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Digital Media

Since the emergence of online platforms began revolutionizing how companies conduct business, Vinson & Elkins’ lawyers have been providing transactional, litigation, and Intellectual Property advice to companies in the evolving digital media business. Our digital media clients include Fortune 200 companies, online retailers, major sports leagues, media companies, and publishers. We provide counseling to various participants in the industry, including content owners, software developers, and distributors of online content and streaming media. Whether a company is a novice or a veteran in licensing, acquiring, protecting, and exploiting online technology, we understand that accessing a broad range of legal counsel for every phase of a digital media project is critical to that company’s success.

Our lawyers work as partners with our digital media clients, as we are able to use our deep experience of the industry to find solutions for managing the full range of risks and issues surrounding digital media, while always keeping the client’s business goals at the forefront of the legal strategy. With ever-expanding platforms for customer engagement, we help clients understand and leverage the media maze by providing risk management advice, drafting and negotiating licensing and development agreements, performing comprehensive due diligence on potential technologies, and, when necessary, representing them in litigation.

We also have comprehensive knowledge of the legal issues that arise from the growing dependence on open source software, and we regularly counsel clients on how to take advantage of these resources, without creating unnecessary risk. We work with clients to interpret existing agreements and terms of use, and to negotiate improved agreements and terms, when necessary, to maximize their rights to distribute, display, and otherwise exploit digital media developed by vendors.

We offer our clients end-to-end advice on digital media issues, based on our deep knowledge of the industry and the online and mobile technologies that help our client’s businesses thrive.


  • (W.D. Tex.) — Represented a major sports media company in a jury trial involving four patents directed to the broadcast and display of real-time graphical game updates to fans over the Internet; the plaintiff alleged our client willfully infringed and sought substantial damages; following an eight-day trial, the jury returned a take-nothing verdict in favor of our client, finding that our client didn’t infringe the four asserted patents, that each of the asserted claims were invalid, and that three of the four patents were unenforceable due to inequitable conduct

  • (W.D. Tex.) — Represented three major sports leagues in a patent infringement litigation regarding the leagues’ rights to broadcast and display real-time game updates to their fans over the Internet; the matter was successfully resolved shortly after securing a favorable claim construction at the Markman hearing

  • (E.D. Tex.) — Represented a large group of online retailers accused of infringement of a patent related to real-time transactions occurring over the Web based on a variety of web-based transactions, including the online purchase of products and/or services using the retailers’ e-commerce platforms; case successfully resolved after the filing of a CBM petition  

  • (Fed. Cir.); (D.N.M.) — Represented major sports league and major sports media company in litigation involving technology for streaming video from sporting events to fans’ mobile devices; obtained complete dismissal by district court of all claims with prejudice and invalidity of the asserted patents based on unpatentable subject matter, which was affirmed on appeal

  • (S.D.N.Y.); (Fed. Cir.) — Obtained a complete affirmance of the dismissal of all claims against a leading consumer electronics and digital media provider before the Federal Circuit; claims included fraud, breach of contract, patent infringement, and trademark infringement


  • Major sports leagues in drafting and negotiating technology agreements across from vendors such as Oracle, NextVR and Akamai in matters involving use of open source software, data services, streaming media, tracking systems, and other digital technologies 

  • Advised on the due diligence and intellectual property efforts for the sale of a privately owned social media company to another company

  • Cable network in counseling regarding use of open source software in streaming technology, including development of open source software policies

  • Counseled a film production company regarding production, protection and distribution of motion picture and related digital media rights

  • Counseled a digital media and animation company regarding intellectual property and trade secret protection, employment-related policies and consulting agreements

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