United States: Georgia

Firms

Alston & Bird LLP

“Alston & Bird is perfectly set up to serve Fortune 500 companies; it has people who can interface well at all levels, from the C-Suite to in-house counsel to engineers and inventors, and does an excellent job assigning the right people to the right tasks.” “The firm is home to some of the most talented patent litigators and first-chair trial lawyers, certainly in the Atlanta market, who do great things for an incredible client roster – Keith Broyles, Patrick Flinn, Shane Nichols and Robert Lee come to mind.” A heavyweight patent litigator in district courts, the Federal Circuit and the International Trade Commission (ITC) – and the co-chair of the firmwide IP practice – “Keith has a great personality and sense of humour, and is an excellent advocate. No task is too large and no twist or turn in litigation derails his perseverance and focus; he is also exceptional at white-space mapping. He is open-minded about fee arrangements and cost strategies, too.” With Broyles along for the ride, representing Diebold Nixdorf has recently seen Flinn at his best; he won a unanimous ruling from the Federal Circuit that all asserted claims of the patent at issue were invalid as indefinite, which reversed a 2017 ITC finding putting Diebold in violation of Section 337. In another significant appellate victory, Nichols had a Northern District of Georgia ruling invalidating all four patents asserted by Automated Tracking Solutions against his client Coca-Cola upheld. “Brilliant at client service, budgeting, defence strategy and business, Shane is a first-rate lawyer all around.” Proficient at both patent and trademark litigation as well as portfolio management, Lee is one of the most well-rounded lawyers on the squad. “Alston & Bird also has a strong prosecution practice with great partners backed up by a deep squad of very competent associates.” Chris Lightner “gets very actively involved in his clients’ inventions, gives comprehensive and practical advice and consistently overcomes office actions”. Fellow mechanical ace Jason Cooper manages the global patent portfolios of prestigious brands such as Energizer with poise and precision. He co-leads the IP group with Broyles. Captain of the technology and privacy group David Teske is the number one negotiator of licensing transactions and other IP and technology-driven deals.

Baker & Hostetler LLP

BakerHostetler has a well-built, 170-strong national IP group which, on the patent side, offers all services and covers all technologies. The firm debuts in the Georgia rankings of the IAM Patent 1000 in recognition of local growth and the sterling work being done by litigator Katrina Quicker and counselling and transactions ace Christopher Arena. Quicker, who represents world-class teaching and research institutions The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, has ample life sciences and software/electronics experience. A long-term thinker, she carefully considers the commercial impact of patent litigation and finds resolutions that enable clients to get back down to business; that said, when it’s time to fight in court, she brings the heat. Having served as chief IP counsel and chief patent counsel for two telecommunications companies, Arena has a refined understanding of his clients. He’s a top strategist who knows how to use intellectual property to drive bottom-line growth.

Ballard Spahr LLP

“Ballard Spahr has a deep bench of technically proficient attorneys who can drill down into even the most obscure scientific concepts – and translate them for in-house counsel.” Under the supervision of practice leader Brian Meadows, creating value for clients is their mantra; they procure commercially beneficial patent assets and do so efficiently and cost-effectively. A go-to for the protection of life sciences, chemical and mechanical innovations, Meadows delivers an exceptional service to Shaw Industries, a $4 billion company and the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, among others. Former patent group leader Mitchell Katz is another chemical and pharmaceutical pro; he has extensive industry experience, having worked at both DuPont and Dow Chemical. Further cementing Ballard Spahr’s status as a life sciences leader in Georgia is Scott Marty, who leads the biotechnology team. He regularly takes to the podium to deliver wisdom regarding important subjects such as subject-matter eligibility and legislative developments.

Duane Morris LLP

A busy filer and no pushover in litigation, Duane Morris has a talent for patent practice. Prosecutor or trial lawyer, every member of its team has a predilection for complex technology coupled with a broad commercial perspective which leads to great outcomes in all scenarios. When contentious scenarios blow up, Norwood Jameson and Matthew Gaudet “consistently deliver excellent advice and litigation and post-grant results” on behalf of industry leaders such as Cisco Systems. They bring strong leadership to the group, Jameson as IP chair and Gaudet as patent litigation co-chair. Notching up patent, trade secret and trademark victories, Robin McGrath is one of the versatile litigators on deck. She doesn’t blink in a stare-down and, acting for Move, she recently secured a Federal Circuit affirmance of a district court summary judgment of invalidity against REAL in a rollercoaster of a case that was of significance to the entire real estate industry.

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP 

If you need something from the USPTO, Finnegan is the first firm you should call; it files prolifically and has first-rate post-grant capabilities, too. Jason Stach leads the PTAB trials practice and has “every attribute needed to be successful before the board’s administrative patent judges”. “Jason is calm, collected and strategic; he really cares about his clients and has a deep understanding of post-issuance proceedings.” Alongside him in Atlanta is Trenton Ward, a former lead administrative patent judge at the PTAB. Patent litigation is another deeply impressive national firm practice with local flagbearers: comfortable in any forum, John Livingstone takes on the toughest life sciences and chemical cases with zeal. Having worked for several years in Finnegan’s Tokyo office, he has cultivated a strong following of Japanese innovators such as Ajinomoto, which he has recently been representing in a rare biotechnology Section 337 investigation at the ITC. Similarly at home in all environments – and comfortable with patent and trademark cases – is Virginia Carron. Her recent successes include favourable Federal Circuit rulings in three inter partes review appeals acting for Nestlé.

Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP

When opposing parties see the name Hill, Kertscher & Wharton on the letterhead, they think twice before digging in because they know they are dealing with a well-prepared and tenacious group of trial lawyers. Steven Hill and John North have copious experience on both sides of the docket and stay one step ahead by anticipating the strategic moves those across the aisle are looking to make. Hands-on, responsive and less expensive than lawyers at the top national firms, they are pulling away work from others in a tough patent litigation market. North cares about his clients’ issues deeply and stays on top of every one of them – he isn’t just a figurehead; Hill is a talented tactician and a personable lawyer to whom judges and jurors warm.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

“Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton is well-equipped to defend major patent infringement cases. It has excellent leaders in the form of Wab Kadaba and Mitchell Stockwell, who have an awfully deep bench to draw on; the teams they put together are excellent from a strategic and tactical perspective.” As well as chairing one of the biggest, broadest and best IP departments in the entire country, Kadaba takes the reins on important disputes for important clients such as CoxCom, on whose behalf he recently prevailed in multiple inter partes reviews. A frequent collaborator with Kadaba, Stockwell undertakes work for adidas and was successful in invalidating key claims in Nike’s ‘flyknit’ patents. “The firm is well balanced and has loads of strong and experienced prosecutors, too.” In Atlanta, these include neuroscience PhD Tina McKeon and electrical engineer Dean Russell, who has won awards for client service excellence. Renae Wainwright straddles both the contentious and non-contentious practices and is an expert on patent strategy and risk analysis and mitigation.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding’s Atlanta office is a major repository of technical talent within the firm; underneath partners Rebecca Kaufman and Scott Petty are a number of PhD-holding patent agents, some of them in a special senior consultant role created by the firm to enhance career development for non-lawyers. Kaufman is an anchor of the firm’s excellent transactional practice and a pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemistry ace. Her commercial IP credentials are some of the best in the business; previously, she counselled start-ups in a role at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Centre – and helped set up a joint biotechnology incubator between that institution and Emory University – and served as a principal at an early-stage venture capital fund. Electrical engineering maestro Petty is similarly steeped in the business side of intellectual property and is a trusted adviser to Delta Air Lines and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Primarily through its Houston office, King & Spalding maintains a vibrant energy practice, but contributing to this in Georgia is Robert Neufeld, who provides patent preparation and prosecution services to Chevron. Like Petty, Neufeld contributes much to the firm’s success in both patents and trademarks and is a great selection for those with diverse portfolios. Standing out in the firm’s newly empowered national patent litigation is Holmes Hawkins III, who has lately been fighting the corner of long-time firm client BASF in a competitor case against Enthone.

Lee & Hayes, PC 

Lee & Hayes is famous for its out-of-the-box thinking and entrepreneurialism; inspired by – and inspiring to – its patrons, the set’s approach to intellectual property is rigorously commercial. This carries through in all its activities so, whether litigating in court or the PTAB, overseeing IP-driven diligence processes and deals, or managing prosecution, the team brings results and solutions that align well with clients’ business objectives. Masters of this – particularly in contentious scenarios – are Georgia’s Bill Dyer and Bruce Bower, both experienced litigators with broader counselling and transactional horizons. Dyer is a former Fortune 100 in-house counsel and shares his clients’ bottom-line-focused outlook. A former design engineer with patents to his name, Bower shines as a technically gifted lead counsel.

Meunier Carlin & Curfman

Efficient and cost-effective but as technically well-qualified and quality-focused as any boutique in the state, Meunier Carlin & Curfman has a loyal and diverse following of local and national innovators. Life sciences and medical technology entities get treated to a tailored prosecution and asset management service when they turn to veterinary medicine doctor Miles Hall; the value he provides to early-stage companies in terms of mentoring and rights procurement is immense, as attested to by their many successful exits. Alongside advising start-ups, acting for university systems is another of his fortes. Clients across all industries get exquisite representation at trial from seasoned advocates Anthony Askew and Stephen Schaetzel. Askew is Georgia’s patent litigation statesman and one of the most experienced trial lawyers in the entire IAM Patent 1000. Schaetzel has netted success as lead counsel in many district courts, in the Federal Circuit and at the PTAB.

Other recommended experts

Experienced first-chair trial lawyer Christopher Green co-founded Fish’s Atlanta office. He is an important contributor to one of the nation’s top patent litigation and post-grant practices. He recently secured the first patent jury verdict in the Middle District of Georgia in 17 years acting for Velcro against YKK. Griff Griffin is an accomplished portfolio manager, opinion writer and deal negotiator with a strong background in electrical engineering and telecommunications. He flies the flag of Eversheds Sutherland. International patent strategy is something Womble Bond Dickinson’s Louis Isaf knows a great deal about; a four-decade-long career as a lawyer, engineer and USPTO-registered attorney makes him one of the most perspicacious counsellors in Atlanta. If his or any of the firm’s other clients get in hot water, it’s no sweat, as close by sits eminent litigator William Ragland. A former senior vice president and chief patent counsel at GlaxoSmithKline, Sherry M Knowles can speak with authority on the business of intellectual property. She founded Knowles IP Strategies nearly a decade ago, and has been delivering discerning global strategic patent advice to the C-Suite since. Spending almost a decade in medical research before turning to intellectual property – and an inventor herself – Patrea Pabst of Pabst Patent Group knows the dedication it takes to innovate; in turn she demonstrates deep commitment to her clients as a commercially minded strategic prosecution and planning partner. DLA Piper’s Steven Park is a litigation and licensing whizz for global technology companies. An eloquent advocate with victories on domestic and international playing fields to his name, Jeffrey Toney is a contentious force at Kasowitz Benson Torres. Partnering with his California colleagues, he recently scored a success for Mallinckrodt in a Hatch-Waxman Act case against Actavis regarding opioid pain medication. Locke Lord’s PhD physicist Tim Tingkang Xia has secured over 3,000 US patents for his clients, which include Vanderbilt University, Northwestern University and Taiwanese electronics manufacturer AU Optronics.

Individuals: litigation

  • Keith Broyles - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Virginia L Carron - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Patrick Flinn - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Holmes J Hawkins III - King & Spalding LLP
  • Wab Kadaba - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Mitchell G Stockwell - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Steven G Hill - Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP
  • John Livingstone - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Shane Nichols - Alston & Bird LLP
  • John L North - Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP
  • Steven L Park - DLA Piper LLP (US)
  • Katrina M Quicker - Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • William M Ragland Jr - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Stephen M Schaetzel - Meunier Carlin & Curfman
  • Jason E Stach - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Jeffrey Toney - Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
  • R Bruce Bower - Lee & Hayes, PC
  • Bill Dyer - Lee & Hayes, PC
  • Matthew C Gaudet - Duane Morris LLP
  • Christopher Green - Fish & Richardson
  • L Norwood Jameson - Duane Morris LLP
  • Robert L Lee - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Robin L McGrath - Duane Morris LLP
  • David S Teske - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Trenton A Ward - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Anthony Askew - Meunier Carlin & Curfman

Individuals: prosecution

  • Christopher M Arena - Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • R Bruce Bower - Lee & Hayes, PC
  • Jason P Cooper - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Griff Griffin - Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
  • Miles Hall - Meunier Carlin & Curfman
  • Louis T Isaf - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Mitchell A Katz - Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Rebecca Kaufman - King & Spalding LLP
  • Sherry M Knowles - Knowles IP Strategies LLC 
  • Chris Lightner - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Scott D Marty - Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Tina McKeon - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Brian Meadows - Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Robert Neufeld - King & Spalding LLP
  • Patrea Pabst - Pabst Patent Group LLP
  • W Scott Petty - King & Spalding LLP
  • Dean W Russell - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Renae Wainwright - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Tim Tingkang Xia - Locke Lord LLP

Luminaries

  • Anthony Askew - Meunier Carlin & Curfman