Resolutely commercial and solutions-oriented, Akerman has a terrific reputation among dynamic businesses large and small looking to press home their competitive advantage. When the need for patent counsel arises for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, in comes Denver-based John Burke
to take charge. A perceptive strategist with a gift for contract negotiation and IP commercialisation, Burke is also a fount of insight and analysis on freedom to operate issues and a go-to guy for patent opinions.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck keeps some of the most demanding and innovative technology companies happy by providing creative, commercially driven solutions to patent problems informed by profound product and sector knowledge. Highly rated for his speedy and accurate analysis of complex issues, astute IP asset manager Craig Hemenway
is a touchpoint for concerns in the IT, communications and consumer products theatres. Everyone loves him: “Craig is really personable, and he knows technology and law intimately. He thinks differently to others and has a real creative streak. He’s just a pleasure to cooperate with.” Brownstein also runs an impressive life sciences practice, which is anchored by Paul Prendergast
and is one of the most politically active firms in the United States – something that all the lawyers named here leverage to help find policy solutions that work for the benefit of their clients.
Woven into the fabric of the US technology market, Cooley is a lodestar for innovators across multiple industry sectors. A one-stop shop, the firm can protect, enforce and commercialise patent rights with poise, but in the state of Colorado it is particularly well known for its litigation clout.
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
“Highly experienced in patent prosecution matters” and a firm which “attends to all demands quickly and comprehensively”, Dorsey & Whitney has fans across the country and in far-flung jurisdictions. Providing resolute leadership to a “diligent and insightful” team of “great quality lawyers” is Lee Osman
, a counsellor par excellence
who knows how to create and then maximise IP value in the most strategic ways. Famed for his on-point risk analysis – and mitigation tactics – Osman is commercially attuned and extremely cost effective. A compelling option for when a suit needs to be launched or defended, Gregory Tamkin
is the big-name litigator in the Denver pack. He confidently handles all manner of cases – not just those that are IP-related – and has an innate ability to hone in on the key issues that will turn a case.
Holland & Hart LLP
Considered to be a “pre-eminent patent shop in Colorado”, Holland & Hart “shines in litigation for its practical, business-sensitive approach, accurate assessment of risk and unwavering focus on the best interest of clients”. The side’s powerful enforcement team is “the go-to for a big matter” and is also one of the most stable and consistent in the market; the squad consists of James Hartley
, Timothy Getzoff
and Donald Degnan
, each of whom elicits widespread appreciation. “Jim Hartley is a very seasoned litigator indeed; always well prepared, he is outstanding on his feet in court.” Likewise, “Tim is brilliant in the courtroom and presents in a way that resonates with judges and jurors”, while “Don has an instinctual feel for the mindset of a jury and impressive practical litigation skills”. Hartley and Getzoff have recently been acting for Server Technology in a series of litigations over three groups of patents against the same defendant. Effective teamwork is a hallmark of the practice, and all three regularly collaborate. Fostering this superbly on the non-contentious side of the practice is patent cynosure Michael Drapkin
, who is one of the most visionary lawyers in this part of the country and in the United States generally. “Highly innovative in prosecution”, he has devised many ways to automate tasks and manage workflows efficiently, but he never lets up on quality. For this, he is always in hot demand; clients – invariably leaders in their respective industries – want to instruct him as much as they possibly can. Industry wise, his practice is broad-ranging, but the 40-strong group he leads focuses on computer technology and the electrical arts.
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
In the opinion of many, Kilpatrick Townsend has “the best IP group in Colorado”. It treats a sophisticated client base to incisive strategic counsel that clears the path to commercial success, whatever the obstacle. The fulcrum around which the practice turns is Darin Gibby
, who built the exceptionally strong foundations of the firm’s local presence. He’s a “next-gen thinker” when solutions need to be advanced not just for clients but for the IP community at large, as well as a “responsive, service-minded lawyer and excellent speaker”. Maintaining an equally broad prosecution, counselling and transactions practice as Gibby, and also coming in for considerable acclaim, is Thomas Franklin
. “Consistently top-notch”, the deft asset manager “has been around the block a few times, so he knows how the law has changed – he also has a good feel for where it is going”. On top of that, “he’s unflappable and exudes a sense of calm and control”. Denver managing partner Eugene Bernard
is another name to commit to memory. A master constructer of national and global portfolios – and a highly efficient and cost-effective one at that – he drafts patents with precision, procures them with ease and defends them with steadfastness. In David Sipiora
, Kilpatrick Townsend has a top-level trial lawyer with a national reputation and one of the most experienced lead counsels in the Mountain States.
Merchant & Gould
With “some great young talent coming up” underneath experienced skippers – and key clients expanding the firm’s responsibilities – Merchant & Gould is in top shape in Denver right now. Among the best portfolio managers and opinion givers in the region is Timothy Scull
, “a true leader and great managing partner”. His technical compass is broad but he is celebrated as a connoisseur of software and computer architecture. George Lewis
also excels in prosecution – “he wants to get you a business asset, not just a piece of wall art, and is watchful on costs”. Lewis is a former professional engineer, so clients can rest assured that he will always deliver when it comes to understanding the technical background of a case. Chairing the electrical and software group is Gregory Leibold
, who is best known for his polished licensing and transactional skills. Driving the litigation practice are Peter Gergely
and Kristin Stoll-DeBell
; Gergely has litigated touch-and-go cases across a spectrum of industries and emerged victorious; Stoll-DeBell’s litigation strategies keep clients out of the rough and on the fairway, and with her commercial approach she always comes home under par. All these lawyers are supremely well rounded, which further enhances the firm’s one-stop shop credentials.
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Michael Best & Friedrich strengthened its IP offering in March 2018 with the addition of four partners from Lathrop & Gage, including Scott Alter and Jon Trembath. Alter is a well-rounded IP strategist trusted by a swathe of Fortune 500 companies who see him as “a highly skilled analyst and responsive lawyer with excellent client service skills”. Litigator Trembath is an experienced lawyer “well-suited to cases that require a lot of strategic chess moves”.
Perkins Coie LLP
With its “large IP transactions group and national footprint”, Perkins Coie is considered “the best for patent and technology licensing”. A lucent leader in the discipline is Peter Kinsella
, a deal broker with extensive in-house experience. “Many licensing lawyers don’t pay attention to what is happening in the courts, but it is critical to do so given the risk of getting hauled into litigation – Peter is one of the few with a profound understanding of all the case law.” Perkins Coie is also a prime address for litigants in patent cases, particularly in view of the strength and depth of its national IP litigation group, but also given its local firepower. Denver’s Amanda Tessar
is a “vigorous advocate, but also a very pragmatic lawyer who is able to modulate her advice according to the business goals of her clients and the business realities they face”. “A responsive, strategic thinker who is sensitive to budgetary requirements, she has a great bedside manner when advising in-house legal departments and other stakeholders. She is someone you can trust to deliver the best outcome possible in any case.” Perkins Coie just as readily fulfils its promise of excellence in prosecution as it does in litigation, thanks to the efforts of David St John-Larkin
and Michael Henson
. The former “does a tonne of high-level work in the software area and is very savvy”; Henson has a litigation background which he draws on to procure robust patent rights capable of withstanding third-party challenges. When it comes to the analysis of litigation risk in prosecution, Brian Kinnear
also has a gimlet eye.
Intellectual property is a burgeoning area of practice for Polisinelli, which recently increased its department headcount by nearly 50 attorneys as a result of a merger with Novak Druce. The firm also recently hired gold-tier ex-Sheridan Ross pro John Posthumus
, “a patient and understanding litigator who doesn’t overreact to anything” and who earns resounding praise for his commitment to the wider Colorado IP community. None of this, however, has affected the cohesiveness of its team in the Centennial State, which has been anchored by Gregory Durbin
, Wade Johnson
and Timothy Worrall
, all of whom showcase a flair for prosecution and portfolio management domestically and internationally, while each bring a unique style or skill set to the table. Durbin is known as “an energetic but careful lawyer and a tight prosecutor who thinks innovatively”; “patient, calm and relatable”, Wade is “superbly knowledgeable about medical technology”; and as someone who “really cares deeply about what he does”; while Worrall is “exceptionally bright and trusted to the last by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies”, as well as a “customer-focused lawyer who stays up on his clients’ businesses and all developments in the law”. The Denver office’s full-time IP litigator is Michael Dulin
who is renowned for his tenacious pursuit of commercially advantageous dispute resolutions.
One of, if not the biggest IP boutiques in Colorado, Sheridan Ross has everything you need whether you are protecting, managing, monetising or defending and enforcing patent rights. In fact, many of the set’s leading lawyers are cross-trained and can serve as a single point of contact for all issues, which drives efficiencies and cuts costs. One of the best examples of versatility is firm co-chair Todd Blakely
, whose mastery of all IP trades has been refined over a career of more than 30 years. He is a member of both the collaborative prosecution and litigation teams, each of which is absolutely stacked with talent. In prosecution, Bruce Kugler
is a great option for those with diverse portfolios, given his blended patent and trademark expertise. Coming from a petroleum engineering background, he brings his best to briefs concerning oil and gas, and mining innovations. High-tech purveyors often make a beeline for Douglas Swartz
, who does a terrific job tailoring his advice around the unique business challenges and goals of each thanks to his penetrating competitor analyses. The go-to in life sciences is Gary Connell
, who utilises his extensive prosecution and licensing experience to provide perspicacious strategic counsel. Captain of the litigation team Rob Brunelli
thrives in the cut and thrust, but never forgets that patrons ultimately want a business resolution – something he has a knack for finding. Reflecting on their experience, one client comments: “Because of its effectiveness and reasonable billing rates, the firm is easy to recommend to other divisions and folks outside our company. Sheridan Ross has successfully asserted several of the patents they have prosecuted, remaining responsive to our needs and adaptable to our way of doing things at all times.”
Swanson & Bratschun LLC
Flexing world-class technical acuity, Swanson & Bratschun is a leader in the life sciences domain. IP professionals do not come much more knowledgeable than founding partner Barry Swanson
, who has obtained over 1,000 US and international patents for cutting-edge biotechnological and chemical innovators. Joining him in the IAM Patent 1000
for the first time this year is pharmacology PhD Katherine Lobel-Rice
, a “top-notch lawyer who provides a reasonably priced service”. “She’s very accessible, has a really strong technical background and clients always fare well with her.” However, high-tech concerns are not left in the lurch – they can call on Chad King
. A trusted adviser to start-ups and Fortune 500s, he manages portfolios and prosecutes astutely, but brings added value in the form of post-grant and litigation expertise. The team’s most experienced litigator is Daniel Young
, a straight shooter who gets to the crux of matters in double-quick time.
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Few in Colorado command as much respect nationally and internationally as WilmerHale, which is unanimously considered a patent litigation powerhouse. Integrated into the wider practice, the Denver squad is very much on the frontlines of the highest-profile showdowns, with lead roles often taken by senior trial lawyers Natalie Hanlon Leh
and Mary (Mindy) Sooter
. “They are smart, experienced, tough and formidable adversaries who are in their prime and who command respect.” Not just a firm you call in a fight, WilmerHale serves up 360-degree procurement, enforcement and monetisation solutions. In Benjamin Fernandez
, the local team has a savvy portfolio manager, opinion giver and deal maker who can give peace of mind to those launching new products onto the marketplace.