Patent litigators take leaps and bounds amid surge in intellectual property practice

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Winston & Strawn law firm in Washington, DC REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

  • White & Case, Winston & Strawn and McKool Smith all hired patent litigators this week
  • Peter Armenio, Former Co-Head of Global Life Sciences Practice at Quinn Emanuel, Says Innovation Economy Drives Hiring

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(Reuters) – U.S. law firms have stepped up their patent litigation practices this week, with White & Case, Winston & Strawn and McKool Smith all attracting new partners and Irell & Manella expanding to the coast is.

White & Case announced Thursday it has poached patent litigator Peter Armenio of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, where he co-led the firm’s global life sciences practice. Armenio joins White & Case’s global intellectual property practice in New York.

Also on Thursday, Winston & Strawn said it recruited Kelly Hunsaker, a 17-year veteran of intellectual property firm Fish & Richardson, before going on sabbatical in 2015 in Silicon Valley. The day before, trial firm McKool Smith chose Paul Hastings’ Christina Ondrick as director in Washington, DC, while Irell & Manella opened a new office in DC, marking the firm’s first location focused on intellectual property in outside of Southern California in 30 years. Irell has also recruited an associate attorney from the US Patent and Trademark Office as counsel.

With the US and global economies increasingly focused on intellectual property innovation and competition, there is understandably a growing demand for intellectual property lawyers and patent litigants, said Armenio, who represented Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer in litigation, according to its archived Quinn Emanuel webpage.

“As we focus more on innovation and development, the importance of intellectual property goes hand in hand with this,” Armenio said.

Patent litigation has “increased both in scope and complexity in recent years,” Kathi Vidal, managing partner of Winston’s Silicon Valley office, said in a statement about hiring Hunsaker. Vidal also transferred her litigation practice to Winston de Fish, whom she joined in 2017.

Armenio said he was attracted to White & Case because of his connections and expertise in the life sciences industry, his ability to offer more than litigation services to IP clients and his platform. – global shape.

Hunsaker, who returns to the practice of law after a hiatus of almost six years, said she chose to join Winston in part to reunite with former colleagues of Fish Vidal and Tom Melsheimer, the managing partner of the office of Winston in Dallas. Like Armenio, Hunsaker also touted the full range of legal services Winston is able to provide.

“What attracted me to Winston was the opportunity to reconnect with very well respected former colleagues, with whom I collaborate very well and who lead patent and intellectual property cases at the forefront of law and technology, ”she said.

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David thomas

David Thomas reports on legal affairs including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @ DaveThomas5150.


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