United States: National

Having issued judgments thick and fast, the Supreme Court of the United States has fundamentally remodelled US patent litigation in recent years. In TC Heartland v Kraft Foods Group Brands the top court changed the law on venue, restricting it to jurisdictions in which the defendant resides or in which the infringing act was committed, or where the defendant has a regular and established place of business. This, inevitably, gave rise to litigation over what constitutes a ‘regular and established place of business’, and in Raytheon Company v Cray Judge Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas ruled that Cray maintained such a place of business on the basis that one of its remotely working employees had a private residence in the district; this was overruled by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which also adhered strictly to the physical meaning of ‘place’ and the definition of ‘regular’ as frequent. The TC Heartland decision has, therefore, had a negative effect on patent litigation filings in districts perceived as plaintiff friendly and has fuelled a notable increase in filings elsewhere – for example, in the District of Delaware – which has made life difficult for non-practising entities (NPEs). On the subject of Supreme Court involvement, its 2014 decision in Alice Corp v CLS Bank International still reverberates; while some commentators feel that the pendulum has swung as far as it is going to in terms of restricting patentable subject matter under Section 101 of Title 35 of the United States Code, the general consensus is that it is still a quagmire out there for companies looking to obtain and enforce software and business method patents.

The introduction of inter partes reviews and other post-grant mechanisms for invalidating patents under the America Invents Act has also had a transformative effect on patent litigation. The proceedings took off immediately, being seen as a quicker and cheaper alternative to litigation; that the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board has invalidated a majority of the claims that it has reviewed has also fuelled their popularity as a route for those accused of infringement to take. There has been much debate around the extent to which all this has weakened the US patent system, but the Oil States Energy Services v Green’s Energy Group case requiring the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of adjudicating patent validity before an administrative body, as opposed to a federal court, has dominated the headlines of late. On April 24 2018, the Supreme Court issued its decision upholding the constitutionality of inter partes review.

The difficulties now faced by NPEs and, in particular, the rise of inter partes reviews have all contributed to a conspicuous decline in district court patent litigation filings in the United States in the past few years. The effect this will have on the legal services market is not yet clear but, especially when factoring in an apparent drop in the cost of patent litigation and a move away from the billable hour fee model, one thing is certain – life is harder now than in the past for a lot of firms. However, those at the very top end of the market appear to still be in good health, aided by the commencement of big competitor-on-competitor suits which do not seem to have abated; highly specialised patent litigation boutiques of compact size – many of them having spun off from big firms in recent years – also appear to be in a strong position. One bright spot in terms of filing volume is the International Trade Commission (ITC), which in 2017 handled nearly the same number of cases as it did at the height of the smartphone wars. The ITC is receiving some share of the cases that TC Heartland has moved out of Texas and is benefiting from the more limited interplay between Section 337 investigations and inter partes reviews. On top of that, some of the recently employed administrative law judges are hitting their stride now, which is helping to improve and expedite the ITC process, leading to more reliable results and getting people excited about the near-term prospects of the forum. Unsurprisingly, firms with established ITC patent litigation practices are reporting increased competition in this segment of the market.

Firms: litigation

Firms: plaintiff

  • Desmarais LLP 
  • Fish & Richardson PC
  • Heim, Payne & Chorush LLP
  • McKool Smith
  • Robins Kaplan LLP
  • Susman Godfrey LLP

Firms: transactions

Baker Botts LLP

Botts LLP (Houston TX)

Covington & Burling LLP

& Burling LLP (Washington DC) Ms Maureen F Browne Mr Sturgis Sobin Mr Alexander Chinoy

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP 

Swaine & Moore LLP (New York NY)

Desmarais LLP 

LLP (New York NY) LLP (New York NY)

Durie Tangri LLP

Mr Mark A Lemley Tangri LLP (San Francisco CA)

Fenwick & West LLP

& West LLP (Mountain View CA) Mr Stuart P Meyer Mr John T McNelis

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP 

Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP (Washington DC) Mr Smith R Brittingham Mr James R Barney Ms Elizabeth D Ferrill Mr Thomas L Irving Mr J Michael Jakes Mr Donald R Dunner Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP (Washington DC)

Fish & Richardson PC

Mr Frank Porcelli Mr Frank Scherkenbach & Richardson PC (Boston MA)

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Mr Mark A Perry Dunn & Crutcher LLP (Washington DC)

Global IP Law Group LLC 

IP Law Group LLC (Chicago IL)

Goodwin Procter LLP

Mr Mark J Abate Ms Cynthia Hardman Procter LLP (New York NY)

Irell & Manella LLP

Mr Michael Fleming Mr Morgan Chu

Jones Day

Day (Washington DC) Mr Blaney Harper Mr Gregory A Castanias

Keker Van Nest & Peters LLP

& Van Nest LLP (San Francisco CA)

Kirkland & Ellis LLP 

& Ellis LLP (Chicago IL)

Paul Hastings LLP

Hastings LLP (New York NY)

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP

Mr Edward J DeFranco Ms Kathleen M Sullivan Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP (New York NY)

Robins Kaplan LLP

Kaplan LLP (Minneapolis MN)

Sidley Austin LLP

Mr Constantine L Trela Jr Mr David T Pritikin

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP

Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (New York NY)

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 

& Cromwell LLP (New York NY)

Susman Godfrey LLP

Godfrey LLP (Dallas TX)

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 

Gotshal & Manges LLP (New York NY) Gotshal & Manges LLP (New York NY)

Williams & Connolly LLP 

Mr Adam L Perlman & Connolly LLP (Washington DC)

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Mr William F Lee Mr William F Lee

Winston & Strawn LLP 

& Strawn LLP (New York NY)

Individuals: Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

  • Meredith Martin Addy - Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC
  • Gregory A Castanias - Jones Day
  • Morgan Chu - Irell & Manella LLP
  • John A Dragseth - Fish & Richardson PC
  • Donald R Dunner - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Nicholas Groombridge - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
  • Blair M Jacobs - Paul Hastings LLP
  • J Michael Jakes - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • William M Jay - Goodwin Procter LLP
  • William F Lee - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  • Mark A Lemley - Durie Tangri LLP
  • Charles E Lipsey - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Sasha Mayergoyz - Jones Day
  • Deanne E Maynard - Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • William L Mentlik - Lerner David Littenberg Krumholz & Mentlik LLP
  • John J Molenda - Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • John O'Quinn - Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Adam L Perlman - Williams & Connolly LLP
  • Mark A Perry - Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Carter G Phillips - Sidley Austin LLP
  • Frank Porcelli - Fish & Richardson PC
  • David T Pritikin - Sidley Austin LLP
  • Joseph R Re - Knobbe Martens
  • Edward Reines - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • William C Rooklidge - Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • E Joshua Rosenkranz - Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Frank Scherkenbach - Fish & Richardson PC
  • Kathleen M Sullivan - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
  • Constantine L Trela Jr - Sidley Austin LLP
  • Steven Trybus - Jenner & Block LLP
  • J Derek Vandenburgh - Carlson Caspers Vandenburgh Lindquist & Schuman PA
  • Seth P Waxman - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  • Roy H Wepner - Lerner David Littenberg Krumholz & Mentlik LLP
  • Matthew Wolf - Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Individuals: design patents

  • Christopher V Carani - McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd
  • Tracy-Gene G Durkin - Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC
  • Elizabeth D Ferrill - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Michael A Jacobs - Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Robert Katz - Banner & Witcoff, Ltd
  • Darrell G Mottley - Banner & Witcoff, Ltd
  • Perry Saidman - Saidman DesignLaw Group
  • Marcus Sprow - Foley & Lardner LLP

Individuals: International Trade Commission

  • V James Adduci II - Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg, LLP
  • Jamie B Beaber - Mayer Brown LLP
  • Paul F Brinkman - Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • G Brian Busey - Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Ruffin B Cordell - Fish & Richardson PC
  • Gary M Hnath - Mayer Brown LLP
  • Thomas L Jarvis - Winston & Strawn LLP
  • William F Lee - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  • Louis S Mastriani - Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg, LLP
  • Michael McKeon - Fish & Richardson PC
  • Brian Nester - Sidley Austin LLP
  • Bert C Reiser - Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Tom M Schaumberg - Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg, LLP
  • Sturgis Sobin - Covington & Burling LLP
  • Marcia H Sundeen - Goodwin Procter LLP
  • Mark J Abate - Goodwin Procter LLP
  • Michael J Abernathy - Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Steven Anzalone - Winston & Strawn LLP
  • James R Barney - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Smith R Brittingham - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Maureen F Browne - Covington & Burling LLP
  • Cono A Carrano - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Yar R Chaikovsky - Paul Hastings LLP
  • Alexander Chinoy - Covington & Burling LLP
  • Joseph V Colaianni - Fish & Richardson PC
  • James B Coughlan - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Mark G Davis - Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Edward J DeFranco - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
  • Edward C Donovan - Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Shamita D Etienne-Cummings - White & Case LLP
  • Thomas J Fisher - Oblon 
  • Daniel R Foster - McDermott Will & Emery
  • Paul Goulet - Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Maximilian A Grant - Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Alexander J Hadjis - Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP
  • Blaney Harper - Jones Day
  • Blair M Jacobs - Paul Hastings LLP
  • Lisa Kattan - Baker Botts LLP
  • Gregg F LoCascio - Kirkland & Ellis LLP 
  • Laura Beth Miller - Brinks Gilson & Lione
  • Eric Namrow - Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Jay H Reiziss - McDermott Will & Emery
  • Eric W Schweibenz - Oblon 
  • Nina S Tallon - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  • Andrew N Thomases - Ropes & Gray LLP
  • D Sean Trainor - O’Melveny & Myers LLP
  • Jamie Underwood - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Mark L Whitaker - Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Daniel E Yonan - Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC

Individuals: post-grant proceedings

  • Erika Harmon Arner - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Steven Baughman - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
  • Eldora L Ellison - Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC
  • Michael Fleming - Irell & Manella LLP
  • R Danny Huntington - Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, PC 
  • Naveen Modi - Paul Hastings LLP
  • W Karl Renner - Fish & Richardson PC
  • Bing Ai - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Brent Babcock - Knobbe Martens
  • W Todd Baker - Oblon 
  • Timothy E Bianchi - Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner PA
  • David L Cavanaugh - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  • Erin M Dunston - Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
  • Greg H Gardella - Gardella Grace PA 
  • Edward R Gates - Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, PC
  • Lori A Gordon - King & Spalding LLP
  • Kevin Greenleaf - Dentons US LLP
  • Cynthia Hardman - Goodwin Procter LLP
  • Herbert D Hart III - McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd
  • Joseph A Hynds - Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, PC 
  • Thomas L Irving - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • John Kilyk Jr - Leydig Voit & Mayer Ltd
  • Bernard Knight - McDermott Will & Emery
  • Matthew I Kreeger - Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Stephen G Kunin - Oblon 
  • Kevin B Laurence - Laurence & Phillips IP Law LLP
  • Stephen B Maebius - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Susan McBee - McBee Moore Woodward & Vanik LP LLC
  • David L McCombs - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Scott A McKeown - Ropes & Gray LLP
  • John T McNelis - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Dinesh N Melwani - Bookoff McAndrews PLLC
  • Stuart P Meyer - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Lissi Mojica - Brooks Kushman
  • Robert G Mukai - Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
  • Chun M Ng - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Joseph E Palys - Paul Hastings LLP
  • Brad Pedersen - Patterson Thuente IP 
  • Matthew C Phillips - Renaissance IP Law Group LLP
  • George E Quillin - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Timothy W Riffe - Fish & Richardson PC
  • Jason M Shapiro - Edell Shapiro & Finnan LLC 
  • Vincent K Shier - Oblon 
  • Jason E Stach - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Robert Greene Sterne - Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC
  • Clifford A Ulrich - Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • Todd R Walters - Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
  • Dorothy P Whelan - Fish & Richardson PC
  • Thomas J Wimbiscus - McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd
  • Martin M Zoltick - Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, PC