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.
Silver - Individuals: litigation
“In complex patent and IP litigation, AZA is efficient and cost effective, and delivers excellent results. Its lawyers listen to their clients and understand their needs, and are superb at tailoring their services accordingly.” “Amir Alavi and Demetrios Anaipakos are among the best lawyers in the entire country for patent cases – they are smart, experienced and creative, and can be trusted to get on with things without close supervision.” Todd Mensing is also highly rated, with one source reporting: “If a case really matters to us, he gets the first call every time. Todd sees the big picture without losing focus on the details and is brilliant at adapting on the fly as circumstances change and the law evolves.” The group applies immense pressure on opposing parties in hard-fought battles and more than deserves its gold-tier ranking. Also noteworthy is the intrepidness of the team – for example, in challenging patent infringements in multiple Chinese courts, including recently on behalf of Advanced Codec Technologies against Xiaomi. The actions taken by AZA are never cavalier, but playing it safe isn’t the default position either.
Todd W Mensing focuses on complex commercial litigation. Having tried more than 50 cases, Mr Mensing is board-certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a distinction reserved for Texas trial lawyers with a high degree of trial experience and expertise. During the past ten years, an average of fewer than ten attorneys per year statewide has earned the distinction. He is recognised among the top lawyers in the United States for commercial litigation and construction litigation in The Best Lawyers in America. Mr Mensing is also recognised in the area of Texas General Commercial Litigation in the 2014-2020 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business published by London-based Chambers and Partners. He earned the highest possible AV Preeminent rating based upon peer reviews from Martindale-Hubbell. He has also been elected to the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an elite group of the country’s leading trial lawyers.
Mr Mensing has tried cases in virtually every arena, including in the areas of complex commercial litigation; intellectual property and trade secret disputes; executive employment claims; catastrophic personal injury cases; as well as white-collar criminal defence matters. Mr Mensing has been named one of the top 100 lawyers in Texas and Houston in the annual Texas Super Lawyers. He was put on the Super Lawyers list in only his fifth year of practice and was one of the youngest attorneys in Texas to be named to the list. The IAM Patent 1000 ranked him as a leading Texas patent litigation litigator in 2020.
Prior to joining Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing PC, Todd graduated with honours and in the top ten per cent of his class at the University of Texas School of Law. He obtained his undergraduate degree with honours from Stanford University.
“AZA [Ahmad Zavitsanos Anaipakos] is a firm of top-notch patent litigators who excel at trial work – when they get up to handle witnesses and present legal arguments, they have this uncanny ability to convince judge and jury that they are right whatever the circumstances. They are great on the briefing side too, and run cases in an organised, lean and efficient manner,” wrote IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Professionals 2020, which ranked AZA among the best Texas patent litigation firms for the sixth year in a row.
“Litigation thoroughbred Ahmad Zavitsanos Anaipakos has successfully resolved disputes across virtually all technologies, industry sectors and forums; its lawyers’ gift for constructing tightly woven and compelling narratives works in any setting,” IAM Patent 1000 wrote of AZA in its 2018 ranking. “This Houston trial boutique dazzles in patent infringement cases across the United States and beyond,” the magazine ranking stated in 2017.
The IAM survey also named AZA partners Demetrios Anaipakos and Amir Alavi among the best Texas patent litigators. “They keep the whole case in view and get great results. Its lawyers work with complete integrity and really make you feel like part of the same team,” the magazine stated, calling them “hugely respected and unflappable advocates that you can greenlight for a billion-dollar case with 100% confidence”.
The 2019 IPR Intelligence Report by Patexia Inc named AZA the 12th best-performing law firm in the country in a study of more than 1,100 law firms active in inter partes review patent cases over the previous five years.
AZA lawyers have experienced great success representing clients in IP and IP-related cases throughout the world, including Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Languages spoken by IP team members include Arabic (some), Cantonese, Farsi, French, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian and Urdu/Hindi. We regularly handle patent infringement, trademark, copyright and trade secret cases and were ranked one of the 10 largest IP firms in Houston in 2020 and many years before by the Houston Business Journal.
Our patent lawyers have experience in numerous industry sectors including energy, technology, chemistry, biochemistry, telecom, hardware and software, and transportation. We have had success representing both plaintiffs and defendants in IP cases.
AZA’s IP stable includes experienced trial lawyers and lawyers with technical backgrounds in chemistry, electrical engineering, software and biochemistry. Included are partners Mr Anaipakos, Mr Alavi, Scott W Clark and Michael McBride; and of counsel David Warden, Brian E Simmons, Joshua Wyde and Drew Kim. Partner Masood Anjom has extensive Patent Trial and Appeal Board experience. The team boasts three board-certified trial lawyers and several lawyers licensed as patent attorneys before the US Patent and Trademark Office.
We also have lawyers who focus on trademark, copyright and trade secret cases. We’ve seen an uptick in trade secret cases, especially in the energy industry, and we’ve handled them successfully both for companies claiming the theft of trade secrets and for executives defending against a claim. We’ve also defeated trademark infringement claims for some clients and steadfastly protected trademarks and copyright for other clients.
Examples of cases our lawyers have handled include the following:
- AZA lawyers were called in a few months before trial and developed a previously untapped lost profits claim theory for Versata. On the eve of trial, the court dismissed everything but the lost profits model that AZA developed. With AZA’s help, Versata won the nation’s second largest patent verdict in 2011 at $391 million, according to Verdict Search (Versata Software Inc v SAP America Inc).
- AZA beat the odds when it obtained a $15.7 million jury verdict in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in a 2015 patent infringement case. Jurors deliberated only one hour to find that Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd infringed on two Rembrandt Wireless Technologies LP patents covering Bluetooth technology. The victory received widespread press coverage.
AZA is overseeing potentially precedent-setting IP cases in the United States and Germany for the owner of six families of voice coding patents that are essential to the wideband speech audio coding standard for high-definition voice in mobile telephony known as AMR-WB (adaptive multi-rate wideband).