STEPHEN FRONK advises emerging and public companies, venture funds, entrepreneurs, and individuals on a wide range of intellectual property-related issues, including copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret licensing, protection and enforcement, software and hardware development and distribution, and the establishment and operation of Internet-based businesses and services. He also routinely counsels clients on the intellectual property-related aspects of mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, and strategic investments.
Stephen focuses his practice on technology and intellectual property transactions. In particular, he has deep experience advising clients on digital media-related transactions and for many years has negotiated digital entertainment content distribution deals with leaders in the movie, television, music, publishing, and consumer electronics industries. Representative clients include Amazon.com, Churchill Downs, eBay, Hulu, Microsoft, PayPal, Splunk, Salesforce.com, Twitch, and Vital Proteins.
Examples of the types of transactions on which Stephen routinely advises clients include:
- Digital video content acquisition and distribution agreements with major movie studios, television networks, and cable networks for consumer access to films, television episodes, and other video content under various business models, including subscription, transactional and ad-supported video-on-demand (VOD), and electronic sell-through (EST);
- Device integration agreements with manufacturers of Internet-enabled televisions, Blu-ray Disc players, tablets, mobile phones, and other consumer electronics devices to enable consumers to utilize cloud-based voice services, and to access online digital entertainment services, directly from those devices;
- Development and service agreements with online video distribution platform providers and online video ad serving platform providers;
- Digital music content acquisitions and distribution agreements with the major record labels and significant independent labels;
- Patent and software (including source code) license agreements with digital compression and security standards-related IP owners, proprietary data and media server technology providers, and digital rights management (DRM) solution providers; and
- Digital book and periodical acquisition and distribution agreements, as well as technology development and component supply agreements, relating to online digital book services and wireless e-book devices.
Stephen is ranked by Chambers USA for Technology: Transactions in California (2023) and was named in The Hollywood Reporter’s 2022 “Power Lawyers” list, which recognizes Hollywood’s top 100 attorneys. He was also named by Variety in the 2019, 2021, and 2022 “Dealmakers Impact Report” as well as in the 2017, 2018, 2021, and 2022 “Legal Impact Report,” which profile the best legal minds working in film, television, theatre and digital media. Stephen also was recommended in Media, Technology and Telecoms in the Legal 500 US 2014 and 2015 and was named as one of the world’s leading patent and technology licensing lawyers in IAM Licensing 250 2011: The World’s Leading Patent & Technology Licensing Practitioners, published by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine.
Before practicing law, Stephen worked as a curator at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, England, where he organized an exhibition on the history of public and private art galleries in Great Britain and contributed to the related catalogue. During law school, he served as a judicial extern for Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.