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Vera M. Elson, one of the few Hispanic women IP trial lawyers in California, has been elevated to head of the Silicon Valley intellectual property practice of McDermott Will & Emery’s IP, Media & Technology Department. Elson, a senior patent trial lawyer with the 1,100-lawyer firm since 2001, she will oversee 40 lawyers in the intellectual property practice in Palo Alto, Calif. She also co-chairs the 2007 Sedona Conference in Arizona, a neutral think-tank that works to develop public policy and law in the areas of antitrust, intellectual property and complex litigation. Elson is currently representing Qualcomm before the International Trade Commission in a patent action against Nokia Corp. and VirnetX in a patent suit against Microsoft Corp. in the Eastern District of Texas. She studied integrated circuit design at the University of California-Los Angeles and worked at Hughes Aircraft’s Advanced Circuit Technology Laboratory before entering the law. After earning her law degree from the University of Southern California Law School, Elson worked as an intern for the late Chief Judge Helen Wilson Nies at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.

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