International

As innovative companies increasingly expand their horizons on the global stage, securing watertight protection across borders is a top priority. Presented here is a list of those firms which boast a truly international presence.

Firms

H
Baker McKenzie
Bird & Bird
Covington & Burling LLP
DLA Piper LLP
EIP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Jones Day
Mayer Brown LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
Baker McKenzie
For comprehensive portfolio management and enforcement support, Baker McKenzie is hard to beat. The firm has a sweeping international network comprising 77 branches in 47 countries, with IAM Patent 1000 rankings in three continents: Europe, Asia and Latin America. Seamless cooperation between professionals across this web of offices ensures there are no gaps in its service. Cross-border wars are fought tirelessly in perfect synchrony with local and worldwide strategies, and monetisation opportunities are pounced on with alacrity wherever they spring up. Baker McKenzie’s sophisticated Global IP Manager software provides clients with a concise bird’s-eye view of portfolios and helps them to keep abreast of all the latest developments 24/7. In Germany, Jochen Herr exemplifies the firm’s holistic approach; he is a commercially minded attorney at law with a robust technical background. Other standout individuals include Eugene Arievich in Moscow and Isabella Liu in Hong Kong.
Bird & Bird
Recognised by the IAM Patent 1000 in an impressive array of jurisdictions throughout Europe and East Asia, Bird & Bird is one of the world’s foremost IP heavyweights. Though offering the full range of advisory and strategic services, the firm really comes into its own in the dispute resolution arena. In the United Kingdom, a recent success for Actavis in a dispute over Eli Lilly’s Alimta anti-cancer drug broke new ground in European patent law and underlined the set’s redoubtable power in multi-jurisdictional mandates. Senior figures in European offices – such as Wouter Pors in the Netherlands – are playing critical roles in the development of the Unified Patent Court. The firm’s industry thought leadership is further showcased in Hong Kong, where it has been appointed as the government’s sole external consultant on the reform of the local patent system.
Covington & Burling LLP
With its blend of corporate, litigation, regulatory and IP know-how, Washington DC-based firm Covington & Burling is a compelling choice for high flyers in the pharmaceutical and high-technology worlds. A titanic force in US patent litigation, it has widely renowned names in George Pappas and Robert Haslam, supplemented by a stacked roster of talented first-chair trial lawyers; worthy of special mention is its International Trade Commission (ITC) team, which is one of the best in the game. When it comes to patent and technology transactions, the firm also stands a head taller than many of its competitors. Masterful life sciences deal negotiators can be found on either side of the Atlantic: in Washington DC, John Hurvitz is the main man, while in London, Daniel Pavin leads the way.
DLA Piper LLP
DLA Piper is one of the few names to appear in each of the IAM Patent 1000 Asia, Europe and North America sections; many of its offices in each region make the grade. Few firms are therefore better positioned to serve the needs of technology innovators in a globalised marketplace. In the United States, the firm is one of the most active patent litigation players –no surprise, given the inspired leadership of seasoned and dynamic trial lawyer John Allcock. With many general commercial firms pulling out of patent prosecution, DLA Piper’s US practice is also notable for its impeccable portfolio management credentials. In Asia, the China division continues to excel at navigating multinationals through the protection and enforcement minefield; while in Europe, exceptionally well-assembled teams in London and Milan orchestrate myriad multi-jurisdictional litigations with verve.
EIP
EIP’s outfits in London and San Diego provide clients with integrated transatlantic services on all manner of patent briefs. In 2016 it extended its reach further through the opening of a representative office in Tokyo. The firm’s proficiency in electronics – highlighted by its stellar showing in litigations for Unwired Planet – has attracted a slew of high-profile new clients, including eminent software design company ARM. Its chemistry, biotechnology and mechanical engineering practices have also gone from strength to strength, with the combination of precision prosecution and slick coordination of multi-jurisdictional conflicts proving irresistible for clients in all industries. Ongoing uncertainty in the practice of patent law in the United States has not thrown Finnegan off its stride as one of the elite boutiques in the country – and the world. In many ways, its position has in fact been reinforced: for example, it has become a clear thought leader in the post-grant arena, where developments have fundamentally transformed the domestic patent litigation market. Erika Harmon Arner shines brightly in poised performances before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Sophisticated contentious, prosecution and transactional capabilities also ensure that the firm provides a superbly well-rounded service. Finnegan is also a byword for excellence in Asia, where it maintains a strong presence through offices in Shanghai, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo; the firm is a veteran of the region, having set up shop in Japan back in 1988. Gowling WLG burst onto the scene in 2016 as a mighty force to be reckoned with in global patent law. Formed following the merger of general practice powerhouses Gowlings and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, it boasts a prodigious team of 1,400 commercial lawyers – including 200 first-rate IP specialists – stationed across 18 cities worldwide. With such a skilled army at its disposal, it can handle the most challenging multi-jurisdictional instructions with aplomb. Gowling WLG bestrides the Canadian patent scene like a colossus; a prolific filer and the country’s most active player in infringement litigation, it has more professionals featured in the IAM Patent 1000 this year than any other firm in the jurisdiction. The UK contingent – celebrated for its innovative approach and cutting-edge pharmaceutical practice – also commands attention; while the gold-tiered Russian practice packs a potent punch in hard-fought disputes. Silver-tongued courtroom star Gordon Harris drives the London ensemble; his colleague Robert MacDonald is the firm-wide co-head of intellectual property and is based in Ottawa.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
With 26 offices worldwide, commercial law firm Herbert Smith Freehills dispenses distinctly global solutions to its A-list clientele. The firm’s prize fighters are primarily located in England and Australia; they back pharmaceutical innovators to the hilt with first-class contentious and scientific know-how. Recent highlights include stalwart defence of Gilead’s Sofosbuvir product against attacks from Idenix in several actions across Europe, as well as in Australia; Sebastian Moore spearheaded the London team in the UK litigations and coordinated pan-European proceedings, while Shaun McVicar was key to victory in Australia. Outside the courtroom, Herbet Smith’s acute business acumen is trusted by top-flight multinationals on critical high-value transactions.
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Modern IP warfare sees high-stakes patent cases fought on multiple fronts. With abundant resources across Europe, Asia and the United States, Hogan Lovells is well equipped for such campaigns; its members march in lockstep to provide optimal solutions for clients. Operating at the vanguard of IP law, it has a well-earned reputation for pursuing possibilities which other firms would dismiss as impossible, reinforced by a striking track record of success. While Hogans may win warmest plaudits for its enforcement prowess, it also maintains a strong transactional practice, which draws on a deep reservoir of commercial knowledge among its ranks. Andreas von Falck is the lynchpin in Germany; Natalia Gulyaeva flies the firm’s flag in Moscow; and Tony Pezzano’s is the number to dial in New York.
Jones Day
With around 100 advanced technical degrees held by its IP practitioners, Jones Day has the expertise to dispatch even the most byzantine patent matters with finesse. The group prosecutes complex applications with consummate ease and never passes up an opportunity to commercialise rights. Cross-border enforcement is another strong suit. When handling parallel revocation procedures in Europe and the United States, its professionals are always alive to ways in which they might complement and support each other. World-famous beneficiaries of this collegiate, internationally minded service include Celgene, AbbVie, Google and Canon. For non-contentious matters in the United States, clients make a beeline to New York-based biotechnologist Adriane Antler, who heads the global patent prosecution practice. On the contentious side, Anthony Muratore is a battle-hardened font of IP wisdom posted in Sydney. UK-based patent prosecution powerhouse Marks & Clerk has long been a premier performer on the European stage and has firmly established itself in Southeast Asia and Canada to boot. Filing numbers are continually impressive, as are the outcomes it secures in oppositions and appeals at the European Patent Office. Clients across the board repeatedly call on this forward-thinking one-stop shop when building their portfolios; the group’s strength in depth means that technical knowledge in any field can be tapped with ease. Vastly experienced chemistry maven Sheila Wallace is a crucial cog in the UK practice’s machine; her sage advice on drafting, supplementary protection certificates and European Patent Office proceedings makes her a favourite of multinationals.
Mayer Brown LLP
Mayer Brown is home to a glittering line-up of accomplished litigators and one of the finest appellate practices in the United States. Its Washington DC, New York and Chicago bureaux are the pillars of its US patent practice; but the firm has also been enjoying substantial growth on the West Coast, particularly with its Palo Alto unit – this year marks the firm’s sophomore appearance in the California IAM Patent 1000 listings. Its transatlantic capabilities are a draw for major European clients across the range of technical disciplines and an extensive presence in Asia adds further to its global might. The Asian IP practice is fronted by Hong Kong’s Gabriela Kennedy, who also co-leads the global IP team.
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Morrison & Foerster has established a renowned brand for itself in the IP world; when it is assigned to a task, brilliant results are sure to follow. The firm is widely lauded for its fierce and tenacious litigators, especially for their knockout performances in the electronics space. The savvy ensemble has also recently been making waves on the life sciences front and has been attracting a torrent of truly cutting-edge technology briefs. California is the nerve centre of its operations, but the firm always has its eye firmly trained on geographical expansion. Its offices in New York and Washington DC – the hub of its burgeoning ITC practice – have helped to secure its position as one of the 18 nationally ranked US firms in the IAM Patent 1000; it also boasts serious clout in Asia, with strongholds in both Hong Kong and Japan.
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
With thousands of lawyers spread across six continents, Norton Rose Fulbright has unrivalled international reach and the depth of expertise to solve even the most intractable IP problems. Merging specialist technological knowledge with a panoramic commercial perspective, its Canadian practice is particularly outstanding: operating deftly across the patent lifecycle, it is most accomplished in bet-the-farm disputes, especially in the pharmaceuticals sector. Head of the national IP group Judith Robinson garners effusive praise from fellow professionals. The firm’s Texan post also constantly hits the target in must-win clashes, whereas the splendid Hong Kong team helps global innovators to advance sure-footedly into the Chinese market. US leader Gina Shishima deals adroitly with all manner of patent instructions.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Patent litigation is the core focus for the global IP group at Orrick, which has an exemplary record of victories in the most legally and technically complex cases – and those with the highest commercial value. Thinking about trial from the moment a suit is filed is a hallmark of the group’s approach; its crack litigators quickly develop resonant trial themes and have a knack for seeing the big picture while also keeping a tight grip on the technical and procedural minutiae. The US section of the IAM Patent 1000 includes extended coverage of the firm for 2017, with the Washington DC office featuring in the rankings for the first time; Sten Jensen and Steven Routh have been doing great things at the ITC for the likes of Fujifilm and Oracle. In Asia, Orrick is the only foreign firm to be top ranked in both the China and Japan sections; the firm knows those markets better than most.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
Quinn Emanuel is hailed as one of the most formidable and aggressive patent litigation firms in the United States. It has an incredibly deep bench of first-chair litigators – including famous names such as Charles Verhoeven, Edward DeFranco and Kathleen Sullivan – ready to leap to the defence of blue-chip technology companies at a moment’s notice. Chicago-based Dave Nelson recently showed what an archetypal Quinn win looks like when he secured a landslide victory for Alcatel-Lucent against Acacia-owned Adaptix, which resulted in the resignation of Acacia’s CEO and a much-diminished stock price for the famous patent assertion entity. Upholding the firm’s no-nonsense ethos in Europe is a German team spearheaded by Munich and Mannheim-based Marcus Grosch. However, the firm’s first ever overseas office was established in Tokyo; its presence there is a boon for Japanese companies litigating in the United States and Europe. Ropes & Gray lately announced the spin-off of its prosecution and rights management practice, leaving it free to focus entirely on litigation and transactions. What many of the firm’s Fortune 500 clients will make of this remains to be seen; but for fraught contentious matters in the United States, it is still a name that dominates the conversation. Overseas, it continues to make strong inroads into the China market, thanks in no small part to the reputation of Shanghai managing partner Geoffrey Lin, whose razor-sharp business focus and transactional acumen routinely earn clients phenomenal results.
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Issue 87