- Number of partners: 4
- Number of lawyers: 6
The firm was formed in May 2011, when David Foster, Barbara Murphy, James Altman and David Nickel left the law firm of Miller & Chevalier Chartered to form the Washington, DC law firm of Foster, Murphy, Altman & Nickel, PC. Relying on 30 years of prior experience, the new firm concentrates its practice on Section 337 investigations before the US International Trade Commission (ITC), as well as judicial review and Customs’ enforcement of orders issued thereunder. Such litigation involves primarily patent, trademark, and copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets. The firm represents both domestic and foreign companies as complainants and respondents in these fast-paced, often bet-the-company investigations. In the smaller, boutique firm setting, the lawyers are able to minimize conflicts and to continue to provide the high-level of experience, judgment and litigation skills in Section 337 matters for which they are known. The firm is at the forefront of those who practice at the intersection of intellectual property and international trade law. The group’s lawyers have deep experience in a variety of related bodies of law and litigation forums, as well as that gained from serving in senior government positions. The firm continues to partner with other law firms (typically larger IP or litigation firms) on Section 337 matters, creating litigation teams that are both successful and efficient for clients.
Main Areas of Practice:
Section 337 Investigations:Areas of PracticeITC Section 337 Litigation
Intellectual Property Litigation
International Trade Regulation
US Customs Border Enforcement
The firm has one of the strongest and most experienced Section 337 practices in the country, having litigated approximately 160 Section 337 cases in private practice, which represents close to 20 percent of the cases filed since 1974, when Section 337 took its current form. The firm is considered a go-to firm for Section 337 experience and guidance. Because of the breadth and depth of the lawyers’ experience, the firm is able to provide clients and co-counsel with real value in the formof strategic advice on their matters. For 30 years, the firm’s attorneys have been engaged in all aspects of Section 337 investigations, including preparing complaints; engaging in extensive and concentrated discovery; handling expedited motions; appearing in hearings before numerous administrative law judges; briefing issues of violation and remedy to the ITC; and engaging in appellate review. The firm has represented domestic and foreign companies pursuing and defending against Section 337 relief in cases involving all types of unfair acts, including patent, trademark, copyright and/or trade dress infringement, as well as claims of false advertising, trade secret misappropriation, and gray market goods. These cases have covered the gamut of industries and technologies, including semiconductor chips, consumer goods, chemicals, industrial machinery, communication devices, and computer software. As most Section 337 investigations involve patent infringement, the firm often collaborates and works effectively as co-counsel with its clients’ existing patent counsel in these rapid investigations, providing much needed expertise in assisting these firms and clients through the rigorous demands of a Section 337 investigation. The firm’s lawyers are experienced in IP litigation in the United States and internationally, including litigation in the federal district courts. The benefits of that collective experience and continuous involvement in the field are numerous. In many cases, disputes are high-stakes and time is of the essence. Knowing what strategies will be successful, as opposed to learning it on the job, can make an enormous difference in both the outcome and the cost of litigation.
US Customs Border Enforcement:
In addition to its Section 337 practice before the ITC, the firm has a leading practice involving enforcement issues related to Section 337 cases before US Customs and Border Protection. US Customs and Border Protection is charged with assisting in the border enforcement of US intellectual property rights in a variety of contexts, including enforcement of Section 337 orders, trademark and copyright recordation, counterfeiting, and gray market imports. In order to maximize the potential benefit from these resources, the firmworks with US. IPR owners to ensure the most effective implementation of Customs enforcement capabilities. The firm’s lawyers also interact with Customs to avoid or mitigate the adverse effects of such enforcement activities.
Contact: Barbara A Murphy
Tel: 202 822 4102