• Principal, Fish & Richardson
  • Northwestern University, political science, 2001
  • University of Chicago Law School, 2004

When Noah Graubart started working as a patent attorney at Fish & Richardson, he had to explain to friends what exactly he did. Today, even his grandmother understands patent trolls.

“Patent litigation has come to the forefront of the public’s mind, both with some very high-profile cases as well as the Congress’ and president’s efforts to reform the system,” says Graubart.

Graubart specializes in patent infringement litigation. He does not have a scientific background but says he finds patent work fascinating because “each case is always a challenge of understanding and getting to the bottom of new technology, where even a Ph.D. has to learn what is unique to that particular case.”

Graubart was instrumental in achieving a victory for BlackBerry in NXP B.V. v. BlackBerry in which plaintiff NXP alleged that BlackBerry’s smartphones infringed on six patents relating to a range of technologies, including wireless communication protocols and semiconductor fabrication techniques.

NXP eventually dropped three of the patents claims and, even after BlackBerry restructured its legal department and tapped new counsel, Graubart remained. In April, a jury found that BlackBerry did not infringe on NXP’s patents and that the patents NXP asserted were invalid.

“Noah is an extraordinary attorney for several reasons. First and foremost is his formidable intellect. Noah is intelligent and insightful and works with a wide range of complex technology every day,” says Kurt Zenz House, president of C12 Energy. “One day, Noah might be working on gene-therapy patents, the next day on oilfield technology, and the day after that on a new wireless invention.”

House says Graubart “has an excellent commercial orientation. Noah has not only helped us pursue key patent protection for several of our inventions, he has actually helped us devise our entire intellectual property strategy. Noah demonstrated a level of commercial orientation that is rare among lawyers and very refreshing.”

Nagendra “Nick” Setty, a partner in Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and former managing partner of Fish & Richardson’s Atlanta office, worked with Graubart when he was a second-year associate, fresh from his clerkship with Judge Jerry Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

“Noah has the rare combination of being extremely fast and bright, a pleasure to have on a trial team and in the office, and a writer’s writer—clean, declarative, Hemingway stuff,” Setty says.

Graubart is involved with a number of pro bono matters including the board of directors of the Texas Defender Service.

“Pro bono work is a great way for young lawyers to broaden their skills, and working on death penalty cases gives you perspective on what matters,” he says. “If I have a really, really bad day, my client has to write a big check. My wife is an ophthalmologist, and if she has a really, really bad day, someone may have their eyesight damaged or lose their vision. But if you are representing a death penalty case and have a really, really bad day, that person may lose their life.”

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