United States: Georgia

Firms

1
Alston & Bird LLP
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
King & Spalding LLP
2
Ballard Spahr LLP
Meunier Carlin & Curfman
Troutman Sanders LLP
3
Dentons US LLP
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP
Paul Hastings LLP
Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
Alston & Bird LLP
When it comes to post-grant proceedings at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Alston & Bird is showing competitors how it is done; it has a dazzling track record in inter partes review proceedings. However, the firm is no one trick pony, it also files with finesse and lays the smack down in the courtroom. A unique selling point is the extremely close cooperation between its IP and cybersecurity teams; rights holders can rest assured that online breaches or thefts of their inventions will be immediately seen to. When it comes to the Alston & Bird individuals, the waiting list for Patrick Flinn is long, which is unsurprising given that he has 30 years of experience handling complex telecoms cases under his belt. “He’s a truly fantastic lawyer. Even his rivals don’t hesitate to refer work to him.” His comrades on the contentious side – Keith Broyles, Frank Smith and David Teske – are not wet behind the ears either. Broyles has been busy enforcing MiMedx’s flagship EpiFix and AmnioFix products on the Federal Circuit; a matter of serious commercial importance. Smith has an extraordinary ability to think outside the box and save the day with innovative solutions when his client’s chips are down. All types of company, from start-ups to Fortune 500 sensations, are treated as if they were Teske’s only customer. Chris Lightner and Jason Cooper are at their best on the prosecution side. Lightner has impeccable attention to detail – nothing escapes his gimlet eye – as does Cooper, who in the last year has filed dozens of applications for battery and portable lighting patents on behalf of new client Energizer Holdings.
Ballard Spahr LLP
Whatever is needed – whether it is the granting, commercialisation or enforcement of a patent – Ballard Spahr can provide 24-carat support; a striking number of its members hold advanced degrees and R&D experience. One recent beneficiary of its stellar service is the University of Utah. Scott Marty has been performing patentability analyses for the institution’s technology and venture commercialisation office and helping nascent spin-outs get off the ground – there are few practitioners who marry technical mastery and business nous as well as him. Mitchell Katz is also adept at building patent portfolios. He takes a panoramic view at all times and puts together inviolable applications. On the contentious side, the “extremely thoughtful” Lawrence Nodine comes recommended for his “great instincts and sound judgement. It’s a pleasure working with him.” He has sussed out how to swing a touch-and-go case in his client’s favour.
Dentons US LLP
Dentons’ level-headed, steadfast Atlanta-based litigators regularly team up with colleagues in other offices to effectively extinguish infringement flames across the country – for example, in California, Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Texas – and have a real reputation for excellence in the pharmaceutical and financial services industries. Its business-minded lawyers are prized for their exceptional communication skills and ability to give early and reliable cost-benefit assessments. Frank Benjamin is a key contact.
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
The 2017 transatlantic merger that resulted in Eversheds Sutherland gave global capabilities to what was already a much-respected Atlanta practice. Now that the IP team here is supported by 60 offices around the world, clients can get their inventions patented far and wide with only one point of contact. For many titanic brands, that contact is Griff Griffin. He is a dab hand at drafting and a regular before the USPTO; electrical engineering and telecoms are his favoured provinces, but he has the mental agility to assist on issues concerning all manner of technologies. Home to over 300 IP attorneys, Finnegan has the resources to cure all patent headaches known to man. It files approximately 3,000 US and 1,500 foreign applications annually – wielding the expertise of its legion of former examiners to ensure that all the right boxes are ticked – and shines before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Managing partner of the Atlanta office Virginia Carron has been showing off her silky inter partes review skills with classy support for Nestlé in its battle against Steuben Foods. She is a thought leader who puts in polished performances time and time again. Jason Stach is a big draw too. Au fait with all the relevant case law, he comes up with creative arguments that most lawyers would miss. He heads the firm’s post-grant practice.
Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP

Hill, Kertscher & Wharton forges extremely close relationships with its clients. When one of its 15 attorneys wins a mandate from a new client, they take the time to familiarise themselves with the company’s long-term business objectives and market conditions – and they never let up; five years down the line, their eagerness, enthusiasm and responsiveness will be the same as it was on day one. Steven Hill and John North exemplify this approach. A co-founder of the firm, Hill has handled over 100 patent infringement disputes in his time, one of which involved the assertion of a staggering 25 patents against five clients; his ability to handle involute, multi-pronged matters such as this sets him apart from the crowd. North is also a big-league player, with bundles of experience handling high-value pharmaceutical cases.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

The exacting standards of quality that characterise Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s IP service are apparent in every single document its lawyers devise; each is meticulously researched, commercially oriented and written in engaging, straightforward language. On the prosecution side, Dean Russell and Tina McKeon have a reputation for skillfully fine-tuning applications to steer clients clear of their competitors. The quick-thinking, academically astute Russell is a strategist par excellence, while McKeon knows how to get things done at the USPTO; she is a beacon for life sciences companies. In litigation, James Ewing, Mitchell Stockwell and Wab Kadaba pick up the bat. With a profound appreciation for the sort of legal help entrepreneurs need to get their businesses going, Ewing is a favourite among start-ups. Stockwell is a “tremendous litigator” whose lines of reasoning have stumped countless foes. Chair of the IP practice, Kadaba protects the interests of his distinguished software and telecoms clientele as staunchly and transparently as anyone; they know he will be totally honest about the likely outcomes of their battles and as a result, can make well-founded long-term plans.

King & Spalding LLP

Home to a panoply of lawyers with first-chair trial experience, as well as scientifically minded technical specialists of the first order, King & Spalding boasts one of the most impressive and comprehensive patent practices in Georgia. Setting an example on the litigation side is the “excellent” Holmes Hawkins III, who is a master when it comes to knife-edge cases. Extremely articulate, he can weave a compelling narrative out of even the most unwieldy set of facts. Lately, BASF sought his support in its battle against Enthone in the district court for the Northern District of New York plus parallel inter partes review proceedings; such meaty, outsize matters characterise his workload. Scott Petty and Rebecca Kaufman are the brightest stars on the prosecution side. Business-minded to the last, Petty endeavours to step into his client’s shoes and keeps their commercial objectives front and centre in his thinking at all times. Kaufman is in hot demand among start-ups in the life sciences realm, owing to her excellent academic background in molecular biology and her experience setting up Georgia Tech/Emory University’s biotechnology incubator EmTech Bio.

Lee & Hayes offers the full spectrum of patent services, but in Georgia really comes into its own when things turn contentious. The side’s seasoned lawyers have seen and done it all in the courtroom; the tricks of opposing counsel never catch them off guard. Distinctive features of the team’s counsel include rigorous analysis, business intelligence and a willingness to push the boat out and try new things. Having worked in-house for a distinguished name, William Dyer III understands the importance of writing in a way that can be easily digested by the C-suite and only pursues a case when it makes commercial sense. He is widely respected in the US legal community and has been appointed special master in federal courts multiple times. Bruce Bower is another enforcement maven who delivers advice that is finely calibrated to give clients the edge today and tomorrow.

Meunier Carlin & Curfman

The pragmatic, proactive lawyers at Meunier Carlin & Curfman work around the clock to stamp out potential problems before they become serious. Clients’ markets are monitored closely, communication channels are kept open at all times, filing strategies are exquisitely mapped out and cases are cleverly staffed in an effort to keep things affordable. Miles Hall is a hands-on, forward-looking practitioner who has represented a slew of early and growth-stage biomedical and medical device companies, building their portfolios brick by brick. Dynamic litigators Anthony Askew and Stephen Schaetzel swing into action when the temperature rises. In his illustrious career, which spans over half a century, Askew has tried cases in all manner of venues, including the Supreme Court, and served as the special assistant attorney general for the State of Georgia on IP matters. He is a lodestar for up-and-coming practitioners. Schaetzel remains an ever-popular choice. He is a “top lawyer” who always has a clever strategy up his sleeve.

Paul Hastings LLP

With a reputation for taking on, and winning, the toughest cases, Paul Hastings is a compelling choice when the courtroom looms; in particular, the firm has a superb track record in Federal Circuit Section 101 invalidity challenges. Of late, it has also been blazing a trail in the post-grant area – in the last two years it has been involved in more post-grant filings than any other full-service firm. The Paul Hastings pros never fail to render tenacious advocacy, unflagging commitment and a laser focus on client business objectives; moreover, while life sciences is unquestionably its strongest province, it has the wherewithal to handle mattes of all technical stripes. William Whitaker is the first port of call for many interested parties.

Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

Helping universities to secure potentially lucrative patents is a forte for Smith, Gambrell & Russell. The nimble-witted, versatile and closely cooperative team appreciates that each client comes with its own challenges and that at universities inventors will frequently be professors, whose natural instinct is to try and get their research published – something that may be beneficial to their academic career in the short-term, but which could lead to inadvertently giving away a valuable IP right. Gregory Kirsch or Dale Lischer can be relied on to provide rock-solid counsel that stands the test of time. Kirsch has served as the University of Iowa Research Foundation’s outside counsel for over two decades and his technical knowledge is unassailable. The personable, unstuffy Lischer makes things as seamless and comfortable as possible for clients every step of the way. Having been in the game since 1973, he has proven himself on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide and developed razor-sharp business instincts. New recruit William Long has recently been turning heads in the Hatch-Waxman space with a string of athletic showings on behalf of household names.

Troutman Sanders LLP

Business law firm Troutman Sanders serves up iron-wrought IP counsel that consistently hits the spot. Knowing that the loss of even one patent can break a business, its indefatigable, attentive lawyers go over and above to meet client needs. Nothing is left unattended and emails are responded to at lightning speed. Having worked with a myriad of start-ups and Fortune 500 companies, Ryan Schneider is the man to go to for prosecution issues. His applications are as deftly drafted as any. When there is a mounting infringement threat, Douglas Salyers takes control. Having spent 30 years at the IP coalface, he has a sixth sense for when to take the fight to competitors with full force and when to settle.

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

Equipped with 27 offices on both sides of the Atlantic – 19 in the United States, eight in the United Kingdom – Womble Bond Dickinson approaches things from an international perspective. Its far-ranging service menu takes in everything from prosecution and portfolio management through to enforcement; nothing is beyond this team. Strategic whizz Louis Isaf is a font of filing wisdom with an unsurpassed understanding of the manufacturing space. James Vaughan and William Ragland are crack litigators who each have over 30 years of experience. Having worked as a mining engineer, Vaughan is alert to the various pressures that clients face and never plies them with unnecessary legalese. Ragland’s on-point analysis and polished courtroom performances make him a formidable foe.

Individuals: prosecution

Nigamnarayan Acharya - Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
Jason P Cooper - Alston & Bird LLP
Griff Griffin - Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Miles Hall - Meunier Carlin & Curfman
Scott A Horstemeyer - Thomas Horstemeyer LLP
Louis T Isaf - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
Mitchell A Katz - Ballard Spahr LLP
Rebecca Kaufman - King & Spalding LLP
Gregory J Kirsch - Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
Sherry M Knowles - Knowles IP Strategies LLC
Jeffrey R Kuester - Taylor English Duma LLP
Chris Lightner - Alston & Bird LLP
Dale Lischer - Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
Scott D Marty - Ballard Spahr LLP
Daniel McClure - McClure Qualey & Rodack LLP
Tina McKeon - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Patrea Pabst - Pabst Patent Group LLP
Cynthia Parks - Parks IP Law LLC
W Scott Petty - King & Spalding LLP
Dean W Russell - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Ryan A Schneider - Troutman Sanders LLP
Tim Tingkang Xia - Locke Lord LLP

Individuals: litigation and transactions

Anthony Askew - Meunier Carlin & Curfman
Virginia L Carron - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Patrick Flinn - Alston & Bird LLP
Holmes J Hawkins III - King & Spalding LLP
Wab Kadaba - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Keith Broyles - Alston & Bird LLP
James L Ewing - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
John P Fry - Morris Manning & Martin LLP
Gregory J Kirsch - Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
Jeffrey R Kuester - Taylor English Duma LLP
Lawrence K Nodine - Ballard Spahr LLP
John L North - Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP
Steven L Park - DLA Piper LLP (US)
Katrina M Quicker - BakerHostetler
William M Ragland Jr - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
Stephen M Schaetzel - Meunier Carlin & Curfman
Frank Smith - Alston & Bird LLP
Mitchell G Stockwell - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Roger Taylor - The Law Office of Roger Taylor
R Bruce Bower - Lee & Hayes, PLLC
William Dyer III - Lee & Hayes, PLLC
Christopher Green - Fish & Richardson PC
Steven G Hill - Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP
L Norwood Jameson - Duane Morris LLP
William F Long - Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
Robin L McGrath - Duane Morris LLP
Douglas D Salyers - Troutman Sanders LLP
Jason E Stach - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
David S Teske - Alston & Bird LLP
Jeffrey Toney - Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP
James F Vaughan - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
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Issue 90