Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

IAM Research

The Patent 1000 focuses exclusively on patent practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal patent expertise.

Bronze - Firms: litigation

Akin Gump has what it takes to prevail in bet-the-company patent litigation and is a trusted ally of high-technology and life sciences industry leaders and other key stakeholders in the innovative community, such as Unified Patents, a member-based organisation focused on deterring the number of NPE assertions in key technology areas. Cono Carrano is representing Unified Patents against the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Korean Broadcasting System in challenging a patent directed to video compression techniques; his petition for inter partes review was granted by the PTAB which, in its subsequent final written decision, found multiple claims of the challenged patent to be unpatentable. The firm’s top gun in DC, Carrano has impeccable ITC credentials and recently resolved an investigation with a favourable settlement on behalf of VIZIO, against which Innovative Foundry Technologies asserted several patents relating to semiconductor and integrated circuit technologies. With him on this was David Vondle, another experienced ITC and PTAB lead counsel. Vondle is listed in two IAM Patent 1000 tables this year, having retained his litigation placement and earned inclusion on the transactions list; deal making is a significant component of his practice, his advocacy skill being of great benefit in negotiations. Andrew Holtman has a facility for post-grant proceedings and has considerably amped up Akin Gump’s PTAB activities since coming on board in late 2019. His combination of technical talent – he earned his PhD in molecular genetics at Rutgers University, where he also worked as a research fellow – expertise in coordinating multi-jurisdictional matters and presentation abilities is a huge plus for the group.

Gold - Firms: litigation

When patent infringement issues put them under pressure, industry leaders would be wise to bring Akin Gump on side. Handling complex, commercially consequential pharmaceutical and technology cases in exemplary fashion, its hard-hitting litigators astutely leverage all the firm has to offer in terms of appellate, international trade and policy expertise to support clients in the most meaningful way. For life sciences companies, there’s hardly a better line-up of lawyers in the country than Dianne Elderkin, Steven Maslowski, Matthew Pearson and Rubén Muñoz. Elderkin needs no introduction as an eloquent and elevated trial lawyer with leadership qualities in abundance and a striking record of success in many cases that have advanced the state of the law. As head of intellectual property and a seasoned trial team captain, Maslowski is another commanding leader; sources call him “sharp and insightful” – a description that suits him perfectly as a strategist, technical lawyer and advocate. Biochemistry PhD Pearson has earned a stellar reputation for the results he secures in biologics cases. Philadelphia office head Muñoz demonstrates a mastery of diverse technologies and benefits the group with his well-honed post-grant know-how. All four are currently defending Johnson & Johnson Consumer in a suit brought by Medical Light Technology relating to phototherapy product patents; Maslowski and Muñoz have also been busy for 3M and Merck & Co in district courts and the PTAB.

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