ATLANTA, April 21, 2003 – Law firm Arnall Golden Gregory has started thinking small.
With the introduction today of its Nanotechnology Practice Team, AGG becomes the first Atlanta law firm to announce a practice area devoted to nanotechnology – a rapidly growing area of science that involves creating microscopic structures for use in medicine, business and other disciplines. The field derives its name from the nanometer, which is a billionth of a meter – about one-millionth the size of a pinhead.
“Until recently nanotechnology has been a hot topic only in labs and scientific journals, but now it’s moved to a new stage, as evidenced by the increased amount of research, business interest and governmental funding,” said Jeff Stewart, who chairs AGG’s nanotechnology practice. “Nanotech ideas have already begun to enter the commercial market, and nanotech products stand to be one of the great economic engines of this century. That’s why AGG is committed to becoming a leader in this promising area.”
AGG has 12 attorneys on its nanotech team, including three registered patent attorneys who came to AGG last fall with the acquisition of Bockhop & Reich LLP, a boutique firm that focused on legal matters related to nanotechnology and other specialized areas of science and technology. In addition to this technical expertise, AGG nanotech clients have access to the firm’s other legal services.
“It’s highly unusual for a law firm to devote multiple legal disciplines to an area like nanotechnology,” Stewart said. “Many firms might approach nanotech as part of their intellectual property group, but we’re taking a holistic approach in which we help nanotech businesses and universities with strategic alliances, private financing, government funding, patents and other areas in which they might encounter legal hurdles or opportunities.”
Stewart added that AGG’s Food and Drug Law Practice Team also will help nanotech companies operating in the area of nanotech bioscience obtain required regulatory approvals and assist with labeling, promotion and quality-assurance strategies.
Interest in nanotechnology is growing exponentially in the form of startup companies, university research centers, governmental funding and corporate investment. In 2002, for example, the federal government created the National Nanotechnology Initiative with funding of $519 million. The National Science Foundation foresees a $1 trillion nanotech market by 2015.
AGG attorney Bryan Bockhop said the applications of nanotech are almost endless.
“In electronics, they envision nanoscale circuitry. In medicine, bioengineers see using artificial nanostructures as scaffolds to help injured organs repair themselves. Artificial intelligence, missile shields – you name it and there are people out there exploring ways to use nanotech,” Bockhop said. “Creating devices this small sounds like science fiction, but it’s not. It’s conceivable that one day we’ll store the Library of Congress on a device the size of a sugar cube.”
As part of the launch of its nanotech practice, AGG recently made a presentation to faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology and to the technology commercialization officers from Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia and Emory University on protecting, financing and commercializing nanotechnology.
Arnall Golden Gregory provides innovative legal counsel to entrepreneurial and growing businesses. With more than 130 attorneys in Atlanta and additional attorneys in Macon, Ga., the firm offers a wide range of services and takes pride in building lasting relationships with its clients, a diverse business and industry group with local, national and international interests.