Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order
by firm name.
Intellectual Property - District of Columbia
THE FIRM This firm has a comprehensive and well-regarded IP practice, and its copyright and trademarks expertise is particularly renowned. The team's soft IP counseling and transactional practice attract many accolades, and its ability to adroitly manage very large portfolios at a global level is considered one of its fortes. High-profile international brands such as Discovery Communications and Pixar look to Arent Fox to protect and exploit their rights.
Sources say: "They find creative solutions and expedite resolutions."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Anthony Lupo has expertise and experience at the point where advertising, entertainment and digital media converge. He counsels some of the best-known market leaders in these fields on their international branding strategies.
Michael Grow is hailed as "an expert in the field" by peers. He handles copyright and trademark litigation, and counsels leading media and entertainment brands on matters concerning domestic and foreign trademarks, advertising, e-commerce and unfair competition.
THE FIRM Arnold & Porter has long had a good name for its handling of copyright, trademarks and related media and advertising work, and has in recent years established a reputation for IP litigation in these fields. A significant highlight of late saw the firm act as lead counsel for a consortium of major sporting associations, including the NBA, NFL and NHL, in a widely reported action concerning cable television copyright royalties.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of department David Marsh is a noted patent specialist whose practice covers noncontentious and litigious work. He recently led a team acting for Boston Scientific on defending a patent infringement claim brought by OrbusNeich Medical regarding coronary stents.
Matthew Wolf is highly esteemed for his talents as a patent litigator in the life sciences and biotechnology arena. He has recently scored a string of successes for clients such as Boston Scientific and Hologic.
THE FIRM This full-service IP law firm represents a diverse client base across a wide variety of engineering and scientific disciplines. The DC office's achievements and standing in litigation - before district and federal courts as well as the ITC - and patent prosecution are particularly well praised by interviewees. Clients include Harley-Davidson, Microsoft, Nokia and Toshiba.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources describe Joseph Potenza as an "outstanding IP litigator," particularly with regard to patent cases. He is a seasoned advocate before the courts and the ITC, and also counsels clients on patent and copyright applications.
THE FIRM Lawyers based at the DC headquarters of this leading IP firm are at the forefront of its nationwide practice. The team is celebrated for trying the most critical cases before federal courts around the country and the ITC. Its work on patent and trademark prosecution, IP transactions and regulatory matters is also renowned in the market. Key clients include Microsoft, Merck and SAMSUNG.
Sources say: "Covington is definitely one of the best firms doing this work in the USA today."
KEY INDIVIDUALS George Pappas has long been one of the preeminent patent and IP litigators in the country. He is described by sources as "truly exceptional" and "at the very top of the game." He recently led client Warner Chilcott to victory in a patent infringement claim concerning Asacol, a product used for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
The "very esteemed" Roderick McKelvie is an authority on patent law and litigation, having tried many cases and served as an expert witness on numerous occasions.
THE FIRM Crowell & Moring is held in particularly high regard for the quality of its work in patent infringement claims and trademark and trade secrets litigation. The team has scored a list of notable successes at district and appellate levels, as well as before the ITC. Highlights include securing a $919.9 million jury verdict for DuPont in a trade secrets action regarding its Kevlar-brand aramid fiber following a dispute with Kolon Industries.
Sources say: "The firm is providing excellent service in a very broad range of areas."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Mark Supko is praised by sources, who note that "his overall knowledge and expertise provide great comfort." He chairs the firm's IP group and is particularly strong in litigation matters concerning computer, electrical and mechanical engineering patents.
Jeffrey Sanok specializes in patent procurement and litigation, as well as IP licensing and strategic counseling. He focuses mainly on matters concerning consumer electronics, industrial manufacturing systems, telecommunications and vehicle controls and systems.
The "customer-oriented" Stephen Palan has a comprehensive patent practice covering licensing, procurement, portfolio management and high-stakes litigation. He is also an expert in trade secrets protection. His technical expertise is particularly pronounced with regard to consumer electronics, computer, data networking and wireless technologies.
THE FIRM Dentons enters the rankings this year on the back of the IP team's achievements in patent prosecution and reexamination matters. The team offers a full and sophisticated IP service covering litigation, licensing transactions, due diligence, and trademark, copyright, media and internet law.
Sources say: "I was very pleased with all of the services provided. What I like most about their services is their consistently quick responses and direct, comprehensible advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eric Sophir's practice is concentrated on patent preparation and prosecution, often with an emphasis on business methods, computer hardware and software systems.
THE FIRM Dickstein Shapiro fields a 100-strong IP team and is rightly regarded as a litigation powerhouse in this area, with peers at rival firms acknowledging its excellent track record in patent litigation. The DC practice also elicits widespread praise for its patent prosecution and portfolio management work. Chrysler Group and LG Electronics are key clients.
Sources say: "They are people to be taken very seriously - ferocious trial lawyers firing precision-guided missiles throughout the process."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gary Hoffman chairs the firm's IP group and is regarded as "a very fine lawyer" by peers. He is a seasoned patent litigator and has handled cases involving life sciences, chemicals, computer and semiconductor technologies.
THE FIRM The US division of this global law firm enters the rankings for DC on the strength of its lauded practice in trademarks, copyright and trade secrets. The team has a pronounced industry focus, with expertise in fashion and design, media, video games and retail. This is a 'cradle to grave' service, taking in portfolio management, prosecution and litigation. Clients include Christie’s, Verizon Wireless and ZeniMax Media.
Sources say: "They understand the pressures of a business and how factors other than the law can influence the strategy of the case."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ann Ford is a branding and trademarks specialist of national renown. She has a loyal following among fashion, media and retail clients, one of whom describes her as "aggressive but with excellent judgment, very easy to get along with, and keen to minimize legal proceedings."
Joseph Lavelle is a highly respected patent litigator who tries and prepares cases centering on automotive technology, computer technology, electronic engineering, financial services and biotechnology. He has significant experience before the ITC, and is praised as "a fantastic patent lawyer."
THE FIRM This IP powerhouse is headquartered in Washington, DC and is highlighted for its resources in patent, copyright, trademark and trade secrets law. The firm is at the heart of the series of telecommunications hardware patent cases, dubbed the 'smartphone wars', representing Taiwanese manufacturer HTC against Apple in a number of these cases. Other clients include Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific, LG Electronics and Sony.
Sources say: "Unquestionably top tier."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers praise Donald Dunner as a "great statesman" in the fields of pharmaceutical, chemical and biological engineering patent litigation. He is particularly well known for his experience of mounting appeals before the court of the Federal Circuit. He recently represented InterDigital Communications in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, successfully achieving the reversal of a previous decision in a patent infringement dispute with Nokia.
David Hill handles a wide variety of work, including patent and trademark prosecution, portfolio management, license agreements and litigation - including Section 337 unfair import investigations before the ITC.
Michael Jakes is well regarded for his prowess and experience in appeals before the Federal Circuit. He particularly well suited to matters concerning computer hardware, medical device, semiconductor and software patents.
Ford Farabow is a senior statesman at the patent Bar with a reputation that extends across the country. He focuses on cases regarding contested chemistry, chemical engineering and pharmaceutical rights.
THE FIRM Fish & Richardson retains its position as one of the leading patent litigation shops in DC. As well as critical patent cases before the district and federal circuit courts, the team has a stellar reputation for the quality of its Section 337 IP litigation before the ITC. A recent highlight saw the team represent SAMSUNG in a multipatent infringement action concerning videophone technology.
Sources say: "Hard-working, creative and widely respected."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ruffin Cordell is considered to be "exceptional" and one of the best patent litigators in the market. He recently led a team acting for Microsoft on a patent case against St Clair Intellectual Property Consultants regarding the validity of patents regarding PC power management.
Michael McKeon is one of the firm's top IP trial lawyers and "a very respected practitioner in the DC marketplace." His highlights from the past year include contributing to a team representing multiple defendants - including Gap, Netflix, Orbitz, Amazon.com and eBay - in a patent suit concerning the dynamic generation of applets on web servers.
THE FIRM Foley & Lardner's DC-based IP practice is best known for its strengths in patent prosecution on a national and global level, and for the sophistication of its lawyers' handling of technically complex patent reexaminations, and new inter partes and post-grant reviews. The DC office counts Amgen, Hitachi, Toshiba and United Therapeutics among its clients.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Patent prosecution expert Steve Maebius provides invaluable strategic advice to key clients such as United Therapeutics.
THE FIRM This firm has a much-admired trademark and copyright practice, and has recently acted for adidas, Citi, Marriott International and Pearson Education. The group has of late sought to expand further into patent litigation and Section 337 proceedings before the ITC, moves which have successfully brought it wider market recognition.
Sources say: "One of the best in terms of providing a great mix of substantive expertise and excellent advocacy."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Mayberry is universally acknowledged as a highly talented and experienced trademarks law expert. He is primarily a litigator, and specializes in arbitration, mediation or pre-litigation counseling to clients anticipating court proceedings. Sources praise his "deep knowledge of the law."
THE FIRM The DC office of this leading national IP player is probably best known for its strengths in litigation at district court, appellate and ITC levels. The team recently acted for Abbott Laboratories on defending challenges to its use of Revigor in its Ensure line of products. Other prestigious clients include GlaxoSmithKline, IBM and Siemens.
Sources say: "The quality of the work is very, very high."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gregg LoCascio recently led the team in the aforementioned matter for Abbott. He is a "superb trial lawyer" with "a good talent for talking to our management and taking on board their concerns," according to one interviewee.
Edward Donovan is a veteran of numerous complex, high-stakes patent litigations and has tried cases in the country's most demanding jurisdictions for such matters, such as the Eastern District of Texas and the Northern and Southern Districts of California. Interviewees describe him as "a fine lawyer."
The "very talented" Daniel Attridge has decades of experience in patent infringement, antitrust and unfair competition actions. He has distinguished himself in cases concerning chemical, medical device and pharmaceutical patents.
THE FIRM Latham & Watkins is highly regarded for patent litigation in federal and state courts, and has a growing and formidable practice before the ITC headquarters in Washington, DC. The firm's lawyers have been prominent actors in the 'smartphone wars' and have developed a strong niche in Section 101 patentability cases. Clients include Apple, Amazon.com, Honeywell and Jaguar Land Rover.
Sources say: "Latham made it a point to understand our business objectives, and pursued the litigation with those objectives as paramount."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Lawrence Gotts is respected throughout the country for his prolific and highly successful work as a patent litigator. He recently led a team acting for Time Warner Cable on a patent infringement claim brought by Sprint Communications regarding Time Warner's digital home phone service.
Maximillian Grant thrives in critical, competitive patent trials and ITC Section 337 proceedings, and is global cochair of the firm's IP litigation group. He is lauded by clients for his "practical and confident" approach.
Matthew Moore is a patent litigator with a number of blue-chip clients in the automotive industry, including Jaguar Land Rover. Sources say he is "extremely responsive, knowledgeable and accessible."
THE FIRM Mayer Brown's DC office houses a rich mix of scientifically qualified lawyers with extensive experience in litigating difficult cases. The emphasis there is largely on hi-tech and electronics patent litigation, and the IP team has commendable knowledge of district court, ITC and USPTO procedures. Clients include Cargill, Google and Philips.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Patent litigator Brian Rosenthal is recognized for his talents by a range of clients and peers in the market. He "argues matters extremely well and is excellent at identifying the issues to focus on," according to one source.
Stephen Baskin recently joined the team from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. Baskin is "a great client-oriented attorney - he's very quick to respond and doesn't overpromise or provide advice which runs counter to bottom line interests," according to one impressed market observer. Baskin is an experienced patent litigation attorney, and has a subspecialty in nanotechnology.
THE FIRM This firm's DC IP team offers a comprehensive service, deploying experienced and technically adept minds to the registration, management and treatment of patents, trademarks and copyrights and to litigation where these rights are contested. The team's ITC and Section 337 practice is also gaining a respected name in the market. Clients include Hewlett-Packard, HTC, SAMSUNG and Sandoz.
Sources say: "They are very responsive to our needs, and both aware of and sensitive to the internal workings of our company."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Joel Freed concentrates primarily on high-stakes, sophisticated IP and related antitrust litigation and is a regular before the ITC. A recent highlight saw him and a team of McDermott attorneys win a substantial settlement from SAMSUNG for client Spansion following a review of the client's patent portfolio.
Stephen Becker heads up the DC office's patent prosecution service and focuses mainly on engagements involving business methods, computing, semiconductors and telecommunications. One source relates that his "insights into the sensitivities and 'hot buttons' of the USPTO have resulted in favorable outcomes."
Senior counsel Raphael Lupo remains "unquestionably top-tier" in the eyes of his peers. He recently helped win a favorable judgment from the ITC in defense of a patent infringement claim regarding third-party integrated circuits in flat panel digital televisions.
THE FIRM MoFo's DC office is a hotbed of IP litigation talent, and continues to impress in this domain, leading high-profile representations in district, federal and ITC court settings. Electrical and chemical engineering are areas of pronounced strength for the team, which includes a number of former federal circuit clerks. It acts for a number of prominent science and technology market leaders, among them Fujitsu, Huawei, Novartis and Toshiba.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Brian Busey is a key contact.
THE FIRM Sidley Austin is considered a go-to firm for sophisticated patent infringement cases by some of the best-known and largest IP-heavy blue-chips in the world today. Aside from patent litigation in district and federal courts, the team is expanding its ITC capability and is developing expertise and experience in the life sciences sector to supplement its already powerful command of consumer electronics technologies. Clients include Apple, Conceptus and Genentech.
Sources say: "They have a lot of very, very skilled attorneys, so they are able to handle very large matters and multiple matters."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeffrey Kushan heads the IP practice in Washington, DC. He divides his workload between life sciences litigation and IT and electronics litigation, with a stronger emphasis on the former. He has recently presided over high-value actions for clients Apple and Genentech.
Joseph Micallef's practice is predominantly geared toward life sciences patent cases, although he has successfully tried cases involving patents arising from all manner of scientific disciplines.
THE FIRM Sterne Kessler is widely recognized as one of the foremost IP boutiques in the Washington, DC area. The firm is especially highly regarded in the area of patent prosecution and USPTO proceedings. A number of sources highlighted the team's strengths in post-grant patent review, reexaminations and litigation support. Clients include Apple, Google and Reebok.
Sources say: "Professional, diligent, efficient and exceptionally bright."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Sterne is considered to be among the best patent attorneys working in the USA today, and has a particularly strong reputation for handling patent reexamination actions and litigation before the Federal Circuit court and the ITC. Recent matters include successfully representing i4i in a patent infringement case against Microsoft in the US Supreme Court.
Jorge Goldstein, a founding director of the firm, is a leading authority at the vanguard of patent law concerning biotechnology, and has a thriving prosecution practice specializing in genomics, cell biology, stem cells and pharmaceuticals.
David Cornwell's practice is mainly concerned with patent litigation. He heads the firm's work on clean energy technologies, biotechnology and computer science, and is also much sought after for counsel on post-grant patent reviews. He has recently played a key role in undertaking patent due diligence with respect to potential M&A deals.
THE FIRM Venable is one of the leading firms in DC for IP and is considered a go-to for patent prosecution and trademark, copyright and trade secret-related matters. In addition to prosecution and reexamination work, the team is also strong with regard to the treatment of IP assets in M&A transactions, and in FDA proceedings concerning pharmaceutical patents. Clients include Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Ranbaxy and Sony Mobile.
Sources say: "They are able to recommend courses of action that provide excellent results which lead to the client's full satisfaction."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Mark Harrison chairs the firm's trademarks, copyrights and domain names practice group. He has been a prolific filer of trademark applications during his career, and has represented clients in a number of industries, including pharmaceutical companies. Sources note that he gives "clean and clear advice."
William Coston heads the firm's IP group and commands the utmost respect as a litigator from peers and laypersons for his "tireless efforts on behalf of his clients." He tries cases across the spectrum of IP rights and related antitrust matters.
Michael Sartori heads the firm's patent prosecution practice. He is a registered patent attorney, and also litigates patent cases as well as giving clients advice on their IP strategies. His scientific background is in mechanical engineering and he has very strong links with Japanese firms and official bodies concerned with IP.
THE FIRM Weil's IP team in Washington, DC focuses primarily on litigation and counseling related to contentious matters, including Section 337 actions at the ITC. Licensing agreements and other IP-related transactional work is also a strong suit. The lawyers here are particularly well equipped to handle the most complex cases concerning consumer electronics and semiconductor patents. Recent clients include Apple, California Institute of Technology and SAMSUNG.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Brian Ferguson is a key contact.
THE FIRM This DC firm's IP team is well regarded for its patent litigation work and its track record within copyright and trademark law. The firm has long been celebrated for its expertise in litigation of all kinds, while disputes concerning secondary liability are a forte for the team. Wiley Rein also has a leading practice representing licensees of digital music rights. Clients include Mylan Laboratories, Verizon Wireless and Warren Communication News.
Sources say: "The attorneys display sound commercial sense."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bruce Joseph chairs the firm's copyright group and is a renowned specialist in copyright protection and litigation matters. He is also much sought after for advice on music recording licensing and protection, and online digital content rights.
James Wallace is a seasoned patent litigator who has tried cases involving biotechnology, data transmission, pharmaceuticals and satellite communications. Sources relate that he is "very professional, very well organized and on top of everything."
THE FIRM Williams & Connolly enters the rankings this year based on its recognized strengths in IP and, in particular, patent litigation, adding luster to its reputation for leading work in the field of pharmaceutical and medical products regulatory law. Although patent litigation relating to technologies in this field is a forte for the team, it also has considerable resources at its disposal for work regarding consumer electronics and telecommunications.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bruce Genderson is singled out for his "very impressive" patent litigation practice. He leads the firm's efforts in this domain, and has represented companies operating in the principal areas of patent litigation, namely consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
THE FIRM WilmerHale is a national player in IP, and its DC team handles the full range of related matters. The team's expertise in patent prosecution, reexamination and portfolio management, as well as patent litigation, is rightly recognized as being among the district's best, and the firm has an excellent name in Section 337 actions before the ITC. Clients include Pfizer and Smith & Nephew.
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Cavanaugh handles patent litigation and noncontentious IP counseling and strategy matters for a diverse range of clients, including many from the biotechnology, diagnostics and medical device sectors.
Cono Carrano of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is aclaimed for his "deep technical knowledge paired with unequaled litigation experience." His main areas of focus are electronics, optics, semiconductors, software and wireless technologies.
Richard Meyer of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP is a seasoned patent and trademark litigator who has tried Bench and jury trials, and also ITC and USPTO proceedings concerning IP assets in a vast range of technical disciplines.
Alexander Hadjis recently joined Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP from Morrison & Foerster. Hadjis has extensive experience of high-value patent litigation at district, federal and ITC court proceedings. Sources relate that "he can provide constructive advice on strategy, and can also communicate with the client very well on either team management or detailed technology issues."
According to one source, the "stellar" Alan Fisch of Fisch Hoffman Sigler LLP is a "true business partner in every sense of the word - not just a great legal technician but also able to meld business concerns into an overall legal strategy." He is a prolific trial lawyer whose work largely falls in the computer and electrical engineering spaces.
Brian Buroker of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is best known in IP circles as a patent litigator and appellate specialist with an emphasis on cases concerning consumer electronics, computer and telecommunications technologies.
Mark Davis recently joined Greenberg Traurig, LLP from Weil, Gotshal & Manges. While at his prior firm, Davis represented Apple in two important matters before the ITC, one against Elan regarding touchscreen patents, and another against Motorola, a major engagement in the 'smartphone wars'.
Paul Kilmer of Holland & Knight LLP is a "very well-regarded" specialist in copyright, trademark and unfair competition matters. His practice is international in nature, and he advises clients on brand protection strategies in jurisdictions the world over.
Susan McBee recently joined Miles & Stockbridge PC from Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. McBee is a talented patent attorney with a strong practice in patent and trademark prosecution and portfolio management. Much of her clientele operates in the biotechnology, chemical and life sciences sectors.
Allan Soobert of Paul Hastings LLP is praised by clients for his understanding and experience of patent litigation, particularly cases with an electrical engineering bent. Recent clients include AT&T, Research In Motion and The Washington Post.
Danny Huntington of Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck PC handles the full spectrum of patent law work, taking in prosecution, portfolio counseling, transactional matters and litigation. He is also well known for his extensive experience in patent interferences.
Steven Lieberman of Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck PC is a much-admired patent litigator with several recent victories under his belt from cases concerning contested rights in biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceuticals at district court, appellate and ITC level.
Harold Fox heads Steptoe & Johnson LLP's DC-based patent prosecution team. He is much admired for his command of matters involving a truly impressive range of technical and scientific disciplines, from biotechnology through nanotechnology to materials science.
As a former Administrative Trademark Judge with the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board, Gary Krugman of Sughrue Mion PLLC is much sought after for his counsel on branding matters, be they noncontentious engagements or hard-fought litigation.
John Ryan of Thompson Hine LLP handles litigious and noncontentious patent work in all its guises, including prosecution and portfolio management. One client reports that "he understands my issues and provides practical and sound legal advice, at great value."