Chambers & Partners has compiled its 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' 2009 review of national legal talent in the area of "Intellectual Property," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.
Nationwide Ranking: Tier 1
The huge commitment this firm has made to its national IP litigation practice is very much in evidence. The team is centered in New York, and its fastest growth is in California, where a new Palo Alto office joins its San Francisco and Los Angeles operations. Clients point out that "the depth and the quality of work really run from the very top all the way down," making it a key destination for high-stakes litigation and trial work. Highlights include winning $511.6 million in damages and interest for Alcatel-Lucent in a matter against Microsoft. Highly instrumental in building the practice, John Desmarais is "one of the superstars of IP litigation," sources agree.
California Ranking: Tier 1
Interviewees assert that this firm has established itself as a significant player within California, and it is also "a big name outside the state." This 50-strong IP team is based in Palo Alto, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the attorneys are "extremely talented in terms of litigation strategy" and admirably dedicated to their clients: "They're probably the hardest working group I know," enthused one. Hi-tech work is a major focus, although the group covers a variety of technical areas, and the workload features both transactional patent and trial work, of which patent litigation is a key part. In one highlight, the team defended eBay, Yahoo!, MySpace.com and Amazon.com in patent infringement litigation brought by SimpleAir Holdings. A growing part of the practice is its representation of portfolio companies for private equity firms. Based in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, DC, Robert Krupka is universally acclaimed as "a fantastic IP lawyer." He is joined in the rankings this year by Adam Alper, who has impressed both peers and clients.
Illinois Ranking: Tier 1
This top-notch group houses several great litigators with extensive IP experience. The national IP practice benefits from the firm's international scope, and its attorneys are known as "technically skilled, strategic thinkers." William Streff is "a phenomenal trial lawyer with a long track record." He recently represented Rohm in a patent suit brought by 02Micro. In addition to living up to the firm's excellent reputation for litigation, Russell Levine is highlighted for delivering "pragmatic and well-reasoned legal advice in an understandable, business-friendly way." He recently represented Motorola in patent infringement allegations brought by DTI. Of counsel Jim Amend has spent the last two years as the chief mediator for the Federal Court of Appeals but is returning to the firm in 2009.
Intellectual Property: Patent
New York Ranking: Tier 1
Intellectual Property: Trademark and Copyright
New York Ranking: Tier 3
Kirkland & Ellis' huge commitment to IP litigation nationwide is very much in evidence in its formidable New York team. Clients find that "the depth and the quality of work really run from the very top all the way down," making it a key destination for high-stakes litigation representation and trial work. "You mightn't bring them in for run-of-the-mill or small matters, but you certainly would for a tough matter with a lot at stake," explained one source. Gifted trial lawyer John Desmarais leads the charge here, and is undeniably "one of the superstars of IP litigation." Commentators highlight his impressive people skills, and agree that he has been highly instrumental in creating the firm's dominant IP practice. He and the team recently achieved a victory for Alcatel-Lucent against Microsoft, in which a federal judge upheld the jury's finding of patent infringement. Gerald Flattmann and Peter Armenio are both highlighted for their accessible presentation of complex technical information. They work closely with John Desmarais and represent pharmaceutical clients; Armenio also undertakes significant work for American Express. Observers credit Gregory Arovas with "a strong understanding of how to move a case forward," and with a disarming approach and impressive ability to deal with complex challenges. Telecom and electrical-related cases form the bedrock of his practice, and he has worked with such clients as Apple, Intel, SAMSUNG and Alcatel-Lucent. Go-to trademark and copyright litigator Dale Cendali is praised by peers as "an extraordinarily hard-working and gracious lawyer who is good with clients." Claudia Ray is often visible alongside Cendali, and is active in IP, media and privacy-related litigation and counseling, as well as international litigation and arbitration and commercial litigation.
District of Columbia Ranking: Tier 3
The Washington, DC IP operation of this nationally dominant practice group has a smaller footprint than the New York, California and Illinois offices, but the group is a growing force and now counts 25 IP attorneys in its ranks. The group focuses exclusively on IP litigation, with an emphasis on patent litigation concerning a range of technologies and industry sectors. In recent highlight work, the team successfully represented Siemens Medical Solutions in a patent infringement jury trial against Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics. False advertising is another key area of work for the group, and it acted for Merisant in a case involving artificial sweeteners brought against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil Nutritionals. Other clients include Alcatel-Lucent, GlaxoSmithKline and BASF. Daniel Attridge heads the DC group and is active in the commercial litigation arena as well as in IP-related cases. His client base includes names such as Barr Laboratories and Research In Motion. Edward Donovan is a skilled attorney with a good profile in the field. He recently appeared alongside New York-based John Desmarais and Greg Arovas in defending Alcatel-Lucent in patent litigation brought by Dell relating to website and computer configuration technology.
International Trade: Intellectual Property (Section 337)
Nationwide: Other Notable Practitioners
Robert Krupka of Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a major player in US IP disputes, and has been involved in significant Section 337 matters before the ITC.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2009 — www.chambersandpartners.com.