Patexia Insight 179: Best Patent Litigators of 2023: A Fusion of Analytics and Peer Reviews
In January, we delved into the intricacies of patent litigation in our third annual Patent Litigation Intelligence Report. This comprehensive study spanned five years, from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2022, scrutinizing 18,493 district court patent cases. We presented detailed statistics and conducted extensive evaluations to rank attorneys, law firms, companies, and judges across a range of categories, including plaintiff, defendant, and overall performance.
Previous coverage from our report has shed light on a variety of facets within patent litigation, from the rise of Judge Albright to the trends shaping the last five years in patent litigation, and the dynamics of late settlements. Additionally, we have recently published rankings of the most active and best-performing companies and earlier we covered the 50 most active attorneys (Patexia Insight 167). Now, it's time to turn our attention to the best-performing litigators who are at the heart of many of these proceedings based on our data.
In this new version of the article, we've incorporated commentary from community members, including in-house IP counsels and fellow litigators, highlighting the top-performing litigation attorneys of 2023. Alongside a significant revamp of our site, we've introduced a new feature, the Review Module, which empowers qualified stakeholders to share their positive experiences and feedback about the attorneys who have played pivotal roles in these proceedings. Our review methodology and structure have been covered at the end of this article.
Our study encompassed an impressive 17,052 litigators who participated in patent cases during the observed period, including local counsel. Excluding local counsel, we identified 16,585 litigators who acted as counsel for either plaintiffs or defendants during this period. Performance scores were meticulously calculated based on each case's outcome, points allocated to the involved parties, and the results of related IPR petitions, when applicable. The methodology we used to calculate the success rate of all stakeholders has been summarized at the end of this article.
In the following paragraphs, we've spotlighted some of the best-performing attorneys as well as some of the reviews and commentaries they have received from other highly regarded active attorneys in patent litigation or in-house counsels who have closely worked with these individuals. Making it into the top ranks among 16,585 attorneys is an impressive accomplishment.
These professionals have demonstrated their prowess, ascending to the upper echelon in their respective fields.
- David Hadden of Fenwick & West LLP holds the distinction of being the number one best-performing attorney for defendant representation. Handling a substantial load of 129 cases, he has established a strong track record. His client list includes notable companies such as Amazon, Spokeo, and Melian Labs.
- Heidi L. Keefe of Cooley LLP has handled 70 cases and earned the 8th spot on the list of best-performing attorneys representing defendants. Her clients include well-known companies such as Meta Platforms, Apple, and Tesla. We asked for feedback from one of Heidi's many clients, an in-house counsel who preferred to stay anonymous. They mentioned that Heidi is an effective negotiator. You can read the full review from this client here.
- Jason G. Sheasby of Irell & Manella LLP has earned the 10th spot in plaintiff representation based on his performance. Handling 26 cases, his notable clients include the United Services Automobile Association, Johnson & Johnson, and Netlist. Scott W. Breedlove of Carter Arnett has acknowledged Sheasby's understanding of standard-essential patents and FRAND licensing commitments. To see the full review, click here.
- John M. Desmarais of Desmarais LLP holds the ninth position among the best-performing litigators, representing both defendants and plaintiffs across 64 cases. His notable clientele includes industry names such as Apple, Ravgen, and Google. Heidi L. Keefe of Cooley LLP has commended his leadership skills, his dedication to understanding the details of his cases, and his ability to build compelling narratives, all while maintaining a genuine and personable approach. The full review can be accessed here.
- Brady Randall Cox of Alston & Bird secured the 12th-best performing rank for representing defendants, having effectively represented clients in 49 cases. Notably, his top clients include Dell, ASUSTeK Computer, and Nokia.
- Allan A. Kassenoff of Greenberg Traurig LLP achieved a rank of 17th best-performing for representing defendants, handling 29 cases. He has represented giant tech companies including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, as well as Ebates Performance Marketing.
- Edward R. Reines of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, achieved an overall performance rank of 18th, for representing defendants and plaintiffs in 45 cases. Notably, he has represented prominent companies such as Illumina, Inc., Bio-Rad Laboratories, and Guardant Health. Heidi L. Keefe of Cooley LLP highlighted his exceptional passion and expertise in the field of law. Check the full review here.
- Steven D. Moore of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton achieved an overall performance rank of 23 for representing defendants and plaintiffs in 83 cases. Among his top clients are Gree Inc., Motorola Solutions, and Lenovo.
- Robert F. Kramer of Kramer Alberti Lim & Tonkovich LLP ranked 26th on both overall and plaintiff performance ranks handing a total of 73 cases. Notably, some of his top clients include Uniloc, Express Mobile, and Polaris PowerLED Technologies.
- Indranil Mukerji of Willkie Farr & Gallagher achieved a defendant performance rank of 27. He has handled 45 cases, representing giant tech clients including Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung. Tripp Fussell of Mayer Brown highlighted the efficiency in his management of litigation in a quote. Click here to view the full review.
- Andrew T. Dufresne of Perkins Coie ranked 30th in defendant performance, handling a total of 33 cases. Notably, he represented clients such as Google, Nintendo, and BRG Sports.
- Michael J. Lyons of Morgan Lewis & Bockius achieved an overall performance rank of 30, handling a total of 33 cases. His notable clients include BBK Electronics Corporation, Hitachi, and Kokusai Electric. Rob Brunelli of Sheridan Ross described his efficient strategy, strong understanding of patent issues, and confident presentation in a quote here.
- Max L. Tribble Jr., of Susman Godfrey, achieved an overall performance rank of 31, representing defendants and plaintiffs in 66 cases. Some of his top clients include Amazon, WSOU Investments LLC, and Atlas Global Technologies LLC. He received high praise from Marc Booth, Chief IP Officer of Acacia Research, stating that Max is one of the best lawyers they have worked with in patent infringement cases. Marc highlighted Max's extensive knowledge, technical expertise, and seamless collaboration with their in-house team. Check the full review here.
- Reuben Chen of Cooley LLP, attained a defendant performance rank of 35, having dealt with 38 cases. Among his notable clients are Snap Inc, Cooler Master Technology, and CMI Corporation. He received positive feedback from an anonymous in-house counsel who described him as highly responsive and easy to work with. Click here to read the full review.
- Thomas H. Reger II of Fish & Richardson has handled 37 cases, earning a defendant performance rank of 38. Some of his notable clients include Samsung, Huawei, and TSMC. He received a glowing review from Stephen A. Marshall of Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Stephen expressed their experience working with Tom on multiple cases and highlighted his meticulous approach. Read the full review here.
- Michael A. Jacobs of Morrison & Foerster has demonstrated his expertise in handling 27 cases, securing an overall performance rank of 41. His notable clients include Gen Digital Inc., Nevro, and Splunk. Michael has received high praise from Robert Kramer of Kramer Alberti Lim & Tonkovich LLP. According to Robert, Michael is regarded as one of the great leaders in the field of intellectual property law, with an unparalleled depth of experience. Read the full review here.
- Scott W. Breedlove of Carter Arnett has represented clients in 61 cases, earning him a rank of 56 in overall performance. Notably, some of his top clients include Lutron Electronics Co., Trenchant Blade Technologies, and Katana Silicon Technologies.
- Michael Joffre of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox with 32 cases, has showcased his expertise in representing plaintiffs being ranked 85th for his plaintiff performance. He has successfully represented companies such as JUUL Labs, BTL Industries, and ImmunoGen.
- Richard S. Zembek of Norton Rose Fulbright has demonstrated his skills in 35 cases. With a defendant performance rank of 86, he has represented prominent companies such as NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm, and Silicon Laboratories. He has received high praise from an anonymous attorney who worked closely with him as co-counsel, highlighting his exceptional leadership in a large and intricate defense effort that lasted several years. Read the full review here.
- Christopher S. Stewart of Caldwell Cassady & Curry with a total of 35 cases, has earned a plaintiff performance rank of 91. Some of his notable clients include Neo Wireless LLC, Lighting Science Group Corporation, and Dr. Uri Cohen. He has been commended by Steven Mark Geiszler of Futurewei Technologies, who worked with him closely as in-house counsel, for his focused approach to the crucial issues that drive case resolution. Click here for the full review.
- Caroline Ann Bader of Erise IP P.A., with 24 cases, ranks 113th in defendant performance. Her notable clients include ASUSTeK Computer, Spin Master, and Target Corporation.
- John R. Emerson of Haynes and Boone, with 31 cases, ranks 141st in defendant performance. Some of his key clients are ConforMIS, Murata Manufacturing, and Mitel.
- James R. Batchelder of Ropes & Gray LLP, with 30 cases, holds an overall performance rank of 150. His top clients include IP Bridge, Inc., Palo Alto Networks, and Apple Inc.
- Marc E. Hankin of Hankin Patent Law, with 26 cases, ranks 164th in plaintiff performance. His notable clients include DatRec, LLC, VDPP LLC, and Addaday LLC.
Scott W. Hejny of McKool Smith, with 31 cases, ranks 189th in plaintiff performance. He has represented notable clients such as Express Mobile, Parus Holdings, and Stanfield's Limited.
In our previous insight covering the best-performing companies, we summarized the statuses of the terminated cases as reported by PACER. However, upon review, it was determined that the statuses reported by PACER, particularly those categorized as "Judgment," do not always accurately reflect the practical outcome of a case, such as which party emerged victorious. Therefore, we manually reviewed the case documents for all patent cases filed between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2022, that had a "Judgment" PACER decision status to determine the actual outcome. The chart below summarizes our analysis of the practical outcomes for these cases:
In all of the cases, we assigned success scores to both parties based on the ultimate outcome of the decision. It is worth noting that high activity levels can potentially dilute performance over time, as none of us are exempt from the law of averages. Consequently, comparing the performance scores of firms, companies, or attorneys with significantly different workloads may be less ideal. For this reason, in addition to the success score, the performance rank also takes into account the activity of the person or entity. In our upcoming article, which will focus on the most active and best-performing law firms, we will provide a detailed explanation of our ranking methodology including the success scores assigned to each side for every outcome.
As you might have noticed, we are in the process of updating our website, and with the publication of this article we also released our Patexia Review module which is intended to highlight some of the positive qualities of attorneys who are not necessarily reflected in our data-driven ranking methodology.
The reviews are conducted in the following seven categories to provide a comprehensive assessment:
- Efficiency: Reviewers evaluate the attorney's efficiency and cost-effectiveness in client matters.
- Responsiveness: Reviewers assess the level of client service and the attorney's responsiveness in communication, highlighting their promptness and attentiveness to client needs.
- Negotiation: The attorney's negotiation skills are evaluated, examining their ability to reach favorable solutions and secure optimal terms for their clients.
- Strategy: Reviewers evaluate the attorney's capability to develop unique and effective strategies tailored to each specific case, while consistently incorporating the client's viewpoint into the strategic plan.
- Experience: Reviewers provide their perspective on the attorney's legal and technical competence, reflecting on their depth of knowledge and expertise in their field.
- Trial Capability: Reviewers delve into the attorney's proficiency in storytelling, effective questioning, and courtroom confidence, assessing their ability to present a compelling case during trial.
- Main Quote: Reviewers provide their overall assessment of the attorney
UPCOMING IP INTELLIGENCE REPORTS
In our future reports, we will introduce a new section that will highlight the positive qualities of top-performing attorneys. This initiative will debut in our forthcoming ANDA Intelligence Report, due for release in August. This evaluation process is exclusively available to in-house counsel with a history of working with law firms within the last five years and the 1,000 most active attorneys in specific practice areas, such as ANDA/Hatch-Waxman.
As we require adequate time for a thorough review and compilation of all submissions, the review period will be limited. We're currently inviting your positive feedback for the ANDA review. To ensure usefulness, we have capped the review frequency to only once per annum for each practice area. We encourage in-house counsel and ANDA litigators to nominate ONLY ONE attorney as if they had a single case to delegate to a peer within the same practice.
If you are an attorney in the pharmaceutical space and have experience with ANDA matters, you can now check if you are ranked among the top 1,000 attorneys and have the opportunity to review an attorney of your choice. Share your valuable insights and feedback on attorneys who have made an impact in the pharmaceutical industry. Your reviews play an important role in shaping the legal community by providing valuable insights that help in-house counsel make informed decisions.
To participate in the review process and explore the ANDA module, please visit this link.