As innovative companies increasingly expand their horizons on the global stage, securing impervious protection across borders remains a top priority. Presented here is a list of those firms which have established an international presence and secured IAM Patent 1000 listings in multiple regions.
- Baker McKenzie
- Bird & Bird LLP
- Covington & Burling LLP
- DLA Piper
- Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
- Foley & Lardner LLP
- Gowling WLG
- Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- Hogan Lovells
- Jones Day
- Marks & Clerk
- Mayer Brown
- Morrison & Foerster LLP
- Norton Rose Fulbright
- O’Melveny & Myers LLP
- Paul Hastings LLP
- Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
- Ropes & Gray LLP
- Rouse & Co International
AWA’s combination of deep and wide-ranging technical knowledge, an unerring commitment to patent quality and global capability makes it a compelling choice for innovators. The firm has cultivated longstanding relationships with many brands, including approximately one third of the top 100 filers of European patent applications and several of the world’s most iconic technology names. The side’s recent recruitment drive in Europe attests to a practice in fine fettle; in Sweden alone, for example, the team has welcomed several former in-house counsels on board of late. Some of the firm’s leading partners are cited as world-class patent strategists – Ai-Leen Lim in Asia and Henrik Olsson are recommended in both the IAM Strategy 300 and the IAM Patent 1000 – making AWA a premier counselling destination.
Baker McKenzie achieves an impressive spread of rankings in the IAM Patent 1000 2019 and is one of only two firms with a presence on tables in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Its ability to handle global IP portfolios is exceptional thanks to the sophisticated IP management, workflow and docketing tools it deploys. Wherever it is present on the ground, it flexes strong local knowledge and is well placed to handle domestic litigation and IP-rich transactions. Clement Ngai (Shanghai), Isabella Liu (Hong Kong), Say Sujintaya (Bangkok), Andy Leck (Singapore) and Grace Shao (Taipei) are key contacts in Asia; Hiroshi Sheraton (London), Carles Prat (Barcelona) and Eugene Arievich (Moscow) are among the go-to names in Europe; and in Latin America, head straight for the Colombian team supervised by Juan Pablo Concha Delgado.
Bird & Bird LLP
One of the most impressive aspects of Bird & Bird is the thought leadership role it plays in the international IP community. For an example, look to Wouter Pors et al in the Netherlands; the team is at the forefront of developments relating to the UPC and taking charge of the firm’s international UPC focus group. Another sterling illustration is Matthew Laight and the Hong Kong contingent’s role advising the government on patent reform. Also impressive is the firm’s cavernous chest of resources – it has more than 300 IP specialists worldwide, all pulling in the same direction. Notable recent international developments for Bird & Bird include the establishment of a US office in San Francisco, which will serve US clients on non-US matters in their local time zone.
Covington & Burling LLP
A chief distinction for Covington & Burling when it comes to international IP practice is the quality of its transatlantic life sciences practice. Stationed in its Washington DC headquarters is an enlightened team of pharmaceutical and biotechnology mavens who perform flawlessly in high-stakes litigation and big-money transactions; John Hurvitz chairs the industry group and takes the lead on technology transactions; his counterpart in London is Daniel Pavin, whose representative matters include many a UK-US deal. Covington also has excellent connections in Asia and is recommended in the IAM Patent 1000 Korea foreign firms section. Scott Schrader and Chang Sik Kim command the ensemble in Seoul and are linchpins of success for clients litigating before the US district courts and the International Trade Commission (ITC).
There are several firms in the IAM Patent 1000 international section with a strong presence in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region – DLA Piper is among them but distinguishes itself with much greater in-depth strength in the United States and Canada. Looking stateside, its teams in California and Illinois stand out for their litigation and transactional dexterity in the high-tech sector; Mark Fowler in Silicon Valley is a name to note – the veteran trial lawyer co-chairs the global patent litigation practice; Paul Steadman and Matthew Satchwell are dynamic litigators in Chicago. Since its combination with Dimock Stratton in 2016, the Canadian branch has been shining on the litigation front. Notable successes in multi-jurisdictional battles include defending Arctic Cat in a dispute against Bombardier. The firm also has hard-hitting cross-border litigation talent in Europe and Asia – for example, see Philipp Cepl in Cologne, Germany and Robynne Sanders in Melbourne, Australia.
Finnegan celebrated several notable international anniversaries in 2018, including 30 years of practice in Tokyo, 15 in Taipei, 10 in Shanghai and five in London; as it passes these milestones, the worldwide IP celebrity – which is considered by many to be the top US IP boutique – looks strong and healthy. On home turf in America, its 230-strong group of USPTO-registered attorneys continue to file patents at a swift pace, while also tackling and winning benchmark technology and life sciences litigation in the district courts, the ITC and the Federal Circuit. The firm has become especially prominent for its post-grant practice – at the forefront of which is Erika Arner in Reston, Virginia. In Asia, it disseminates knowledge and insight regarding US patent law – managing partner of the Tokyo office Naoki Yoshida is one of the most active on this front – while also guiding clients on global IP strategy and litigation.
Foley & Lardner LLP
Among full-service commercial firms in the United States, Foley & Lardner stands out for the comprehensiveness of its patent offering; unlike many of its competitors, it does not just focus on litigation – a lucrative practice that writes the headlines – but keeps its eye on the prosecution ball, too. Its blend of contentious and non-contentious expertise gives it an edge in post-grant proceedings at the USPTO’s PTAB. In April 2018 the firm merged with Gardere Wynne Sewell, giving it a significantly expanded presence in Texas, as well as a foothold in Mexico. The firm’s flag flies in Asia courtesy of diligent cross-border deal broker Etsuo Doi in Japan.
Top Canadian outfit Gowling WLG is unique in the IAM Patent 1000, being recommended in North American, European, Asian and Middle Eastern jurisdictions. Taking a tour, in Canada it maintains one of the deepest life sciences benches with industry experts stationed across the country. In Europe, London’s Paul Inman has been leveraging the firm’s international capabilities to great effect in litigation for a chemical company that spans the United Kingdom, France and Germany, while Moscow’s David Aylen and Vladislav Ugryumov have respectively been dominating the prosecution and litigation fronts. In Asia, heads of China IP Jian Xu and Jamie Rowlands have been forging closer links with JurisAsia, a Singaporean affiliate established in 2017, enhancing their regional capabilities. Lastly, the Dubai team receives extended coverage in this year’s guide thanks to the debut of IP whizz Vanessa Delnaud.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
A patent litigation powerhouse, Herbert Smith Freehills is one to call when a win is vital for commercial survival. London practitioners Sophie Rich and Sebastian Moore – both of whom now occupy the gold tier following Moore’s promotion in the rankings this year – anchor a redoubtable life sciences practice that excels at coordinating pan-European litigation and strategies for UK-based clients. The firm makes an appearance in the Italy rankings for the first time this year; it established its presence in Milan in January 2018 and immediately won a slew of awards for its contemporary and commercial offering fronted by Laura Orlando. In Asia, teams in multiple Australian offices deploy in sync to give patrons all the contentious firepower they need; as in the United Kingdom, the firm has a pair of gold-tier litigators in Australia in Sue Gilchrist (Sydney) and Shaun McVicar (Melbourne).
In terms of consistent quality across Europe, Hogan Lovells is ahead of the pack; in litigation, it is recommended in the gold tier in Germany and Italy, and in silver in France, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom. Zooming in on Germany, Europe’s patent litigation hotspot, Andreas von Falck continues to reign supreme; he elevates the individuals around him, including Henrik Lehment and Benjamin Schröer – both of whom were promoted to partner in 2018. However, one must think of Hogan Lovells as a global firm – its groups in different jurisdictions are closely integrated and work harmoniously towards the common goal of protecting clients and advancing their business interests internationally – ends to which teams in China, Hong Kong and Japan make significant contributions.
Jones Day is recommended in multiple Asian, European and US jurisdictions, putting it among a select group of elite international firms. It deploys swiftly and decisively in high-stakes cross-border patent litigation and also leverages its global network for licensing transactions and mergers and acquisitions. In the United States, the firm’s proficiency in prosecution and litigation is a unique selling point – the New York office brings this into sharp relief, being home to eminent scientist Adriane Antler, who co-leads the global prosecution practice, and life sciences trial lawyers Pablo Hendler and John Normile. The fulcrum around which the practice in Europe turns is Christian Paul in Munich, Germany, another technically dextrous pharmaceutical and biotechnology ace. Sustaining this life sciences excellence in Asia meanwhile are dynamite litigators Lisa Taliadoros and Anthony Muratore in Australia.
Marks & Clerk
Embedded in the global innovation economy, Marks & Clerk has nine international offices across France, Luxembourg, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China to complement its eight domestic bureaux in the United Kingdom. In 2018 the firm made major strides in Canada, merging with Sim & McBurney / Sim Ashton & McKay, which doubled its footprint. In Europe, it remains one of the most prolific filers of Patent Cooperation Treaty applications, and the United Kingdom’s top filer by a significant margin. Out in Asia, the firm also glitters with diverse and cosmopolitan teams; its set in Singapore ascends to the highly recommended tier for prosecution and it has a high-calibre line-up in Hong Kong, with practitioners from Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Mayer Brown has an outstanding reputation in Asia, which is a credit not only to Gabriela Kennedy and her brilliant team in Hong Kong but also to the firm’s US patent litigators, who have a long track record securing satisfying outcomes in US litigation on behalf of Asian innovators. Washington DC-based Jamie Beaber, for example, recently came up trumps for Japanese consumer electronics company Maxell against ZTE, earning a damages award of more than $40 million in a seven-patent infringement suit and denying institution of seven inter partes reviews. Beaber also undertakes significant work for LG Electronics. ITC supremo and district court litigator Gary Hnath, who is famous among Chinese companies, prevailed in a tough jury trial for Zhejiang Medicine Co and ZMC-USA.
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Morrison & Foerster is one of the United States’ top legal exports to Asia – its contingent in Japan is exceptionally well-established, having practised there at the forefront of technological innovation and intellectual property for more than 30 years. Its Tokyo line-up includes US and Japanese-qualified lawyers; one of the latter, Chie Yakura, makes a debut in the guide this year. In the United States, its patent practice appears to be stable and consistent – these are hallmark characteristics of California lawyers, such as life sciences sage Catherine Polizzi and plant IP authority and patent practice head Michael Ward; nothing gets in their way when it comes to protecting their clients’ inventions. Its litigation practice is in fine fettle thanks to Stefani Shanberg, who has been on a roll since she joined the firm in 2017.
Norton Rose Fulbright
Norton Rose Fulbright runs one of the largest and finest integrated global IP practices, which is composed of 300 IP professionals across 20 offices on five continents. In the United States alone, it has 100 IP specialists, most of them focusing on patent matters. There are 15 PhDs in the group, which has handled nearly 100 PTAB proceedings and has around 40 major patent litigations active at any given time. The firm’s US bench is particularly stacked in Texas, where US IP transactions and prosecution head Mark Bradley Wilson and US chair of IP disputes Charles Walker reside. The noteworthy team in Canada runs end-to-end prosecution-to-enforcement services though its life sciences litigation practice, impressing many clients. Supplying enduring leadership in Hong Kong, Justin Davidson deserves much credit for the extracurricular work he does to advance IP law and industry best practices in Asia.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
A jewel in the crown of O’Melveny is its New York life sciences practice run by Lisa Pensabene; her work in the increasingly active and significant biosimilar area is really turning heads. Pensabene is an outstanding leader of a team that is pleasingly young, diverse and dynamic. In California, Ryan Yagura has been knocking it out of the park for Samsung with a victory in the ITC against Tessera. O’Melveny is close with its Korean clients and has maintained a presence in Seoul since 2012, enabling it to advise domestic companies on US litigation matters in their own time zone. Youngwook Shin is the strategic local contact.
Oblon’s mastery of USPTO processes is impressive – it files more utility patents in the United States than any other firm and has post-grant proceedings on lock too. Increasingly, the firm is called in for its dynamism in litigation particularly at the International Trade Commission; top guns there include Robert Mattson and Eric Schweibenz. This year, Oblon makes its first appearance in the Asia-Pacific section of the IAM Patent 1000 and is listed among the leading foreign firms in Japan. Yuki Onoe is the top contact in the Tokyo office, although several of the firm’s US-based lawyers are key allies for Japanese corporates.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings is one of the leading players in USPTO post-grant proceedings; it has handled more PTAB filings than any other full-service setup in the past couple of years and has obtained many highly significant results along the way. Naveen Modi’s wins are numerous – he recently represented Boehringer Ingelheim, invalidating all claims in a patent covering the most widely used indication for AbbVie’s Humira drug. Paul Hastings carries the day in district courts, the ITC and the Federal Circuit with dazzling trial lawyers such as Yar Chaikovsky leading the way. The firm has significantly expanded in Japan in recent years, emerging as a leading player in the patent market with a truly enviable roster of clients.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
Prestigious Quinn Emanuel has one of the deepest trial benches of any US firm in the IAM Patent 1000 – each member of it is a star, from founding partner John Quinn in Los Angeles to Dave Nelson in Chicago and Ed DeFranco and a host of others in New York. The set has an innate ability to succeed in the courtroom under the toughest circumstances. Channelling the same tenacity as their US colleagues, Marcus Grosch and Johannes Bukow in Germany bring the heat in European litigation. Its team in Tokyo is one of the best of any of the foreign firms ranked in the IAM Patent 1000 Japan chapter, too.
Ropes & Gray LLP
With its expertise brokering cross-border technology and patent transactions, experience guiding US clients on EPO matters and China and Korea capabilities, Ropes & Gray impresses on the international stage. On home soil in the United States, the set’s exceptional success in post-grant proceedings – chiefly orchestrated by Washington DC’s Scott McKeown – is an important storyline. The firm hired Filko Prugo and Charlotte Jacobsen in New York in 2018 to amp things up in the life sciences practice, fostering synergy with the group in China, which dominates in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. The firm’s ITC practice also helps to integrate its US and Asia offerings; the team frequently litigates at the ITC for Chinese and Korean (and other Asian) companies. For example, Steve Pepe in New York has been representing Korean healthcare and food company CJ CheilJedang at the commission.
Rouse & Co International
Rouse is second to none when it comes to assisting companies to navigate emerging markets. The firm was one of the first international IP practices to set up its stall in Asia, opening in Hong Kong in 1993; since then, it has come to occupy leading positions in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and several other jurisdictions. Its lawyers in the region prosecute patent applications efficiently and are inveterate problem solvers able to get to grips with sophisticated issues, such as standard essentiality and patent infringement litigation. Rouse also sparkles in the Middle East, thanks to the superb quality of its team in the United Arab Emirates.