The last several years have been tough ones for both large companies and small companies across industries. Yet some companies have survived and flourished in this challenging environment. Patrick O’Reilley from Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett and Dunner held an intriguing conversation with representatives from the pharmaceutical Barbara Dalton of Pfizer), biotechnology (George Golumbeski of Celgene) and telecommunications industries (Derek Aberle of Qualcomm and Brian Blasius of Motorola) during the 2011 LES Annual Meeting. Patrick started by asking about the panelists’ biggest challenges. Barbara Dalton talked about the need to do more with less in the pharmaceutical industry and mentioned “belt tightening” as a challenge. George concurred and stressed the lack of good assets combined with increasing competition. For Qualcomm, Derek discussed how changing laws were creating uncertainty and “shifting baselines.” He stressed that deals needed to be more creative to weather changing regulations and a changing worldwide economy. Brian felt that companies were becoming more knowledgeable about intellectual property and this created complications in deal structure and negotiations. The panelists proposed various solutions included making deals with more risk sharing including back-ended transactions, structuring deals to guard against regulatory changes and managing the conflicts inherent to operating a product focused business in parallel with a licensing business.
January 10, 2012
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