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United States > Intellectual property > Patent litigation: International Trade Commission > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Patent litigation: International Trade Commission
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

ITC boutique Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg, LLP is ‘a leading firm in this practice area’, with ‘an unbeatable track record of appearances before the Commission’. Tom Schaumberg has ‘a long history and an excellent reputation in relation to ITC work’; James Adduci is ‘smooth and effective in his approach’; and Louis Mastriani has ‘a head-on approach and solid litigation experience’. The group’s broad range of expertise includes domestic industry, importation and public interest, as well as practice and procedure before the ITC. Adduci is currently representing Soitec as respondent in a patent infringement case regarding silicon-on-insulator wafers, and Mastriani continues to act for plaintiff Otter Products, advising on Section 337 matters in its suit regarding protective cases for electronic devices and components thereof. Former ITC chair Deanna Tanner Okun is also recommended, as are Michael Doane and Sarah Hamblin.

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP provides a ‘top-notch service in ITC cases’. The group ‘is strong in the technology sector, interfacing well with the client’s internal teams’, and the attorneys have ‘a deep knowledge of the ITC forum and procedures’. Elizabeth Niemeyer recently acted for Beijing Nutrichem and Jiangxi Heyi Chemicals in a suit brought by FMC Corp alleging unlawful importation of sulfentrazone, securing a victory on multiple key terms and forcing the plaintiffs to drop claims against three products. Niemeyer and Doris Johnson Hines also represented LG Electronics, successfully defending it against claims brought by Enterprise Systems Technologies concerning the importation of smartphones, tablets, laptops and other computing devices. The group covers a diverse range of technologies, including GPS units, medical devices and LED systems. Other notable clients include Medtronic, Eli Lilly and Toshiba. Smith Brittingham and Christine Lehman co-head the Washington DC-based team.

Covington & Burling LLP’s team is ‘extremely responsive, and is excellent at developing winning strategies for patent claims’. Sturgis Sobin and Brian Bieluchcan see around every corner’, and ‘are excellent at gauging the extent to which arguments will succeed’. Highlights included representing Samsung in a claim brought by Enterprise Systems Technologies concerning the infringement of patents related to mobile devices, and obtaining a favorable summary determination and a dismissal of the plaintiff’s key patent from the ITC case. The group also successfully represented plaintiff Knowles Electronics in a competitor case involving MEMS microphones, obtaining a favorable global settlement, and acted for Samsung in Black Hills Media v Samsung Electronics, successfully dismissing the majority of asserted claims as invalid. Other key figures include the well-regarded Maureen Browne, as well as Alexander Chinoy and Shara Aranoff, all of whom are based in Washington DC.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s cross-office team has a strong presence in Chicago, New York and Washington DC, and continues to handle cases within a broad range of sectors, including technology, medical devices and retail products. In the Washington DC office, Gregg LoCascio and Sean McEldowney are representing BASF in an infringement investigation of patents asserted against Umicore and Makita Corp concerning NMC-based lithium-ion batteries; and in New York, Leora Ben-Ami and Patricia Carson secured a favorable settlement for Baxter International, ending parallel litigation filed by the client against Ethicon’s ‘Surgiflo’ hemostatic device product. Gregory Arovas has acted for various major technology clients, including IBM, Samsung and Xerox. Los Angeles-based Michael De Vries is also a key figure, who, along with Gianni Cutri, represented Lucky Brand Dungarees in a Section 337 investigation regarding laser-abraded denim products.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP is ‘well staffed for ITC matters’, and is now even more so thanks to the additions of Charles McMahon and ‘experienced ITC practitioner’ Jay Reiziss, who joined from Brinks Gilson & Lione in Chicago and Washington DC respectively. Reiziss and McMahon are acting for ZTE Corporation in three ongoing patent cases, and have successfully invalidated infringement claims against nine telecoms-related patents before the ITC. Orange County-based Daniel Foster achieved a significant victory for Panasonic against infringement claims brought by Black Hills Media, securing summary judgment on all six asserted patents, and he also represented Nintendo in an ITC investigation brought by Optical Devices, successfully arguing the plaintiff’s lack of standing and securing a favorable summary determination. Sarah Columbia heads the practice from Boston, where Melissa Nott Davis is also a leading figure.

Fish & Richardson P.C.’s group is led by litigator Ann Cathcart Chaplin and patent attorney John Hayden, and has a deep familiarity with the ITC’s rules and procedures. Key figures include the highly regarded Ruffin Cordell, who has handled numerous patent and trade secret cases before the ITC, and hi-tech expert Michael McKeon, who has strong experience in telecoms, semiconductors and various consumer electronics. Andrew Kopsidas is also a name to note, and has recently acted for Bose Corporation as plaintiff in a suit against Monster, successfully asserting infringement of patents covering an earpiece device. Other key clients of the firm include Samsung, LG Electronics, Kingston and Sling Media. The group is based in Washington DC.

Section 337 specialist Foster, Murphy, Altman & Nickel PC represents plaintiffs, respondents and third parties in litigation before the ITC, seeking remedies for unfair practices related to imports. Key attorneys include David Foster, who represented plaintiff Tessera in two investigations related to seminal technology in modern integrated circuit infrastructure, securing a violation finding against numerous defendants, including Qualcomm, Motorola and ST Micro; Barbara Murphy, who is currently acting for controller chip manufacturer MStar in Thomas Licensing SAS v MStar Semiconductor; and James Altman, who has a strong background in science and technology, and has handled numerous post-order enforcement issues. Other key highlights included representing respondents LSI and Seagate in a multi-patent infringement investigation brought by Rambus, and defending BDT in a competitor investigation against Overland Storage.

Morrison & Foerster LLP maintains a strong client base within the internet, consumer electronics and life sciences sectors, and the team is ‘composed of strong advocates with significant knowledge and experience’. ITC practice chair Brian Busey has notable expertise in high-stakes Section 337 cases, and successfully defended Kyocera Corporation in an infringement suit brought by Technology Properties Limited, obtaining a non-infringement verdict on the asserted microprocessor patent. Busey also acted for Huawei Technologies, defending against FlashPoint Technology’s assertion that Huawei infringed three patents related to electronic imaging devices. Other notable figures in the Washington DC office include Hector Gallegos and Daniel Muino, and IP co-chair Rachel Krevans is the key contact in the San Francisco office.

Acting primarily on the plaintiff side, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP provides ‘an excellent level of service’, and the group’s ‘ability to learn a business, industry, product or technology is astounding - in terms of value, you get what you pay for’. Raymond Nimrod and Washington DC-based Paul Brinkman acted for Cree in a Section 337 investigation before the ITC, alleging infringement of eight patents related to LED technology covering chips, packages and end products. The above attorneys, along with San Francisco-based Charles Verhoeven, represented Dow and Rohm & Haas against Organik Kimya, successfully obtaining a 25-year exclusion order and $2m in monetary sanctions. Toshiba is also a key client along with Epson and MediaTek; Alex Lasher represented the latter along with New York-based Eric Huang in a six-patent ITC investigation concerning optical disc drives, successfully terminating the proceedings due to lack of standing. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC, except where otherwise stated.

At Sidley Austin LLP, Brian Nester and David Pritikin head the practice from Washington DC and Chicago respectively, advising on every stage of ITC investigations and proceedings. The group is currently defending Summit AGRO North America Holding Corporation in a suit regarding sulfonamide preparation, and has successfully obtained an initial determination of invalidity on the patent asserted by FMC Corp. The firm acted for Microsoft in a series of high-profile cases against Motorola concerning Android-based smartphones, prevailing in two ITC proceedings and obtaining exclusion orders against the accused Motorola phones. Chicago-based Richard Cederoth is also recommended, and has recently participated in the defense of Nokia and Microsoft against InterDigital, successfully securing a non-infringement verdict.

Winston & Strawn LLP has ‘a great volume of expertise in ITC cases’, and the group is ‘responsive, well organized and effective’. Practice head Thomas Jarvis is ‘particularly good at domestic industry and public interest matters’, and has ‘a great institutionalized knowledge of the inner workings of the ITC’. Steven Anzalone is also a key figure, and is ‘especially good at handling the technical aspects of cases’. Highlights included acting for Ericsson in two parallel infringement cases at the ITC against Apple, initiating enforcement of patent rights following a failure to obtain a new license. Paul Goulet is ‘recommended for his great wealth of experience in all areas’.

Baker Botts L.L.P. provides ‘high-quality legal services’, and has ‘a strong team that knows what it is doing’. The practice is led by Mark Whitaker, who has ‘great depth of knowledge and diplomacy’ and is ‘excellent at articulating the key issues’. Austin-based Kevin Meek is also a key figure, bringing ‘a lot of energy and drive to the team’. Highlights included acting for The Manitowoc Company in an ITC case initiated against China-based Sany Heavy Industry seeking exclusion of infringing crawler cranes using position counterweight technology; and representing Dell in an investigation brought by NXP involving NFC technology and battery-powered device patents. The group is based in Washington DC.

DLA Piper LLP (US) is ‘excellent at handling public interest and domestic industry issues’, and the group’s ‘response times are surprisingly fast, especially in cross-border matters’. The firm has a strong Silicon Valley presence, and its client roster includes numerous major technology companies including CSR/Zoran, GSI Technology and Toshiba. In recent highlights, Mark Fowler obtained a termination of plaintiff claims on behalf of Toshiba, securing injunctive relief on three patents related to optical disc drives. Fowler also acted for Silicon Labs and Samsung in a suit brought by Cresta Technology, successfully obtaining a finding of non-infringement on all asserted patents. In Chicago, Matthew Satchwell and Paul Steadmangrasp the nature of the case at a very early stage’, and ‘quickly create an effective strategy for their client’. Joseph Lavelle is the key contact in Washington DC, and San Diego-based Erin Gibson is also recommended.

Section 337 specialist Foster, Murphy, Altman & Nickel PC represents plaintiffs, respondents and third parties in litigation before the ITC, seeking remedies for unfair practices related to imports. Key attorneys include David Foster, who successfully obtained a summary judgment of violation for plaintiffs Segway and Deka Products in a suit against numerous Chinese manufacturers and US distributors; Barbara Murphy, who is currently defending Skechers USA against infringement claims brought by Converse; and James Altman, who has a strong background in science and technology, and who has handled numerous post-order enforcement issues. Other key highlights included representing Advanced Research Corporation in an infringement case involving high-density storage tapes, and acting for Novo Nordisk in an investigation brought by Baxter Healthcare regarding replacements for deficient proteins in hemophilia A patients.

Goodwin Procter LLP’s practice was recently bolstered by the arrival of Marcia Sundeen, who has brought a number of clients to the firm including The Gap and Hewlett-Packard. Sundeen represented The Gap in an ITC infringement action brought by RevoLaze and TechnoLines concerning laser treatment of denim garments, and acted for Lenovo in a case regarding optical disc drive related patents. Jennifer Albert and Mark Abate are also leading figures, and recently acted for respondent Menard, accused of violating a cease and desist order, along with intervener Pass & Seymour in a parallel enforcement action. Ce Li’s key clients include Sinowell Shanghai and ZTE Corporation.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘responsive and competent’ team handled numerous infringement suits in 2015, and was particularly active in a number of sectors, including aircraft, electromechanical devices, LEDs and wireless communication systems. Bert Reiser and Maximilian Grant acted for NVIDIA Corporation in an ITC investigation brought against Samsung and Qualcomm alleging infringement of seven patents related to mobile phones and tablets. The group is also defending NVIDIA against graphics processing unit related patent claims brought by Samsung. Other key figures include Matthew Moore, who participated in the ITC investigation against Suprema on behalf of Cross Match Technologies, and Richard Bress, who represents InterDigital Communications in an infringement case against Nokia, Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corp and LG regarding 3G technology.

Mayer Brown has ‘a deep technical knowledge and mastery of practicing before the ITC’, and provides ‘expert technical analyses of asserted patents in the infringement and validity contexts’. Jamie Beaber is ‘an excellent first-chair litigator’, who is ‘clearly involved in the day-to-day management and decision-making of his cases’. Gary Hnath is also a key figure, and recently represented a group of respondents, including Ninestar Image Tech, Nano Pacific and Zhuhai Seine Technology, in an investigation brought by Canon concerning toner cartridges. The firm is currently acting for BMC Medical, defending it against ResMed’s bid to exclude sleep apnea products, including CPAP units and masks, from entering the US. Alan Grimaldi and New York-based John Mancini are also recommended.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP acts for US and international companies across various sectors, and has recently represented Fujifilm in an ITC investigation alongside parallel district court proceedings, asserting four patents against respondent IBM concerning magnetic tape formatting. The group also acted for Yamaha in an infringement investigation brought by Freescale Semiconductor, defending it against claims that it infringed circuitry-related patents. Other key clients include Canon, Brocade Communications Systems and Dish Network. Denise Mingrone chairs the IP group, and Alex Chachkes and Mark Wine are the key contacts in New York and Orange County respectively. Menlo Park-based Amy Van Zant joined in 2015 from Covington & Burling LLP, and has strong experience in litigating before the ITC.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s practice is led by Charles Schill and Steven Adkins, both of whom have handled numerous patent and trade secret cases before the ITC and US Customs and Border Protection. Department head John Caracappa currently represents Realtek in an ITC action brought by Andrea Electronics concerning five patents related to noise, interference and echo cancellation technologies. The case is running alongside six inter partes review petitions against the same patents before the PTAB. Harold Fox co-heads the department, and counsel Matthew Bathon is also recommended.

WilmerHale continues to act for a broad range of tech companies, securing significant victories at the ITC and following investigations through to federal appeal. Donald Steinberg chairs the IP practice in Boston, which is co-chaired by litigator Lisa Pirozzolo. The group also includes the highly regarded William Lee in Boston and James Quarles in Washington DC; the latter has extensive trial experience before the ITC and has handled cases involving a range of technologies, including GPS chips and semiconductor technology. Other notable lawyers include Wayne Stoner and Palo Alto-based Mark Selwyn.

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