DLA Piper has advised Austrian research and development company Bionic Surface Technologies GmbH on its joint development agreement with the Nikon Corporation regarding research and development of riblet technologies. Freshfields reportedly advised Nikon on the deal.
According to DLA Piper, "riblets are specially manufactured surface structures, only a few micro or nanometers in size, whose origin lies in nature itself and has evolved over millions of years: sharks have fine grooves on their skin, the riblets, which allow them quick and energy-efficient movement." According to the firm, "in technical applications – for example aviation, sports, or wind turbines – the implementation of riblets on flow-relevant points results in considerable advantages over smooth surfaces, such as increased efficiency, lower fuel consumption or a lower noise level."
DLA Piper’s Vienna-based team was led by Partners Sabine Fehringer and Maria Doralt and included Counsel Johanna Hoeltl and Senior Associate Christoph Schimmer.