Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
The Pennsylvania office of Akin Gump is “superb in patent disputes, especially in the life sciences”. Pillar of the practice Dianne Elderkin
garners effusive praise from peers: “An excellent high-stakes litigator who has had a lot of success, Elderkin is trusted by clients, highly respected by judges and resonates with juries. She makes solid arguments, pays tremendous attention to detail and communicates complex ideas very clearly and concisely". The American College of Trial Lawyers fellow spent nearly a decade in-house and has a keen appreciation of patrons’ priorities.
Having absorbed “fabulous litigation shop” Woodcock Washburn in 2014, BakerHostetler is one of Pennsylvania’s prime picks for contentious matters; supported by the capabilities of a major national firm, the local contingent has “retained all the best traits of a boutique”. Electronics and computer sciences whizz Daniel Goettle
earned his stripes before the federal courts, the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Goettle currently spearheads the BakerHostetler teams representing Comcast in a crucial contest against alleged infringers and Hewlett-Packard in a case against Audio MPEG. He is also acting for Microsoft in a multifaceted dispute with Global Touch Solutions. Another rainmaker is Steven Rocci
, a “first-rate litigator and counsellor who is very articulate, clear thinking and well prepared”. Equally effective are Henrik Parker
– an incisive advocate with a glowing record before district and appellate courts – and the “wonderful” Dale Heist
, who is famed for his “persuasive style and tremendous judgement”. Fellow professionals see Heist as a “mentor” and laud his “amazing work ethic and insatiable appetite to help clients win their cases”. The team also performs exceptionally across the contentious/non-contentious divide, thanks to life sciences aficionado and pre-litigation sage Joseph Lucci
, and electronics and computing don Steven Samuels
, a former in-house counsel who brings finely honed strategic insight to prosecution and enforcement. Lucci manages Johnson & Johnson’s sweeping patent portfolio with aplomb, advising on transactions and licensing, as well as applications. Samuels has recently been strengthening Comcast’s legal protections, partly in order to buttress current litigation efforts.
Ballard Spahr LLP
Providing a sparkling service across the patent lifecycle, Ballard Spahr’s Philadelphia team is renowned for the outstanding results it secures in litigation. Stellar professionals Robert Baron
and Lynn Rzonca
consistently devise proactive strategies to bring disputes to a favourable close for multiple international clients. Immersing himself in the details of every case, Baron is respected as both a trial lawyer and an arbitrator; the pre-eminent pharmaceuticals lawyer is also au fait
with software matters. Rzonca is a valued ally of patrons in the fashion and consumer goods sectors. She “knows her market inside out and serves her clients well. She is brimming with intelligence and can handle any situation that arises”. The registered patent attorney also excels in post-grant proceedings.
Beck & Thomas PC
Pittsburgh boutique Beck & Thomas has all angles covered for regional technology owners: it proficiently obtains and defends patent rights across the technological spectrum. On the non-contentious side, Paul Beck
is a favourite of small and medium-sized enterprises; the measured and meticulous adviser knows how to build portfolios which best meet commercial objectives. His colleague, the “wonderful” Charles Dougherty
, is a specialist life sciences patent litigator with granular industry knowledge, who is also accomplished in licensing, arbitration and mediation scenarios.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is a stand-out firm for all patent matters. Large enough to handle the weightiest instructions with ease, its Pennsylvanian practice nevertheless adopts a personalised approach to each brief. “Outstanding lawyer” Michael Dever
’s practice spans chemical patent prosecution, licensing and enforcement. “He is intelligent, responsive, knowledgeable, a problem solver and above all someone who looks at issues from an entrepreneur’s perspective”. The down-to-earth adviser is extolled by clients for “telling the time, rather than explaining how to build a watch”. Of late, he prevailed for the University of Pittsburgh in a district court patent dispute. Fellow versatile practitioner Lynn Alstadt
is a trial lawyer with Supreme Court experience, and a “top mediator and arbitrator” to boot. Recent highlights include representing Westmoreland Advanced Materials in infringement proceedings against Allied Mineral Products and contesting the validity of a Zipshade patent in inter partes
review for Whole Space Industries. The chair of the technology transactions group – a mainstay of the firm’s practice – is David Gurwin
, whose sure-footed but creative approach to patent-rich deals adds real value. He also captains the entertainment and media law group and is especially popular with patrons in the internet, e-commerce and consumer products spheres. Another go-to professional for complicated IP-heavy agreements, Susan Hartman
has a superb record acting on behalf of research institutions. For on-point portfolio development advice, Carla Vrsansky
and chemicals guru Duane Stewart
are essential names for the address book.
Caesar Rivise, PC
Slick IP shop Caesar Rivise works tirelessly to put thorny disputes to bed; with advanced technical know-how in pharmaceuticals, it is the defender of choice of many generic drug companies. Sought-after Hatch-Waxman lawyer Robert Silver
has litigated for Apotex on several matters, one of which involved the most profitable at-risk product launch of all time. He has also acted for Invagen Pharmaceuticals, successfully having the case transferred, defeating a preliminary injunction and securing a finding of non-infringement. Fellow courtroom virtuoso Manny Pokotilow
’s niche is electronics and mechanical patent suits; the veteran campaigner also has an affinity for alternative dispute resolution.
“Splendid patent litigation practice” Dechert is an estimable champion of clients in the life sciences, high-technology and telecommunications spaces. Formidable trial lawyer Kevin Flannery
shines brightest in the most complex proceedings before federal courts and the USTPO; he lately represented GlaxoSmithKine in a number of abbreviated new drug application contests. Another prize fighter in must-win battles, Martin Black
is celebrated for his “level-headedness, great temperament and tactical nous”. “A top-notch IP expert with a good sense of his client’s business, he is also outstanding in the courtroom and knows how to present to judges.” Together, Flannery and Black recently went out to bat for a number of innovative drug companies; they recorded an emphatic victory for Endo in a five-week bench trial against a plethora of generic manufacturers, winning a finding of infringement on 18 of its 20 asserted claims. The dynamic duo also triumphed in the Android device space for Microsoft, assiduously enforcing its patents and preparing the ground for a licensing agreement with Kyocera.
DLA Piper LLP
A worthy choice for companies seeking cast-iron protection for their crown-jewel assets, the Philadelphia branch of DLA Piper is home to the firm’s largest US prosecution group, with 13 patent lawyers and attorneys. The team has access to a vast global network of IP specialists, ensuring the nimble handling of complex cross-border briefs; while its broad-ranging technical prowess guarantees superlative output across all disciplines. Lynchpin Daniel Christenbury
heads the country-wide prosecution practice; his precision drafting is appreciated by many loyal clients in the chemical, mechanical and electronics sectors.
Duane Morris LLP
“A great patent practice with superb lawyers”, Duane Morris makes its debut in the Keystone State following enthusiastic peer feedback. Capably fielding teams for any IP mandate, it is especially well placed to dispatch demanding contentious instructions. The “extremely sharp” Aleksander Goranin
has chalked up victories for prestigious innovators – including Microsoft – in district and appellate courts, as well as the ITC. “Outstanding trial lawyer” David Wolfsohn
constructs intelligent arguments and delivers them with finesse, persuading judges and juries alike. He is also an adroit arbitrator.
Fox Rothschild LLP
Look no further than general service Fox Rothschild for savvy licensing work and astute patent acquisition. Its professionals optimise outcomes through their farsighted counsel; they recently assisted Xerox and Google in protecting and exploiting their technologies, while continuing to make a crucial difference for many fledgling enterprises. “Tremendous well-rounded attorney” James Singer
is at “the top of the list” for many associates. The electrical engineering buff is “great to work with” and “superb in technology transfers as well as prosecution”.
Tricky litigation and big-ticket monetisation are meat and drink to the Pennsylvania bureau of global powerhouse K&L Gates. Impressive in national projects, it also works harmoniously with colleagues abroad to execute adeptly on multi-jurisdictional briefs. The switched-on George Dickos
has an acute understanding of patents as commercial assets; he gets lucrative technology transfer deals over the line with a deft touch. Patrick McElhinny
makes his first appearance in the guide this year; a “wonderful litigator” with decades of trial experience under his belt, he is revered for obtaining a staggering $1.5 billion in damages for Carnegie Mellon – one of the highest-ever awards in a patent suit.
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
IP behemoth Morgan Lewis has the nous and resources to effortlessly dispatch any patent mandate. Providing a seamless, joined-up service, its lawyers in Pennsylvania thrive on projects for innovators in the life sciences and electronics fields. Especially admired for its “excellent and very thorough transactional work”, the local team is home to Peter Watt-Morse
, who maximises revenue from intellectual assets while endeavouring to avoid drawn-out disputes. He frequently pairs up with Louis Beardell
, a shrewd prosecution strategist who also has a flair for teeing up IP-heavy deals; he recently advised Gentex on its acquisition of Helmet Integrated Systems Limited. Eric Kraeutler
is a redoubtable litigator whose staunch advocacy proves a boon at trial if no settlement can be reached beforehand; the biotechnology pro is a favourite of the University of Pennsylvania, which he recently defended in a consequential patent infringement suit regarding immunotherapy.
Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLP
With “proactive partners and great expertise”, prosecution boutique Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel consistently obtains impregnable IP rights which can keep innovators out of troublesome disputes. Skilled at drafting, its practitioners also deliver dependable clearance opinions and big-picture portfolio development advice. “Strategically astute and a great professional”, electrical and mechanical maven Martin Belisario
is a former patent examiner – as is chemical engineering master William Schwarze
; they know what it takes to get applications granted.
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Combining a wide-angle perspective with close attention to detail, Pepper Hamilton provides a gilt-edged patent prosecution service – especially in the life sciences, where it has in-depth industry insight. The Pennsylvania squad also excels on tech-related agreements; it has handled many rounds of private financing for innovators, including a major investment in Roivant Sciences. Its “creative and dynamic attorneys” include IP group co-chair Raymond Miller
, a discerning counsellor who is the trusted partner of numerous pioneers, from start-ups to research institutions and Fortune 500 companies.
“Amazing for counselling and prosecution”, agile IP shop RatnerPrestia has “decades of excellent client work under its belt”, crafting tailor-made solutions across the technology spectrum. Its dexterous professionals have an instinctive understanding of clients’ priorities. The “superb” Benjamin Leace
is “practical and to the point”; a perceptive IP adviser for some 25 years, he is also a go-to practitioner in contentious circumstances. Leace is commended for his work with a diverse range of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Reed Smith LLP
The Pennsylvania offices of international heavyweight Reed Smith tackle high-stakes litigation with alacrity and verve. Blending specialist expertise with business law know-how, its IP lawyers can resolve even the most intractable and multi-faceted spats. The firm’s qualities are reflected by its illustrious client list, which includes many major oil and gas and pharmaceuticals players. Gifted lead counsel Kirsten Rydstrom
is a cogent advocate in patent and trade secret battles and is regularly sought out by software, hardware and electronics patrons.
The Webb Law Firm
IP-focused Pittsburgh outfit The Webb Law Firm prides itself on its “efficient, high-quality service provided by very well-trained professionals who offer clear guidance through difficult problems”. Acclaimed for its non-contentious output, but also a force to be reckoned with in disputes, the firm is a potent one-stop shop for technology-rich companies; its lawyers have a panoramic perspective on patents and always bear potential litigation in mind when developing portfolios. The seasoned Richard Byrne
is renowned for his insightful counsel on filing strategies and procedures both at home and abroad. Litigation group leader Kent Baldauf
is “very detail oriented, practical and forward thinking. He is highly professional, yet suitably aggressive”.
Volpe & Koenig PC
Though proficient in all IP matters, boutique Volpe & Koenig is best known for its endeavours in the non-contentious space; with a deep reservoir of scientific expertise and polished organisational systems, it secures unassailable patent rights for rights holders of all stripes. The firm’s long history of working with diverse inventions and innovators ensures that each brief is handled with acuity and foresight. Frederick Koenig III is a key contact.