Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Placing a premium on close collaboration, Choate Hall & Stewart houses all of its practitioners in a single office. With patent attorneys working across the corridor from litigators, and corporate and tax specialists also in the mix, ideas are seamlessly exchanged and cross-divisional teams assembled to provide the optimal expertise for each brief. Long-term interests are always kept front and centre; the team proactively searches for innovative ways in which portfolios can be expanded and monetised. “It is truly a terrific firm with an excellent reputation and a lot of significant clients. The practitioners there are very well known and seriously strategic thinkers.” On the non-contentious front, Brenda Jarrell
, Charles Lyon
and Karen Copenhaver
are the stars. One of many PhDs at the firm, life sciences sage Jarrell steers the practice with a steady hand. The commercial know-how of Lyon and Copenhaver proves invaluable on transactional mandates: Lyon has led hundreds of IP due diligence reviews, while Copenhaver has been blazing a trail in the online space, assisting the Linux Foundation in regard to its Hyperledger Project. Eric Marandett
, Carlos Perez-Albuerne
and Robert Frank
lead the litigation strike force. Marandett and Perez-Albuerne recently teamed up to assist Akamai on an infringement action against Limelight Networks, with Perez-Albuerne and Frank joining forces for a same client on a separate suit. The trio are so comfortably on the same wavelength that they can practically finish each other’s sentences
Clark + Elbing LLP
For biotechnology patents, Clark + Elbing is a standout choice. The stellar 29-strong outfit has every strand of life sciences on lock and prosecutes with true finesse. “The firm does an absolutely outstanding job building up patent portfolios. However complex a matter is, it will have the unique know-how to handle it.” Genentech is one heavyweight which has recently benefited in this regard: prosecution whizz Karen Elbing
has been helping it to devise a comprehensive worldwide IP strategy. Her foresight, analytical sharpness and facility for problem solving make her a top choice. When the potential to make serious money arises, companies dial the number of Kristina Bieker-Brady
. “My biggest issue with Kristina is that she has not yet figured out how to clone herself!” enthuses one happy client. Molecular biology and gene therapy are her disciplines of choice, while due diligence is her bread and butter.
With 900 lawyers in 12 offices across the United States, China and Europe, Cooley has the firepower and footprint to effortlessly handle multi-jurisdictional matters. Its workload is prodigious; in the last five years alone, it has led the charge in almost 500 patent-related cases and overseen more than 30,000 prosecution matters. It excels in Patent Trial and Appeal Board proceedings and has really thrived in the post-Alice
landscape, winning invalidations left, right and centre. Its facility for shepherding initial public offerings (IPOs) to close makes it a particularly popular choice among ambitious start-ups. Exemplary client care is the USP of portfolio management ace Dean Farmer
, whose combination of business acumen and technical rigour has won him plenty of admirers, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields.
Operating adroitly on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide, and home to technical experts of all stripes, Finnegan’s Boston office is a microcosm of the firm as a whole, providing a one-stop shop patent service. Its client roster features a significant number of fledgling innovators, but runs all the way up to household names such as AbbVie; electronics and biotechnology are strongholds. Computer whizz Linda Thayer
is “a fabulous lawyer who always sees cases globally – rather than just looking at the litigation at hand. For her it’s all about being a partner to her clients and thinking about their overall business needs”. Thanks to her industry experience, she has a unique command of cryptography and cybersecurity issues.
Fish & Richardson PC
“You simply can’t have a conversation about intellectual property in Boston without talking about Fish & Richardson. It is a top-notch firm with unrivalled breadth of expertise – unquestionably one of the leaders for patent work.” The praise is backed up by hard statistics: the firm handles approximately twice as many patent suits as its nearest competitor and processes in the region of 5,000 US patent applications per year. Yet while its brand name may be a draw in and of itself, the firm knows that to maintain relationships in such a competitive market, dedication to the client is crucial. Responsive, practical and business-minded, strategists Timothy French
, Anita Meiklejohn
and Janis Fraser
understand this better than many. Having spent time at DuPont and Tenneco Chemicals, French brings invaluable in-house experience to the table. Meiklejohn and Fraser can unpick any problem in the chemistry and life sciences spaces. “Meiklejohn understands the conflicts and challenges of the generics and biosimilar industries. She has a sense for when and when not to wade into the weeds, and creatively comes up with innovative solutions to our problems. Her pragmatism is unrivalled.” Fraser wins similar plaudits. “She does a stellar job of understanding the technology involved in clients’ inventions, develops a strong strategy and then executes that impressively, establishing a great relationship with officials on the way. Her communication skills are fantastic and she’s available whenever you need her.” When litigation looms, Frank Porcelli
, Lawrence Kolodney
and Frank Scherkenbach
strap on their helmets and pick up the bat. While appellate ace Porcelli is at his best in life sciences and medical devices matters, Kolodney shines when cutting-edge electronics patents are at stake. The battle-hardened Scherkenbach is a “strong trial lawyer who stands head and shoulders above others”. He recently won a $23.7 million battle for research institute SRI International against Cisco Systems; a Delaware jury found all of his client’s patent claims valid.
Foley & Lardner LLP
Foley & Lardner’s business-minded patent professionals provide technically watertight counsel on time and on budget. The firm files meticulously and puts out enforcement flames with alacrity; thanks to the breadth of its IP practice, it can assemble a well-tailored squad whatever the mission. On contentious briefs, John Lanza
is first among equals. He has the creativity and foresight to devise effective worldwide strategies and reap maximum benefits from every patent his clients hold; thanks to his enthusiasm and drive, his name is commonly heard among Boston’s start-up community. Matthew Lowrie
is a staunch ally when the temperature rises; he has acted as lead trial counsel in more than 100 patent cases and wowed judges and juries the country over. Like Lanza, he has consummate electronics expertise.
Foley Hoag LLP
While Foley Hoag now has offices in New York, Washington DC and Paris, Boston remains its spiritual home. With roots here stretching back to 1943, it has established a sterling reputation among august local institutes such as Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts, and in the business community to boot. Life sciences and medical devices are strong suits, thanks in no small part to practice leader Donald Ware
and the “excellent and extremely professional” Barbara Fiacco
. “They are really invested in their clients’ inventions and provide the best possible work product – period. You feel as if you’re their most important client. Because they have spent a significant amount of time working to improve legislation and regulations, they have a really high profile and that adds to their appeal.” They are ably supported on the enforcement side by Philip Swain
and Claire Laporte
. Some 30 years in the game make Swain a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer who knows how to effectively convey complex technical concepts. His deep technical expertise means he speaks the language of engineers and scientists. Laporte recently showcased her capabilities defending a start-up against infringement allegations; having fought tooth and nail for her client, she came out with a favourable settlement. “You name it, he’s done it,” says one interviewee of strategic sage Dana Gordon
; the global patent portfolio of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is in safe hands with him.
Goodwin Procter LLP
“Goodwin Procter has a lot of excellent practitioners and is one of the firms you see most in the life sciences space.” It is certainly a leading light when it comes to Hatch-Waxman litigation; in the last seven years, it has been involved in over 170 such suits. It represents plenty of household names, but it also has an affinity for the needs of early-stage innovators – not least thanks to its sensitivity to cost containment. One client remarks: “Every aspect of the litigation was coordinated really professionally. This is the first time in decades that I didn’t have to send a single invoice back with a complaint – the billing was very simple and clear.” Another draw for start-ups is its facility for IPOs; working hand in glove with the firm’s much-respected securities practitioners, the team knows how best to get these projects over the line. Kingsley Taft is a top choice for transactional work. He lately put his razor-sharp business brain to use assisting Moderna Therapeutics on its collaboration with Merck to develop RNA-based cancer vaccines. Other commercial aces in the team are Duncan Greenhalgh, Edmund Pitcher and Stephen Charkoudian. Life sciences whizz Greenhalgh has been helping start-ups, public companies and academic institutions to monetise their IP rights for more than 18 years, while Pitcher provides incisive patentability assessments across the biology, chemistry and pharmaceuticals spaces. Charkoudian recently helped New Balance to team up with Google, Strava and Zepp to produce an athletics smartwatch. On the enforcement side, Daryl Wiesen is “tremendous – smart and strategic, but also a true pleasure to work with. It’s really impressive how tight his trial work is. You can tell that he spends a lot of time finding the best possible argument”. Douglas Kline and Anthony Downs are the current and former chairs of the firm’s IP litigation practice respectively. “Kline is an extremely effective team leader. His personable nature and knowledge are traits that don’t often come together in lawyers.” The worldly-wise Downs has handled cross-border matters across Asia and Europe, but dazzles at home too; he has been helping Alere draft inter partes review petitions and representing it in court over claims brought by Rembrandt Diagnostics.
Greenberg Traurig LLP
Greenberg Traurig offers patrons a holistic, A-to-Z service. Nothing is more important to the team than customer satisfaction, as exemplified by its lightning-fast response times and alternative fee structures. Chinh Pham
embodies this ethos to a T. He immerses himself wholly in clients’ markets; for half an hour every morning, he peruses the latest news stories and if he spots something that could be relevant for a client, he will share his take and propose strategic ways of responding. Leading the firm’s nanotechnology practice, he is never afraid to dive deep into the minutiae. Saphena Medical, PAVmed and Kaleidoscope Medical have all entrusted him with prosecution of their patents. Another life sciences magus, David Dykeman
trained as a biomedical engineer before law school and is thus fluent in the scientific technicalities; the business spark shines particularly brightly in licensing negotiations.
Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds PC
For more than 35 years, Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds has been adroitly advising a mix of multinationals, start-ups and research institutes on mandates that span the contentious/non-contentious divide. However, it is best known in the market for its precision biotechnology filing and portfolio management. This reputation rests, in no small part, on the technical wizardry of trailblazer David Brook
. Conscientious and practical – but still always open to unorthodox ideas – he prosecutes with real proficiency.
Holland & Knight LLP
Scoring commercially sound solutions in as little time as possible, Holland & Knight has built up a formidable track record in IP enforcement. Helming the IP practice, Joshua Krumholz
is “the model lawyer. He can think on his feet before a judge or in a deposition, and his attention to detail is incredible. He has a knack for explaining complex technical issues in plain English, which is the sign of a first-rate trial lawyer. Plus he’s always really responsive and focused on cost efficiency – excellently managing the other members in his litigation team.” Avaya recently called on him to assist with a significant patent infringement case against BlackBerry; he is also batting for Ericsson, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon in a multi-patent spat with Cellular Communications Equipment. While the firm is strongest on the contentious side, the strategic work of the “very experienced” Brian Colandreo
is also turning heads. “He has an impressive skillset when it comes to interacting with inventors, both on the technical side and in terms of real-world business reality. His work is top quality, but still performed economically – always adhering to the price agreed.”
Lando & Anastasi LLP
“We couldn’t be more pleased with Lando & Anastasi,” remarks one satisfied customer. “The firm delivers an excellent service, and does so more efficiently and cost effectively than its larger competitors.” Sensitive to commercial pressures, the nimble boutique has streamlined its own internal infrastructure so that it can give clients maximum face time while still containing costs. Its technical capabilities are comprehensive and it keeps a keen eye trained on burgeoning fields such as robotics. Peter Lando
has been drawing on his singular knowledge of wastewater treatment to draft impregnable applications for Evoqua Water Technologies. Savvy strategist Catherine McCarty
cuts knife-like through matters until she reaches their core. She is “one of the few partners around who truly has excellent expertise in the organic chemistry field”. When it comes to infringement, Craig Smith
steps up to the plate; he recently leveraged his significant consumer products expertise for Bose in a matter against Freeny.
Locke Lord LLP
With more than 70 members registered to practise before the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), Locke Lord has the manpower to prosecute myriad patents for a plethora of clients simultaneously while still treating each as if it were top priority. Its attentive, on-point approach appeals to everyone from start-ups to Fortune 500s and research institutes; it has carved a special niche representing pharmaceutical entities in Hatch-Waxman matters. New arrival James Coffey
comes with a deep well of commercial nous and knows what it takes to get signatures on the bottom line of technology transfers and licensing contracts.
Having set up shop back in 1844, McCarter & English is a veteran on the market with an ardent following among blue-chips and mid-market companies alike. “It is a top player in the biotechnology space and continues to be extremely busy.” The scope and effectiveness of its IP offering is reflected in the tables: it gets a clean sweep, featuring for prosecution, litigation and transactions. Erik Paul Belt
and Lee Carl Bromberg
bring the heat in contentious matters. “Excellent litigator” Belt has worked his magic in federal courts across the country. He and Bromberg both keep their finger on the IP pulse, supplementing their hard-hitting patent work with notable trademark and copyright practices.
McDermott Will & Emery LLP
McDermott Will & Emery boasts a truly integrated IP practice, with prosecution, transactions and litigation viewed as different parts of the same whole. It unites contentious and non-contentious specialists together to provide joined-up counsel. Amgen is one recent beneficiary of this well-threaded service: the team secured a major jury trial victory for the biopharmaceutical titan by building a cross-office team comprising PhD-level scientists and redoubtable trial lawyers. Sarah Chapin Columbia
played a decisive role in the battle: “She is an intelligent, thoughtful, professional and effective lawyer who always manage to figure out a suitable solution – really an outstanding trial lawyer.” In 2016 she was named a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Supporting on the contentious side is electronics and software specialist Leigh Martinson
; the two recently teamed up to secure a big win for BlackBerry against Mobile Telecommunications Technologies. Deft portfolio managers Robert Underwood
and Kristin Connarn
are pharmaceutical sages who bounce ideas off each other to ensure that all bases are covered; they have lately been working to protect Takeda’s blockbuster drug Enyvio. Due diligence and licensing negotiations are handled with dexterity by Edward (Jed) Gordon
, whose client roster includes the world’s most valuable brand, Google. These five individuals are unquestionably client magnets, but interviewees also observe that the firm also goes to great lengths to promote and develop young lawyers and there is plenty of talent waiting in the wings.
Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC
Mintz Levin’s enforcement team fears no one, and rightly so. It is renowned for its potency in high-end patent litigation and has a dazzling track record in inter partes
reviews. In a significant highlight, it turned things around for Straight Path IP Group: after its patent claims were cancelled, it called up Michael Renaud
, who managed to prevail at the Federal Circuit – and then extended his winning run for the client in a string of subsequent inter partes
reviews. “Renaud is really strategic in his approach and gets optimal results. His understanding of both the legal aspects of a claim and the business interests of the parties involved is fantastic – and extremely important.” Leading the Hatch-Waxman practice, pharmaceuticals savant David Conlin
knows how to defend innovators against forays from generic manufacturers. The team, however, isn’t all about litigation. Strategic mastermind Peter Corless
brings incisive prosecution know-how to the table; his leadership, long-term vision and responsiveness have made him a favourite of Hyundai, and he has also represented John Hopkins University for nearly two decades.
Nixon Peabody LLP
Nixon Peabody is a stellar choice for the stewardship of valuable biotechnology and chemistry portfolios. Its seasoned team has in-depth insight in the life sciences and a pragmatic approach that always gets results; it thoroughly explores available resources and end goals before arriving at the optimum strategy for clients. David Resnick
and Ronald Eisenstein
make a potent pair when they join forces – as they do for Massachusetts General Hospital. The technically proficient Resnick always comes up with constructive answers to questions and is a regular before the USPTO. Eisenstein is a “highly skilled attorney and a first-rate tactician who is exceptionally bright and gets straight to the key issues in no time at all”.
Proskauer Rose LLP
Proskauer Rose cuts effectively to the chase in litigation; it digs deep into the relevant case materials to separate wheat from chaff, and delivers clear, cogent arguments in court. Steven Bauer
is the team’s standout performer in this regard: “He has excellent technical understanding and is always a calming influence in the process.” Unfazed by the opposition, whatever its standing, he recently helped MobileMedia Ideas take on Apple in the Federal Circuit and came out victorious. The firm is extremely strong on the non-contentious side too, with unique expertise in the formation and operation of patent pools. “Beyond his sound prosecution expertise, Joseph Capraro
is fantastic at negotiating licence contracts. He really inspires confidence.” Working in tandem with members of the firm’s reputed equity capital markets practice, he provides invaluable support on private placements and product development. Commercially minded to the last, Fangli Chen
appreciates that scientific knowledge is most valuable when it can be used to benefit clients’ businesses; 360-degree solutions are her calling card. Her arrival in 2016 did much to boost the firm’s life sciences practice, as well as bringing significant experience in inter partes
reviews; she has lately been leveraging this for biopharmaceutical company Shire.
Ropes & Gray has called Boston home since 1865 and is a pre-eminent player in the state and far beyond. It plies its trade at the vanguard of the life sciences and high technology, and is prized for its razor-sharp thinking and creative solutions. While it recently spun off its patent prosecution practice, transactional activity continues apace in this office. Edward Black
and Marc Rubenstein
are two commercial dons who know what it takes to broker a deal. When the time came to sell The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties, Brain Capital and The Blackstone Group made a beeline to Black; his negotiational nous brought top results. Rubenstein has escorted plenty of life sciences companies through IPOs and sewn up many a favourable licensing contract.
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
“WilmerHale is a formidable player with an excellent reputation. You always see it in IP cases. The preparations that its members do are unbelievable – they position themselves well early on and are never caught by surprise. It’s the most impressive operation in the country.” The firm’s enviable standing in the eyes of its peers rests in no small part on the shoulders of William Lee
, who has been scoring touchdowns for more than 35 years; he has tried over 200 cases to verdict and appeared in more than 75 appellate cases. “He’s the top dog – the gold standard in Boston. An outstanding strategist, he knows how to drive a truck through his competitor’s case. It’s extraordinary.” However, there is no shortage of experience behind him, with a five further members listed on the enforcement side. Crafting winning strategies is second nature to Mark Matuschak
, who has litigated across the country and secured the first-ever jury verdict of patent invalidity in the Eastern District of Texas. Cynthia Vreeland
is another hard-hitting enforcer with piercing technical expertise and an impressive track record before federal courts and the US International Trade Commission (ITC). For electronics briefs, clients call up Peter Dichiara
, who previously worked as a senior hardware and software engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation. His enthusiasm for innovation makes him a smart pick for start-ups. Like Dichiara, Lisa Pirozzolo
is business minded to the hilt. She dives deep into technical details, but never loses sight of the bigger picture. While the firm is unquestionably best known for its prowess in the courtroom, prosecution pro Colleen Superko
and transactions virtuoso Jeffrey Johnson
confirm that it is by no means a one-trick pony. “Superko is a patent attorney who is superb at devising strategies for obtaining and defending patents, and someone who provides fantastic opinions on freedom-to-operate issues.” Never less than hands on, Johnson pounces on every opportunity to commercialise a product.
Wolf Greenfield & Sacks PC
For more than 90 years, Wolf Greenfield & Sacks has enjoyed a seat at the top table in Massachusetts. Not a firm to rest on its laurels, in 2016 it opened a sister office in New York to better serve its client base. Acutely sensitive to budgetary constraints, it is a popular choice among research institutes and universities. With “excellent” patent attorneys on hand whose academic qualifications give them a real facility for technical minutiae, the team’s bread and butter remains prosecution: it files in the region of 4,400 patents annually in countries the world over. Firm chairman Edward Gates
is an “extremely well-known and very highly respected practitioner” with a sure command of pharmaceuticals issues. Jenny Chen
teams up with him in this space: she is an agile strategist with a big business brain who relishes building up portfolios brick by brick. For biochemistry matters, Patrick Waller
’s formidable scientific knowledge enables him to pull innovative solutions out of the bag at the last moment. “Exceptional” in the chemistry field, Timothy Oyer
wins plaudits from clients and market commentators alike; the firm president has robust organisational skills and a resolutely commercial outlook. Having spent four years working as a mechanical engineer responsible for new product development, Neil Ferraro
can converse with clients in their own language and anticipate their concerns. Over the last 20 years, the firm has also invested significantly in expanding its enforcement practice. It recently prevailed for Sony in a significant Section 101 against Creative Technology before the ITC – the first time a patent has been found invalid under the expedited 100-day procedure. Michael Rader
masterminded the win; a disciplined and methodical litigator, he gets sound results without a single minute being wasted. Michael Albert
is another contentious dynamo who always aces it in appellate courts. Jeffrey Hsi
’s enterprising spirit makes him a fantastic partner for companies seeking to monetise their portfolios by way of licensing or technology transfer; he previously served as corporate counsel at Amgen. Finally, listed in the prosecution, litigation and transactions tables
, Jason Honeyman
embodies the firm’s holistic ethos: “He is a very strategic practitioner who is always available for clients, regardless of the time of day, and who can be relied on to do a brilliant job.”