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Raphael “Ray” Lupo may be one of the country’s premier intellectual property litigators, but he did not get there on his own. “I’ve participated in seven trials in the last eight months,” says Lupo. “The only way you can do that is by having really good support teams.” Lupo has worked up to his demanding role as head of McDermott, Will & Emery’s IP practice by focusing his entire career on IP litigation. Knowing exactly what he wanted to do, Lupo grabbed a position as the associate solicitor for the U.S. Patent Office in 1968, following graduation from George Washington University National Law Center. After participating in more than 150 appeals and two dozen district court trials, Lupo moved over to the Department of Energy in 1977 as the deputy assistant general counsel for patents. In that position, he watched over the patent departments of such national laboratories as the Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 1980, Lupo left the government for private practice, where he has focused on patent litigation with occasional work in trademark and copyright disputes. As the head of McDermott’s IP practice, Lupo is headquartered in Washington, but his practice has a national scope. “Patent litigators practice all over the country,” says Lupo. “You get hired not by the fact that you’re down the street … [but] because you have special expertise.” Lupo’s clients, which include the National Semiconductor Corp., Mosel Vitelic Inc., the Sprint Communications Co., Research Corporation Technologies, NeoMagic, the Ricoh Corp., and Solvay S.A., hail from all over the world. A man who carefully chooses the jurisdiction for each and every suit, examining such factors as where the company is based and where a jury would be more likely to hand down a favorable verdict, Lupo has seen the inside of courthouses from Tucson, Ariz., to Wilmington, Del., and from Charleston, S.C., to Milwaukee. The U.S. International Trade Commission is also a familiar venue. With Lupo’s guidance, one client, Mosel Vitelic, garnered a win over Micron in that jurisdiction last year. In the infringement suit, the ITC declared that three of Micron’s semiconductor memory device patents were invalid and had been inequitably procured. The outcome was “very unusual,” according to Lupo, since it is hard to have a patent declared inequitably procured as well as invalid. Another memorable victory for the IP litigator occurred nearly two decades ago — in a 1982 case brought by English manufacturer Ashlow Ltd. against the Morgan Construction Co. “On the very first day of trial, the judge ordered the other side [Morgan] to turn over their attorney-client documents,” recalls Lupo. The packet of documents contained what Lupo terms “the perfect example of a smoking-gun document” — a memorandum stating that Morgan might be able to “steal the cake” if it did not tell the Patent Office during prosecution about a prior patent that the company owned. “The disappointing scheme and pattern … constituted a knowing, conscious, and willful disregard of the uncompromising duty of candor and good faith owed by defendants and [their attorneys] to the Patent Office,” scolded the late Senior Judge Robert Hemphill of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. “It happens once in a career that you get a document like this,” remembers Lupo with satisfaction. Although happy to take his share of the credit for past glories, Lupo is the first to acknowledge that in high-stakes IP litigation, such victories are not won by one man alone. “I work very closely with my teams,” he emphasizes, pointing out that he was amply assisted by co-counsel in Mosel Vitelic’s win over Micron. Maybe his reliance on his able colleagues and support staff explains why Lupo is able to run a major IP practice, keep a sense of humor, and find time to pursue his “serious interest” in black-and-white photography. After discussing his photography, Lupo jokes: “I also like to drink wine, and it’s fun to do them together. You can quote me on that.”

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