As innovators increasingly expand their horizons on the global stage, securing unassailable protection across borders remains a top priority. Presented here is a list of those firms which have established an international presence and are featured in the IAM Patent 1000 listings across multiple regions.
- Allen & Overy LLP
- Baker McKenzie
- Bird & Bird LLP
- DLA Piper
- Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
- Foley & Lardner LLP
- Gowling WLG
- Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- Hogan Lovells
- Jones Day
- Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
- Kirkland & Ellis LLP
- Marks & Clerk
- Mayer Brown
- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
- Morrison & Foerster LLP
- Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
- Paul Hastings LLP
- Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz
- Perkins Coie LLP
- Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
- Ropes & Gray LLP
- Rouse & Co International
- Simmons & Simmons LLP
Allen & Overy LLP
An undisputed champion of European patent practice, Allen & Overy (A&O) has a mighty squad of accomplished practitioners operating from offices in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Luxembourg, Madrid, Munich, Milan, Paris, Warsaw and Bratislava. The UK team – which includes multiple gold and silver-ranked partners – goes out to bat for some of the world’s most innovative life sciences and technology entities, and confidently takes the lead on multi-jurisdictional cases of major commercial importance. Mark Heaney, Neville Cordell and Mark Ridgway are flying high right now; as is pharmaceutical and biotechnology pro Marc Döring. Over in Asia, A&O has been busy burnishing its Chinese patent litigation record and – thanks to the efforts of a fully bilingual and well-connected squad based out of Beijing and Shanghai – it earns an IAM Patent 1000 recommendation as a foreign firm in China for the first time this year. Head of the practice David Shen combines deep life sciences industry knowledge with an insider’s understanding of the Chinese legal system and a global business view.
With 350-plus employees and 21 offices spanning multiple European and Asian jurisdictions, AWA is a richly resourced international IP specialist. It renders a 360-degree patent prosecution, strategy and litigation service, and can support clients unconditionally whatever the technology or problem. In Europe, a significant recent development was its acquisition of IP boutique Pronovem, one of the top filers in Belgium. In Asia, its multilingual, multicultural team continues to perform flawlessly across the patent and product lifecycles, and has lately added to its life sciences capabilities in China.
Uniquely positioned to handle all IP needs on a global scale, Baker McKenzie acquits itself with distinction in patent practice on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. Looking to London, the outfit’s standout work includes advising major multinational pharmaceutical companies on complex regulatory issues, which Hiroshi Sheraton undertakes alongside high-rolling life sciences and high-technology litigation. The team in Moscow recently won a tender to manage international patenting for ROSATOM, with the firm’s international footprint and sophisticated technical infrastructure proving critical to its success. Leadership in Russia comes from several key individuals, including litigator Denis Khabarov, transactional maven Margarita Divina and patent prosecution ace Yuri Pylnev. In China, strong performances are being put in on challenging, multi-layered patent, antitrust and FRAND cases. This is but a fractional sampling of what has been going on across the dynamic outfit in 2019 and into 2020.
Bird & Bird LLP
This year, as every year, Bird & Bird achieves an impressive range of rankings in the IAM Patent 1000. Its European presence is particularly imposing: it receives extensive coverage in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom, and has talented teams in each location working on cutting-edge, big-ticket instructions. Its staunch representation of Edwards Lifesciences against Boston Scientific (led by Munich-based lawyers); Qualcomm against Apple (Armand Killan in The Hague); and AB InBev against Heineken in a case involving patents for polymer packaging technology (Morag MacDonald and others in London) are all prime examples of the polished performances it puts in on must-win disputes. With a presence in key business centres, Bird & Bird is also a major player in Asia – in fact, it has one of the largest and most specialised IP practices in the region. This is captained by Hong Kong’s Matthew Laight, whose experience in China spans more than two decades.
Few firms have as potent a presence on both sides of the Atlantic as DLA Piper. In the United States, it has prosecution and litigation experts recommended from coast to coast; while in Europe, it dispenses a comprehensive suite of services from Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom. With such enviable geographical reach, cross-border briefs are naturally a forte; it is also a font of knowledge on the Unified Patent Court (UPC). It is worth highlighting that DLA Piper is one of just two US outfits in the IAM Patent 1000 to feature in the Australia listings (Jones Day being the other). The firm’s litigators in Melbourne and Sydney – including global patent litigation co-chair Robynne Sanders – are some of the best around and put on a clinic in life sciences suits.
Almighty boutique Finnegan – one of the world’s best – showcases outstanding depth in all facets of patent practice. Its 225 US Patent and Trademark Office-registered professionals file in the region of 3,000 US and 1,500 foreign patent applications annually, and have an astonishing hit rate. The firm litigates with poise across the technical spectrum and before all forums, and has a reputation as one of the top post-grant and appellate players in the United States. In 2019, it made up six partners and more broadly is building well from within – with a rigorous focus on diversity too. In Asia, Finnegan has abundant experience protecting and enforcing rights in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and is a vital buttress for foreign clients in those jurisdictions. Under the direction of Anthony Tridico, the London office is proving invaluable, too: global specialty biotherapeutics company CSL is just one client that benefits from a seamless transatlantic service courtesy of lawyers in London, DC and Reston, Virginia.
Foley & Lardner LLP
Foley & Lardner is uncommonly well rounded in intellectual property, as compared with other US-based international full-service commercial outfits. It has 300 attorneys and professionals in the practice area – many of whom have advanced scientific or technical degrees – and provides incisive advice and solutions encompassing prosecution, strategic IP asset management, litigation and licensing. A prominent name in Asia, Foley is recommended in the Japan rankings and fields a local team with more than 150 years of collective experience collaborating with Japanese entities. Judging from effusive client feedback, Tokyo partner Etsuo Doi is operating at the highest level and with acute business understanding.
The international IP team at Gowling WLG is a slick, finely tuned machine. For example, the superb crew in Canada – the largest from among its various offices – dovetails neatly with counterparts in Moscow, and increasingly with patent colleagues in the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, to provide a joined-up global service. Growth in China has lately been a narrative, with the opening of an office in Beijing to bolster its presence in Guangzhou; many lawyers across the firm are taking advantage of the local team’s Mandarin and Cantonese fluency, cultural understanding and local network to hammer out the right results in the jurisdiction. Noteworthy changes have also taken place in the United Kingdom; Jamie Rowlands made a return to the London office, having previously served as the firm’s chief representative officer in China; and Huw Evans and Jonathan Ball – both previously recommended in the IAM Patent 1000 – joined from Norton Rose Fulbright.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
A jewel in the crown of Herbert Smith Freehills’ international patent practice is its pharmaceutical patent litigation offering – its lawyers in the United Kingdom and Australia are sought after for representation in the most impactful cases. Within the life sciences and technology, media and communications sectors more broadly, the eminent firm shows a deft touch in coordinating high-exposure patent litigations across Europe and beyond, with the UK crew – including gold-ranked Sophie Rich and Sebastian Moore – serving as a hub. By way of example, the team is advising Gilead Sciences on defending its key HIV drugs on a pan-European basis. The IP group – which is spread across London, Paris, Milan, Sydney and Melbourne – is also a go-to for complex transactions, strategic counselling and risk management.
Ideally placed to cater to global needs, Hogan Lovells has a muscular 260 lawyer-strong patent group strategically located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. The team collaborates intuitively to divine the optimal solutions to cross-border problems. In the United States, the firm has recruited astutely, adding lawyers from competitors including Jones Day, McDermott Will & Emery and Venable to bolster its presence in San Francisco, Boston and New York. In Germany, the gilt-edged team continues to make light work of the biggest life sciences and technology and telecommunications suits going, and is in the driving seat when it comes to pan-European strategising and enforcement. In Asia, Hogan Lovells Fidelity – an association between Hogan Lovells and Fujian Fidelity in the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone – is now fully up and running; it includes seven full-time IP fee earners, who bring the heat in consequential cases before the Chinese courts, working in tandem with their colleagues around the globe.
Jones Day takes the business criticality of intellectual property to heart, rendering an A-to-Z patent service that extends far beyond litigation – the predominant focus of many of its US and international commercial rivals. Gifted in the creation and monetisation of patent assets, as well as defence and enforcement, it is a compelling one-stop shop for innovators. Worthy of special mention is its international life sciences capability: pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are in safe hands with specialists in New York such as portfolio manager par excellence Adriane Antler and San Diego such as trial lawyer and IP practice head Anthony Insogna – as well as industry experts in Europe and Asia.
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Kilpatrick Townsend debuts in the IAM Patent 1000 international section for 2020 by virtue of its first-time inclusion in the Asia chapter: it now ranks among the leading foreign outfits in China. It set up shop in the country in 2012, making intellectual property a central plank of its offering, and has since become a crucial port of call for Chinese tech giants seeking to navigate complex matters involving US patent law, and a gateway for US companies keen to carve a foothold in the jurisdiction. Previously operating solely out of Shanghai – where Kris Reed is managing partner – it recently opened an office in Beijing to expand its presence in the country. In the United States, meanwhile, the firm maintains 200-US Patent and Trademark Office registered attorneys and patent agents, and a formidable squad of litigators, and stands ready for any instruction anywhere in the country. It retains its many US rankings this year, but earns enhanced coverage thanks to the additions of Nena Bains and Megan Chung in the California listings.
Redoubtable patent litigation player Kirkland & Ellis has a line-up of US trial lawyers to die for and is tooled up to handle the biggest cases going. Its success in these on both the high-technology and life sciences side has been consistent for a long time. The firm’s London office, meanwhile, has recorded striking growth with the 11-strong team led by gold-tier Nicola Dagg it acquired in October 2018 having quickly hit its stride. Dagg is in her element when the complexity ramps up to the highest level and has lately been putting in sterling performances in standard essential patent and FRAND licensing disputes and biosimilar litigation.
Marks & Clerk
Marks & Clerk is a household name in the United Kingdom, with a string of offices stretching the length of the country from London to Aberdeen. Operating in harmony with the litigation team at Marks & Clerk Law, it provides a satisfyingly complete service that spans the contentious/non-contentious divide. Perennially gold-ranked on the UK litigation table, it handles pharmaceutical disputes involving blockbuster drugs with verve, with industry leader Mike Gilbert at the helm. Across the channel in France, electronics, IT and telecommunications matters are meat and drink to its expert team of 30 consultants, engineers and lawyers. In Canada – where Marks & Clerk has had a presence since 1921 – its line-up of 16 registered patent agents (including six partners and six lawyers) has complete command of the life sciences and high-technology spheres. Here, as elsewhere, it operates with consummate efficiency, thanks to state-of-the-art software and case management systems. Its presence in Asia is impressive; in Hong Kong, its cosmopolitan group is comprised of practitioners from eight global jurisdictions; while the Singapore contingent gives the firm the largest roster of internationally qualified patent attorneys in Southeast Asia. Simon Speeks is the contact for Hong Kong and Jim Greene-Kelly for Singapore.
Boasting sparkling technical credentials and diverse sector knowledge, Mayer Brown’s patent team has all bases covered. Garnering most of the headlines, its US litigators mount swift attacks and sturdy defences, and appear in frontline cases in all major forums, including the International Trade Commission (ITC), the Federal Circuit and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Peak performers include New York’s Lisa Ferri, a pharmaceutical doyenne; and DC’s Jamie Beaber, who has represented Japanese electronics maker Maxell in several litigations – in one recent action against ZTE, he secured a $43.3 million damages award after a 10-day jury trial. Gary Hnath is another DC-based attorney with close links to Asia: he has achieved great things for Chinese companies in ITC Section 337 investigations. Mayer Brown’s brand has long resonated in Asia thanks to Gabriela Kennedy, who heads the stellar strategic patent and IP counselling team in Hong Kong.
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Morgan Lewis has turbocharged its practice of late: the addition of 17 new partners in the last two years has elevated its offering across the board. Thanks to its strength in depth, and facility for everything from patent prosecution and portfolio strategy to licensing and transactions and litigation and post-grant proceedings, the firm now counts among the elite all-rounders in the United States. Eric Kraeutler and Louis Beardell provide inspiring leadership to the group from their base in Philadelphia. China has long been a central focus, and Morgan Lewis is recommended among the best foreign firms operating in the jurisdiction. With US lawyers such as Silicon Valley’s Yalei Sun regularly travelling to support Chinese and international companies on IP deals, settlements and US regulatory compliance, and high-technology aficionado and expert litigator Shaobin Zhu on site in Shanghai, it has unparalleled insight into the evolving Chinese landscape.
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Technology and life sciences VIP Morrison & Foerster dispatches all manner of patent instructions with a sure hand. With one of the strongest dedicated technology and IP transactions practices in the United States, it helps patrons take full commercial advantage of the rights procured by star prosecutors such as Michael Ward and Catherine Polizzi, both recommended in California. With litigation and trial talent also in abundance, the firm brings comfort when infringement issues loom and product lines or entire businesses are at stake. A beacon in Asia, MoFo is one of just three foreign firms that are highly recommended for litigation and transactions in Japan. It has a stacked line-up of 30-plus IP lawyers in Tokyo, including four US patent attorneys (with engineering backgrounds) and three benrishi. Lead partner Max Olson works synergistically with US colleagues on numerous ITC matters for prestigious clients such as Nikon Corporation.
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
A powerhouse in Texas, Norton Rose Fulbright has 70 lawyers between its Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio offices, many of them with superb technical and/or contentious credentials. The team is dynamically engaged in lots of exciting work; but it doesn’t get more high-level than advising Qualcomm on global IP and competition matters, including FRAND issues, and litigating for the company against Apple. This brief showcased the firm’s international prowess, as it involved proceedings before the ITC, US district courts, global competition agencies and the UK High Court, which a large but unified team drawn from multiple US offices (in and outside Texas) and the firm’s London bureau handled very effectively. Notably, Norton Rose Fulbright has the distinction of being the only firm in the IAM Patent 1000 with gold-tier placements in both the United States and Canada; for those seeking consistent, high-quality protection and enforcement services spanning both jurisdictions, it is the only choice. In Canada, as across the border, it has both specialised prosecutors and litigators on deck, and can serve as a one-stop shop for domestic and international matters.
A prodigious filer of US patents, Oblon is trusted by myriad US and international companies to prosecute applications through to successful grant swiftly and efficiently. As testament to the level of confidence placed in it – and the superiority of its service – many of its clients have instructed it for decades. It also maintains a robust litigation practice, with a young and diligent team that has more than proved its mettle in the ITC in recent years. Oblon is one of only two foreign firms to be recommended for prosecution in Japan (the other being Finnegan); thanks to its decade-long presence in Tokyo and the longstanding relationships that many of its US lawyers enjoy with Japanese technology companies (45 years in the case of Toyota), it is extremely well attuned to the Japanese market and the business concerns of those operating in it.
Paul Hastings LLP
In the United States, Paul Hastings spearheads many of the most significant contentious campaigns in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology spaces. Veterans Bruce Wexler – who recently took up the position of global IP co-chair – and Joseph O’Malley have surrounded themselves with talent in New York, ensuring that the practice is perfectly built for both the present and the future. Recent highlights include successfully representing Boehringer Ingelheim against AbbVie in one of the largest suits under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. The firm’s litigators also practise at the cutting edge of the high-technology space, with Yar Chaikovsky in Palo Alto a key figure in this regard. To top it all, Paul Hastings paces the field in post-grant proceedings, with superstar Naveen Modi in the fold. The firm’s Japan-based lawyers connect seamlessly with their US colleagues to handle ITC and US district court cases for leading Japanese multinationals such as Canon. Local captain Hiroyuki Hagiwara, Chaikovsky and DC’s Blair Jacobs form a tailor-made strike force.
Pearl Cohen’s US, UK and Israeli patent teams closely support each other enabling some of the world’s most dynamic innovators to capitalise in full on the firm’s exceptional technical resources and proficiency across the patent lifecycle. Newly featured in the New York IAM Patent 1000 listings for 2020, Pearl Cohen has some of its top talent stationed in the city including accomplished strategists Zeev Pearl, Mark Cohen and litigator Guy Yonay. Premier names in Tel Aviv include transactional talent Yael Baratz and masterful advocate Yossi Markovich.
Perkins Coie LLP
US heavyweight Perkins Coie has significantly expanded its China IP practice of late: Scott Palmer, who joined from Sheppard Mullin in Summer 2018, now presides over a 16-strong team of attorneys and paralegals there. The firm also established an IP agency in Beijing – with a branch in Shenzhen – to augment its service capability in the jurisdiction. In other developments, it launched a blog – the China IP Legal Report – which serves as a guide to Chinese IP law for US patent attorneys and in-house counsel. Perkins Coie continues to make waves back home in the United States, racking up the victories across many technologies, sectors and forums, while also enhancing the tech-enablement of its patent prosecution and portfolio practice, with awards for innovation to show for it.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
One of the world’s elite trial firms, Quinn Emanuel has an exceptionally deep bench of patent litigators in the United States: its distinguished first chairs are known for their fortitude and ability to pull off huge wins and upsets that shift industry paradigms. Hard hitters such as gold-ranked Germany managing partner Marcus Grosch and highly recommended Tokyo operative Ryan Goldstein achieve similar feats. Its representation of Qualcomm in a series of disputes against Apple is reflective of its worldwide capabilities: the team secured successes in California state and district courts, the ITC and courts in the United Kingdom and Germany, setting the scene for a favourable settlement for Qualcomm.
Ropes & Gray LLP
Ropes & Gray has an exemplary track record of delivering when it matters most, both in court and around the negotiation table; a repository of trust for blue-chip companies, it demonstrates refined post-grant, ITC and district court litigation skillsets, along with great technical proficiency. The life sciences group has been going from strength to strength since the 2018 arrival of Filko Prugo and Charlotte Jacobsen – two seasoned litigators in New York who hammer out the right results in major Hatch-Waxman litigations and biologics cases. On the West Coast, meanwhile, IP litigation chair Andrew Thomases and Jim Batchelder are doing likewise in the high-technology realm. The ensemble’s litigators draw confidence from the backing provided by a top-drawer post-grant practice, anchored by Scott McKeown, who has accumulated infinite wisdom over the course of 275-plus PTAB proceedings. Ropes & Gray also handles IP and technology transactions with composure and finesse; its world-class practice is staffed by 11 partners on three continents. One of those is Shanghai-based Geoffrey Lin, a guiding light for life sciences companies on China-related deals and collaborations.
Rouse & Co International
One of the first international IP boutiques to focus on Asia, Rouse is a pathfinder for many in the region. It deploys superlative emerging markets expertise and goes the extra mile to help clients achieve their IP and business objectives in jurisdictions such as China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Never afraid to innovate, the firm provides vital information that makes life easy for decision makers; for example, its CIELA online tool can be used to analyse statistical data arising from IP administrative appeals and infringement litigation proceedings in China, which then informs smarter enforcement approaches.
Simmons & Simmons LLP
In Europe, Simmons & Simmons is distinguished not only by its proficiency in high-stakes litigation, but also by its regional prosecution service, which it kickstarted in May 2018 – few firms provide a similarly sophisticated level of total support. It has IP experts stationed in the most strategically important jurisdictions – including the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy – who work in tight formation to ensure consistency of approach in multi-jurisdictional cases. Its lawyers also play a significant role in driving legal change; Kevin Mooney stands out in this regard, as the only UK lawyer to sit on the expert group advising on the implementation of the UPC. In Asia, meanwhile, Simmons & Simmons’s Beijing IP agency has been steadily increasing its share of China prosecution work, under the direction of decorated China IP veteran George Chan.