United States: Texas

Firms: litigation

Firms: prosecution

  • Highly recommended
  • Baker Botts LLP
  • Fish & Richardson
  • Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Recommended
  • Dentons
  • Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • Munck Wilson Mandala LLP 
  • Osha Bergman Watanabe & Burton
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Polsinelli PC
  • Slater Matsil LLP

Firms: transactions

  • Baker Botts LLP
  • Fish & Richardson
  • Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Thompson & Knight LLP
  • Womble Bond Dickinson

Ahmad Zavitsanos Anaipakos Alavi & Mensing PC 

“In complex patent and IP litigation, AZA is efficient and cost effective, and delivers excellent results. Its lawyers listen to their clients and understand their needs, and are superb at tailoring their services accordingly.” “Amir H Alavi and Demetrios Anaipakos are among the best lawyers in the entire country for patent cases – they are smart, experienced and creative, and can be trusted to get on with things without close supervision.” Todd Mensing is also highly rated, with one source reporting: “If a case really matters to us, he gets the first call every time. Todd sees the big picture without losing focus on the details and is brilliant at adapting on the fly as circumstances change and the law evolves.” The group applies immense pressure on opposing parties in hard-fought battles and more than deserves its gold-tier ranking. Also noteworthy is the intrepidness of the team – for example, in challenging patent infringements in multiple Chinese courts, including recently on behalf of Advanced Codec Technologies against Xiaomi. The actions taken by AZA are never cavalier, but playing it safe isn’t the default position either.

Baker Botts LLP

Baker Botts illuminates the entire patent world for clients; well versed in all facets of patent law, its richly resourced, talented and versatile team procures commercially valuable rights, litigates with confidence and poise, and wins hearts and minds around the deal negotiating table. The practitioners here employ a global scheme of thinking, too, further shattering the limits on their practice. For 2021, the firm has new faces in the IAM Patent 1000, with Samir Bhavsar and Margaret Sampson deserved additions to the lists of top Texans. Both play a leadership role, with the former co-chairing the prosecution group and the latter co-leading the IP transactions practice. A former chief IP counsel with fine-grained telecommunications, electronics and software knowledge, Dallas-based Bhavsar understands the client mentality better than most and applies his considerable faculties in driving quality prosecution, litigation and licensing outcomes. His patrons include Lennox International, a global innovator in climate control technology, for which he undertakes strategic portfolio development and defensive patent analysis work. From her office in Austin, Sampson designs and executes major transactions with aplomb, drawing on her scientific background – she has a PhD in molecular and human genetics – and broad practice horizons to dot the Is and cross the Ts. They join a host of colleagues who make returns to the rankings; among them, Barton Showalter, Christa Brown-Sanford and Kevin Meek stand out for their agility, each playing a strong hand in the prosecution, litigation and licensing fields. Showalter served as IP department chair for 12 years until 2019 and remains an influential figure both internally and for clients such as Cisco Systems, for which Baker Botts does everything under the sun as far as patents are concerned. He is brilliant at embedding law firm with in-house teams, creating the ideal conditions for optimised collaboration. Brown-Sanford, who also supports the Cisco relationship, distinguishes herself as a business thinker who confidently leads on major IP initiatives with many stakeholders; her valuable efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace are also laudable. Taking the reins in Austin, Meek demonstrates outstanding range in his far-reaching support of Dell, for which he handles portfolio management, IP commercialisation and diverse contentious matters. With him on this is Roger Fulghum, a vital member of a high-powered contingent of litigators that includes post-grant lead Michael Hawes, trial lawyers Kurt Pankratz, Doug Kubehl and Paul Morico. Coming in for special praise, Fulghum and Hawes “get fantastic results with great consistency and provide rock-solid advice from technical, legal and business perspectives”. Pankratz has racked up wins in many forums and is a strategically savvy advocate who strikes the right tone both in the courtroom and in settlement negotiations. He and Kubehl – a lawyer who bestrides the global litigation and licensing stage – are vital components of the Cisco team. Houston-based Morico has litigated extensively over energy and power-related patents, but is also adept in the life sciences.

Caldwell Cassady & Curry

Having led the way to more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements since its establishment in 2013, trial boutique Caldwell, Cassady & Curry has earned the loyalty of myriad top technology companies for its resonant performances in big-ticket IP and commercial litigation. In a notable recent highlight, it cemented a 2016 trial victory and $439 million patent infringement judgment for VirnetX against Apple with the rejection of a motion filed by Apple to set aside the decision. Overseeing this, Bradley Caldwell, Jason Cassady and Austin Curry form an unstoppable trio of trial lawyers who fight hard but practise with great integrity.

Dentons

Dentons offers an incredible prosecution support package which encompasses the expertise of more than 80 practitioners – over 20 of whom are PhDs – and persuasive global capabilities. The practice benefits from robust leadership, too, supplied by Dallas-based Robert Hanson, who chairs the US IP and technology group and sits on the firm’s US board. Hanson has close relationships with Texas A&M, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, which he supports in connection with prosecution and counselling in diverse areas such as plant protection, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. He also acts for blue-chip corporates, managing prosecution efforts worldwide with rare efficiency.

Fish & Richardson

Fish & Richardson is one of the elite IP players in the United States; in key business centres across the country it is not only present, but scene shaping, thanks to the number and influence of its patent lawyers. There are many Texan contributors to Fish’s formidable reputation when it comes to the procurement, enforcement and monetisation of intangible assets. Helping to maintain the foundational prosecution and counselling skills that the firm has so conscientiously cultivated are Dallas-based attorneys Sushil Iyer and Jonathan Solomon, and Austin managing principal James Babineau. Iyer capitalises on the international environment in which he practises – Fish has solid footholds in Europe and China – and provides a premier global portfolio management and development service to innovators in the mechanical, chemical and computer technology fields; he is also an authority on privacy matters. Solomon does sophisticated work with a focus on software and communications; while his training and mentoring mindset is evident in the time he generously gives to new Fish recruits and, through his pro bono work, to Texas inventors and entrepreneurs. Babineau adapts his counselling style to fit different clients brilliantly, though all comers benefit from his gift for IP value creation. Of course, patent litigation is a real forte for Fish: the firm is dominant at the district court level, in the ITC and at the Federal Circuit. Many of its most significant wins can be credited to Texas litigators including Jayme Partridge, John Lane, Danielle Joy Healey and David Hoffman. Partridge’s leadership qualities pay handsome dividends in high-exposure competitor battles such as a recent dispute between client Tenaris and Global Tubing, in which she captained an all-female team to a satisfying Markman hearing result. Down the hall in Houston, seasoned trial lawyers Lane and Healey have also been calm and collected in the spotlight of late, acting for Seabed Geosolutions against Magesis, a competitor in the field of ocean bottom seismometers. Austin-based Hoffman sees the big picture and pursues litigation strategies that bring business benefits; he is helped in this regard by a broad patent skillset that encompasses prosecution and portfolio management. Versatility is likewise a strength of Terry Stalford, Wes Musselman and Joshua Griswold, who promote joined-up thinking across Fish’s contentious and non-contentious practices. Stalford knows how best to pursue patents in thorny areas that will stand up to litigation challenges and thus creates tremendous value for patrons; Musselman manages risk superbly; while Griswold shines in a post-grant group that is one of the best in the country. By contrast, Kevin Gray is a pure-play transactional IP lawyer and a repository of trust for senior business managers who are looking to cut deals that will take their companies to the next level.

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Few are more willing or better able to take on game-changing suits for industry-leading media, technology, software and life sciences companies than Gibson Dunn. It is home to a large contingent of battle-hardened trial lawyers who get right to the heart of their cases and, outmanoeuvring opposing parties, advance them quickly, advantageously and cost effectively. Well prepared, technically adept, creative, aggressive when necessary and highly experienced in the courtroom, Mark Reiter creates a threat level that often paves the way for early dispute resolution. He has recently been acting for Amazon, Microsoft and HP in a suit filed by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation alleging infringement of multiple database and distributed processing technology patents.

Haynes and Boone LLP

Haynes and Boone doesn’t just go after the juicy disputes – though it certainly handles those in abundance – but practises patent law with uncommon rigour; steeped in the arts of patent procurement and monetisation, as well as litigation and post-grant proceedings, it is a destination of choice for those seeking the efficiency of a one-stop shop. Key contacts on the non-contentious side include Randall Brown, Mark Tidwell and Alan Herda; more than conducting error-free prosecution, they excel at building strong, coherent international portfolios and giving them commercial impetus. In his focused domain of chemical innovation, Brown conducts detailed and accurate patent landscape analyses and opens the eyes of clients to new and exciting market opportunities. He and agile all-rounder Tidwell serve as primary IP counsel to Halliburton Energy Services. Herda chairs the IP department and is a sought-after filer, opinion giver, litigation support lawyer and design patents expert. Randall Colson, meanwhile, acquits himself admirably as captain of the technology transactions practice; he’s a pathfinder in complex licensing and settlement negotiations. Haynes and Boone’s patent profile has undoubtedly been elevated by David McCombs, David O’Brien and David O’Dell, who form the backbone of one of the most prolific post-grant practices in the country. Awarded special credit – and recommended on each of the IAM Patent 1000 prosecution, litigation and transactions tables – McCombs “runs a very well-oiled counselling and post-grant team that is efficient, extremely responsive and highly effective”. He is the lead relationship partner for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and oversees the delivery of precision prosecution, licensing, inter partes review and patent litigation services to the company. O’Brien performs a similar role for a leading telecommunications operator, working alongside colleagues in California in an impressive display of teamwork which guarantees a holistic service. O’Dell chairs the patent trials and counselling group and has a level of experience that means he can’t be outwitted at the PTAB. If you’re looking for a trial lawyer, newly ranked partner Russ Emerson is cited as an “direct and articulate first chair”: “Russ and the Haynes and Boone team are responsive and effective, and out-lawyer their opponents through all phases of litigation.”

Heim, Payne & Chorush LLP 

Heim, Payne & Chorush is a high-powered patent litigation firm that punches well above its weight in numbers and has a striking hit rate in the cases that matter most to clients. Its lean approach intensifies the strategic focus and enhances cost effectiveness, which translates into favourable results and refined customer care. Its committed, clued-up partners play a hands-on role: unless matters are transferred to them from other counsel at a late stage – a not-uncommon occurrence – individuals such as Michael Heim and Leslie Payne don’t just parachute in at the last minute, but get to know the intimate details of their cases, ensuring the confident presentation of the most dispositive issues at trial. Heim has scored big against some of the technology world’s top players and is a practice innovator in terms of staffing models and flexible fee arrangements – all of which endears him immensely to those he represents. Cut from similar cloth, Payne is always up to speed on the latest legal, technology and business trends and developments, and adjusts his strategies with agility accordingly; he has impeccable trial and appellate credentials. Heim, Payne & Chorush also scores highly for its technical prowess, key contributors in this regard being Eric Enger and Russell Chorush. Enger is a former National Instruments and Dow Corning engineer who manages cases with finesse and can communicate the densest technical concepts to triers of fact; while chemistry PhD Chorush masters the science in the complex pharmaceutical suits he takes charge of. In different configurations, these partners band together to superb effect: Payne and Enger recently secured a favourable settlement for WiLAN in patent infringement litigation against LG; Heim and Payne hammered out a satisfying settlement for Red Rock Analytics in an infringement suit against Apple; and Chorush, Heim and Enger represented a class of direct purchasers of Alzheimer’s drug Namenda accusing Allergan of abusing patent laws in a reverse payment scheme to keep generics off the market, which led to a $750 million settlement – one of the largest ever by a single drugmaker in an antitrust case.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Hunton Andrews Kurth enjoys high standing both nationally and in the Texas IP community, courtesy of its affinity for energy-related IP issues and flair for licensing. The Houston office is home to Gregory Porter, a long-range strategist with rich energy industry insight and blended prosecution and litigation skills. Clients sing his praises as a “highly intelligent, pragmatic and cost-conscious attorney”: “Greg has a knack for concisely explaining difficult IP concepts to non-IP specialists.” One C-suite source comments: “I have used IP lawyers all over the world and Greg is at the top of the list. He is someone I can hire for sophisticated drafting and patent analysis tasks without a second thought.” Clients derive invaluable business and other benefits from his work; Well Resolutions, for example, has instructed him since its establishment in 2014 and has developed a significant portfolio of imaging-while-drilling technology patents, earning awards for innovation in the process. On the transactional side, Jeff Dodd burns brightly as one of the world’s foremost licensing and strategic IP commercialisation gurus.

McKool Smith

McKool Smith needs no introduction: one of the leading patent litigation outfits not just in Texas, but in the United States, it is hailed as a “brilliant firm and absolute powerhouse full of top-drawer advocates”. The team keeps the wins coming thick and fast; Ted Stevenson and Nicholas Mathews recently secured a ruling for Ericsson preventing Samsung from enforcing a Chinese anti-suit injunction and thus enabling Ericsson to pursue litigation in the United States over 4G and 5G SEPs. Stevenson is one among several lawyers – including Mike McKool and Samuel Baxter – who are unanimously regarded as world-class advocates. Mathews is building his reputation off the back of assured performances in FRAND cases.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan Lewis combines the strengths of a boutique with those of a powerful international commercial outfit to provide a high-end patent service tailored to the varied interests of cutting-edge technology and life sciences companies. A key selling point for the firm is its formidable trial capability: it has a large contingent of first-chair litigators who have collectively met with great success in all major US patent litigation forums, including the ITC. This brings Texas-based lawyers Winstol Carter, David Levy and Rick Rambo into focus: all three have the moxie to spur trial teams to big wins and have done so regularly throughout their careers. Carter and Levy were recently retained by Ferrari in a patent infringement action in the Western District of Texas over alleged infringement of patents directed to the development of the Halo protective device in race cars; while Levy and Rambo have been acting for ConocoPhillips, chalking up superb results at the PTAB that have enhanced its position in district court litigation against In-Depth Compressive. The latter highlight is a good example of the firm’s ability to bring lawyers together across different offices – Levy and Rambo linked up with Silicon Valley post-grant ace Dion Bregman on this – and design and implement strategies for multi-layered, multi-forum disputes.

Munck Wilson Mandala LLP 

The accolades pour in for Munck Wilson Mandala, a technology-focused boutique in hot demand for its sophisticated global patent filing and management strategies, multilingual communication skills and extensive foreign network. “The calibre of its work and the value it adds are far superior to those of any large national or local specialty outfit; its quality, cost-effectiveness and attentiveness really set it apart.” Setting the standard as managing partner and chair of the technology and IP group, William A Munck, is celebrated for his outside-the-box thinking and appreciation of the needs of business leaders as they navigate their most difficult challenges. He takes the reins in representing Samsung Electronics in connection with 1,500-plus active patent matters. His exceptional leadership skills have also been pivotal in helping the firm to attract and retain diverse talent up and down the roster. Several other senior-level practitioners motivate and inspire the individuals around them, including Gregory Howison, a prosecution, licensing and post-grant doyen with exemplary technical expertise in fields such as software and telecommunications; David M Doyle, who applies keen strategic vision in his counselling, prosecution and portfolio management role; and Michael C Wilson, a dextrous trial lawyer with major verdicts to his name.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Whichever way you cut it, Norton Rose Fulbright’s patent practice is mightily impressive. For one thing, the firm has abundant technical know-how, ensuring it is ever-ready for prosecution and portfolio management briefs – the folks here have 119 technical degrees between them, including 40 at the master’s and PhD level. For another, it has a deep bench of trial lawyers with a proven record of prevailing in the toughest bet-the-company cases. The well-roundedness of several leading lights and a lack of silos further enhance the practice, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks and that clients can take full advantage of all patent opportunities. Standing out for their adaptability are James Repass, Michael Krawzsenek, Eric Hall, Gina Shishima, Mark Bradley Wilson, Rutherford Ross Viguet and Richard Zembek – masters of many IP trades who fulfil multiple roles for rights holders. Esteemed head of US intellectual property Repass is “an extremely knowledgeable commercial IP lawyer and an excellent issue spotter who ensures that clients enter into the best deals possible”. He and Krawzsenek – another counselling, licensing and due diligence ace hailed for his “awesome quality” – collaborate well together and are currently supporting a multinational chemical company on a wide range of prosecution and transactional matters. An authority on telecommunications technology, electrical engineering PhD Hall has put in sterling work in connection with the firm’s representation of Qualcomm in global litigation against Apple. Shishima has held numerous leadership roles throughout her tenure at Norton Rose Fulbright, including US IP head and prosecution and transactions group chief; she now serves as chief strategy and operations partner and is thus ideally placed to optimise the deployment of the firm’s resources for her life sciences and healthcare patrons. Fellow Austinite Wilson blends prosecution and litigation expertise in a compelling fashion; life sciences entities appreciate his clear-sighted strategies and global perspicacity. Viguet capitalises on terrific business experience to guide high-technology companies through the prosecution process, support them in deal negotiations and represent them in contentious matters. A “phenomenal adviser on all patent matters”, Zembek “has a unique ability to make complex technical issues easy to understand and is a tactical master adept and efficient at piecing together persuasive stories”. Distinguished by their trial potency, meanwhile, are Charles Walker and Brett Govett, who fly the firm’s flag in the *IAM Patent 1000* litigation gold tier. Govett undertakes extensive patent litigation work for AT&T and recently successfully represented it alongside Cricket Wireless in a patent infringement case filed by Cellular Evolution concerning the infringement of multiple patents alleged to be standard essential.

Osha Bergman Watanabe & Burton

Osha Liang rebranded as Osha Bergman Watanabe & Burton (OBWB)in October 2020, in celebration of the contributions made to the practice by a larger group of partners. As a result of this change, the top-specced boutique went into 2021 with added momentum undimmed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has only put an added premium on the sort of superior quality work and service that the firm has always prioritised. Fielding locally qualified attorneys in Houston, Paris, Hangzhou and Tokyo, OBWB can cater to clients’ global patent prosecution needs; technical dexterity spanning all scientific and engineering disciplines is another USP. Global chair Jonathan Osha has promoted the use of sophisticated technologies and staffing approaches to drive efficiency while elevating quality, and in doing so has shown himself to be exceptionally mindful of clients’ needs. He maintains a vibrant practice which touches on many of the hottest areas of technological development. Manager of the Houston office Jeffrey Bergman prosecutes extensively in the chemical area, among others, and earns plaudits for his perspicacity on international patent law and insightful opinions.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

There are no chinks in Pillsbury’s patent practice: the firm has experts coast to coast who file extensively at home and abroad, litigate big-ticket disputes in all major forums – including the PTAB – and negotiate transformational IP deals. Its Austin office garners plenty of admiration thanks to the efforts of Texas IP practice leader Brian Nash, software and strategy guru Josh Tucker and deal lawyer Edward Cavazos, who between them give Pillsbury a representative on each of the *IAM Patent 1000* litigation, prosecution and transactions tables. Nash is a consummate trial and appellate lawyer whose tactical smarts are complemented by technical fluency – he is a registered patent attorney – and licensing know-how. Tucker continues to burnish his reputation as a go-to for companies building first-to-market portfolios in cutting-edge areas of innovation. As a transactional lawyer, Cavazos also blazes new trails with innovative deal structures that rapidly advance clients’ business objectives.

Polsinelli PC

Polsinelli’s IAM Patent 1000 coverage has increased significantly in recent years: one of the US market’s movers and shakers, the firm has been astutely reinforcing its already comprehensive national patent practice with fresh blood. One of its strongest expansionist plays came back in 2016, when it welcomed 40-plus attorneys from IP boutique Novak Druce into the fold, deepening its technical bench and giving it a strong presence in Texas. As dyed-in-the-wool IP counsellors, Houston-based Gregory Novak and Tracy Druce display total commitment to their clients, which include leading global corporations in diverse sectors including energy and IT and networking. They partner closely with in-house counsel and the C-suite to design and implement sophisticated IP strategies that keep companies ahead of their competitors in the global technological marketplace. The combination with Novak Druce also brought on board Suni Sukduang, who has thrived as chair of Polsinelli’s high-flying post-grant group. One source comments: “Suni provides consistently high-level support at critical times and is an indispensable part of our organisation. He goes above and beyond the brief and, from initial engagement through billing, is a pleasure to work with.”

Skiermont Derby LLP 

An IP trial and litigation boutique that puts in memorable performances on both sides of the docket, Skiermont Derby can always be trusted when the chips are down. “Big on talent and efficiency”, it has several new faces in the IAM Patent 1000 for 2021, reflecting its strength in depth and diversity – though he’s massive part of the ensemble’s success, it isn’t all about Paul J Skiermont. New to the listings are Sarah E Spires and Mieke K Malmberg, each of whom brings immense value to the practice. “Sarah is super-responsive and has the admirable and rare quality of knowing all the pertinent facts of her cases; what’s more, she can recall them at a moment’s notice and synthesise them into the big picture.” “Mieke is excellent at evaluating a case upfront and capably handle small matters or large campaigns that incorporate district court trials, patent office proceedings and appeals.” They are rising stars of the patent litigation practice and beneficiaries of the wonderful leadership of Skiermont – a lawyer who is “at the elite level in terms of thoroughness and sophistication of legal analysis and effectiveness of presentation”. He has fostered an approach whereby, from the moment of instruction, intense concentration is given to clients’ ultimate business objectives and foresighted strategies are designed with these in mind. Alternative fee structures are another signature of the practice and one which further sharpens the focus on results. Recent highlights include a July 2020 Federal Circuit affirmance of an earlier trial victory for Packet Intelligence against NetScout Systems and Tektronix Communications; and notable inter partes review success against Google on behalf of WiLAN-owned IPA Technologies. IPA also selected Skiermont Derby to take over the assertion of its foundational Siri patents from another firm.

Slater Matsil LLP

The essential choice of companies to which patent quality is everything, Slater Matsil has prosecution down to a fine art. Statistical data highlights the firm as one of the most active and best performing in the country; and with new mandates coming in from top industry players – including a leading Japanese telecommunications company – it is only becoming more impressive to behold.  Hallmarks include the diversity, cosmopolitanism, technical and scientific erudition and business comprehension of the team, which has been custom built by founding partners Steven Slater and Ira Matsil – two worldly-wise practitioners with more than 60 years in the game between them. Expertise in prosecution, licensing and transactions and litigation grants former trial attorney Slater an enlightened perspective on high-level patent strategy. Equally as cultivated, Matsil understands with great acuity the technologies and business needs of his clients and how to harness their intellectual property for commercial ends. Also highly rated are Srini Chakravarthi, who makes his sophomore appearance in the guide this year; and debutant Michael Kucher. An inventor himself, Chakravarthi has rich industrial R&D experience and an incredibly agile technical mind when it comes to cutting-edge high-technology innovation. Kucher has an in-house background in the semiconductor industry, and understands the US and European patent systems and how to work within and between them. Others building strong profiles in the wider market include established partner Benjamin Nise, newly minted partner Elizabeth Iglesias and Landon Wiebusch – all of whom garner enthusiastic recommendations from clients.

Susman Godfrey LLP

Susman Godfrey is a go-to for high-risk litigation: “The people there are not litigators, but true trial lawyers who always deliver top-quality legal work.” The gold-ranked firm has a unique culture in which each lawyer has an equal say on matters such as hiring and case selection, and in which those who go to court stand up to present. Individuals at every level have thus bought into its mission to take on and win the toughest, most valuable cases, giving it a formidable intensity of focus. Routinely spearheading precedent-setting campaigns are Houston partners Joseph Grinstein, Andres Healy, Lexie White, Max Tribble and Justin Nelson, each of whom proves devastatingly effective in the courtroom. Garnering especially effusive references this year and ascending to the gold tier as a result, Grinstein is “an adept manager of potent trial teams and a hugely capable advocate whose cross-examinations and closing arguments are persuasive and compelling”. “Joe is a lifeboat lawyer with no identifiable weaknesses. Extremely intelligent and diligent, he can make complex matters easily understandable and, on top of it all, is a personable, kind and generous person who relates well to others.” He recently tried the first-ever patent infringement lawsuit filed against Snapchat subsidiary Snap, winning summary judgment both defensively and offensively. Healy and White, meanwhile, have been working wonders for repeat client Koninklijke KPN in battles against the likes of HTC Corporation. Tribble and Nelson recently led a team representing Barkan Wireless IP Holdings in patent litigation against Samsung, which they have successfully battled against on numerous occasions.

Thompson & Knight LLP

Thompson & Knight brings the heat in patent litigation, scoring great and many victories on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants with much to gain and much to lose. It has lately been adding to its already stacked roster of trial lawyers, bringing former long-time Haynes and Boone partner Philip Philbin into the fold; he comes with more than two decades of courtroom experience and a head for complex multi-jurisdictional, multi-patent cases. He fits right in on a leanly run team that conserves energy by putting the right people on the right tasks, and produces high-standard work without blowing the budget. The chief architects of this efficiently run operation are Richard Wynne, Max Ciccarelli and Bruce Sostek – three senior litigators who collaborate seamlessly on behalf of top companies such as Broadcom. Wynne provides strong leadership as captain of the IP group; Ciccarelli has sharp strategic instincts; while Sostek is distinguished by his powers of persuasion. Coming up in the ranks, Justin Cohen has trial abilities beyond his years and also deserves credit – he connects well with juries and is quick on his feet. Leveraging on the foundations of its litigation practice, Thompson & Knight is also confidently called on for strategic counselling and transactional IP services. Licensing is the forte of Stephen Stein, who doubles up as an IP and data privacy and cybersecurity expert.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Intimately familiar with the inner workings of the Eastern District of Texas, Vinson & Elkins has a fine reputation for patent litigation in the Lone Star State. Its cadre of seasoned litigators builds effective cases and presents them resonantly, and has trial wins aplenty – backed by success at the appellate level – to show for it. One of the busiest in the group is Eric Klein, whose tried-and-tested strategies in telecommunications and SEP cases frequently carry the day. Capable of dialling up the aggression as required and working swiftly and decisively, he was recently engaged by AU Optronics Corp to take over a number of patent infringement lawsuits filed by Vista Peak Ventures relating to LCD technology. Peter Mims also litigates with assurance, while also running a dynamic IP transactions practice.

Ward, Smith & Hill PLLC

A force to be reckoned with in the Eastern District of Texas, Ward, Smith & Hill is feared by many of the leading patent litigation firms in the United States. Its crack team always maintains a trial mindset, which informs its no-stone-unturned preparation and paves the way for highly effective representation when matters go the distance. As a former Eastern District magistrate judge, Chad Everingham has unique insight into what does and doesn’t work in this patent litigation hotspot. He forms an A-team with Wesley Hill, a commercial and IP litigator with a rare level of trial nous; and Johnny Ward, an American College of Trial Lawyers fellow who has beaten up on many technology world leaders.

Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP

At the national level, Weil is an elite patent litigation performer with a knack for securing optimum results in make-or-break suits that affect not just the parties to them, but also entire industries. The group’s principal lawyers are based in Silicon Valley, Houston, New York and DC, but physical separation is no barrier to their effective collaboration; when you instruct Weil, you get the trial team that is right for your case in terms of expertise. The engines of the Texas contingent are Houston-based Doug McClellan and Garland Stephens, both of whom possess razor-sharp trial skills and a tremendous amount of experience. McClellan has lately seen competitor combat, representing Nuance Communications against M*Modal in a matter involving speech recognition patents; for this, he linked up with DC lawyer Brian Ferguson and New York’s Anish Desai to invalidate two of M*Modals asserted patents in inter partes review proceedings. He and Stephens are also currently fighting the corner of a US-based multinational technology company.

Winston & Strawn LLP 

One of the best-known patent defence trial firms in the United States, Winston & Strawn has a battalion of litigators at the ready including some of the country’s best out-and-out trial lawyers – 25 of its approximately 130 patent litigation attorneys have first-chaired multiple trials. Few have done so more than Dallas managing partner Thomas Melsheimer, whose track record is replete with victories in a broad range of patent and non-patent disputes; he can present any case in any court and has many momentous decisions to his name. Recent high-profile patent work includes acting for Ericsson as indemnitor in a case filed by SOL IP, which asserted in the region of 30 patents against three major carriers; on this, he joined up with frequent collaborator Michael Bittner, who plays the role of strategist, case manager and advocate to perfection. John Keville is the other star on the Texas bench: brilliant both at understanding the technology and presenting it in court, he undertakes significant competitor cases in the energy and high-technology spheres, netting significant wins for Sunoco, among others.

Womble Bond Dickinson

Standing out for its energy, biomedical and pharmaceutical sector expertise, Womble Bond Dickinson has a fast-growing following of blue-chip companies in Texas. The firm opened its Houston office in early 2019 and hired licensing and transactional IP connoisseur Jeffrey Whittle to lead it – a plan that has worked out nicely and laid strong foundations for further success. Having landed some big clients which are keen to draw on the generous IP resources that Womble Bond Dickinson makes available, Houstonites Whittle et al have come into immediate and close contact with colleagues in, for example, North Carolina, California and Georgia; they derive strength from this connectedness, which often takes longer to establish for new teams. With Whittle at the helm, the group has a particular flair for commercial IP matters; though Joshua Davis is a confident life sciences and medical device patent infringement litigation lead.

Other recommended experts

Jamil N Alibhai recently made the switch from Munck Wilson Mandala to full-service commercial outfit Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr. He’s a decorated lead litigation counsel who really moves the needle for the parties he represents. Flying the flag of Dickinson Wright in Texas are Lance Anderson and Steven Daniels, both of whom garner enthusiastic recommendations from the market: “Time and again Lance shows his outstanding expertise in navigating the patent protection and commercialisation process. His counselling on early-stage patentability, prosecution, post-allowance strategy, infringement and assertion, licensing and regulatory matters plays a huge part in supporting client growth and success.” On litigator Daniels, one source comments: “Steve demonstrates superior legal reasoning and communication skills and goes above and beyond for those he represents. He understands the market – the value of the technology at issue and the infringer’s position – enabling him to make smart decisions about filing a case.” Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton recently bolstered its IP capabilities in Houston with the arrival of former Vinson & Elkins lawyer Steve Borgman. He brings 30 years of patent prosecution, counselling and transactional know-how to the practice. Jeffrey Bragalone has the trial chops to see innovators to victory in the most challenging and high-value patent and technology litigations. He has been gifted with the power to persuade, which he applies to great effect in myriad PTAB, district court and Federal Circuit actions. He takes the lead at litigation boutique Bragalone Olejko Saad. Reed Smith has two outstanding patent litigators in Texas in Peter Chassman and Robert Riddle. The former stands out for his polished courtroom performances, particularly in the Eastern District of Texas; while the latter is known for his technical dexterity. Brad Chin and Constance Rhebergen chair Bracewell’s IP and technology groups respectively. Both are do-it-all patent lawyers skilled in the arts of rights protection, licensing and litigation. Adept in many technical areas and internationally experienced, they see the whole playing field for clients, concentrations of which come from the chemical and energy industries. John Flaim demonstrates impressive versatility in patent practice: top banks and energy companies, among others, entrust important litigations to him, as well as prosecution and transactional assignments. He can cover a lot of ground efficiently and with joined-up strategies. Having previously chaired Baker McKenzie’s global IP group, he has extensive international connections which prove a boon to clients with global interests; the role also honed his leadership and mentoring skills, which have made the difference for many in the firm. Down the hall in Dallas is Jay Utley, a seasoned litigator in the high-technology realm. He completes his work with precision and knows how best to elevate the skills of those around him. Jones Day’s go-to lead counsel in Texas, Hilda Galvan has abundant jury trial experience in competitor cases and a résumé replete with significant wins secured over the course of her nearly 30-year career. Michael Glenn develops robust patent portfolios that help keep high-flying companies at the forefront of their industries. He is an anchor on the prosecution side of Perkins Coie’s patent practice; while Austin colleague Craig Tyler works his magic on the contentious front. “Craig is a strong business partner and strategist who looks to achieve commercially beneficial outcomes. He can be highly recommended for IP litigation and related advice.” Sharon Israel’s unique insights on patent law and policy have led her to leadership positions in the American Intellectual Property Law Association and other organisations. Her wisdom in this regard enhances her strategic approach as a patent litigator. She is based at Shook Hardy & Bacon’s Houston office. Jill McWhirter utilises her well-developed corporate and IP expertise to meaningfully support clients on many levels. For example, she acts for Key Energy Services in connection with portfolio management, post-grant proceedings and transactional due diligence matters. In-house counsel appreciate her critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and practical business focus. Conley Rose president Michael Piper has a range and sophistication of experience and level of know-how that immediately put him in the trusted adviser role for new clients. He often serves in an in-house counsel-type capacity, showcasing his legal and business smarts and interpersonal skills to the fullest. Gary Solomon has quickly become an anchor of Foley & Lardner’s electronics patent prosecution practice since he joined the firm just over a year ago. A former practising engineer with finely honed drafting skills, he also applies keen strategic vision in building commercially valuable portfolios. Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner has a reputation for excellence and innovation in patent law which has attracted a loyal following of Silicon Valley technology companies and start-ups. Many of these make a beeline to Garth Vivier, a top strategist with an international outlook and an eye for patent quality and flair for value creation. Douglas Wilson is hailed as an “outstanding strategic thinker and highly impressive, succinct and composed oral advocate”. He is a founding partner of Armond Wilson, a fast-rising patent litigation boutique with a well-developed post-grant toolkit. Recent highlights include representing patent owner Vaporstream and saving a portfolio of patents challenged by Snap in inter partes review proceedings. The co-chair of Blank Rome’s IP and technology group, Russell Wong is a perspicacious portfolio strategist, licensing ace and litigator. A former chief IP counsel at a Fortune 50 company, he has a first-hand knowledge of the business of intellectual property.

Individuals: litigation

Individuals: prosecution

  • James Babineau - Fish & Richardson
  • Jeffrey Bergman - Osha Bergman Watanabe & Burton
  • Samir Bhavsar - Baker Botts LLP
  • Randall C Brown - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Christa Brown-Sanford - Baker Botts LLP
  • Srini Chakravarthi - Slater Matsil LLP
  • Brad Y Chin - Bracewell LLP
  • David M Doyle - Munck Wilson Mandala LLP 
  • Tracy Druce - Polsinelli PC
  • Michael A Glenn - Perkins Coie LLP
  • J Kevin Gray - Fish & Richardson
  • Joshua Griswold - Fish & Richardson
  • Robert Hanson - Dentons US LLP
  • Alan Herda - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Gregory Howison - Munck Wilson Mandala LLP 
  • Sushil Iyer - Fish & Richardson
  • Michael Krawzsenek - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Michael Kucher - Slater Matsil LLP
  • Ira S Matsil - Slater Matsil LLP
  • David L McCombs - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Jill A McWhirter - King & Spalding LLP
  • Kevin J Meek - Baker Botts LLP
  • William A Munck - Munck Wilson Mandala LLP 
  • Wes Musselman - Fish & Richardson
  • Gregory Novak - Polsinelli PC
  • David O'Brien - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • David O'Dell - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Jonathan P Osha - Osha Bergman Watanabe & Burton
  • Michael Piper - Conley Rose
  • Gregory L Porter - Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • Constance Rhebergen - Bracewell LLP
  • Gina N Shishima - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Barton E Showalter - Baker Botts LLP
  • Steven Slater - Slater Matsil LLP
  • Gary B Solomon - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Jonathan Solomon - Fish & Richardson
  • Terry Stalford - Fish & Richardson
  • Mark A Tidwell - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Josh Tucker - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Rutherford Ross Viguet - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Garth Vivier - Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner PA 
  • Mark Bradley Wilson - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Russell Wong - Blank Rome LLP 

Individuals: transactions

  • Jeff C Dodd - Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • James W Repass - Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Barton E Showalter - Baker Botts LLP
  • Stephen E Stein - Thompson & Knight LLP
  • Jeffrey S Whittle - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Lance Anderson - Dickinson Wright
  • James Babineau - Fish & Richardson
  • Christa Brown-Sanford - Baker Botts LLP
  • Edward A Cavazos - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Randall E Colson - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • J Kevin Gray - Fish & Richardson
  • Gregory Howison - Munck Wilson Mandala LLP 
  • Gregory Howison - Munck Wilson Mandala LLP 
  • Douglas M Kubehl - Baker Botts LLP
  • David L McCombs - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Jill A McWhirter - King & Spalding LLP
  • Kevin J Meek - Baker Botts LLP
  • Peter E Mims - Vinson & Elkins LLP
  • David O'Dell - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Gregory L Porter - Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • Constance Rhebergen - Bracewell LLP
  • Margaret Sampson - Baker Botts LLP
  • Gina N Shishima - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Terry Stalford - Fish & Richardson
  • Mark A Tidwell - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Mark Bradley Wilson - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Russell Wong - Blank Rome LLP 
  • Richard L Wynne - Thompson & Knight LLP