United States: Colorado

Firms: litigation

  • Holland & Hart LLP
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Perkins Coie LLP 
  • Polsinelli PC
  • Sheridan Ross
  • 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
  • Perkins Coie LLP 
  • Sheridan Ross

Firms: transactions

  • Akerman LLP
  • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP
  • Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Holland & Hart LLP
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Merchant & Gould
  • Perkins Coie LLP 

Adsero IP

With growth and dynamism meriting a new name and fresh look, Swanson & Bratschun rebranded as Adsero IP in 2018. The firm is best known for its mastery of the biotechnological and chemical arts, leading practitioners of which are Barry Swanson and Katherine Lobel-Rice. Swanson is an international portfolio manager who is revered by all as an authority on patent and business strategy in the life sciences. Lobel-Rice is “amazing from a technical perspective and a great attorney who represents outstanding value for money”. Daniel Young’s litigation experience means clients of the firm can rest easy even with infringement issues looming. Young also anchors the firm’s prosecution practice in the high-tech domain alongside Chad King, whose versatility puts him in the trusted adviser role for a diverse client base.

Akerman LLP

With 700 lawyers across 24 offices, Akerman can provide every conceivable commercial legal service. Intellectual property is an area it takes seriously because, for so many of its patrons, patent and other intangible rights are foundational business assets. Based in Denver, John Burke is a must for pharmaceutical and biotechnology entities. Rigorously commercial as a patent prosecutor, counsellor, opinion giver and deal broker, Burke has walked a mile in his clients’ shoes, having served two life sciences companies as in-house counsel.

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP

“Brownstein has really taken off in the patent world in recent years” and has made disciples of several household names in the consumer electronics, pharmaceutical, network communications and energy fields, among others; it treats all clients to commercially infused IP advice that has rock-solid technical foundations. For high-tech innovators looking to procure, manage and monetise patents, accomplished engineer Craig Hemenway is the major draw. “He obtains practical protections with an eye towards the future. The team he leads is enthusiastic and attentive to the ever-changing needs of clients.” Paul Prendergast brings in the life sciences crowd. The experimental pathology PhD deftly manages large international portfolios and excels at developing and executing overarching patent strategies for top companies. New to the IAM Patent 1000 this year is IP chair Michael Rounds, a “superior litigator with excellent written and oral communication skills and an even-keeled demeanour”. “At all times, Mike applies his expertise creatively and consistently performs at an outstanding level to achieve excellent results for his clients.”

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Dorsey & Whitney grew significantly in 2018 with its acquisition of a nine-strong patent and IP litigation team in Salt Lake City and recruitment of a medical device partner, Walter Wu, in Palo Alto. The ensemble in Denver has also been in a healthy groove, as shown by partnership promotions on the biotechnology side and the addition of life sciences, medical device and healthcare partner Kerith Kanaber to the IAM Patent 1000. “Kerith is very accessible – she returns calls promptly and is willing to make the extra effort to meet in person. She understands what her clients need – if it’s minimising expenses, for example, she will tailor an effective budgeting plan. She is great at educating those without an IP background on patent strategy and procedures.” The local group also remains strong in its traditional focus areas of electrical and mechanical engineering thanks to the leadership of Lee Osman. “Lee is an exceptionally good mentor whose work habits are consistent and excellent. He has an ability to analyse a complex situation and get right to the heart of matters. He brings his A-game every day.” Denver is also home to one of Dorsey’s top patent and commercial litigators, Gregory Tamkin. The “detailed-oriented and effective advocate” has recently been representing ProEdge Dental Products in a commercial consequential competitor battle against Sterisil.

Holland & Hart LLP

Leading light Michael Drapkin has made Holland & Hart an essential partner for marquee companies that require high-volume and high-quality patent prosecution services. “When it comes to managing large domestic and international portfolios in the software space, Michael is at the cutting edge. He is incredibly efficient in his work and as a manager of a top-quality team.” Fellow Boulder partner and prosecution maven Paul Schramm receives vociferous praise from his high-tech clients and consequently makes his debut in the IAM Patent 1000 this year: “Paul has profound legal and technical expertise and is very responsive, meaning he can efficiently handle even the most complex cases. The applications he prepares are carefully drafted, clear, rich in disclosure and well adapted to patent practices in different jurisdictions. He takes personal care of his clients and files, never misses a deadline and never sends out unreasonable or unfounded invoices.” Backed by their prosecution colleagues, Holland & Hart’s litigators – who are excellent technologists themselves – are quick out of the gate in terms of technically sizing up a case. Heavy-lifting trial lawyer Timothy Getzoff and wonderful strategist and presenter James Hartley – a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers – make an excellent team.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Ranked in the top tier for all areas of patent practice, Kilpatrick Townsend is a pre-eminent patent firm in Colorado as well as a national heavyweight. The firm’s prosecution and counselling bench is deep and amply covers the high-tech and life sciences spheres. The brightest stars in the firmament are Darin Gibby and Thomas Franklin, who play a strong leadership role in the group and the wider patent community. “Darin is a superb patent attorney with deep technical expertise and vast experience in prosecution, commercial IP and contentious matters.” “Extremely smart and intuitive about the needs of his clients, Tom is an excellent business-minded patent lawyer.” They focus on high-tech innovation alongside Denver managing partner Eugene Bernard, whose patent protections are ironclad and future-proof. Making his sophomore appearance in the IAM Patent 1000 this year, Justin Krieger, whose background is in chemistry, recently moved his primary office address from DC to Denver. He is a staple of the firm’s post-grant practice and in 2018 handled three inter partes review proceedings for Celanese, obtaining favourable decisions in each. Superstar David Sipiora makes Kilpatrick Townsend a redoubtable patent litigation firm, too. He is distinguished from many of his local peers by his vast national trial experience.

Merchant & Gould

“Merchant & Gould has an impressive prosecution and licensing practice with Timothy Scull and Greg Leibold – they are smart and experienced lawyers who identify and execute practical solutions for their clients.” Considered by many to be “the fulcrum around which the practice turns”, Scull is a “terrific leader and lawyer”. “He is really even keeled and has an air of confidence and great sense of humour that brings comfort in stressful situations. He sorts things out without creating collateral problems and gives cut-and-dry advice in a way that business folks appreciate.” Prosecution in the software and computer areas is his metier. Leibold manages the Denver office and co-chairs the licensing group. As a former general counsel, he practises with a client-first and commercial mentality. For those with diverse IP portfolios, George Lewis and Kathleen Ott are smart choices; both have scientific backgrounds (Lewis in both electrical and chemical engineering and Ott in molecular biology) and wide-ranging patent practices as well as deep expertise in brands and trademarks. The number one litigator on deck is Kirstin Stoll-DeBell, though she also does sterling prosecution and transactions work, especially in the software field.

Perkins Coie LLP 

A top technology firm with one of the most capable and versatile patent groups in the country, Perkins Coie is in hot demand not just for its litigation and post-grant dexterity but also for its prosecution and transactional prowess. Excellent representatives of all parts of the practice can be found in the Denver office – Amanda Tessar in litigation; Brian Kinnear, Michael Henson and David St John-Larkin in prosecution; and Peter Kinsella in licensing. Tessar scores particularly high marks and “never ceases to amaze” her clients. “Amanda is one of the most intelligent people in any walk of life, as well as being witty and engaging. Her work product is always best-in-class, her response times are lightning fast, and her ability to quickly grasp and thoroughly analyse complex legal, business and technical issues is second to none.” Alive to litigation risk, experienced industrial engineers Kinnear and Henson prosecute patents with good foresight; St John-Larkin likewise, though with monetisation opportunities in mind. Cloud computing and software as a service are subjects on which he is an authority.

Polsinelli PC

In the past three years, Polsinelli has made some power moves which have elevated it into the top bracket of patent firms in the United States. One of those moves was adding John Posthumus in Colorado; he is a nationally renowned litigator who, in combination with Michael Dulin, makes Polsinelli a “more formidable competitor”. Dulin gets great feedback as an IP trial lawyer: “Eschewing cookie-cutter solutions, he approaches every situation strategically and manages each differently according to circumstance. His creativity and courtroom skills are outstanding, and he gets great results for his clients.” On the prosecution side, chair of the electrical engineering and computer science practice Gregory Durbin also avoids the standard playbook; he gets really involved with each of his clients on a business level and helps them to navigate the patent landscape in a way that drives their revenue. “An engine of the firm’s growth” in the life sciences, Timothy Worrall also impresses. “He’s a one-of-a-kind patent lawyer who takes ownership of his clients’ legal needs and does an excellent job. The IP assets he creates are always going to be lucrative.” Medical technology innovators choose wisely when they call in S Wade Johnson. One of the set’s more adaptable attorneys, he has ample prosecution, litigation, licensing and counselling experience.

Sheridan Ross

Rocky Mountain stalwart Sheridan Ross deploys a sizeable team of high-calibre prosecution and strategic counselling lawyers who deliver crisp results on every file. Increased demand from existing clients as well as the addition of new companies to the roster has the electrical and computer science group firing on all cylinders right now. Instrumental to this success are Douglas Swartz and Matthew Ellsworth, both master portfolio builders who create immense value for their clients for minimal legal spend. Performing this trick in the mechanical engineering area is Bruce Kugler; “He is as honest as the day is long and his clients really respect that – it’s why he has represented so many of them for decades. He’s comfortable in his own skin and a really down-to-earth and pragmatic lawyer.” Demonstrating an intuitive feel for patent strategy, Gary Connell is a linchpin of the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and chemical practices. Keeping the litigation group fighting fit, meanwhile, is Rob Brunelli, a litigator whom clients like to keep close, even when battles are not raging. “Rob has a clear understanding of his clients’ goals and creates an easy-going atmosphere while working to attain them. Communication with him is always smooth and billing is a simple and clear matter.” Staying sharp on both prosecution and disputes, and ensuring close cooperation between the two groups, Todd Blakely is an impressive problem solver for the technology-reliant companies he represents.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

WilmerHale’s status as a national patent litigation powerhouse puts it on the frontlines of the most important developments in intellectual property in the United States. For example, with biosimilar litigation taking off, the set is representing AbbVie in some of the first litigation arising under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act; prior to becoming chief deputy attorney general for the state of Colorado, Natalie Hanlon Leh was involved in this effort. Her departure is a significant loss for the firm, but there is no shortage of talent on deck; chair of the Colorado Bar Association’s IP section Mary (Mindy) Sooter is now the firm’s lead trial lawyer in Denver and a “formidable and experienced” one at that. She recently helped put to bed a 10-year multi-forum patent battle for a major cloud service provider. Flying the flag of WilmerHale’s portfolio practice locally is Benjamin Fernandez. He is a whizz at freedom-to-operate and competitive landscape analyses.

Other recommended experts

Michael Best lawyer Scott Alter is very thoughtful about where patent law is heading and regularly takes to the podium to address important subjects, for example software patenting and wilful infringements. This extra-curricular engagement in the practice helps to sharpen his excellent strategic instincts. His partner Jon Trembath gets to see his fair share of complex legal issues in the course of his patent and IP litigation practice. Greenberg Traurig has a presence in Denver and a fine chemical patent prosecutor in Heath Briggs. His clients include Arconic (formerly known as Alcoa), which specialises in lightweight materials for the aerospace industry. Streamlined and highly efficient firm FisherBroyles flies a little under the radar but is building a good name in the life sciences sector as a result of Cara Crowley-Weber’s efforts. As a portfolio manager, the microbiology and immunology PhD is as commercially attuned as she is scientifically. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner partner Jason Haislmaier is one of the top licensing and technology transactions experts in the region. “In terms of accuracy in drafting and fundamental IP knowledge, Jason is really strong.” High-level IP management is the forte of Neugeboren O’Dowd founding partner Craig Neugeboren. The former design engineer and in-house counsel communicates with inventors and legal and business executives equally well, and does quality work under uniquely tailored billing structures. Admired trial lawyer Evan Rothstein is making an important contribution to Arnold & Porter’s patent litigation practice, which is one of the busiest in the country right now. “Phenomenal patent and technology transactions lawyer” Charles Schwab of Catalyst Law Group is the number one choice for start-ups and entrepreneurial companies.

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
  • James E Hartley - Holland & Hart LLP
  • Mary (Mindy) V Sooter - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  • Gregory S Tamkin - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Jon R Trembath - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Michael P Dulin - Polsinelli PC
  • Evan Rothstein - Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Michael Rounds - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP
  • Kirstin L Stoll-DeBell - Merchant & Gould
  • Amanda Tessar - Perkins Coie 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
  • Timothy B Scull - Merchant & Gould
  • David St John-Larkin - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Barry Swanson - Adsero IP
  • 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
  • John E Burke - Akerman 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
  • Craig Hemenway - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP
  • Michael R Henson - Perkins Coie LLP
  • S Wade Johnson - Polsinelli PC
  • Kerith Kanaber - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Chad E King - Adsero IP
  • Brian Kinnear - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Justin L Krieger - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Bruce A Kugler - Sheridan Ross
  • George C Lewis - Merchant & Gould
  • Katherine Lobel-Rice - Adsero IP
  • Craig Neugeboren - Neugeboren O’Dowd PC
  • Kathleen E Ott - Merchant & Gould
  • Paul J Prendergast - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP
  • Paul Schramm - Holland & Hart LLP
  • Douglas W Swartz - Sheridan Ross
  • Timothy Worrall - Polsinelli PC

Individuals: transactions

  • Darin J Gibby - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Peter Kinsella - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Lee Osman - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Charles A Schwab - Catalyst Law Group
  • Scott M Alter - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Rob Brunelli - Sheridan Ross
  • John E Burke - Akerman LLP
  • Cara L Crowley-Weber - FisherBroyles LLP
  • Thomas D Franklin - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Jason D Haislmaier - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Craig Hemenway - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP
  • Gregory D Leibold - Merchant & Gould
  • Paul J Prendergast - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP
  • David St John-Larkin - Perkins Coie LLP