Software Audit Essentials - Hiring a IP & Technology Law Firm that insists on Billable Hours
It is mind-wracking when you get a letter demanding a software audit (either internal, contractual, random, or "informant-generated." The next question becomes what type of law firm do I hire? Here are the three factors I think you need to keep in mind:
1. Experienced - we have handled hundreds of audits and investigations with companies like Siemens, CNC, Solidworks, Adobe, BSA, Autodesk and others.
2. Litigation skill - as these software audit threats are usually brought under the bully club of "my client wants to litigate" it is important to have a IP law firm that is not scared of litigation. Specifically, a law firm who has vast experience handling federal court litigation cases. We are one of the few firms with a strong background in handling audits (with companies like Venable, Donahue Fitzgerald, Weir-johnson, Royer-Cooper, Warner Law Group and Klemchuk). We have appeared in over 150 federal court litigation cases and we do not get pushed around with the threat of litigation.
3. Cost effective - Our firm is a leader in the software compliance field. Our technology attorney offers FLAT RATE (predictable) one-time legal fee for audits and settlement. As this podcast points out, other firm may think this process has to go from 12-36 months). It does not. And if these law firms are putting 1-3 lawyers on your case, you could realize a VERY HEFTY LEGAL BILL for the same service we provide. Don't be follwed by others. In fact, recently, we had someone call us who had been seved a $7,000 legal bill and the case had barely moved out of the gate. So, be very careful with law firm in the software compliance area who tell you the time frames could be as much as two or three years and they're billing.