Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft intellectual property partner Dorothy Auth
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft intellectual property partner Dorothy Auth

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft intellectual property partner Dorothy Auth was part of the team that advised Forbes Media LLC on its sale of a majority stake to a group of international investors. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Forbes family will retain a significant ownership stake and will remain a privately held company, according to the firm. The newly formed Hong Kong-based investor group, Integrated Whale Media Investments, will provide capital as well as financial and operational expertise to strategically expand market share of Forbes Media product lines globally.

The IP issues involved with the transaction were extensive, according to Auth. “With the sale of a majority stake to Integrated Whale Media, Forbes faced intellectual property issues on several fronts, specifically in the areas of copyright and trademark, as well as related to Forbes’ various licensing agreements,” Auth told WIPL. “Among other areas, we were particularly focused on matters related to copyright issues vis-à-vis regular contributors and special guest writers, where there is significant differentiation.”

Several factors made this deal particularly interesting, according to Auth. “Forbes has complex and varied licensing agreements across the globe, which given both the depth of those agreements and the variety of products, were intriguing for our lawyers as we analyzed these numerous and diverse arrangements.”

The Forbes family name also brought into play name use rights, Auth said. “Both in-house lawyers and outside counsel are well advised to consider these issues prior to a sale like Forbes, so that owners are adequately covered in advance of future business ventures.”

Auth, who earned her J.D. from St. John’s School of Law and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Tufts Medical School, is based in Cadwalader’s New York office. She has more than 20 years of experience in complex patent litigation, as well as licensing, patent procurement, and intellectual property counseling in the United States and abroad. Her experience spans diverse industries, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical devices, as well as consumer products, computers and other mechanical devices.