Partners at Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz and at Novak Druce + Quigg have approved a merger of the two law firms, creating a 125-attorney intellectual property superboutique.

The firms had revealed plans to combine in September, but the partnership vote announced on November 29 makes it official. The new firm will be known as Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg and will have seven offices.

Novak Druce is based in Houston and Connolly Bove in Wilmington, Del.

Gregory Novak will serve as managing partner and chief executive of the combined firm. Jeffrey Bove will serve as a senior partner, as will Novak Druce’s Donald Quigg.

The merger, effective on January 1, comes as patent litigation has surged to an all-time high. The number of patent infringement filings shot up by 22 percent during 2011 compared with the year before, reaching the highest level yet recorded, according to a study released in September by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Contact Leigh Jones at ljones@alm.com.