Aaron Rubin

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.

Recommended - Individuals: transactions

Morrison & Foerster maintains a well-integrated, inter-disciplinary and international IP group comprising over 300 lawyers based in major cities in the United States, Asia and Europe, and is in demand for global support. Zooming in on California, the firm is just one of four with multiple representatives on each of the prosecution, litigation and transactions rankings, making it one of the best-rounded patent players on the market. Its name is stamped on some of the most valuable patent portfolios ever created, such is the sophistication of its prosecution and strategy know-how. This is especially the case in the plant, food and agritech areas, thanks to the leadership of visionary lawyer Michael Ward, who stands tall as global head of life sciences, patent group leader and IP group co-chair. He represents Driscoll’s, a fourth-generation family business that controls a third of the $6 billion US berry market, and is responsible for designing and executing strategies that help it maintain its leading position in such a competitive space. A luminary in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields, Catherine Polizzi is cut from the same cloth and also has refined prosecution, counselling and transactional skills. One of her recent deals – between a food allergy treatment company innovator (her client) and food company – saw her client’s stock nearly triple after the fact. Big-ticket deals are the focus of Tessa Schwartz, William Schwartz and Aaron Rubin, who are all based in San Francisco where Tessa Schwartz serves as local managing partner. William Schwartz and Rubin are working closely with a household-name technology company on strategic initiatives relating to augmented reality and virtual reality products. On the litigation side, Morrison & Foerster has many lawyers with exceptional leadership abilities, including San Francisco litigation department head Stefani Shanberg, US IP litigation group co-chair Rich Hung and global IP litigation co-chair Bita Rahebi, all three of them dynamic next-generation stars. Shanberg recently won a five-patent case relating to encryption techniques on Section 101 grounds on behalf of Spotify. Hung is praised as “an excellent problem solver who thinks of things other don’t usually consider” and a “deeply knowledgeable patent lawyer who is great on his feet in court”. He and Rahebi, together with veteran Michael Jacobs, are representing VMware in a multi-layered patent infringement, unfair competition and trademark case against Cirba Inc; at a jury trial in Delaware in 2020 they prevailed on the trademark and unfair competition claims but not on the patent claims, but then succeeded in having the verdict scrapped on the basis of a lack of standing, giving them momentum to carry into a retrial and a second trial arising out of a countersuit they have filed on their client’s behalf. Other contentious contacts for the address book include Matthew Chivvis and Jack Londen: Chivvis has established himself as a go-to for life sciences cases and, in a show of the ensemble’s interdisciplinary approach, has been working with Ward in support of Driscoll’s, which has instructed the firm in connection with a dispute with California Berry Cultivars regarding strawberry breeding and plant patent rights. Londen has been with Morrison & Foerster for 40 years and achieved some of its biggest wins in the high-technology space.

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