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CHICAGO � Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has snatched a top Dallas intellectual property attorney and nine other lawyers from Patton Boggs, bringing on board the firm’s first litigators in that area in the Texas city. Gerald T. Welch, who was deputy chair of the national intellectual property department at Patton Boggs and a member of the firm’s managing committee, leads the Dallas team that moved to Sonnenschein. The group also includes four other new partners, Mark C. Nelson, Darren W. Collins, Gary B. Solomon and Robert C. Hilton, and five associates. The group comes to Sonnenschein with clients that include the Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson and KCI Licensing Inc. They will give the firm a presence near the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas where there has been an increase in intellectual property cases in recent years. Some clients have bypassed the firm in the past because it lacked an IP litigation presence in the region, said Carol Anne Been, who leads the firm’s intellectual property and technology practice. “Certainly, having them will create more opportunities for us,” said Been, who is based in Chicago. Been credited former U.S. Attorney Matthew Orwig, who became the firm’s Dallas managing partner last year and chair of its government litigation and investigations group, with helping lure the group. The associates include Kevin S. Afghani, Darin W. Deaver, Brian D. Owens and Dennis L. Vautrot. The group’s patent prosecution and counseling practice focuses on the medical device, electrical and telecommunications fields and their patent litigation expertise extends beyond those areas to include life sciences as well, the firm said. The firm has been building up its intellectual property team coast-to-coast, including the addition last year of Yar Chaikovsky in Menlo Park, Calif., to open an office in the Silicon Valley, and in 2006 of Alexander Hadjis in Washington to head the patent litigation group. Sonnenschein, founded in Chicago, has about 700 lawyers in 13 U.S. offices and in Brussels.

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