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Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

2021 Leaders in Law Finalists: Intellectual Property

Michael De Vries
Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Mike De Vries just finished his fifth in-person jury trial over the last 20 months, and his third since the start of COVID-19. U.S. District Judge Laura Schofield who presided over his Syntel v. TriZetto case in New York in October 2020 told jurors it was “…in some ways a historic event.” Everyone in the courtroom wore face coverings, and counsel and the witnesses stood inside plexiglass boxes when speaking, as a HEPA filter ventilated the courtroom. Kirkland attorneys reported that “you couldn’t read the judge’s expressions, you couldn’t read a jurors’ expressions.” Counsel was even forbidden from passing notes or whispering to co-counsel who were presenting.

All told, in the last 20 months, De Vries and his partner, Bay Area-based litigator Adam Alper have secured winning verdicts in five jury trials in a row, three of which were plaintiff-side trade secret wins occurring in the last 14 months. 

Ben Hattenbach
Irell & Manella LLP

Recognized as one of California’s leading IP lawyers, Ben Hattenbach practices full-time while serving in firm leadership as a member of Irell’s three-person management committee, the firm’s executive committee, and as vice chair of the litigation practice. Hattenbach’s practice is focused on intellectual property litigation and counseling, with a particular emphasis on the trial of patent infringement matters.

Most recently, as co-lead counsel, he obtained a $2.175 billion jury verdict for VLSI Technology in a March 2021 patent infringement trial against Intel Corporation involving microprocessor technology. Tried before a jury in Waco, Texas, this result was the second-highest U.S. patent verdict of all time. Beyond navigating the challenges of the highly complex case, Hattenbach and the rest of the trial team successfully dealt with a range of pandemic-related precautions to keep proceedings safe including undergoing regular COVID testing, wearing N95 masks and social distancing. 

Melanie Howard
Brand Protection Group
Loeb & Loeb

When iconic brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Canada Goose, St. John Knits, The Gap, and celebrity personalities like Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins (one of the highest viewed gamers and social media influencers with more than 22 million YouTube subscribers), need to protect and monetize their intellectual property assets, they turn to Melanie Howard, chair of Loeb & Loeb’s Brand Protection practice.

Howard’s clients trust her business-savvy guidance on complex intellectual property transactions, advertising and marketing matters, and privacy and data security issues. While Howard has a great deal of experience in luxury fashion, esports, and the crossover between the two, her range of experience spans numerous industries, including automotive, entertainment and media, financial services, consumer packaged goods and technology. Howard has recently served as lead counsel on a number of matters in the fashion and luxury retail, e-sports, automotive, technology, entertainment and media, and financial sectors. 

Lauren Schneider
Partner and Managing Partner, California Offices
Lewis Roca

Lauren Schneider is a partner in Lewis Roca’s Intellectual Property practice and also serves as the office managing partner of the firm’s Los Angeles and Silicon Valley offices. She oversees more than 40 intellectual property lawyers that focus on the areas of trademark prosecution, patent prosecution, licensing, opinion work, post-grant proceedings and litigation.

Schneider’s practice focuses on U.S.-based and international patent procurement and portfolio development, as well as licensing and opinion work. She provides patent strategy and portfolio management for numerous major clients across a diverse array of technical disciplines, both in the United States and internationally. She has extensive experience providing intellectual property protection and counseling in the biotechnology and chemistry sectors, and has counseled numerous clients, large and small, and prosecuted patent applications in a wide variety of technical fields, including life sciences, chemistry, materials science, optics, and mechanics. 

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