Cravath, Swaine & Moore 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.

Highly-recommended - Firms: transactions

Gold - Firms: litigation

When you need the best of the best for the highest-priority patent deals and disputes, Cravath is at the top of a very short list of firms. It is uniquely set up: its lawyers receive the highest quality generalist training but develop specialisation over time, granting them the pliability to deal with any issue, along with enhanced problem-solving and creative thinking skills and deep substantive knowledge of the relevant issues. Among them are several eminent trial lawyers, including Keith Hummel, Evan Chesler, David Marriott and Sharonmoyee Goswami: Hummel is ingenious, resourceful, resolute and unflagging – there is nothing he cannot do when it comes to complex legal conflict. So, too, Chesler, who is referred to in reverent tones as “godlike in litigation”. He continues to work closely with Marriott – they valiantly battled Apple on Qualcomm’s behalf – and is currently representing short-form streaming start-up Quibi and consumer technology holding company WndrCo alongside him in consolidated patent infringement and trade secret litigation against Israeli technology company JBF Interlude. Marriott has proven his mettle in many high-profile IP, antitrust and securities cases. Goswami is the rising star of the practice and comes in for special praise: “Sharon is extremely strategic and detail-oriented and knows how to position cases to maximise chances of success. She has a sense of self and purpose about her and is highly collaborative, with a unique ability to work seamlessly across multiple teams.” One of the top IP experts, not just at Cravath but in the world, corporate partner David Kappos anchors a leading transactions practice. He gets the biggest deals done before tea time but also devotes mental energy to crystal-ball gazing; he has an uncannily accurate sense of where things are heading – what the policy issues will be and where commercial opportunities will arise – making his behind-the-scenes strategic counsel utterly priceless.

Firm Profile

Cravath has been known as one of the premier US law firms for over two centuries. Each of its practices is highly regarded and its lawyers are recognised around the world for their commitment to the representation of their clients’ interests.

Intellectual property is one of Cravath’s core practice areas and a cornerstone of Cravath’s reputation as the firm of choice for clients with respect to their most challenging legal issues, most significant business transactions and most critical disputes. In the 19th century, the firm handled the telegraph patent litigation for Samuel Morse and mechanical reaper patent matters for Cyrus McCormick. Today, the firm’s expertise covers the entire innovation marketplace, spanning the consumer products, energy, healthcare, media and entertainment, pharmaceuticals, retail, technology and telecommunications industries, among others. Cravath also advises on matters in connection with emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, blockchain and fintech, as well as data security and privacy issues.

Cravath’s strength in intellectual property stems in part from the firm’s unique culture. Cravath’s lawyers are trained as generalists and, over time, as partners, many focus on and deepen their expertise in specific areas. As a result, Cravath has a dedicated team of IP practitioners with an extensive understanding of patent and other issues, as well as experience in a broad range of trial and transactional work, which enables them to devise creative and commercially practicable solutions to complex problems. Cravath’s governance as a true partnership ensures that all clients receive the benefit of the firm’s overall knowledge, expertise and experience.

Corporate IP practice

Cravath has a broad-based corporate IP practice representing clients ranging from early-stage start-ups to global companies in contexts across the full spectrum of IP disciplines, technologies and jurisdictions. Its lawyers work hand in glove with the firm’s premier M&A and financing teams to handle the many IP issues that arise in complex transactions, including issues relating to patents, trademarks, copyright, data, trade secrets, privacy and information security. In addition, Cravath provides strategic counselling, review and analysis in developing and managing IP portfolios, commercialising innovation-based assets and optimising IP rights to ensure its clients are maximising value from their intellectual property in the United States and in non-US markets.

Litigation IP practice

Representing both plaintiffs and defendants at the trial level, on appeal, in investigations or in an advisory capacity, Cravath’s litigators are adept at handling a wide variety of matters involving patents, trade secrets, copyright and trademarks, as well as the commercial litigation that frequently arises from IP matters, such as antitrust and breach of licence claims. Whatever the subject matter at issue, the firm’s litigators bring to each case a trial lawyer’s courtroom perspective and deep trial expertise in a variety of matters. As a result, clients turn to Cravath to protect them from infringement of their most important intellectual property or to defend valuable products against claims of infringement. Cravath has supervised and coordinated IP disputes that span the entire globe. The firm regularly advises on national and worldwide IP strategy and the identification of patents and other assets that can be used effectively for offensive or defensive purposes. Its practice also includes participation in inter partes review matters.

International clients

Cravath regularly advises clients based outside the United States on a wide range of transactions, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions, international capital markets and bank financings, general corporate and Securities and Exchange Commission compliance matters. Its lawyers also handle US litigation, international arbitrations and investigations for non-US clients, and plan, coordinate and supervise multinational proceedings. The firm works closely with a network of leading law firms in major international markets, each of which has demonstrated a commitment to achieving the same high standards that clients expect from Cravath.

Cravath and its lawyers have been recognised as leaders in intellectual property by numerous industry publications, including Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The Legal 500 US, Benchmark Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America, Law360, Managing Intellectual Property, U.S. News-Best Lawyers’ Best Law Firms and IAM.

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