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William A. Tanenbaum

William A. Tanenbaum

Head, IP & Technology Transactions Group and Green Tech & Sustainability Group

New York
T: +1 212 836 7661
F: +1 212 836 6765

Silicon Valley
T: +1 650 319 4525
F: +1 650 319 4700

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  • Cornell Law School
    JD, 1979
  • Brown University
    AB, 1976; Phi Beta Kappa, Degree with Highest Honors

Bar Admission(s)

  • New York
  • *Not admitted in California

William A. Tanenbaum is Head of Kaye Scholer’s multi-disciplinary, multi-office IP & Technology Transactions Group, which is ranked in the First Tier at the National Level and in New York by US News & World Report/Best Lawyers. Bill is also the Head of the firm’s GreenTech & Sustainability Group. Bill was named the “Lawyer of the Year” in Information Technology Law in New York by Best Lawyers in 2013 and is a past President of the International Technology Law Association. Bill’s practice focuses on intellectual property, technology and cybersecurity. It emphasizes transactions, litigation, strategic IP counseling and the internal use and external monetization of data. His practice includes IT transactions, IP transactions, combined IP and IT transactions, outsourcing and procurement, cybersecurity, data protection and privacy, and the IP and technology aspects of M&A and corporate transactions. It also includes cloud services agreements and Software- Platform- and Infrastructure-as-a-Service arrangements. Bill assists clients in using Big Data, machine learning and analytics, social media and cloud and mobile computing, and integrating them into existing IT systems and business processes for competitive advantage, risk mitigation and regulatory compliance. Because of his technical background, Bill works closely with Chief Information, Chief Technology, Chief Information Security and Chief Data Officers.

Bill is ranked in Band One in Technology & Outsourcing in New York and in Band Two nationally by Chambers, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, which found that he “built one of New York City’s most outstanding transactional IT practices.” He is also recognized as one of the Top 30 Information Technology Lawyers in the US, an “IP Star,” a “Life Science Star” for his work in Healthcare IT, as one of the “CleanTech 100,” and as a leading lawyer in Internet & E-Commerce and “Recommended in Licensing” (by Expert Guide’s Best of the BestManaging IP Handbook2015, Euromoney’s LMG Life Science Guide 2012-2015, LMG Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Guide, IAM’s The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners and Who’s Who Legal, respectively). Bill is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (2002-2016) for Information Technology Law and in Who’s Who Legal: Telecom, Media & Technology 2015. IP Law Experts Guide named Bill as the “Recommended IT Lawyer in New York.” (Only one attorney is designated in each state.) The common element in his practice is that clients in a range of industries retain him for his IP, IT and business technology experience. 

Bill was appointed to the 2015 “List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals.” The List is administered by the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center. Appointment is by invitation only and membership is limited to approximately 25 arbitrators and mediators who are “highly experienced in resolving technology disputes.” Bill is currently a Vice President of the Society for Information Management (Metro New York Chapter), an industry association of CIOs and senior IT executives.

Surveys of clients, in-house counsel and peer attorneys by leading legal research publications find that he:

  • is a “brilliant lawyer.” “I can’t imagine working with anyone else.”  (Chambers)
  • “is one of the best IP attorneys I have worked with” (Euromoney’s LMG Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Guide)
  • “The biggest thing” is that “he understands what I am trying to do and where I want to go and puts the details together to make it happen”  (Chambers)
  • “brings extremely high integrity, a deep intellect, fearlessness and a practical, real-world mindset to every problem” (Chambers)
  • “draws on a truly impressive array of technology law expertise  [and] common sense, and he gets parties to closure” (Legal500)
  • is “at a stage in his career where no issue is unfamiliar, too complex or intimidating to take on” (Chambers)
  • “convert[s] client challenges into client opportunities” (Chambers)
  • is “among the market’s foremost IT licensing experts and a leading authority on related issues such as data security, privacy and social media” (World’s 250 Leading Patent and Technology Lawyers)
  • “is an acknowledged expert on the convergence of mainstream businesses with cleantech” (Chambers)

Because of the strength of Bill’s practice, Kaye Scholer was named as the Peer Choice Winner of the 2015 Corporate INTL Legal Award, as “Technology & Outsourcing Law Firm of the Year in New York,” as the “Technology & Outsourcing Law Firm of the Year in New York for 2013” by Global Law Experts and as a “Recommended” Firm for IP in CleanTech in the Clean Technology and Renewable Guide.

Bill is the lead partner in patent litigations. He led a team that won the Alice v. CLS case (for client CLS) on summary judgment at the District Court level on a rationale later adopted by the Supreme Court. He also led a team that won a victory for multinational medical device client Straumann AG in a patent case in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Selected Notable Matters

Bill has been retained by: 

  • First Data and other US companies to establish credit card and technology infrastructures in China for the Beijing Olympics
  • CLS in the Alice vs. CLS litigation (including victory at the summary judgment stage)
  • Medical device company Straumann AG in patent litigations, including a victory at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  •  NASA and the New York County Lawyers’ Association on intellectual property matters
  • The government of Finland, the State of Hawaii, the New York City Housing Authority and the State of Washington for outsourcing and state-wide IT projects
  • Costco to establish its online store in China on the Alibaba platform
  • American Express, Morgan Stanley, MSCI, Nordea Bank, CLS and other financial institutions for IT and outsourcing transactions with Tier 1 vendors and for outsourcing dispute resolution
  • Guardian, AXA, Seneca and other insurance companies for outsourcing, IT and IP litigation advice
  • Ryder, Carestream (medical imaging spin-off from Kodak) and many other companies for domestic and offshore outsourcing
  • Novartis, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and other companies for health care IT
  • Erlanger Health Care Systems and healthcare systems to negotiate IT and outsourcing agreements with Epic
  • The Practising Law Institute to upgrade its computer systems 
  • Maker of touch technology and virtual reality software to structure joint development and joint venture agreements   
  • Nano-technology company for joint development and commercial agreements
  • Wyndham Worldwide, The Beverly Hills Hotel and other companies in the hospitality industry for IT, outsourcing and IT-enabled sustainability matters
  • Video game company Nexon for dispute resolution
  • Companies in a range of industries to structure corporate “bring your own device” policies
  • Companies in a range of industries to develop corporate open-source software policies for internal and external software development
  • Domestic and foreign aerospace and defense companies for IP, IT and outsourcing
  • Wyndham and others to handle database breaches and IT remediation of the same
  • Companies in a range of industries to handle projects for data center infrastructure, enterprise resource planning projects, using IT for cost-reduction, to align IT and business, and to integrate IT into mainstream products and services in retail and other industry sectors

Conference Chairmanships and Annual Speaking Engagements

  • Founder and Co-Chair, PLI Annual Outsourcing Conference
  • Founder and Chair, PLI Annual Health Care IT Conference
  • Co-Chair, LSI Annual Technology Law Conference
  • Co-Chair, LSI Big Data Conference
  • Speaker at ACI Internet of Things conference
  • Speaker at Sourcing Interests Group Global Summit Conferences (an industry outsourcing association)
  • Speaker on licensing at PLI Annual IP Law Institute on IP Licensing
  • Speaker at World Enterprise Data Conference
  • Frequent speaker at IT and data industry conferences