Dr. Scott E. Kamholz, MD, PhD, of Foley Hoag, in Washington, D.C. August 11, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.
Dr. Scott E. Kamholz, MD, PhD, of Foley Hoag, in Washington, D.C. August 11, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL. (Diego M. Radzinschi)

Covington & Burling is bulking up its patent practice on both coasts by recruiting two former judges with the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Peter Chen, who earlier this month left his role as a lead judge at PTAB’s regional office in Silicon Valley, joined Covington this week as a partner in Redwood City, California. Scott Kamholz left PTAB in early 2015 to return to Foley Hoag in Washington, D.C., where he co-chaired the firm’s patent postgrant proceedings practice.

Kamholz and Chen each sat on the PTAB bench for about three years. They were both among the first judges to preside over trials after the America Invents Act of 2011 reshaped the face of patent litigation, and they are also the only judges with that experience to have returned to private practice.

Chen, who joins Covington as a partner, estimated that he and Kamholz have handled a combined total of 300 patent proceedings. Kamholz, now of counsel at Covington in the nation’s capital, said he became familiar with his new firm’s patent lawyers when he was launching an inter partes review practice at Foley Hoag, where his work included helping lawyers at other firms handle mock trials for their PTAB cases. Covington’s team stood out for its sophistication, Kamholz said.

“I was very impressed with their level of skill and preparation, and I found through working that case with them that we saw things the same way,” he said. “I got interested in making that permanent.”

The relatively large size of Covington’s patent office trials practice, a 33-lawyer group with eight partners, was also a draw, added Kamholz. For Chen, a former colleague helped sell him on Covington’s expertise.

Thomas DeFilipps, who worked with Chen at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in the nineties before joining Sidley Austin in 2009, left Sidley last fall to lead Covington’s West Coast corporate practice. He reached out to Chen about potentially coming board at Covington. At the time, Chen, whose career has included stints at Latham & Watkins and McDermott Will & Emery, as well as in-house roles at Cadence Design Systems Inc. and Linear Technology Corp., was feeling nostalgic for law firm life.

“As I was on the PTAB bench as lead administrative patent judge, it became more apparent to me that while I enjoyed being in a judicial role, especially working with my fellow judges on three-judge panels … I really also enjoyed being an advocate for clients and representing clients,” Chen said.

Andrea Reister, chair of Covington’s patent office trials practice, said in a statement prepared by the firm that because nearly all significant patent litigation in the IP arena now involves inter partes review, a procedure for challenging patent validity introduced by the America Invents Act, having lawyers with Chen and Kamholz’s expertise will be critical to her group’s success.

“We are thrilled to add Peter and Scott to our team as we expect the demand for Patent Office trials to continue to grow in the coming years, and their experience in the high tech and life science sectors will benefit our clients tremendously,” Reister said.

Covington, which this week saw government contracts partner Robert Nichols in Washington, D.C., start his own boutique, enjoyed a successful 2016. The firm’s gross revenue grew 13 percent, to $838.5 million, while profits per partner soared 16 percent, to $1.475 million. Covington’s head count—838 at year’s end—has continued to grow.

The firm brought back former associate Samantha Choe as special litigation counsel this month in San Francisco after she spent nearly four years in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division. Monica Ramirez Almadani, a former senior adviser to ex-California Attorney General Kamala Harris, now a junior senator from the state, also joined Covington last month special counsel in the firm’s white-collar defense and investigations group in Los Angeles. Covington, which opened in Los Angeles two years ago, has been keen on expanding its operations in the city.

The National Law Journal, a sibling publication, reported last month on Covington’s addition of a new appellate litigation co-head in Beth Brinkmann, who until recently served as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil division. Covington also brought back former partner Matthew DelNero in Washington, D.C., where he spent two years as chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s wireline competition bureau.

In New York, Covington recently added Boies Schiller Flexner transactional tax partner Ansgar Simon and M&A partner Tom Kuhn, a former partner at a Covington predecessor who spent the past 17 years as an investment banker. Covington also hired IP rights and media communications of counsel Jacqueline Charlesworth in New York last month from the U.S. Copyright Office, where she spent the past three years as general counsel and associate register of copyrights. In London, King & Wood Mallesons white-collar litigation partner Ian Hargreaves re-joined several former colleagues at Covington, which late last year picked up financial disputes partners Craig Pollack and Louise Freeman.

Earlier this month, Covington agreed to settle claims that it had breached its duties to former client 3M Co. The firm has also been busy in California, where Covington litigation partner and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. inked a $25,000 per month contract in January to help the Golden State battle the Trump administration. Ride-sharing giant Uber Technologies Inc. also hired Holder and Covington to lead an internal review of a former female engineer’s sexual harassment allegations.

Copyright The Recorder. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Covington & Burling is bulking up its patent practice on both coasts by recruiting two former judges with the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Peter Chen, who earlier this month left his role as a lead judge at PTAB’s regional office in Silicon Valley, joined Covington this week as a partner in Redwood City, California. Scott Kamholz left PTAB in early 2015 to return to Foley Hoag in Washington, D.C., where he co-chaired the firm’s patent postgrant proceedings practice.

Kamholz and Chen each sat on the PTAB bench for about three years. They were both among the first judges to preside over trials after the America Invents Act of 2011 reshaped the face of patent litigation, and they are also the only judges with that experience to have returned to private practice.

Chen, who joins Covington as a partner, estimated that he and Kamholz have handled a combined total of 300 patent proceedings. Kamholz, now of counsel at Covington in the nation’s capital, said he became familiar with his new firm’s patent lawyers when he was launching an inter partes review practice at Foley Hoag , where his work included helping lawyers at other firms handle mock trials for their PTAB cases. Covington’s team stood out for its sophistication, Kamholz said.

“I was very impressed with their level of skill and preparation, and I found through working that case with them that we saw things the same way,” he said. “I got interested in making that permanent.”

The relatively large size of Covington’s patent office trials practice, a 33-lawyer group with eight partners, was also a draw, added Kamholz. For Chen, a former colleague helped sell him on Covington’s expertise.

Thomas DeFilipps, who worked with Chen at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in the nineties before joining Sidley Austin in 2009, left Sidley last fall to lead Covington’s West Coast corporate practice. He reached out to Chen about potentially coming board at Covington. At the time, Chen, whose career has included stints at Latham & Watkins and McDermott Will & Emery , as well as in-house roles at Cadence Design Systems Inc. and Linear Technology Corp., was feeling nostalgic for law firm life.

“As I was on the PTAB bench as lead administrative patent judge, it became more apparent to me that while I enjoyed being in a judicial role, especially working with my fellow judges on three-judge panels … I really also enjoyed being an advocate for clients and representing clients,” Chen said.

Andrea Reister, chair of Covington’s patent office trials practice, said in a statement prepared by the firm that because nearly all significant patent litigation in the IP arena now involves inter partes review, a procedure for challenging patent validity introduced by the America Invents Act, having lawyers with Chen and Kamholz’s expertise will be critical to her group’s success.

“We are thrilled to add Peter and Scott to our team as we expect the demand for Patent Office trials to continue to grow in the coming years, and their experience in the high tech and life science sectors will benefit our clients tremendously,” Reister said.

Covington, which this week saw government contracts partner Robert Nichols in Washington, D.C., start his own boutique, enjoyed a successful 2016. The firm’s gross revenue grew 13 percent, to $838.5 million, while profits per partner soared 16 percent, to $1.475 million. Covington’s head count—838 at year’s end—has continued to grow.

The firm brought back former associate Samantha Choe as special litigation counsel this month in San Francisco after she spent nearly four years in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division. Monica Ramirez Almadani, a former senior adviser to ex-California Attorney General Kamala Harris, now a junior senator from the state, also joined Covington last month special counsel in the firm’s white-collar defense and investigations group in Los Angeles. Covington, which opened in Los Angeles two years ago, has been keen on expanding its operations in the city.

The National Law Journal, a sibling publication, reported last month on Covington’s addition of a new appellate litigation co-head in Beth Brinkmann, who until recently served as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil division. Covington also brought back former partner Matthew DelNero in Washington, D.C., where he spent two years as chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s wireline competition bureau.

In New York , Covington recently added Boies Schiller Flexner transactional tax partner Ansgar Simon and M&A partner Tom Kuhn, a former partner at a Covington predecessor who spent the past 17 years as an investment banker. Covington also hired IP rights and media communications of counsel Jacqueline Charlesworth in New York last month from the U.S. Copyright Office, where she spent the past three years as general counsel and associate register of copyrights. In London, King & Wood Mallesons white-collar litigation partner Ian Hargreaves re-joined several former colleagues at Covington, which late last year picked up financial disputes partners Craig Pollack and Louise Freeman.

Earlier this month, Covington agreed to settle claims that it had breached its duties to former client 3M Co. The firm has also been busy in California, where Covington litigation partner and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. inked a $25,000 per month contract in January to help the Golden State battle the Trump administration. Ride-sharing giant Uber Technologies Inc. also hired Holder and Covington to lead an internal review of a former female engineer’s sexual harassment allegations.

Copyright The Recorder. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.