BakerHostetler’s expansive IP group is home to 150-plus attorneys, the vast majority of whom possess US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) registration numbers. The nationwide team is characterised by a collaborative ethos – something which works exceptionally well for individuals such as Seattle-based Timothy Casey
; doing so many different things for a diverse client base, there’s plenty of resources he can call upon to help him deliver the pinpoint advice for which he is renowned. Casey excels at filling quasi in-house counsel roles, having walked a mile in corporate shoes during stints in Silicon Valley and Washington DC technology companies. Other key contacts in the prosecution and transactions-oriented Emerald City office include Michael Stein
and Michael Swope
. Stein’s facility for protecting and enforcing patents translates well to the new post-grant era ushered in by the America Invents Act; it also gives him a sophisticated take on the business of intellectual property. Adept at the procurement, enforcement and monetisation of patent assets, Swope has a similarly broad outlook. With a background in computer science and experience on distinguished projects – including the development of the Mars Observer craft made by General Electric’s Astro-Space Division – he is a match made in heaven for technology companies with grand ambitions.
Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
One of Seattle’s oldest IP players, Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness is wholeheartedly endorsed. “The firm does absolutely brilliant work, is cost sensitive and always delivers on time.” Handling prosecution mandates with care and precision, the team writes outstanding specifications that minimise the potential for future problems, while using statistical data – concerning time and scope of protection, for example – in clever ways to help enhance patent quality. With George Renzoni
and Rhys Lawson
on board, the group’s pedigree in the life sciences area is excellent. Superb chemist Renzoni is a “razor-sharp thinker” with “an impressive knowledge of a lot of specialty scientific disciplines”. Lawson works on both the life sciences and mechanical engineering groups, and is an accomplished all-round technologist. Clients call him “professional, courteous and easy to deal with”, and someone who “produces exceptional results”. “He is particularly good at explaining complex IP issues to people who don’t have the relevant background.” Both are very active within the firm’s first-rate research institutions practice, and represent Washington State University in connection with preparation and prosecution. COJK has been attracting some high-profile new instructions; as an example, it recently took on board a large portfolio (encompassing some 600 matters) from Weyerhaeuser’s cellulose fibre technology division. Patent group chief Jerald Nagae
, who is taking the lead on the new file, has the team firing on all cylinders. Nagae is “extremely bright, quick at grasping technology and very practical”. “He has a broad range of legal expertise and, as a result, great intuition about what is needed for a particular matter. He is also very good at delegating appropriately – he doesn’t keep to himself things which others could do more efficiently. He has a very fine touch when it comes to client interactions – he listens to your concerns, is proactive in reviewing bills and looks out for your best interests at all times.” A significant increase in the litigation practice is also part of the firm’s recent storyline; a knack for solving problems quickly and painlessly makes it a popular choice among those avoiding the nuclear option. Captaining the litigation team, John Denkenberger
is “accessible and responsive, and is amazing in the way he’ll make time for you whenever you need it”. Testament to his versatility, he is the only individual in the Washington IAM Patent 1000
listings to be included in all three tables – prosecution, litigation and transactions. The ensemble has a new name in the guide this year in Brandon Stallman
, another well-rounded operator. He and Denkenberger have been working in tandem, handling multiple patent applications for multinational aerospace and technology group Safran; they have also mounted several successful litigation defences together for various clients.
One of Cooley’s main draws is its thought and practice leadership in the life sciences; few firms in the nation are better placed to procure commercially potent patents or to structure complex transformative deals in this area. While it has recently been building its sector strength on the East Coast in particular, it remains a powerhouse on the West Coast. In Seattle, it is home to “great attorneys”, including the “strikingly intelligent” Bill Christiansen
and Carol Laherty
– “both top-drawer lawyers who are a pleasure to deal with”. Eminent scientist Christiansen makes miracles happen through the strategic management of sweeping portfolios and the commercialisation of patent assets. Counsellor par excellence
Laherty is an ace at obtaining market exclusivity for her biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients.
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Seattle-headquartered business firm Davis Wright Tremaine is home to a large IP team with near 100 lawyers; capable of fielding virtually any patent, trade secret, trademark or copyright query, it is a great pick for companies with diverse IP needs. The four Seattle partners listed in the IAM Patent 1000
possess broad experience that traverses brands and patents. Ross Boundy
, Warren Rheaume
and Stuart Dunwoody
are all seasoned litigators; having been in the game for over 40 years and having advocated throughout the country, Boundy knows what it takes to obtain preliminary injunctions and settle out successfully. Rheaume has been on top of it for over three decades and maintains strong alternative dispute resolution and litigation practices. Dunwoody is perhaps best known for his soft IP wisdom, but has plenty of patent highlights on his résumé, including a recent dismissal of all claims against client Cascade Energy in an Eastern District of Texas shoot-out. Flying the flag on the prosecution and transactional end is George Rondeau
, who takes a 360-degree view on portfolio management and development.
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Dorsey & Whitney has been practising IP law for many years and has seen and done it all, which makes for a reassuringly efficient and effective service. It has a versatile partner, associate, patent agent and paralegal staff in its Seattle bureau; but the ace up its sleeve is Kimton Eng
, the popular co-chair of the firm-wide patent group. He is a “fantastic attorney” whom peers “would love to hire”. An “extremely well-rounded prosecutor”, “he has an electrical engineering background and is excellent in the hardware area, with a great grasp of the tech and an ability to teach it”. A master patent strategist at an international level, the perspicacious counsellor is quick to safeguard and enhance the competitive edge of clients wherever they are pursuing business. Nelson Dong
is a corporate partner, but also a true IP and technology business expert with a gift for getting signatures on the dotted line of lucrative US-Asia deals. On the contentious front, Paul Meiklejohn
's ability to grapple with unwieldy cases and bring them under control on the path to a resolution or court success makes him a force to be reckoned with. He is one of the most experienced first chairs in the city, with triple-digit patent infringement litigations under his belt.
Fenwick & West LLP
For high-stakes patent litigation, go-to technology outfit Fenwick & West is more than just a safe pair of hands; its passionate scientists-turned-litigators can execute shrewd battle tactics to notch up resounding wins. A spirit of innovation permeates its offering; it continues to invest in enhanced document management systems to assist with the smooth construction of watertight cases. Though the Seattle team is relatively small, it is home to a wealth of talent, including several PhDs, as well as former Federal Circuit and district court clerks. It also has a redoubtable leader in David Tellekson
, a nationally renowned veteran advocate with a flair for biotechnology, pharmaceutical, chemistry and medical device cases. His ability to formulate simple, relatable trial themes early on gives him an advantage in front of a jury. He and his local team draw judiciously on the cohesive firm’s wider resources – including practitioners in the recently opened New York office.
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Kilpatrick Townsend has more than 200 individuals registered to practise before the USPTO, most of whom hold advanced technical and scientific degrees; this makes it one of the country’s largest repositories of patent law know-how. Seamless collaboration between the litigation and prosecution divisions, different technical areas and different offices means it can assemble the right expertise for any instruction. Firmly integrated into the nationwide chemical and life sciences division – and well connected within the Washington venture capital community – is Andrew Serafini
. Companies pioneering next-generation approaches to, for example, cancer immunotherapy turn to him to build eye-catching portfolios. High-technology concerns are well catered for by Seattle managing partner Roger Wylie
and up-and-coming associate Jesse Bennett
. “Wylie is a seasoned lawyer with an ability to guide clients through tough situations.” “He is very skilled as a patent attorney and has an awesome business sense.” Much more than just a prosecutor, he is a counsellor who can effortlessly support a company in many meaningful ways. Bennett is a rising star drafter who is also comfortable delivering strategic advice to the C-suite.
Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP
The Seattle team of elite IP and technology outfit Knobbe Martens has been extremely busy behind the scenes this past year. The team’s hawkish analysis of the commercial landscape and facility for mitigating risk make it a potent ally for those entering new marketplaces, while clients love what it achieves with major projects under its stewardship. Clear communication and consistent team building make for a cost-effective service; in addition, the partner compensation structure incentivises pushing work to the right people, so nobody here is just pounding the file. As well as maintaining thriving portfolio development and transactional practices, the local crew is making a significant contribution to the firm’s broader success in the post-grant space. “Mauricio Uribe
, Maria Anderson
and Melanie Seelig
are all fabulous patent attorneys.” Coming in for particular praise this year, computer software and prosecution mastermind Uribe “understands technology in a profound way – he can pick up anything technical and relate it to patent protection very quickly. He is super-gifted and excellent at anything he does”. Fellow computer science sage Anderson dispenses wisdom on patentability and infringement questions and is a confidence-inspiring strategic counsellor. Seelig’s background in physics and maths means she is confident handling virtually any technology, and she makes light work of prosecution, enforcement and contractual assignments.
Lane Powell PC
The commercially attuned IP group at full-service Pacific Northwest player Lane Powell draws on support from the firm’s other dynamic departments – including the start-ups and business law units – to superb effect. Focusing on investment returns, the counselling and prosecution group is trusted by large publicly traded companies such as NetSuite to manage expansive portfolios. Alan Minsk
, the key contact for the California cloud computing company, infuses his advice with insight from previous in-house and corporate experience. The standout litigator here is Brian Bodine
, who exercises impeccable judgement in all phases of complex patent litigation. Calling on Minsk’s technical expertise, he is currently managing a four-patent video content streaming dispute for Accretive Technology Group against WAG Acquisitions.
Lee & Hayes is at the forefront of the modernisation movement in patent and legal service delivery: it has now moved well beyond the traditional law firm role to become a true business partner for those it represents. Innovations such as its proprietary ‘601 West’ market intelligence and analytics tool gives its attorneys an edge in divining what is, and isn’t, of commercial relevance to clients. The team, however, has not forgotten what got it here in the first place –rock-solid prosecution skills – and retains its place at the top of the totem pole in terms of patent quality. Now with seven US offices, national growth has been the prevailing narrative of late. “Entrepreneurial and creative thinker” Lewis Lee
is the architect in chief. When it comes to the development of successful global portfolios, he is a magician, realising untapped potential and unlocking new doors. Rob Peck
is another engine of the Seattle office. Regularly spending time on secondment as in-house counsel with one of his local clients has furthered his understanding of patents as business assets. He maintains a broad high-technology patent protection practice; as do several others, including David Divine
, Rob Hartman
and Bea Koempel-Thomas
. Each of these eminent names brings something different to the table. Divine blends design rights savvy into his practice; fellow Spokane resident Hartman communicates clearly with folks at all levels, from the science lab to the C-suite; Koempel-Thomas knows all about global patent protection and helms the international practice. Matching the technology team’s quality standards, the chemical and life sciences unit also impresses. Brett Nelson
provides strong leadership here, as well as in the wider life sciences community; likewise Rachal Winger
, who is “passionate not only about her clients, but about the industry, too”. She has “deep technical training”, so her IP creation and commercialisation efforts are never slowed by scientific minutiae. Peers attest that “although not yet a big name in IP litigation, Lee & Hayes is building in the area with Bob Carlson
– and seeing some success”.
Perkins Coie LLP
Perkins Coie needs no introduction in this market – it is Seattle’s pre-eminent patent practice. “It tends to hire the cream of the crop and has excellent lawyers across the board, which puts it in a position to succeed. Within the last decade, it has grown to be one of the country’s top IP law firms.” Setting the standard in terms of sophistication, the prosecution team has a real affinity for all things high-technology. “Top-notch software attorneys” Maurice Pirio
and Steve Lawrenz
are “not just really good lawyers, but excellent engineers and computer scientists. They are superb on a practical basis, and can sit and talk with inventors as equals.” In Paul Parker
, the set has a medical device guru and a highly motivational firm-wide IP group co-chair. “Paul knows exactly what he is doing and is brilliant at issue spotting and problem solving. He interacts with the USPTO with finesse and asks all the right questions.” Stephen Bishop
is the man of the hour for briefs involving internet technology, mobile devices and telecommunications. The former Amazon.com general counsel “brings a unique perspective to private practice”, and is “bright, thoughtful, organised and efficient”. “He is fantastic at helping start-ups to build portfolios and then guiding their exit strategy.” Bishop often links up with Christopher Daley-Watson
to give clients a rare blend of technical expertise and tactical nous. Parker, Bishop and Daley-Watson all feature on the prosecution and transactions tables; these commercially astute partners know how to take full commercial advantage of patent assets after they have procured them. Adding further bench strength on the non-contentious end is John Wechkin
. His technical compass is broad, although semiconductors, clean technology, medical devices and transportation are particular areas of expertise. When it comes to litigation, Perkins Coie can field the A-team. Jerry Riedinger
and Ramsey Al-Salam
are two of the best in the business and both garner effusive praise from peers. “Jerry is a top lawyer and a true gentleman. He presents in a very straightforward way and doesn’t stretch his arguments or come across as overly lawyerly – it resonates with the audience and he has real credibility in the court. He never gets ruffled, either.” “Ramsey is a super litigator and a great person. He forms instant connections with judges and jurors on a very human level; he isn’t an aggressive fist pounder – just a brilliant lawyer who knows the law inside out. He is both a teacher and student of the discipline – he keeps up to date on every single relevant case and has an outstanding knowledge base.” Fellow Seattle litigation partner Ryan McBrayer
is also easy to recommend. Busy on smartphone, tablet and computer security patent cases – all for marquee corporations – he has a lot going on, but never drops the ball. By combining the talents of its litigation and prosecution sections, the firm has cultivated a dynamic post-grant practice. At the forefront of this is versatile patent counsel Chun Ng
, a master at coordinating litigation, Patent Trial and Appeal Board and portfolio management strategy. He divides his time between Seattle and Taipei, and maintains a vibrant Asian client base and caseload. With a dedicated technology transactions and privacy practice – and a multi-disciplinary IP value creation unit – Perkins Coie is the very definition of a one-stop shop.
Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
“Responsive, dedicated and strategic in outlook, Seed IP is a fabulous law firm.” “It has stayed true to its reputation in terms of quality, and you can trust it to handle your most complex matters with exceptional competence and professionalism.” Raw technical expertise is a major selling point for the Seattle IP portfolio development ensemble, which is brought into particularly sharp focus by its substantial software, IT and electrical engineering crew – one of the best in the country. Competitors confess their attempts to poach Jim White
for themselves, hailing him as “incredibly strong technically” and someone who “provides outstanding representation”. His CV is chock-full of highlights, including extended stints in commercial R&D. Regularly taking to the podium to share his wisdom, he is a thought leader on Section 101 matters and many other software-related hot-button issues. Versatile high-technologist Kevan Morgan
is a proficient Pacific Northwest patent prosecutor whose striking mental agility makes the protection of ground-breaking innovations a breeze; he is currently preparing and prosecuting applications for a new cloud-computing system for Fluke Corporation, a world-leading electronic test tool manufacturer. Also showcasing great intellectual processing power is Frank Abramonte
, a computer science and electrical ace who “won’t baulk even at the most complicated technologies imaginable”. Regular customers praise his reliability and say they have “never had so much as a hiccup” working with him. “He is someone you can trust to strengthen your portfolio, based on his wealth of knowledge and depth of experience. He is friendly, cost conscious and always drives towards the best solution, as opposed to the most convenient or most billable. You would be hard pressed to find a better lawyer in terms of speed, quality and cost.” Shoko Leek
has spent her entire career prosecuting electrical and software applications and has converted her experience into a broad strategic counselling practice. High demand for Seed’s services has necessitated expansion and the hire of Steptoe & Johnson alumnus Robert Kovelman
in February 2016, hot on the heels of Brooke Quist
’s arrival from the same firm at the end of 2015, was a particularly inspired move. “Kovelman plus Seed is a great combination,” enthuses one satisfied client. “Robert is extremely strategic in his approach and invaluable in managing threats against aggressive competitors.” Another patron reports: “As an instrumental part of not only our IP department but our executive team, he contributed hugely to the growth of our portfolio into one of the leading examples in our industry.” Working together and independently, these two inspired high-technology experts have a lot of cool stuff in their hands and are currently engaged on an exciting augmented reality project; protecting patents is just part of their game – getting clients a return for their investment is the other. With its “excellent group stacked with some really top-drawer people”, the firm is equally impressive in the life sciences and chemical area. Leveraging his “deep technical training”, microbiology PhD Jeffrey Pepe
shines for his “proactive approach to drafting and prosecution”, as well as his “excellent results and success”. Chemistry don Karl Hermanns
is “a great patent attorney who you can always learn a lot from”; it is not surprising to find him teaching intellectual property to budding young lawyers and scientists at the University of Washington. Having served in a variety of in-house and private practice roles, Samuel Webb
is an enlightened counsellor with a deft commercial touch and a practice that extends well beyond filing to infringement analysis and portfolio monetisation. Biotechnology is the domain of Stephen Rosenman
, another of the many PhDs on the roster. Rather than just churning out applications, he works hand in glove with clients to devise the very business plans to which their intellectual assets are central. Crossing nimbly between the chemical and electrical groups, Jeffrey Sakoi
is yet another name for the address book. “He is a thoughtful and careful practitioner” who is fastidious about quality. Seed IP is also home to a burgeoning contentious division. Prosecutor-turned-litigator David Carlson
is a key contact in this regard: “straightforward, fair and able to frankly yet professionally deal with opposing parties”, he gets a great write-up from customers.
Pinned on the Pacific Northwest’s IP map when Bart Eppenauer
joined in 2013, Shook Hardy & Bacon now enters the IAM Patent 1000
Washington listings for the first time this year. Eppenauer worked at Microsoft for nearly 17 years, the last decade of which was spent in the role of chief patent counsel; given the company’s portfolio of tens of thousands of patents and huge staff of patent professionals, in-house responsibilities don’t get greater than this. His instinct for what makes a useful patent are honed to the finest point; by leveraging this, his clients are getting great mileage out of their investments in patent protection. He has also “really developed a leading voice in terms of Section 101 concerns”. The firm has built up a sturdy and well-rounded crew, key members of which include fellow Microsoft veterans Bill Harmon
and John Mulgrew
, a litigator and transactions specialist respectively. Commentators observe that “all three are simply outstanding”.
Stoel Rives LLP
Stoel Rives sits slightly outside the circle of established IP practices in Washington, but commentators deem it worthy of recommendation in the IAM Patent 1000
due to its sparkling contentious credentials. Brian Park
is a natural at IP and technology litigation and, the higher the stakes get, the more value he represents. The registered patent attorney takes a “very pragmatic approach” and commands respect among peers, who label him “highly intelligent, professional and trustworthy”. As well as handling IP matters, he is no stranger to a wide variety of commercial disputes; his broad perspective enables him to navigate any roadblocks put in his path.
Susman Godfrey LLP
“Aggressive yet honourable”, “smart and efficient” are some of the descriptions applied to Susman Godfrey. The peak-performance litigation shop can take on anyone, for anyone, and emerge victorious. Positive results in high-pressure cases are its biggest selling point, but its contingency fee model is another: the group is more willing to share risk with its clients than others. Deep roots in Texas mean it is comfortably at home duking it out in Marshall’s federal district court; however, it puts in frequent appearances in forums across the nation with teams that draw on the talents of the best-suited individuals, wherever they are located. A major contribution to the set’s success comes from Seattle-based advocates Parker Folse
, Brooke Taylor
and Genevieve Vose Wallace
. Folse, who established the firm’s presence here, is a member of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. Sharing the lead role with Taylor, he recently obtained a $17 million patent infringement verdict for Intellectual Ventures in its protracted dispute with Symantec over security software patents. Taylor’s technical astuteness is always a major boon and her sheer devotion to achieving clients’ goals gives her a further edge. Four-year partner Wallace, who debuts in the IAM Patent 1000
this year, is a creative thinker who is generating a lot of buzz, especially as a result of her International Trade Commission endeavours; she was key to a recent victory there on behalf of Jawbone against Fitbit in a fraught dispute in the wearable technology space.