Get All Access for $5/mo

Best Patent Litigators As high technology and biotech boom, patent and intellectual property lawyers are in greater demand than ever before. Here are some of the sharpest.

By Karen Donovan

Frank E. Scherkenbach, Fish & Richardson

With a booming national I.P. practice, Scherkenbach's firm last year handled 79 patent cases, more than any other U.S. firm. He's currently representing Callaway Golf against Acushnet, maker of the Titleist Pro V 1 golf ball, and has taken on computer software, semiconductor, and medical-device cases for clients like Microsoft and Google. Top patent litigators like Scherkenbach typically charge between $700 and $800 per hour.

Morgan Chu, Irell & Manella
A stellar patent litigator known for his baby face, bow ties, and courteous manner, Chu brings in consistently big results, like a $120 million jury verdict against Microsoft on behalf of Stac Electronics in 1994, and a half-billion dollar verdict against biotech giant Genentech for the City of Hope Medical Center in 2002. Other clients include TiVo Inc. and Texas Instruments.

Matthew D. Powers, Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Go to Powers, co-chair of Weil's 500-attorney litigation/regulatory department, with your toughest cases; he's known for winning the hard ones. For Intel, he won a summary judgment in a case seeking $8.2 billion in damages; he's currently representing Apple Computer in patent cases involving the MP3 technology of its iPod music player.

Kenneth R. Adamo, Jones Day
216-586-7120; 214-969-4856,
Adam is co-chair of this firm's mammoth I.P. practice, with clients including Genencor, an enzyme manufacturer; Nokia; and American Honda. In 2005, he got a $40 million settlement for Sovereign Software against, for alleged infringements of e-commerce technology, just days before a trial was to begin.

John M. Desmarais, Kirkland & Ellis
Desmarais cemented his reputation as a courtroom warrior in 2007, winning the largest jury verdict ever in a patent infringement case: a $1.5 billion award for Alcatel-Lucent against Microsoft. He also defended Charter Communications against $176 million in patent claims in Marshall, Texas, a venue favored by "patent trolls," companies set up purely to bring infringement cases.

Harold J. McElhinny, Morrison & Foerster
Co-chair of Morrison & Foerster's I.P. group, McElhinny is litigation counsel for EchoStar Communications, the satellite TV network, defending the company in several patent infringement cases. Known for independent judgment, McElhinny handles both trials and appeals: other clients include Doubleclick and the biotechnology company Chiron.

William F. Lee, WilmerHale
The best known of Boston's I.P. lawyers, Lee won high-profile victories for Broadcom this summer, defending against infringement claims by Qualcomm; the judge even ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom's attorneys' fees. In another case, Lee won a $19.6 million jury verdict for Broadcom against Qualcomm; the judge then doubled the damages. Other clients include Procter & Gamble and Kodak.

Leora Ben-Ami, Kaye Scholer
Considered a rainmaker, Ben-Ami has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry. She has handled 10 cases each for biotech giant Genentech and medical-device maker Pfizer. In May 2006, Ben-Ami won a $62.5 million verdict for Ariad Pharmaceuticals against Eli Lilly for patents used in Lilly's osteoporosis drug Evista. Currently defending Hoffman-LaRoche against claims by Amgen.

Robert L. Baechtold, Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto
Baechtold heads pharma litigation at this boutique I.P. firm, which is known for representing brand-name drug companies against generics. At a trial in January 2007, he won a ruling for Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers, establishing a valid patent for Plavix, the blockbuster heart medication. Clients include AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, and Novartis.

Jeff G. Randall, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Currently defending eBay in a trial set to begin in late 2007, Randall was also on the team that won a victory before the U.S. Supreme Court last year, establishing that injunctions could not be presumed in patent cases. Well liked by clients, and known for hard work and diligence, Randall also represents Applied Materials, Genentech, and Intel.

Visit for the latest business news and opinion, executive profiles and careers.© 2007 Condé Nast Inc. All rights reserved.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

The Side Hustle He Started in His College Apartment Turned Into a $70,000-a-Month Income Stream — Then Earned Nearly $2 Million Last Year

Kyle Morrand and his college roommates loved playing retro video games — and the pastime would help launch his career.

Business News

New Southwest Airlines Major Investor Wants to Force Out CEO, Slams Company's 'Stubborn Unwillingness to Evolve'

Elliot Investment Management announced a $1.9 billion stake in the Dallas-based Southwest Airlines on Monday and is urging shareholders to vote for new leadership.

Science & Technology

Why We Shouldn't Fear AI in Education (and How to Use It Effectively)

Facing resistance to new technologies in the educational process is nothing new, and AI is no exception. Yet, this powerful tool is set to overcome these challenges and revolutionize education, preparing students and professionals for a future of unparalleled efficiency and personalized learning.

Business News

Elon Musk Threatens to Ban Employees from Using Apple Products, Says Will Lock Devices in 'Cages'

The Tesla founder sounded off on X following Apple's 2024 Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday.

Business News

Apple's AI Has a Catch — And It Could Help Boost Sales

Not every iPhone owner will get to use the new Apple Intelligence.