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MoFo soars in US patent survey

Blockbuster cases in the US as well as major shake ups in Latin America mean significant changes in the Americas rankings in this year’s Managing IP patents survey

In the US, Morrison & Foerster’s phenomenal win for Apple against Samsung, coupled with unanimous praise from the market, has sent it soaring to tier 1 for national patent contentious work. The firm won a $1 billion jury verdict for Apple in the Northern District of California last August, which was upheld by Judge Lucy Koh just last week.

The US ITC rankings have seen some movement as well, with both Covington & Burling and Quinn Emanuel & Urquhart moving up to tier 1. Meanwhile, some of the more traditional ITC stars, such as Adduci Mastriani & Schaumberg and Foster Murphy Altman & Nickel, moved down a notch. This is perhaps a testament to the increasingly important role the ITC is playing in the US market, which is forcing bigger firms to sharpen their skills there.

In Brazil, the big news this year was the dissolution of Momsen Leonardos, which has been a strong presence in the country since 1919. A disagreement among the firm’s leadership resulted in a split, and two new firms have emerged: Kasznar Leonardos and Luiz Leonardos. Most agree that Kasznar is the stronger of the two, with a higher percentage of the original firm members having chosen to stay on - but only time will tell how the two firms will fare separately.

Another significant change comes in Mexico, where one of the country’s two traditional IP powerhouses – Uhthoff Gomez Vega & Uhthoff – has been bumped down one tier for patent contentious work. While Uhthoff remains highly recommended by peers for prosecution work and won Managing IP’s award for best patent firm last year, this year there was a clear indication that their litigation presence has been falling off.

This year’s survey also benefits from more in-depth research in the US market, particularly with respect to individual attorneys. The upcoming IP Stars handbook will rank leading firms and lawyers in each US state, and has led to several new additions to our national rankings as well. These include: K&L Gates for ITC work; Harness Dickey & Pierce, Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner, Novak Druce & Quigg and Faegre Baker Daniels in patent prosecution; and nine new firms in patent contentious, including Desmarais and Niro Haller & Niro.

Because IP Stars will provide a more comprehensive overview of regional firms and attorneys than Managing IP’s regional rankings, these have been eliminated, and highlights of the IP Stars state rankings will be published in the April issue of Managing IP.

The full Americas patent rankings, which cover 13 jurisdictions, are available here to subscribers. Readers can take a free trial to gain full access for a limited time.

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