MORRISON & FOERSTER’S NEW ISSUE OF MOFO TECH DISCUSSES LEGAL IMPACT OF UNMANNED DRONES ON COMMERCIAL AIRSPACE

Magazine’s latest cover story examines current drone regulations and outlook for commercial usage; other features cover activist investing and tech industry takeovers; Tesla’s pledge not to sue over its patents; FRAND licensing payments; and agri-espionage

Drones, corporate takeovers, incubators, and even agricultural espionage. Those are just a few of the topics leaping off the pages of the new issue of MoFo Tech, the award-winning magazine on legal trends in technology and life sciences produced by law firm Morrison & Foerster. The latest issue can be found here: http://media.mofo.com/docs/pdf/mofo-tech-fall-winter-2014/.

The cover story for the latest MoFo Tech examines the ramifications of widespread commercial drone use in the United States. Amazon made news last year when it revealed an early-stage drone-delivery system was in the works, and experts say the commercial drones could become an $82 billion industry by 2025.

MoFo partner Bill O’Connor, who heads the firm’s UAS/Drones Working Group, cautions that if the US doesn’t issue specific usage regulations, drone manufacturers could move their business overseas to countries and regions with more guidance. Concrete state and federal regulations, as well as the application of existing tort and criminal law to drone use, are needed to address concerns about public safety and individual privacy.

Since 2009 MoFo Tech has been the only magazine exploring the intersection of law with technology and life sciences. Written by professional business and tech journalists, it has won the Content Council’s Pearl Award five years in a row and was named “Best New Magazine” in its class. Its global readership surpasses 10,000, reaching primarily C-level executives and general counsel at many of the country’s top tech and life sciences companies.

“MoFo Tech offers unique content on the technology industry, combining top-flight journalism with expert legal analysis. I’m not aware of a comparable editorial offering that expressly looks at business news, policy, regulation, and legal trends, alongside feature stories, infographics, and interviews with leading tech innovators,” said Tessa Schwartz, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Technology Transactions practice, who acts as co-managing editor for the magazine. “We are excited to offer a refreshed design, along with an outstanding team of contributors, terrific graphics, and insightful commentary from our industry-leading team of attorneys.”

Also in the new MoFo Tech:

• Wildly unpredictable so-called FRAND license payments – based on Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory determinations – can have big implications for patent holders and licensees. MoFo Tech offers an intriguing infographic outlining big discrepancies in payments made across a variety of recent patent lawsuits involving Wi-Fi chips.

• Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group CTO Sam Sahana discusses how he is revolutionizing the switch to digital film through private investments and innovative viewer experiences.

• An interview with Evan Burfield and Donna Harris, co-founders of Washington, D.C.-based incubator 1776, on bringing tech startups together with the capital’s power players, and the critical importance of mentoring.

• “Share and Share Alike” analyzes the recent promise by electric car company Tesla that it will not sue over its patent-protected technology, the latest in a series of moves by tech companies making their patents public. These non-assertion pledges are designed to spur innovation and open markets, but MoFo’s Billy Schwartz, part of the Technology Transactions Group, says that many of the related legal issues (such as whether pledges still hold after transfer or sale of patents) have yet to be resolved – or even come to light.

• Plant breeders need to beware of agricultural espionage: “A pound of seeds for certain tomato varieties is worth more than a pound of gold,” says MoFo partner Rachel Krevans, chair of the IP Litigation Practice Group, in a news story about safeguarding intellectual property assets down on the farm.