Desmarais 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.

Gold - Firms: litigation

“It’s a struggle finding words that describe the experience partnering with Desmarais – on a five-star scale, it’s a six. The firm accomplishes things in important patent litigation that don’t seem possible; out of all the top-tier players in this space it’s the clear standout.” Appreciated not only for the consistency with which it produces sterling results, the outfit also takes an innovative approach to fee arrangements – flat fees, risk-sharing structures and hybrid setups are all in use – which are adjusted flexibly according to the needs of each client. The practice has many nonpareil litigators in its New York, San Francisco and DC offices, giving it the bandwidth to take on any case. New to the IAM Patent 1000 this year, Leslie Spencer garners excellent client reviews: “Leslie does great work, whether drafting briefs, taking or defending depositions, presenting arguments in various proceedings and advising on case strategy, and achieves positive outcomes. She breaks down complex concepts to those not familiar with patent law and provides practical guidance. She is clever at drawing information out of (sometimes prickly) engineers.” She is representing Dolby Laboratories in an action seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement with respect to 10 Intertrust Technologies patents related to digital rights management technology, going up against Quinn Emanuel, another elite practice. She is also defending Fitbit in multiple patent infringement cases against Philips, involving smartwatch and activity tracking patents and has linked up with Alan Kellman and Karim Oussayef for the purpose. Kellman is an experienced leader, who makes a big impact for plaintiffs in pursuing wilful infringement verdicts and large damages awards. Oussayef is endorsed as a “level-headed and pragmatic lawyer” who “understands the importance of consistency in positions across litigations involving the same patents” and who “always makes himself available, even on short notice”. High marks are also awarded to Paul Bondor, who puts his patrons at a distinct advantage in the courtroom with his textbook-worthy cross-examinations and argumentation and encyclopaedia of strategies. He plays an important leadership role in the group alongside patent litigation supremo John Desmarais, with whom he is currently representing Intel in a Delaware case against patentee-plaintiff XMTT. Able to switch gears effortlessly between high-technology and life sciences, Bondor and Desmarais are also acting for GlaxoSmithKline affiliate ViiV Healthcare against Gilead Sciences – a dispute between two branded drug companies involving Gilead’s multibillion-dollar HIV-1 therapy, Biktaryv. With them on this is Todd Krause, who specialises in pharmaceutical and biotechnology disputes; he has a PhD in biological sciences and stands out as a technically gifted advocate. Bindu Donovan also makes light work of Hatch-Waxman litigations and is a popular pick for a host of drug originators. For matters relating to materials technology, Yung-Hoon Ha has all the specialist knowledge required; he is one of the set’s top PTAB experts. Growth on the West Coast is an important storyline for Desmarais, which recruited Gabrielle Higgins from Ropes & Gray in 2021. Cross-office staffing has been key to success in many instances; for example, New Yorkers Tamir Packin and Jonas McDavit, along with San Francisco-based Peter Magic (who also features in the IAM Patent 1000) earned a key trial victory in 2019 for Cisco Systems, which wiped out more than $400 million in claims against it brought by Egenera; this one looks to be going to trial again after the Federal Circuit vacated the ruling, but you certainly wouldn’t bet against the team to repeat their earlier success.

Bronze - Firms: litigation

Constant engagement in high-stakes patent litigation puts Desmarais at the leading edge of modern IP development. The trial lawyers here regularly make the IP weather and get results that have a strong impact not just on their patrons but on the technology industries in which they operate. The outfit has an outstanding success record but is also distinguished by its innovative approach to fee structures, which are custom designed according to each client’s interests. Among the 19 partners here are Peter Magic, Ameet Modi and Gabrielle Higgins, who have considerably raised the firm’s profile on the West Coast lately. Working alongside celebrated founding partner John Desmarais, they recently defended Verizon against patent infringement claims made by Huawei relating to Verizon’s internet technology, network infrastructure and wireless communication technology; the case was dismissed following a settlement. Modi has been battling against VoIP-Pal on behalf of Apple in two cases, successfully securing dismissals in both.

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