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June 14, 2016
WASHINGTON—The National Law Journal has named Covington to its “2016 IP Hot List,” recognizing it as one of 15 firms that “set the bar in intellectual property law in 2015, scoring big wins for clients.” Covington was also one of only two firms last month to receive the highest rating from Chambers USA in its nationwide categories for Intellectual Property and International Trade: Intellectual Property (Section 337).
In its story featuring Covington, The National Law Journal highlighted the firm’s successful representation of Elbit Systems in a patent infringement case with military contractor Thales Visionix involving the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Thales had alleged that the fighter's helmet-mounted display systems designed by Elbit infringed its patent. The Covington defense team argued that Thales' patent was invalid because it claimed ownership of a law of nature, which in this case was an algorithm for calculating the relative position and orientation of two objects in motion.
After initially expressing skepticism about the defense, the Federal Claims judge went on to write an opinion that sided with Elbit on every material issue. Partner Ranga Sudarshan told The National Law Journal that all it took was a photograph of one figure skater throwing another into the air to "set a light off" in the judge's mind. "No matter how you look at it, the claim was to a law of nature, and you can't claim that for yourself, even if you claim to have discovered it," he said.
According to partner Kurt Calia, "It was one of those instances where you know the oral arguments made a big difference.” Calia also noted that the case showed Covington's ability to grasp the technical points of an intellectual property case but also convey the "bigger picture."
In naming Covington in the highest band of firms nationally in intellectual property, Chambers USA noted that the firm has a “standout litigation practice representing the biggest names in the life sciences and hi-tech sectors." Chambers USA also included Covington’s Section 337 practice in the top band nationally, observing that it “excels in patent infringement investigations running in conjunction with district court proceedings.”
Covington’s intellectual property practice includes more than 120 lawyers worldwide and has been widely recognized by leading organizations, including Chambers USA, Chambers Global, and The Legal 500. The firm’s ITC-focused team, which has appeared in over 90 Section 337 cases spanning nearly 30 years, includes lawyers with experience inside some of the key government agencies involved in Section 337 cases.