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Covington Announces Major Expansion of its Patent Litigation Practice and West Coast Presence


WASHINGTON, DC, October 6, 2008 — Covington & Burling LLP is significantly expanding its national intellectual property litigation practice with the addition of approximately 50 lawyers in California and Washington, DC. Covington is also opening new offices in Silicon Valley, where it already has a large client base, and San Diego, which presents significant opportunities in the life sciences field, an area in which Covington is recognized as one of the world’s leading law firms. The new patent litigation lawyers will substantially enlarge Covington’s existing San Francisco office and will form the initial core of the firm’s new Silicon Valley and San Diego offices. Once the arrivals are complete later this month, Covington expects to have more than 80 lawyers resident in California.

These new lawyers, who include 14 partners, six counsel, and a strong group of associates at all levels, are well known for their success in the patent litigation field, both in the federal courts and before the International Trade Commission. In particular, they have deep technical expertise and broad experience in the information technology, electronics, and communications industry sectors. They join Covington’s existing intellectual property practice, which is well-known for its work in the life sciences and other industry sectors.

“Our new colleagues are an exceptionally talented group who nicely complement our existing IP lawyers. The result will be a multi-office team with an unusually wide range of technical expertise, legal skills of the highest caliber, and a deep bench of extraordinarily talented trial and appellate patent litigators,” said Timothy Hester, chair of Covington’s management committee. “Our new offices will broaden our footprint in California, and these lawyers will provide a tremendous start for our expanded presence on the West Coast. The Silicon Valley office will build on our interdisciplinary strength in the information technology sector, while the San Diego office will allow us to extend our international life sciences practice into one of the country’s major biosciences hubs.”

Robert Haslam, one of the country’s leading patent trial lawyers, is spearheading the launch of the Silicon Valley office, along with partners Stanley Young, Nitin Subhedar, and Andrew Byrnes. The three partners opening the San Diego office are Alan Blankenheimer, Laura Muschamp, and Jo Dale Carothers. Joining Covington’s existing office in San Francisco as partners are Robert Fram, Michael Plimack, Christine Haskett, and Michael Markman. The new partners in the firm’s Washington office are Sturgis Sobin, a prominent ITC practitioner, together with Maureen Browne and Johnny Chiu.

The firm’s expanded patent litigation practice group will be co-chaired by Rod McKelvie and Robert Fram, with Michael Plimack and Chris Sipes serving as vice chairs.

“In recent years, Covington has established a preeminent IP litigation team,” said new partner Robert Haslam. “We’ve gotten to know the firm’s lawyers in and outside the courtroom and are delighted now to be on the same team. I am particularly excited about how the newly constituted patent group can combine and build on Covington’s existing industry concentrations and geographical presence. Led by George Pappas and others, Covington has tremendous strengths in all aspects of IP in the life sciences sector, while we bring to the group a great track record in the IT and communications arena. Covington’s premier regulatory practices in all of these sectors will complement the group’s intellectual property expertise.”


The new lawyers identified above became Covington partners effective October 1, 2008. The San Francisco and Washington lawyers will be resident in Covington’s pre-existing offices in those cities. The new Silicon Valley office is located in Redwood Shores at 333 Twin Dolphin Drive, while the new San Diego office is located at 9191 Towne Centre Drive.

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