Karen has extensive experience in a wide variety of complex technology and intellectual property alliances and transactions. Representative matters include: licensing arrangements; research and development collaborations; joint ventures; strategic alliances and corporate partnering transactions; intellectual property acquisitions and divestitures; manufacture and supply arrangements; distribution and reseller arrangements; co‑marketing alliances; consulting and professional services agreements; and other arrangements involving the commercial exploitation of technology and intellectual property. Karen’s practice also includes providing intellectual property assistance in connection with private equity, M&A and other corporate transactions. Karen is frequently engaged as a guest speaker on topics relating to technology and intellectual property transactions.
- Technology and intellectual property alliances, transactions, acquisitions and divestitures on behalf of Advanced Technology Investment Company, Arrowhead Engineered Products, Inc., ArthroCare, Avista Capital Holdings, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., Black Knight, Blackstone, Brookfield Principal Credit LLC, Cardinal Health, Cardtronics plc, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Core-Mark Holding Company, Dual North America, Inc., EQT Partners, Genstar Capital, Getty Images, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Gores Holdings, HCL Technologies, Humanity.com, Illumina, Intel, Kainos Capital, Leafly Holdings, Inc., Lee Equity Partners, Main Event Entertainment, Inc., Marcone Appliance Parts Center, Inc., MarketAxess Holdings, Marlin Equity Partners, Maxim Integrated, Micron Technology, Orix USA, Panasonic, PDL Biopharma, Pioneer Hi-Bred International (a DuPont company), Prism Medical Products, LLC, The Progeria Research Foundation, Providence Equity Partners, PSG, Redbox Entertainment Inc., SchoolStatus LLC, Silver Lake Sumeru, Skillsoft Corporation, Sumeru Equity Partners, TCV, Texas Instruments, TimeClock Plus, Thompson Street Capital Partners, Topgolf International, Inc., TPG, Trimble Inc. (f/k/a Trimble Navigation Limited), Trive Capital, TruArc Partners (f/k/a Snow Phipps Group), United Way, Vonage and Wind River Systems.
- Research and development collaborations involving technology companies, universities (such as California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Texas A&M and University of California) and research institutions (such as National Institutes of Health).
Karen is actively involved with the Firm’s diversity and pro bono efforts. She is also Co-Chair of the Firm’s Philanthropic Committee and Co-Chair of the Weil Legal Innovators Program Steering Committee. Karen handles pro bono work for, and serves on the Board of Directors of The Progeria Research Foundation. She has been for several years, Co-Chair of Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County’s annual awards event (its largest annual fundraiser).
Karen is widely recognized in the industry. She is ranked Band 1 for Technology: Transactions in California by Chambers USA, where clients describe her as “in the top tier of practitioners in the field” and “exceptionally strong…very balanced and very collaborative.” She has the ability to “cut through and find areas of compromise” in major M&A deals and is “a superb drafter and negotiator.” Karen has been recommended for Technology Transactions and Patents: Licensing by Legal 500 US 2010-2022, where clients note she applies “great expertise, creativity, and good judgment in [her] work” and is “one of the best drafters in the business.” Karen has been named among “The World’s Leading IP Strategists” by IAM Strategy 300 2017-2021 and is included in IAM Licensing 250’s “World’s Leading Patent & Technology Licensing Lawyers,” IAM Strategy 300’s “Global Leader Guide,” IAM Patent 1000’s “Global Leader Guide” and IAM Patent 1000’s “World’s Leading Patent Practitioners,” where clients note “Karen is exceptionally experienced and has great strategic vision. She is excellent at identifying potential issues and pitfalls in complex licensing scenarios, while helping steer a course to resolution in a way that is consistent with her clients’ business goals.” She has also been named among the 2022 “Top Intellectual Property Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal and an “IP Star” for Transactions by Managing Intellectual Property 2013-2021. Karen was named “Technology Lawyer of the Year” at Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Americas 2022 Women in Business Law Awards and was shortlisted in the “Best in Technology” category for Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Americas Women in Business Law Awards for 2020. She was named among the “Top 250 Women in IP 2017” by Managing Intellectual Property; among the Daily Journal’s 2017 list of “Top 100 Lawyers in California;” a “Trusted Advisor” for technology transactions by The Recorder in 2016 and 2017; one of Silicon Valley’s 2015 Women of Influence by The Silicon Valley Business Journal; and among the Daily Journal’s 2014 - 2016 lists of Top Women Lawyers in California, with the publication noting “when Weil represents major technology giants in high-value corporate transactions, the firm calls on Ballack to handle the complex intellectual property aspects of the deals.” She has also been included in The Recorder’s 2013, 2015 – 2017 lists of Women Leaders in Technology Law, which recognizes women lawyers who have demonstrated leadership and expertise in solving the most pressing legal concerns in the technology sector, and named among Lawdragon’s 2017 and 2018 “500 Leading Lawyers" lists.