Mar 4, 2020Legal
Patexia Insight 75: Best ITC Attorneys and Law Firms in 2020

Last month, we released our first ITC Intelligence Report. For the first time, we ranked ITC law firms and attorneys based on their performance and activity. Our research team analyzed the outcome of 308 ITC Section 337 Investigations, filed from January 1, 2014, through December 1, 2019. For all the terminated cases, we identified the outcome (e.g., violation, no violation, settlement, etc.). Then, depending on the outcome and win/loss of parties (i.e., complainants and respondents), we allocated points to each side, including the law firms and attorneys representing them to calculate their performance. The ITC is a unique and fast-paced venue, so choosing experienced counsel is crucial..

The full report, which covers all of the nearly 400 ITC law firms, up to 1,000 of the most active ITC attorneys in various categories, 1,639 respondents and complainants, and 9 ALJs (Administrative Law Judges) is available to Patexia Concierge members on the site and in PDF format. It can also be obtained online through Patexia, but here we will cover some of the highlights as well as a number of the top law firms and attorneys, as identified and covered in our 2020 report. We also have reached out to most of these law firms to learn about the best practices and what makes their operation different. We have covered some of their feedback here in this article.

                                 

Out of a total of 308 ITC Section 337 investigations, filed during the period of our study, as of last December, a total of 212 cases had been terminated, while the rest were in different phases and were still pending.

As we explained in Patexia Insight 73, we came up with a model to measure the activity and performance of all stakeholders. As for the activity, we counted all of the ITC investigations in which a company or its representatives (i.e., law firms or attorneys) were named in one of the publicly available documents related to the investigation (e.g., PO Subscription documents). For the performance calculation, we used the following table to allocate and calculate points for all stakeholders, based on the outcome of all terminated investigations (212 cases).

 

OutcomeComplainantRespondentComp. Atty/FirmResp. Atty/Firm
No Violation

0

101
Withdrawn0.250.750.250.75
Settlement0.50.50.50.5
Violation, Settlement0.650.350.650.35
Consent Order0.750.250.750.25
Consent Order, Violation (staff)1010
Violation, LEO/GEO/CDO1010
Default, Summary Determination10--
Not Served----
No Investigation----

 

Then we measured both activity and performance, for three separate categories:

  • Respondents
  • Complainants
  • Overall

We ended up with a total of six categories. We ranked the Best Performing and Most Active law firms and attorneys for the period of this study. Here are some of the highlights (in no particular order):

  • Perkins Coie, with a total of 43 cases, ranked as the Best Performing Law Firm for representing complainants. Additionally, the firm was ranked in the top 10 in five out of six categories. Kevin Patariu, a partner in the San Diego office of Perkins Coie, was named the Second Best Performing ITC attorney overall. We reached out to him to see what he attributes to the firm’s success. He said: “ITC Section 337 investigations increasingly require an approach that is focused on client business objectives. Our deep technical bench and emphasis on quality allow us to help our complainant and respondent clients achieve their goals in a cost-effective manner. We keep ourselves informed about trends and best practices at the ITC through our relationships with ITC decision makers.”
  • Adduci Mastriani & Schaumberg. with a total of 84 cases, ranked as the Most Active law firm in all three categories: respondents, complainants and overall. The firm has deep expertise in ITC, and it often acts as the ITC local counsel. Paul Bartkowski, one of the partners of the firm, was named the 10th Most Active ITC attorney overall, with a total of 28 cases. We sat down with him last month in DC to learn about the firm and its approach. He believes that the firm has some of the most highly qualified attorneys in the ITC sector. And in fact, our review of ITC attorneys confirms that many law firms have formed their ITC practice by hiring attorneys directly from Adducci in the past.
  • Levi & Snotherly, a fairly new firm with a total of 13 cases in less than two years, ranked as the 2nd Best Performing law firm overall and for representing respondents. Rett Snotherly, one of the two founding partners of the firm, ranked as the 2nd Best Performing attorney overall. The firm acts as the ITC local counsel and has a very lean operation, which allows it to be extremely cost efficient. We met with Ben Levi and Rett Snotherly, the founders of the firm, last month in DC to learn about the reason they opened their firm. “We were motivated to open our firm because we saw an underserved market for sophisticated ITC counsel without the big firm overhead,“ said Ben Levi.
  • Alston & Bird, with a total of 46 cases, ranked as the 4th Most Active Law Firm. In five out of six categories, the firm ranked in the top 10, including the fifth Best Performing Law Firm, for representing respondents. Patrick Flinn, a partner in the Atlanta office of the firm, ranked as the 7th Best Performing attorney overall, while Adam Swain, a partner in the DC office of the firm, was named the 3rd Best Performing attorney for representing respondents.
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, with 20 cases, ranked in the top 20 in multiple categories. The firm ranked as the 21st Best Performing law firm for representing complainants. Under Joshua Pond’s leadership, a partner of the firm in DC, the firm has posted the biggest growth since 2014. “Patexia's top ITC firms are indeed the best-of-the-best before the Commission. We are thrilled the data places Kilpatrick Townsend among such an august group. Even better to see many of our clients among the top companies before the Commission,” said Josh Pond.
  • Mei & Mark, a boutique IP firm, has been involved in a total of 14 cases during the period of our study. The firm mainly focuses on representing respondents, and it was ranked the 17th Most Active law firm for respondents. While the firm had only a single case in 2014, it has grown substantially in the past three years. In 2018, the firm was involved in 7 cases. Lei Mei, one of the founders of the firm, who also was ranked the 24th Most Active attorney for representing respondents, believes that the firm is very innovative when it comes to meeting each client’s goals and budget. In one example, he explained: “Instead of doing expensive traditional page-by-page document review, Mei & Mark offers its clients another option of using carefully constructed keyword combinations to search and identify key documents to save costs, minimize human errors, and increase accuracy in identifying key documents.”
  • Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, a Boston-based boutique IP firm, was ranked the 11th and 14th Best Performing law firm for representing respondents and complainants, respectively. The firm has been involved in a total of 10 cases over the period of our study, which places it in the Top 50 Most Active law firms overall. “Wolf Greenfield has an exceptional track record of success representing complainants and respondents before the ITC, including obtaining the first-ever victory on unpatentability in a 100-day proceeding, successfully obtaining a rarely-granted General Exclusion Order, and significant experience before Customs with the recent Inter Partes Rule 177 proceedings.  Our legal talent and prowess is bolstered by our unparalleled technical expertise, where over 90% of our team members have science or engineering degrees, and over 70% of our team members have advanced technical degrees.”, said Greg Corbett, the chair of the litigation practice.
  • Hunton Andrews Kurth, with a total of 18 cases, ranked in the top 25 Most Active Law firms and the Top 50 Best Performing firms for representing respondents. “Our thoughtful approach to litigation and long-standing authorship of the leading treatise on Section 337 investigations (for which we carefully analyze developments that frequently go unnoticed by other firms) make us uniquely qualified to practice in the highly specialized venue of the ITC. We are proud of our rankings in the Patexia 2020 ITC Intelligence Report, which reflect the trust that our clients place in us to represent them in ITC investigations year after year, whether as complainant, respondent, or third party,” said Aimee Soucie, an ITC Special Counsel at the firm’s DC office.
  • Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, with a total of 25 cases, ranked as the 10th Most Active and the 18th Best Performing law firm for representing complainants. Daniel Yonan, a director of the firm and also the head of its ITC practice, was ranked the 13th Most Active attorney overall. He has helped build and grow the ITC practice from only a couple of cases to its current levels at the firm.
  • Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo, with a total of 13 cases during the period of our study, ranked as the 8th Most Active and the 24th Best Performing law firm for representing complainants. “For over a decade, we have helped our clients, including semiconductor and standard essential patent owners, devise multinational strategies that harness the power of the ITC to address unfair competitive behavior and prevent unauthorized importation of articles that infringe. Our recent successes demonstrate that there are still efficient ways for high tech and life sciences companies to resolve global IP disputes,” said Mike Renaud, Chair of IP Division at Mintz.
  • Haynes & Boone, with a total of 9 cases, has a growing ITC practice and is currently in the Top 20 Most Active firms for representing complaints. “In ITC cases, everything happens in real time. Because our teams work so well together, we really enjoy bringing all of the focused effort and creativity required to crystallize complicated issues quickly and persuasively,” said Kenneth Parker, one of the partners in the Silicon Valley office of the firm, who leads the firm’s ITC practice.

The full 70-page PDF report, covering numerous ITC statistics and the Top 100 in six categories, together with an extended list in an Excel file, which covers up to 1,000 of the most active attorneys, all ITC law firms, respondents and complainants, is available and can be downloaded from the Patexia ITC Report 2020 page. If your firm or company is a member of Patexia Concierge, you can download it by logging in to the site and clicking the “Download” button on the report page.

In the following weeks, we will publish some statistics related to patent prosecution, as we released our second annual Patent Prosecution Intelligence Report this morning. We will also look into the cost of patent prosecution, a topic extensively covered in our recent survey, reviewing the cost variations based on the location of law firms (e.g., coasts vs. midwest).

A version of the article was originally published on IPWatchdog.

Share
Be the first to comment.