Optics, Photonics and Imaging

Consumer equipment. Telecommunications. Medicine. Industrial manufacturing. Construction. Aviation. Military. Entertainment. Information processing. The list of applications in the Optics, Photonics and Imaging (OPI) sector is virtually endless– and currently experiencing dynamic and vibrant growth in New York State and around the world.

Because Phillips Lytle has the expertise to support photonics and optics companies, and we are able to handle a myriad of legal matters, including everything from the protection of intellectual property, analyzing jurisdiction and classification under U.S. export control laws and regulations, to advising on licensing requirements.

The firm is a member of New York Photonics/Rochester where our attorneys have presented on issues related to unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and export controls. Phillips Lytle attorneys have attended and presented at SPIE conferences such as Photonics West and Defense + Commercial Sensing, and are involved with organizations serving the photonics and optics sector, including Greater Rochester Enterprise, High Tech Rochester and Monroe County Finger Lakes Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

Phillips Lytle attorneys are experienced in advising companies on the regulation of technologies and products under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). We also advise OPI companies on importation and supply chain strategies and compliance with U.S. customs laws and regulations. Our attorneys have advised OPI companies on the recruitment and employment of foreign nationals and compliance with export control laws and regulations, as well as on the range of immigrant and non-immigrant visa strategies, including submissions of petitions to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

We also have significant experience representing photonics and optics companies before federal government agencies and offices regarding export control and related international trade matters, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). When these agencies propose new rules and amendments to trade regulations, our attorneys in Washington, DC are prepared to submit comments and meet with Executive and Legislative branch officials and their staffs to advocate our clients’ interests and concerns.

Representative matters in the OPI sector:

  • Advised a U.S. subsidiary of a German laser manufacturer on export compliance with respect to “deemed export” rule under the EAR relating to employment of foreign national engineers from Germany and India, including conducting company export compliance training.
  • Provided analyses for an Arizona-based subsidiary of a Cleveland, Ohio company on potential export controls of a fiber optic sensing perimeter security system, including advising on entering into a non-disclosure agreement for testing at a leading research university and applicable export controls.
  • Advised an optics company headquartered in Rochester, New York on compliance with ITAR related to the employment of a Canadian optics designer.
  • Advised a defense subcontractor company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio on jurisdiction and classification of electro-optical cable assembly and related Multifunction Towed Array (MFTA) items manufactured for a U.S. Navy Anti-Submarine Warfare program; as well as the commercial use of similar products for underwater seismic surveys for oil/gas exploration. In-house export compliance training was also conducted.
  • Successfully represented an optics company before the Bureau of Industry and Security Office of Export Enforcement, in the investigation of potential export and re-export violations of EAR- and ITAR-controlled devices, resulting in a finding of no violations. Advised the company on product jurisdiction and classification determinations, license requirements, and a compliance program.
  • Advised a Buffalo-based global leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of imaging and marking consumables on customs and international trade matters, including representation before CBP on requests for information, NAFTA verification, prior disclosures, and NAFTA duty refunds, and before the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in classification verification proceedings.
  • Advised an Arizona-based company on the acquisition of medical imaging and diagnostic technology, including the patent infringement analyses with respect to competitor intellectual property.
  • Advised and performed patent and other intellectual property due diligence for a Rochester-based company focused on 3D display technology.
  • Drafted and secured U.S. and foreign patents for a Buffalo-based company with augmented reality technology and lenticular imaging techniques.
Optics, Photonics and Imaging