About 300 of Kilpatrick's roughly 625 lawyers are IP practitioners.
McKeon is the chair-elect of the State Bar of Georgia's intellectual property section and serves on the boards of Georgia Bio and Southeast BIO.
She said Meunier Carlin & Curfman "has an important role in the community and they'll do well." Joining a large firm will allow her to focus on her practice, instead of administration, she said, noting that using several patent agents in her practice allows her to "provide patent services at a reasonable rate," even at a larger firm.
"One thing I hoped to accomplish with this move is to focus on my clients and client service. That's what I'm good at and what's important to me. It's absolutely fine with me to have someone else make sure the lights are kept on," McKeon said.
Meunier Carlin & Curfman has grown from five lawyers to 12 since its inception, making it one of the largest IP boutiques in Atlanta. Anthony Askew and Stephen Schaetzel joined the firm as partners from King & Spalding last year, adding litigation capabilities to the firm's patent prosecution and counseling practice.
"We wish Tina well," said Schaetzel. "We're fortunate that our practice is continuing to grow," he said, noting that the firm has added five lawyers since he joined. With patent agents, a scientific adviser and other staff, the firm employs about 30 people.
Meunier said the firm handles the full range of IP law, including trademarks and litigation. "We're looking to hire two more attorneys. We're in a growth phase," he said.
Askew attributed the firm's growth to experienced lawyers with a high level of expertise and a "reasonable billing rate structure."
Askew and Schaetzel are representing the state of Georgia in a long-running copyright infringement suit brought by a group of academic publishers against Georgia State University in 2008 over the posting of textbook excerpts on its online reserve system for student use. The publishers are appealing the case after a federal judge awarded GSU almost $3 million in legal fees and expenses.