United States: Colorado

Firms: litigation

  • Holland & Hart LLP
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Sheridan Ross
  • Adsero IP
  • Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Polsinelli PC
  • Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Firms: prosecution

  • Highly recommended
  • Adsero IP
  • Holland & Hart LLP
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Merchant & Gould
  • Polsinelli PC
  • Recommended
  • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP 
  • Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Sheridan Ross

Firms: transactions

Adsero IP

Though certainly cost effective, Adsero IP doesn’t sell itself as a low-price provider; quality is rather its prime concern. This manifests in the strategic drafting of claims and specifications that will make it through the prosecution process while minimising the patent’s exposure to the risk of litigation. The team’s applications are also forward looking and cover more than just what inventors have come to them with. Applying this schema to great effect in the biotechnology space, Katherine Lobel-Rice has taken on the mantle of life sciences leadership following the retirement of Barry Swanson. Having started out in litigation, Chad King knows the angles from which patents can be successfully attacked, giving him his edge as a prosecutor. Though Adsero IP lacks the resources to engage in the biggest patent battles, with Daniel Young on deck it is the perfect fit for smaller-scale but nonetheless important fights; he has clever approaches and solutions for every case. The firm can also be relied on when transactional opportunities arise, particularly US-China cross-border deals. Kenneth Chang brings unique Asia-Pacific business and cultural insight to negotiations.

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP 

Diversification has been a recent point of emphasis for Brownstein. Its well-rounded patent group has added variety to its roster of large institutional patrons and is increasingly engaged by Bay Area start-ups at different valuation levels, up to $1 billion. Demonstrating impressive agility, the set is comfortable manoeuvring within the guardrails that big companies have in place, while offering flexibility to fledgling entities. All comers, however, enjoy the benefit of creative and commercial solutions. Electrical and mechanical ace S Craig Hemenway “understands what the business value drivers are and builds patent portfolios accordingly. He is extraordinarily responsive, engaging and articulate, and produces consistently excellent results for a reasonable cost”. Joining him in the IAM Patent 1000 this year, seasoned design engineer and fellow high-technologist Benno M Guggenheimer is “extremely proactive and thorough” and works in a “strategic and timely manner, staying within budget”. Michael D Rounds is Brownstein’s patent litigator-in-chief; as IP chair, he knows how to get the best out of his colleagues.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Managing, growing and giving commercial impetus to large domestic and international portfolios is something that Dorsey’s Denver group does exceptionally well. Premier market players call the team on the daily, drawing confidence from its oversight of their most critical IP assets. Head of patents Lee Osman “takes a deep interest in clients’ products and offers practical and commercial solutions rather than legal theory”; while Gregory Tamkin does likewise in the course of his IP disputes practice. Kerith Kanaber takes the local lead on the protection and monetisation of life sciences and medical device innovations, and serves as co-chair of the cross-disciplinary healthcare industry group.

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Faegre Drinker has quickly assembled a strong core of patent experts in Denver in the form of former Merchant & Gould figures Timothy Scull, Kristin Stoll-DeBell and Kathleen Ott, who were recruited by Drinker Biddle in preparation for its merger with Faegre, which took effect just days after their arrival. “Thanks to hard work, a focus on quality and a personable nature, Tim has a hugely successful patent practice, specifically in the software field.” Stoll-DeBell is another software doyenne and a savvy counsellor across the patent lifecycle. Ott’s flair for prosecution and portfolio management is on display in the software and medical device fields.

Holland & Hart LLP

Holland & Hart’s systematic approach to patent prosecution, developed by Michael Drapkin, has gone down a storm with leading technology enterprises seeking watertight patent protection while controlling costs. Placing every prosecution step under the microscope, Drapkin has deployed clever automation tools (some developed internally; others brought in from outside) that get clients from idea to grant in double-quick time. Given the steep upwards trajectory of the practice, the swift maturation of young partners Paul Schramm and Per Larsen has been a blessing. Schramm’s prioritisation of examiner interviews has paid handsome dividends; while Larsen is authoritative on standard essentiality. The contentious side of the practice is manned by Timothy Getzoff: he loves to dive into the technology, but above all focuses on developing cogent trial themes and tactics.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

An IP heavyweight in Denver, Kilpatrick Townsend provides meaningful support to innovators in myriad ways. Its lawyers represent the crème de la crème in their respective areas – David Sipiora in litigation, for example, and Darin Gibby in counselling. “David works harder and prepares better than anyone, and is one of the best litigators anywhere. It is amazing what he can do with a small team. He’s a stand-up guy who goes to bat just as hard for those lower down the food chain as those higher up.” In June 2019 he prevailed for Broadcom subsidiaries LSI Corporation and Avago Technologies against the regents of the University of Minnesota at the Federal Circuit, which issued a precedential ruling that state sovereign immunity does not apply in inter partes review proceedings. “Darin is brilliant at identifying a company’s unique needs and tailoring solutions, and consistently operates at the highest level.” Other rainmakers include Thomas Franklin, Eugene Bernard and Justin Krieger. Franklin does a sterling job keeping the practice fresh and is “always looking for new portfolio management and analytics tools that could make a difference for clients”. Bernard applies his chemistry background in providing holistic strategic advice to materials and clean energy players. Krieger is the sturdy anchor of a thriving post-grant practice and has been on a winning run of form lately for Celanese, for which he also coordinates challenges in Europe and China.

Merchant & Gould

Despite the recent departure of several esteemed Coloradans, Merchant & Gould is still well resourced in patent practice locally – and richly so at the national level. In Denver, talented portfolio makers and promoters include George Lewis, Andrew Jagenow and Gregory Leibold, who all have broad technical compasses. Lewis’s extensive professional engineering experience serves him well when interfacing with electrical and chemical engineers and capturing their ideas. Endorsed for his medical device expertise, Jagenow supports business development astutely in his counselling and IP transactional role. Licensing maven Leibold is “outstanding and has cultivated a broad patent skillset using his general counsel experience as a foundation”.

Perkins Coie LLP

“A great brand in patent practice nationally, Perkins Coie is proficient at meeting large-scale prosecution and litigation needs. Its team in Denver is a strong one and includes a number of trusted advisers who are skilled at their craft and good people, too.” Specially cited in this regard is software and standards pro – and named inventor of 10-plus communications patents – David St John-Larkin, a “versatile lawyer who is great at problem solving and collaborating with others”. With a super-sharp analytical mind, he is an essential partner when enforcing and monetising patents. Other eminent practitioners in the Mile High City include Michael Henson and Brian Kinnear: Henson’s exposure to all facets of the practice and myriad technologies makes him a prized opinion giver; while prosecutor Kinnear has a fine-tuned sense of litigation risk and is regularly called on for support in patent infringement suits. He’s a good asset, then, for Amanda Tessar, Perkins Coie’s top IP litigator in Denver. “Amanda is reliable, responsive and willing to roll up her sleeves and dig into any matter. She provides practical business and legal advice and can engage with engineers on a technical level, as well as executive management and board members on a higher commercial level. Her team flourishes under her excellent leadership.” A go-to for highly specialised licensing expertise, Peter Kinsella draws upon abundant in-house experience to meet clients’ transactional needs with exactitude.

Polsinelli PC

The Colorado technology community has really blossomed in recent years and Polsinelli’s practice has evolved in perfect sync with it. Keeping pace, electrical engineer Gregory Durbin secures copper-bottomed patent rights in the United States and internationally for cutting-edge local innovators, while making sure they have whatever they need with respect to employment, financing and everything else in between. Durbin may not be advising directly in these adjacent areas, but he understands exactly how his clients operate; immersing himself in their technology and business, he never treats relationships as transactional. “If you’re looking for biotechnology expertise in Denver, Timothy Worrall is an outstanding choice.” The sophisticated strategist focuses not on plug-and-chug prosecution, but rather on solving life sciences entities’ most complex problems; he stays up at night worrying about them, so that in-house counsel don’t have to. Meanwhile, those in the medical device sector are firm fans of Wade Johnson, who deploys technical, patent and regulatory expertise to create competitive advantages. The firm’s patent litigation practice is in safe hands thanks to John Posthumus and Michael Dulin, two Colorado IP vets who have done much to elevate litigation standards in the state and further afield.

Sheridan Ross

One of the largest – and best – IP boutiques in the Rocky Mountain region, Sheridan Ross has the technical depth to handle any patent instruction going. The key contact for some of the firm’s largest technology patrons is Matthew Ellsworth, whose practice is burgeoning. He loves getting in on the ground level and connecting closely with inventors, which fosters deeper relationships: “Matt will travel to meet them to get a better understanding of their inventions. He also proactively organises meetings with engineers to identify inventions arising from ongoing projects. He provides valuable strategic guidance and can answer any question about the current state of US patent law. He is certainly a leader in the field.” For one global client, he works closely with Douglas Swartz, an all-rounder who also forges lasting and meaningful connections. Over 25 years he has seen and done a lot in the practice, giving him a big-picture view of the patent landscape. Equally versatile, seasoned attorney Todd Blakely has diversified his practice in interesting ways recently and expanded his activity in the cannabis industry. David Kellis has taken on a lot of new stuff, too; he’s a rising star in mechanical patent prosecution and a Portuguese speaker with great contacts in Latin America. Also adept in mechanical matters, experienced engineer Bruce Kugler is a repository of trust for several leading industrial manufacturers. Gary Connell and David Walker have won the loyalty of numerous life sciences players, thanks to their refined understanding of how to use patent tools to maximise business opportunities. Head of litigation Rob Brunelli can take a complex case and immediately boil it down to its essence; he litigates in a way that protects and enhances clients’ bottom line.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

WilmerHale is a perennial patent litigation leader in the United States, with an expansive bench of incredible first-chair litigators in offices from coast to coast. Upholding the firm’s reputation for trial excellence in Denver is Mary (Mindy) Sooter, who tackles difficult telecommunications, electrical engineering and computer science briefs with confidence and poise. In addition to sterling advocacy, she dispenses vital advice to industry leaders seeking to mitigate risks associated with newly developed products. From his vantage point as a prosecution and transactional attorney, Benjamin Fernandez provides rigorously commercial support.

Other recommended experts

Scott Alter has a laser ability to track developments in the US patent market, particularly in the area of patent eligibility. The Michael Best partner is called on for his high-level strategic counsel. Colleague Jon Trembath provides steadfast representation in patent infringement suits; his Federal Circuit expertise ensures that he can back up his trial wins. Flying Greenberg Traurig’s flag in Denver, Heath Briggs is one of the top local post-grant minds. Having written patent applications for so long, he has an exceptional eye for detail that few patent litigators can match, which serves him well before PTAB judges. He is highly effective on both the patent owner and petitioner sides. IP value creation is the metier of Cara Crowley-Weber. The FisherBroyles life sciences expert has ample cancer research experience and a 360-degree understanding of the drug development process. Joining her in February 2020, having switched from Lewis Brisbois, Ian Walsworth is a former controls engineer with a deft touch in software and medical devices. “He has a sharp legal mind along with good business sense and he always puts clients first.” Jason Haislmaier is well established as a leading transactional IP attorney for emerging and large technology companies; Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is his base of operations. “Haynes and Boone is coming up in Denver, particularly since it recruited Lee Johnston in 2019.” “Any list of the top litigators in this market needs Lee on it.” Neugeboren O’Dowd founder Craig Neugeboren has a broad view of patent and IP life, given his design engineering background and extensive in-house and private practice experience in the areas of patent procurement and enforcement, litigation management and brand protection. A new name in the IAM Patent 1000 for 2020, Rex O’Neal of Sage Law Group is recommended for his transactional nous. He represents technology companies and their investors on financings and all types of deal. Situated in Davis Graham & Stubbs’s finance and acquisitions department, Paul Prendergast guides pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and other entities down strategic commercial IP paths. One of several top-flight trial lawyers at Arnold & Porter, Evan Rothstein litigates with aplomb in district courts and at the PTAB. Media, software, networking and telecommunications are his industries of focus. Former Cooley special counsel and now Catalyst Law Group partner Charles Schwab is an assured negotiator of global deals. He has been doing this throughout his career while sharing his knowledge generously as a teacher, speaker and software club leader.

Individuals: litigation

  • Timothy P Getzoff - Holland & Hart LLP
  • John R Posthumus - Polsinelli PC
  • David E Sipiora - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Todd P Blakely - Sheridan Ross
  • Rob Brunelli - Sheridan Ross
  • Michael P Dulin - Polsinelli PC
  • Lee Johnston - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Evan Rothstein - Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Michael D Rounds - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP 
  • Mary (Mindy) V Sooter - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  • Kirstin L Stoll-DeBell - Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Gregory S Tamkin - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Amanda Tessar - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Jon R Trembath - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Ian Walsworth - FisherBroyles LLP
  • Daniel S Young - Adsero IP

Individuals: prosecution

  • Michael L Drapkin - Holland & Hart LLP
  • Gregory P Durbin - Polsinelli PC
  • Thomas D Franklin - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Darin J Gibby - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Lee Osman - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Paul Schramm - Holland & Hart LLP
  • Timothy B Scull - Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • David St John-Larkin - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Scott M Alter - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Eugene M Bernard - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Todd P Blakely - Sheridan Ross
  • Heath J Briggs - Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Gary J Connell - Sheridan Ross
  • Cara L Crowley-Weber - FisherBroyles LLP
  • Matthew R Ellsworth - Sheridan Ross
  • Benjamin Fernandez - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  • Benno M Guggenheimer - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP 
  • S Craig Hemenway - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP 
  • Michael R Henson - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Andrew Jagenow - Merchant & Gould
  • S Wade Johnson - Polsinelli PC
  • Kerith Kanaber - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • David Kellis - Sheridan Ross
  • Chad E King - Adsero IP
  • Brian Kinnear - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Justin L Krieger - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Bruce A Kugler - Sheridan Ross
  • Per Larsen - Holland & Hart LLP
  • George C Lewis - Merchant & Gould
  • Katherine Lobel-Rice - Adsero IP
  • Craig Neugeboren - Neugeboren O’Dowd PC
  • Kathleen E Ott - Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Paul J Prendergast - Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP
  • Douglas W Swartz - Sheridan Ross
  • David Walker - Sheridan Ross
  • Timothy Worrall - Polsinelli PC

Individuals: transactions

  • Darin J Gibby - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Peter Kinsella - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Gregory D Leibold - Merchant & Gould
  • Lee Osman - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Charles A Schwab - Catalyst Law Group
  • Scott M Alter - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Kenneth S Chang - Adsero IP
  • Cara L Crowley-Weber - FisherBroyles LLP
  • Benjamin Fernandez - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  • Thomas D Franklin - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Jason D Haislmaier - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • S Craig Hemenway - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP 
  • David Kellis - Sheridan Ross
  • Rex O'Neal - Sage Law Group, LLC
  • Paul J Prendergast - Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP
  • David St John-Larkin - Perkins Coie LLP