes as well as represent you in investigations and litigation brought by the DOJ, FTC, and state attorneys general.

Corporate & Securities
Our team has represented entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations that have brought to market the ideas that have changed the ways we communicate, work, and are entertained. As your business grows or changes, we can assist you along the way, even representing you in sophisticated mergers, acquisitions, public offerings, and other financing transactions, including private equity. We represent businesses of every size, including high-profile national and international corporations. As well, our attorneys routinely handle collaborative financial agreements involving co-branding, development, licensing, procurement, and distribution.

Data Privacy & Security
Data privacy and security issues have become a daily concern of businesses, policymakers, and consumers alike. Our Privacy & Security attorneys can help you identify security risks and assist you in developing and implementing policies and best practices that comply with the growing body of federal, state, and international privacy statutes. Our services also include conducting privacy audits, performing gap analyses, and managing the investigation and proper disclosure of privacy and security breaches.

Employment Law
We can assist you with everything from day-to-day human resources issues and policies as well as employment disputes and personnel issues that arise during mergers, acquisitions, or other transactions. Mintz Levin’s employment counsel is comprehensive, spanning routine employment matters as well as trade secret issues and litigation. We can be a resource for you or your human resources department to call on for advice as well as to conduct trainings, draft employment and noncompete agreements and HR policies, negotiate with labor unions, assist with benefits and executive compensation arrangements, and more.

Intellectual Property
We can be your single point of contact for securing, protecting, and defending your corporate intellectual property rights throughout the world. Our attorneys have deep experience with intellectual property matters in the software and communications technology markets. We can assist you with registering and protecting patents, copyrights, trademarks, and domain names as well as help you negotiate licensing and technology transfer agreements. When a dispute or possible patent infringement arises, you will work with attorneys who are not only experienced litigators, but who also understand the technology behind your patent.

In a dispute, you want the best representation possible. That’s why we remain focused on what’s best for you and your business while aggressively defending you. You will have a dedicated team who will manage your case efficiently and effectively and remain in close contact with you. We have represented clients in cases involving rights-of-way access and fees, interconnection and local competition, universal service, consumer protection, First Amendment, and digital rights management. Among the patent litigation we have handled are cases involving software, microprocessors, electronics, digital imaging, network hardware, satellite television systems. We have represented clients in federal and state courts, in arbitrations, and before federal and state regulatory agencies.

Real Estate
We can help you buy, sell, rent, develop, and finance corporate facilities, but it doesn’t end there. Our real estate practice is comprehensive, and that means we can also assist you with the real estate specifics of your industry, such as zoning and planning for telecommunications infrastructure, leasing and licensing of commercial and residential rooftops, wiring of residential and commercial properties for communications services, and development, leasing, and sale of data centers and collocation facilities. Our clients include wireless carriers, competitive local exchange carriers, owners and operators of fiber optic networks, cable companies, radio and TV stations.

For more than 30 years, Mintz Levin lawyers have represented companies and investors in the communications and media businesses before the regulatory and legislative bodies that affect their operations and interests. We assist clients before the FCC, state public utility commissions, and other agencies in regulatory compliance matters, licensing, mergers and other transactions, and policy initiatives that affect our clients’ business interests. Our team includes lawyers with prior government experience and the ability to guide clients through the interplay among legislatures, executive bodies, and regulatory agencies.

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Gary Au

Gary Au

Technology Specialist

Representative Experience

  • Certain Consumer Electronics with Display and Processing Capabilities (337-TA-884) – Represent investors in the patent portfolio of the former Silicon Graphics as complainant in the International Trade Commission. Investigation was instituted in June 2013 and among the respondent entities are Panasonic, Toshiba, Vizio, and ZTE. Most respondents settled. The ITC hearing was held over several days in May 2014, and on August 29, Mintz Levin successfully obtained a recommendation for a Limited Exclusion Order against the remaining respondent. Commission review of the Administrative Law Judge’s ruling remains pending.
  • Certain LED Photographic Lighting Devices and Components Thereof (337-TA-804) — Represented a California-based complainant (plaintiff) and its UK parent, companies that make LED lighting systems for use in film and TV production, at the International Trade Commission. The ITC handed down its Final Initial Determination of infringement on September 7, 2012. On January 17, 2013, the ITC issued a General Exclusion Order (GEO) against respondents (defendants) based in both China and the United States. The result in this case is particularly notable because it is rare for the ITC to issue a GEO. It is much more common for complainants to seek and receive a Limited Exclusion Order from the court due to the rigorous criteria and careful balancing of interests that apply to requests for GEOs.
  • Advise cable operators and cable programmers regarding the effect of FCC’s program carriage rules on their programming negotiations, and represent them in program carriage complaints brought before the FCC.
  • Advise major cable programmers and cable operators on a wide range of issues regarding the programming services they create and/or carry, such as obscenity and indecency issues, how to ensure programmer compliance with the children’s television programming and closed captioning rules, and whether and how to control the content of local advertisements.
  • Advised an association of cable operators of First Amendment freedoms as weighed against the limitations of corporate political contributions and lobbying.
  • Advised a global mobile communications company in multiple acquisitions and dispositions.
  • Advised on matters related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • Advised one of the world’s largest mobile phone suppliers on cross-border transactional issues.
  • Assist cable operators in connection with retransmission consent negotiations with broadcasters and associated policy issues arising before the FCC.
  • Assisted a global communications company in protecting confidential and proprietary information from being released by the federal government to a direct competitor.
  • Assisted a number of multisystem cable operators with implementation of, and compliance with, new broadband service disclosure and network management practice requirements adopted by the FCC.
  • Conducted an audit of a Canada-based global mobile communications company’s FCPA compliance program.
  • Counsel cable operators and cable programmers with respect to the impact of the FCC’s program access rules on their programming agreements and represent them in administrative litigation proceedings brought under those rules before the FCC and on appeal to federal court.
  • Counsel large, multisystem cable operators on franchise compliance and franchise renewals, customer service, notice, consumer protection issues, and rate regulation matters before federal, state, and local regulatory bodies.
  • Counsel to the sixth largest cable operator in the United States in ongoing proceedings before the FCC and state regulatory commissions on media, telecommunications, and Internet issues, including representation in recent carriage disputes and a challenge in both federal and state courts to a state order finding that a video service is not a “cable service” under federal law.
  • DC Circuit decision upholding Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules for sharing high-capacity network elements against challenges brought by incumbent telephone companies.
  • Developed a Red Flags compliance program for a full-service telecommunications company providing phone, high-speed Internet, and video services to more than 750,000 customers in the Midwest. This is an example of one Red Flags compliance program among dozens that the firm’s Privacy & Security Practice has worked on for companies of all types — communications / cable companies, utilities, universities, auto dealers, retailers, vendors, and more.
  • For a major manufacturer of GPS service and equipment, helped defeat efforts to use adjacent band spectrum in a way that would have caused interference to GPS and compromised the utility of the GPS service.
  • In connection with mergers and acquisitions by cable clients, assist operators with license review and transfer proceedings before the FCC, franchise transfers before state and local regulatory bodies, and compliance with any applicable ownership restrictions.
  • Long-term engagement as principal outside counsel for a Fortune 500 high-tech company in the direct negotiation of domestic real estate transactions and in supervising various local firms for the leasing and acquisition of over 5 million square feet of corporate facilities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. As with many of our corporate facility clients, we actively participate in all phases of this company’s acquisition transactions, from broker retention and deal structuring through the documentation and verification of completion of the construction process.
  • Major FCC proceedings since the mid-1970s include the following:

    • Streamline earth station antenna regulation
    • Reduce satellite orbital spacing
    • Permit satellite transponder leasing and resale
    • Adopt rules for and license satellites in the Fixed Satellite Service (FSS), Direct Broadcast Satellite Service (DBS), Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) and Radiodetermination Satellite Service (RDSS)
    • Authorize new satellite-based communications services involving non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) systems and earth stations onboard vessels (ESVs)
  • Managed a Safe Harbor certification program for a leading web-enabled energy demand-response management solutions provider, and coordinated registration with UK Data Protection Authority for UK subsidiary. Developed enterprise-wide information security program and conducted training of employees.
  • Managed the review and production of corporate documents for an antitrust class action case brought by approximately 20 defendants against one of the nation’s largest media companies involving the collection and review of more than 45 million pages of data.
  • Negotiated changes to local satellite regulations in countries around the world in order to allow a satellite start-up to offer service in previously closed markets.
  • Negotiated Host Nation Authorizations (HNAs) with governments in Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa that allow US military agencies to lawfully use their satellite equipment and frequencies outside of the United States.
  • Negotiated landing rights for satellite operators.
  • Negotiating and structuring transactions in which building owners permit a significant portion of their portfolio to be wired by service providers in exchange for an equity interest in the service provider’s company.
  • Negotiating inside-wiring agreements for the Empire State Building, the General Motors Building, and significant REIT and pension-fund-held real estate portfolios.
  • Obtained a defense jury verdict representing the officers of a high-tech company accused of fraud in a Section 10(b) case arising from a complex PIPE transaction.
  • Obtained order denying certification of national class in an MDL antitrust class action involving 20 cases consolidated from around the country alleging an illegal tying arrangement in connection with the offering of set top boxes and premium cable services.
  • On behalf of a global satellite company, negotiated complex agreements for sharing of orbit / spectrum resources and satellite assets.
  • On behalf of a major Asian telecommunications company, negotiated the purchase of a significant portion of a new communications satellite slated for future launch, along with security interests in another satellite owned by the same company.
  • Ongoing data privacy and security compliance advice to an interactive marketing and media company in the business of producing and distributing premium new age, metaphysical, and psychic entertainment services.
  • Ongoing privacy advice on global compliance with data privacy and bank secrecy laws to the leading independent analytics provider for derivatives and structured products, enabling the structuring, pre-trade pricing, valuation, and management of even the most complex deals.
  • Ongoing privacy compliance advice (online and offline services) to a major cable television content provider (music television), with respect to collection and use of data (particularly in connection with federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act).
  • Ongoing privacy compliance advice to a company providing educational software and services to over 3,700 educational institutions in more than 60 countries.
  • Ongoing privacy compliance advice to an association representing all of the cable television multiple system operations in the United States with respect to collection and use of cable subscriber data under the federal Cable Subscriber Privacy Act and legislative updates relating to drafts of federal privacy legislation.
  • Provide counsel to a number of cable system operators on privacy policy issues affecting their cable and broadband services, including assisting with analyzing and responding to Congressional and agency initiatives regarding interactive advertising and other privacy-related matters.
  • Represent a major cable television trade association in a wide range of legislative issues pending before Congress, including privacy, cybersecurity, and broadband network policy, as well as in federal courts of appeals on matters such as regulation of broadband networks, franchising, and leased access.
  • Represent Broadcom Corporation in connection with its corporate leasing worldwide, including coordination and supervision of local counsel throughout EMEA and APAC, and the recent lease of a headquarters facility in Bangalore, India, which is the largest Broadcom facility outside of the United States.
  • Represent one of the four national wireless service providers on a range of spectrum and regulatory matters, including successfully persuading the FCC to adopt roaming requirements for wireless data companies.
  • Represent the national trade association for the cable and telecommunications industry in matters before Congress, the FCC, and in courts, including ongoing matters related to the provision of video services, proposals for the regulation of Internet access service (net neutrality), privacy, competitive telecommunications issues, and the recently enacted 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. Recent representations include a challenge to the FCC’s order implementing Section 621(a)(1) of the Federal Communications Act and a case where our client was an intervenor in a challenge to the FCC’s regulatory classification of cable broadband services.
  • Representation of a major cable television provider in connection with a high-profile merger proceeding before the Department of Justice and state attorneys general.
  • Represented a cable company in the first successful FTC clearance of the acquisition of an overbuilt cable system.
  • Represented a global communications solutions provider that was the plaintiff in three patent infringement suits — one related to computer telephony, voice recognition, interactive voice response, and voice messaging system technologies; the second related to photolithography and other technologies used in the fabrication and architecture of high-performance computer chips; and the third related to fabrication of computer chips.
  • Represented a global provider of voice, data, and Internet services in a variety of matters, including an injunction to halt a moratorium on the zoning of wireless facilities; a challenge to delays and denials in a city's processing of permits to install wireless facilities; a challenge to a county’s imposition of environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act to proposed wireless facility applications; a case against a state public utilities commission to secure emergency issuance of NXX code; and a ground-breaking case in which the Ninth Circuit affirmed permanent injunction of an overbroad county ordinance regulating wireless networks.
  • Represented a major data center operator in the acquisition, development, leasing, financing, refinancing, and eventual sale of several major data center properties over the past seven years.
  • Represented a major European satellite operator in connection with its bids in a US bankruptcy auction for two in-orbit communications satellites.
  • Represented a public company in the technology sector, obtaining a positive resolution regarding suspension of the sale of its products in Massachusetts.
  • Represented a technology company in conducting FCPA due diligence for a proposed merger, with a specific focus on issues relating to a distributorship in China.
  • Represented American Technical Ceramics Corporation in its $231 million sale to AVX Corporation.
  • Represented an acquirer of telecommunications companies from Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Represented both property owners and operators of fiber-optic networks in the leasing of fiber-optic cables, conduits, and related facilities and in the development of fiber-optic networks.
  • Represented Compass Labs, Inc. in its February 2012 $6 million financing led by Presidio Ventures and NEA (New Enterprise Associates).
  • Represented dozens of individual tenants and colocation customers in the leasing of data center space and colocation space throughout the United States, including the negotiation of colocation agreements addressing their concerns.
  • Represented Extole, Inc. in its January 2012 $10.2 million financing led by Shasta Ventures, Trident Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Norwest Venture Partners.
  • Represented several large multisystem cable operators in defense of a class action lawsuit challenging the manner in which set-top converter boxes are made available to subscribers.
  • Represented the landlord in a lease of several hundred thousand square feet of data center space to a large data center / colocation company that in turn leased out smaller spaces to individual users and colocation customers. According to media reports, this is the largest data center lease ever negotiated in the United States.
  • Represented the operator in a bankruptcy proceeding involving one of the major satellite launch services providers.
  • Represented various telecommunications affiliates of cable providers during the review of mergers of major incumbent telecommunications companies, such as BellSouth and AT&T, obtaining critical merger conditions that lowered the transaction costs of the interconnection agreement negotiations.
  • Representing some of the largest publicly traded wireless communications providers and broadcast infrastructure concerns in securing land use and planning permits and approvals from municipal boards.
  • Resolved government antitrust concerns and eliminated the need to respond to second requests in acquisitions in the cable television industry, including both cable operators and programmers.
  • Secured orbital slot assignments for a satellite start-up.
  • Served as counsel in connection with regulatory and legislative efforts to allocate the “D Block” for commercial wireless services.
  • Served as real estate counsel for telecommunications structures, inside wiring agreements, and in the leasing of switch facilities across the United States, including successfully petitioning local boards for approval to erect new freestanding telecommunications structures in suburban communities and to locate similar equipment on the roofs of buildings in urban areas; negotiating in excess of 500 million square feet of inside wiring agreements, enabling service providers and property owners to offer an array of communications services, including Internet access, to tenants on a nationwide basis; and representing landlords and tenants in negotiation of major leases of switch facilities.
  • We represented the chairman and majority shareholder of a technology company sued under the federal securities laws. The plaintiffs claimed that the company had improperly booked revenues on contingent sales, and the company could not survive protracted litigation. The chairman, the only deep-pocketed defendant (other than the accountants), was adamantly opposed to any settlement that involved payment of any money. Given these constraints, and utilizing a series of presentations concerning the company’s financial condition and the value of the technology, we were able to convince the plaintiffs’ counsel to accept a settlement consisting primarily of stock and warrants. In addition, we were able to secure a settlement for the chairman in which he paid the plaintiffs no money.

Intellectual Property

  • Virnetx v. Mitel Networks Corp., et al. (E.D. Tex. - 6:11cv18) – Defended our client, the US division of a Germany-based global manufacturing concern, in a patent infringement action relating to secure network communications. Filed in January 2011, favorable settlement was achieved for our client in February 2013. Virnetx had previously scored a $368 million verdict against Apple and a $105 million verdict against Microsoft (Microsoft later settled with Virnetx for $200 million).
  • EON Corp. IP Holdings LLC v Skyguard LLC, et al. (E.D. Tex. - 6:11cv15) – Represented a defendant in this multi-patent infringement case relating to vending management communication modules. Filed in June 2011, case was settled very favorably after 18 months of litigation. EON, formerly known as TV Answers, Inc., holds more than three-dozen patents and has been fairly aggressive in its enforcement of a number of them. Among its targets have been some of the largest and most successful technology companies, including Apple, LG, Pantech, Honeywell, RIM, T-Mobile, and more. In some instances, EON has extracted high settlements from these organizations.
  • Alexander Orensthteyn v. Citrix (SD Fla - 0:02cv60478) – Won summary judgment of noninfringement and invalidity of patents asserted against a leading remote access provider. Also successfully defended these judgments on appeal to the Federal Circuit and convinced the District Court to enter sanctions against the patent owner and its counsel.
  • Ambato Media, LLC v. Clarion Co., Ltd, et al. (E.D. Tex. - 2:09cv242) – Represented Ambato asserting patents on methods of broadcasting location specific information for use in personal navigation and in dash navigation devices. Tried and won this case, which was settled after verdict and before appeal.

Representative Clients

  • Bright House Networks, LLC
  • Broadcom Corporation
  • Cablevision Systems Corporation
  • CAST Software
  • Cox Communications, Inc.
  • CTIA–The Wireless Association®
  • Discovery Communications, Inc.
  • Flagship Ventures
  • General Catalyst Partners
  • Home Box Office, Inc.
  • iMDsoft
  • Imperva, Inc.
  • Informa USA, Inc.
  • Innovari
  • National Cable & Telecommunications Association
  • NICE Systems
  • NTT Data, Inc.
  • RockPort Capital Partners
  • Time Warner Cable, Inc.
  • T-Mobile USA, Inc.
  • ValueStream Labs