Chambers & Partners has compiled their independent and objective list of America's Leading Lawyers for Business based on comments gathered from thousands of interviews with clients and lawyers from Maine to Hawaii. This guide -- which is designed to reflect market opinion -- contains a view of the firms and attorneys who are considered leaders in their field.
In Chambers' 2004-2005 review of national legal talent in the area of "Intellectual Property," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.
The Firm: Boasting one of the largest IP departments in the state, this "very talented group deserves to be high on the list." It serves a clientele "which is willing to pay for the best," market sources said. A team of 90 Chicago-based attorneys wins particular praise for its "well-developed" patent litigation practice. Its "seasoned" trademark attorneys cover a gamut of issues such as biology, bio-engineering, computer science and chemistry. Additional expertise includes chemical, electrical, mechanical and civil engineering.
The Lawyers: "Confident" William Streff is known by clients to "show no weaknesses," leading peers to say that they "would not hesitate to recommend a case to him." One of the leaders of the firm's IP group, he proved versatile on both the litigation and transactional fronts. His expertise includes such areas as computer technology, semiconductors and digitally-controlled fuel injectors. He led the successful defense of a patent jury trial on behalf of Kubota Corporation against Deere & Co. James Amend is perceived to be a "well-known and seasoned trial lawyer," interviewees said. His practice has covered litigating and counseling clients in such areas as electronics, computers manufacturing and packaging. His caseload has included patent infringement, trademark, unfair competition, and advertising matters.
The Clients: International Truck and Engine; Nichia Corporation; Hitachi and Konica Minolta.
The Firm: Market sources agree that the group's profile is on the rise. The firm's reputation as one of the leading US litigation practices is born out of its tenacious approach to patent cases. It is also experienced in trademark and copyright infringement cases, and trade secrets misappropriation claims. However, the group's practice extends beyond its litigation base to encompass a broader array of services. These include advising on both the IP aspects of transactions and on the transfer, protection and enforcement of IP assets.
The Lawyers: This group garnered praise for its stellar reputation in high-stakes litigation. Interviewees characterized it as a well-managed and polished outfit that includes a number of high-profile trial attorneys. Among them is John Desmarais, who won widespread support for the depth of his courtroom experience. Sources said Desmarais' aggressive advocacy has helped attract clients of the caliber of Computer Motion. It has retained him to lead its ongoing patent litigation.
The Firm: The firm's continued expansion in California saw it open a San Francisco office in January 2003. Although it can draw on the resources of litigators in Chicago and New York, the Los Angeles-based group is a stand-alone practice that encompasses all areas of IP, from
litigation through transactional and prosecution work. Unsurprisingly, trial work is felt to be the firm's forte, and market observers were quick to note the group's activities in some of the major cases of late. This year, for example, the group has successfully represented HJ Heinz, Heinz Management Company and Del Monte in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Mars.
The Lawyers: Bob Krupka is the fulcrum of the group. A "talented and aggressive trial specialist, " he represented Pioneer in its case against Gemstar Development, winning a key summary judgment of non-infringement in a complex multiple patent, multi-district litigation.
The Clients: HJ Heinz; Honeywell; Motorola; Pioneer and Schering-Plough.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers & Partners: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2004-2005