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
Womble Bond Dickinson maintains a truly diverse IP practice and represents market leaders in the manufacturing, energy and high-technology sectors, among others. Its IP group comprises well over 100 patent professionals and is expertly led by Atlanta-based James Vaughan, who kickstarted the firm’s IP activities back in 1998. He has nearly 40 years of experience as a strategist, prosecutor and portfolio developer and is a rock for patrons such as Graphic Packaging International, for which he implemented a privately developed internet-based patent portfolio management tool. His work goes directly to his clients’ bottom line. He has lead trial counsel experience and continues to engage in the litigation side in a behind-the-scenes and strategy-focused capacity. On the frontlines, meanwhile, is top advocate William Ragland Jr, another of the group’s confidence-inspiring veteran leaders. He coordinates and manages the group’s representation of Southern Company, one of the largest energy companies in the United States. Contentious matters are also the focus of Christine Dupriest and Preston Heard. Working in support of Baltimore-based partner Barry Herman, the pair recently won a precedent-setting case for DynaEnergetics before the USPTO’s Precedential Opinion Panel, shifting the scope of the duties of administrative patent judges in PTAB proceedings. Deepening the local prosecution bench, Scott Sudderth is also an anchor of a robust IP transactions offering; the versatile lawyer also leans into the litigation offering, and for names such as Card-Monroe Corp, a world leader in the field of tufting technology, he prosecutes patents and manages any litigation involving them.
William M Ragland Jr is an experienced lead litigator and strategic adviser, helping businesses create strategies and solve problems involving intellectual property and other complex business disputes.
With over 35 years of experience, Mr Ragland has sound judgment, insight and proven skills in resolving, and avoiding, disputes involving assets that are among a business’s most important: its technology and its brand. Clients also trust him to resolve a wide variety of complex business disputes of importance in the boardroom. With sharp focus on business goals and the end game, Mr Ragland designs, executes and manages all aspects and phases of complex disputes and related strategies. He is the attorney you want to lead your winning team.
Mr Ragland’s engagements often involve patents, trademarks, trade dress, trade secrets, licensing, technology development, copyright, software implementation, performance and system integration, non-competition agreements, internet and e-commerce, false advertising, unfair competition, commercial contracts, corporate governance and shareholder disputes.
His clients include high-technology, computer, manufacturing, packaging, consumer products, retail and energy companies, and financial institutions.
Mr Ragland is widely recognised as a leading attorney and strategist. For many years, The Best Lawyers in America has named him its “Lawyer of the Year” in numerous categories, including Technology Law, Patent Law, Copyright Law and Mergers & Acquisitions Litigation. Intellectual Asset Management magazine has also named him as one of the top IP strategists and patent professionals in the world, and he is recommended and listed by Chambers USA for Intellectual Property and by Super Lawyers for Business Litigation.
Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) is a full-service business law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers in 26 locations throughout the United States and United Kingdom. We represent global clients across multiple sectors including life sciences, healthcare, energy, technology and advanced manufacturing.
Full-service IP practice
Our broad-based IP practice includes more than 130 attorneys, patent agents and technical advisers who help clients protect innovations and capitalise on the value of their intellectual property in a competitive marketplace. Our services include IP strategy, complex licensing for commercialisation, technology transactions, patent and trademark prosecution and procurement, portfolio management, IP litigation and trade secret protection. More than 100 of our professionals are USPTO-registered practitioners (including attorneys and agents). Our team includes more than 75 professionals with advanced degrees, 28 of whom have PhD/doctorate degrees. We understand the science that guides your business. We also appreciate the business aspects of intellectual property and develop IP strategies aligned with business goals.
WBD ranks as the 15th most active high-tech patent law firm in Patexia’s 2021 survey, and Juristat ranks us within the top 20 firms for chemical and mechanical patent prosecution. WBD is a top-ranked firm in the Chambers USA 2021 Guide for Intellectual Property with one respondent noting: “WBD has an excellent understanding of our technologies and always provides clear, thoughtful advice on how we should proceed with prosecution.”
- US and international patent and trademark prosecution
- Global IP/patent and trademark portfolio management
- Validity/invalidity and infringement/non-infringement studies
- Freedom-to-operate, design-around and patentability studies
- Post-grant reviews, inter partes reviews, derivation proceedings, re-examinations and interferences
- Patent litigation and PTAB trials practice
- Technology transactions and complex licensing
- IP portfolio due diligence reviews and IP audits
- IP strategy, counselling and monetisation
- Privacy and data security
Our more than 75 patent prosecution professionals practice in the broad disciplines of physical and organic chemistry, chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, energy, mechanical engineering, materials science, and electrical and computer technology. WBD’s team includes patent attorneys and agents with advanced technology degrees and deep industry experience as practicing engineers, in-house counsel, scientific researchers and former patent examiners.
IP transactions and complex licensing
WBD’s IP transactions team has deep industry experience in negotiating agreements to facilitate the development, protection and commercialisation of patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyright and other IP rights. The team advises global clients across a variety of industries, including energy, information technology, nanotechnology, life sciences, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. WBD’s team includes the past president and chair of the Licensing Executives Society in the United States and Canada.
WBD’s IP litigation team comprises 31 attorneys who have a full-time IP litigation practice. Our professionals have deep experience in the electrical, chemical, pharmaceutical, computer software, mechanical and electromechanical arts. Our attorneys handle complex IP cases in federal and state courts throughout the country and before the US International Trade Commission. During the past 10 years (2012-2021), WBD attorneys have handled over 650 IP cases in 51 federal district courts. Our team is made up of trial-tested litigators, including many with first-chair experience in high-profile cases. We have handled multiple appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, other federal and state appellate courts, and the Supreme Court of the United States. WBD attorneys also litigate before the USPTO.
WBD is a leader in trials and post-grant proceedings before the PTAB with decades of experience in this practice area. Recent wins include a precedent-setting decision by the PTAB’s Precedential Opinion Panel for an energy sector client. With a strong patent litigation practice and a powerful technical bench, WBD assembles the perfect team for any dispute before PTAB.
WBD’s court-tested IP litigators and veteran patent prosecutors have been involved in over 75 recent inter partes reviews, post-grant reviews, covered business method reviews and derivation proceedings before the PTAB, as well as numerous patent interference proceedings and ex parte re-examinations. WBD regularly handles ex parte appeals to the PTAB, as well as appeals of PTAB decisions to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.