With the International Trade Commission (ITC) having become an increasingly important option for patent owners since eBay v. MercExchange made it harder to obtain injunctions in the United States, more firms are becoming ITC specialists. The ITC is a unique and fast-paced venue, so choosing experienced counsel is crucial.
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.
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.
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).
Then we measured both activity and performance, for three separate categories:
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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, was ranked the 24th Most Active attorney for representing respondents.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 complainants.
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