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Agricultural Technology

ArentFox Schiff advises entrepreneurs, investors, industry groups, and companies that are developing and bringing to market new, innovative tools and technologies aimed at revolutionizing the food and agriculture sector and improving plant and animal health.

Our Focus

Our team counsels clients on products involving plant sciences, animal technologies, innovative crop protection and crop inputs, indoor and vertical farming, and precision agriculture/data management and analytics. Our team helps clients navigate and chart new regulatory pathways to ensure marketability. We develop strategies for protecting intellectual property and securing capital to support continued growth and innovation.

Our Ag Tech attorneys focus on food and agricultural technologies and approaches that are changing the way food is grown, harvested, protected, tested, distributed, and consumed in the United States and globally. We provide the regulatory, corporate, intellectual property, and litigation strategies that guide companies through the product lifecycle, including scientific research, early and later-stage financing, product development, manufacturing, global marketing and distribution, and strategic acquisition, joint venture, and exit.

Our Work

We are nationally recognized advisors for agricultural biotechnology and gene editing. Our team counsels some of the leading agriculture trade associations with an interest in Ag Tech, including organizations focused on seeds, crop inputs, products of agricultural biotechnology, and new plant and animal breeding techniques. Our recent work with individual technology developers includes advising on the path to market for better-tasting fruits and vegetables, row crops with a reduced environmental footprint, nitrogen-producing microbes, salmon that grow more quickly, apples that do not turn brown when sliced, hornless dairy cattle, and disease-resistant potatoes. We’re working closely with new industry coalitions focused on indoor agriculture, a new and innovative class of crop protection products, sustainable agriculture, and products aimed at increasing agricultural productivity by stimulating natural processes in the plant and in soil. Our knowledge and expertise cover the full product lifecycle, including early-stage research and development, product development and commercialization, post-commercialization compliance, and global marketing and distribution. 

We assist clients in navigating the pathway to secure and retain necessary regulatory approvals and clearances, avoiding post-market regulatory enforcement actions, and managing enforcement actions when they arise. We advise our clients with securing and making investments to support continued innovation and with developing IP strategies and portfolios to protect their investments. We also assist clients with risk assessment and due diligence reviews of agricultural technology companies involved in mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions. When necessary, we serve as litigation counsel when challenges are brought to regulatory approvals, working in tandem with the relevant government agencies to defend these approvals on behalf of our clients. In addition, we have formed new trade associations and coalitions focused on innovative approaches to agriculture and provided them with ongoing support in the areas of antitrust compliance, and regulatory strategy and advocacy.

Where We Help

  • Regulation of food, food ingredients, and food production
  • Enzymes, microbials, and plant and animal products of biotechnology, nanotechnology, genome editing, and other emerging technologies
  • Pesticides, fertilizers, biology-based products for use in agriculture, and other crop inputs
  • Seeds and commodity crops, dairy, egg products, beef, pork, and poultry
  • Nitrogen and carbon credits

What We Do

  • Assist companies in obtaining regulatory approval through FDA, USDA, and EPA
  • Advise on product safety and marketing, including labeling issues surrounding genetically engineered organisms and bioengineering
  • Represent companies in federal regulatory litigation, including defense of regulatory approvals for Ag Tech products
  • Perform federal and state legislative advocacy
  • Assist clients in addressing climate change and other critical issues
  • Prepare and prosecute utility, plant, and design AgTech patent applications    
  • Challenge and defend AgTech patents in Patent Office and district court
  • Counsel on Food Safety and Modernization Act requirements and compliance
  • Advise on securing and protecting trade secrets, and defending against allegations of trade secret misappropriation
  • Advise on corporate formation and structuring, acquisitions, joint ventures, product licensing, and other strategic transactions
  • Assist companies and investors in structuring seed and growth equity, debt financings, and other alternative financing transactions
  • Advise on protection of data use and compensation rights under federal and state law
  • Handle agricultural land transactions and investments, including leases, acquisitions, and land development
  • Advise on the National Organic Program, including legal and regulatory strategy on issues relating to hydroponic and aquaponic production methods
  • Counsel on compliance with food advertising issues and labeling and disclosure requirements, including the new standard for bioengineered food disclosure
  • Advise on pesticides, biostimulants, and other agricultural input products and residue tolerances regulated by the EPA, Codex Alimentarius, FDA, and the EU
  • Perform risk assessment and due diligence reviews of agricultural technology companies involved in mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions
  • Advise on environment and sustainability advertising claims

Key Contacts