King & Spalding 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

Meeting the needs of a high-level client base for which patent and IP assets are pivotal, King & Spalding has a sizeable set of high-calibre specialists who devote the necessary resources to securing optimum results. A number of these are based in Georgia, including Rebecca Kaufman, Robert Neufeld and Scott Petty, who are stars of the counselling practice; and Holmes Hawkins III, one of the ensemble’s most formidable trial lawyers. Kaufman is well known for her representation of The Coca-Cola Company, on whose behalf she leads a team of experienced patent attorneys and agents undertaking domestic and international prosecution, adversarial proceedings, opinion work and strategic counselling. Neufeld fulfils a similar function for Chevron; as does Petty for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Delta Airlines. All three work wonders not just in protecting their clients, but also in advancing their commercial cause. Recent highlights for Hawkins include a Federal Circuit win for the Federal Reserve Banks affirming a PTAB ruling that Bozeman Financial’s patents which were the subject of the dispute were ineligible; in a precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit held that the Federal Reserve Banks are ‘persons’ authorised to petition the PTAB for review of covered business method patents and are therefore, for the purposes of the America Invents Act, separate from the US government, which the Supreme Court has previously ruled is not a person so authorised.

Bronze - Firms: litigation

King & Spalding inspires confidence of a win in major patent disputes. It has many seasoned trial lawyers from coast to coast who have proven their mettle in technically demanding cases across the science and engineering spectrum – and who are eager to collaborate across offices to ensure that clients benefit from the right mix of skills and experience. DC-based Stephen Baskin and New York’s Allison Altersohn, for example, form a dynamic pairing and have been jointly representing Delta Air Lines in patent infringement against Sound View Innovations and acting for NCR Corporation against Pendum – a former authorised reseller and service provider for its ATM machines in a multi-layered copyright, trade secrets, breach of contract and tortious interference claim. Well suited to a case such as NCR, Baskin has honed his advocacy skills to a fine point and developed well-rounded IP knowledge through serving as lead counsel in many patent, trademark and copyright litigations. Chris Campbell, meanwhile, has synced up with lawyers in Denver on some of his recent briefs, which include defending Contec Medical Systems in a Northern District of Illinois suit filed by Beijing Choice Limited asserting a patent related to pulse oximetry. With great results to show for it, Campbell has litigated around the country and in the ITC and PTAB. The top specialist for post-grant proceedings, however, is Lori Gordon, who has been working with Silicon Valley lawyers Tom Friel and Jim Brogan in a big competitor shootout in the chemical industry. King & Spalding is outperforming many in the PTAB thanks to Gordon’s efforts and the contributions of many others, including Gerald Flattmann and his New York life sciences colleagues.

Silver - Firms: litigation

King & Spalding enjoys an outstanding reputation in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields. Key reasons for this include the quality, experience and track record of its litigators; but these are by no means the only reasons. The firm also runs a mature, industry-focused prosecution, counselling, diligence and licensing practice, and integrates its IP offering with highly rated practices in FDA regulatory law, product liability and government investigations, among others – all of which makes for a sophisticated wraparound service. Returning to those trial lawyers, Gerald Flattmann, Evan Diamond and Vanessa Yen form an imposing line-up fit to tackle any complex case. The close-knit team has had a lot going on recently: by way of example, it represented Galderma in a trial regarding Sun Pharmaceuticals’ attempt to design around the formulation patents covering Oracea, Galderma’s rosacea treatment, which has chalked up $3 billion in sales since its launch. Sun’s product was found to infringe Galderma’s patents and its invalidity claims were rejected; Sun also withdrew its appeal to the Federal Circuit, keeping the trial win in place and resolving the last pending challenge to the Orange Book listed patents protecting Oracea. As global chair of life sciences patent litigation, Flattmann brings strong leadership to the group. High-technology concerns aren’t left feeling short-changed by King & Spalding’s New York contingent: Allison Altersohn is there with them both in litigation and as a portfolio and licensing strategist. She recently achieved an impressive walkaway win for Delta Airlines, against which Sound View – which has been terrifically successful in monetising its patent portfolios through litigation against other companies – asserted four patents directed to high-performing computing functionality.

Bronze - Firms: litigation

Significant growth in patent litigation is the central thread of King & Spalding’s recent IP narrative: the firm has added 12 specialised partners in the past two years and has invested in building out the teams around them with associates, counsel and technical specialists. Considering this expansion, and in view of the calibre of its trial lawyers, it is now a force to be reckoned with in district court and ITC litigation, Federal Circuit appeals and post-grant proceedings. One recent addition is Shane Brun, who has served as lead counsel for marquee names in patent and other IP disputes for more than two decades. A former in-house counsel, he takes a pragmatic approach to conflicts and prioritises the achievement of commercial aims. He joins fellow Silicon Valley-based lawyers Thomas Friel and Jim Brogan – two trial heavyweights who, true to form, have recently been putting in a superb showing in a complex and hard-fought competitor dispute regarding automotive emission technologies.

Silver - Firms

For innovative companies, King & Spalding has numerous persuasive selling points: its patent group is well resourced nationally, rich in technical expertise and industry knowledge, and comprehensive in its ability to protect, monetise and enforce or defend patent rights. Worthy of special mention is its big-ticket litigation prowess, which is channelled by Timothy Barber, one of the best and most experienced patent trial lawyers certainly in the Southeastern United States, but also in the country.

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