Breaking and associated brands will be offline for scheduled maintenance Friday Feb. 26 9 PM US EST to Saturday Feb. 27 6 AM EST. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Back in the days of coke furnaces and combustion engines, Pinkerton guards were often called in to protect the crown jewels of corporate America: its coal mines and bellowing factories. Who today protects the most valuable assets of IP America: the collective portfolios of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets? Why, the lawyers, of course. The difference is that today’s IP lawyers aren’t sinister strikebreakers but skilled opportunists. Rather than just cost their clients money, they often help them earn it by litigating and licensing on their behalf. It is tempting to think that the Internet is the sun around which all IP work revolves today. But there’s plenty of other interesting work, in the pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and other old economy industries. At least symbolically, however, nothing signals the shift in the economy from machine power to mind power better than the Internet. It has engendered, in the words of venture capitalist John Doerr, “the single greatest legal creation of wealth in the history of the planet.” Who are the law firms that have helped the IP revolution along? We sought to answer that question by asking the members of the Fortune 250 what firms they rely on for IP work. We asked them to tell us which law firms they used most often for patent prosecutions and IP counseling and licensing, and the law firms they used most often for IP litigation. We heard back from 155 of them. THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE The winners? Here’s a surprise. New York-based Fish & Neave — the venerable IP boutique — came out on top, but not for litigation. Six companies identify Fish & Neave as a firm they use most often for patent prosecution, counseling and licensing, making it our number one firm in that area. Fish & Neave views itself a trial firm — and about eighty percent of its business is related to litigation. Still, the firm deliberately developed an expertise in counseling and prosecution as a service for clients. Our top litigation dog is Washington, D.C.’s Howrey Simon Arnold & White. Nine companies cite Howrey as a firm they rely on for trial counsel. (Fish & Neave came in second, having been named by seven companies). Howrey Simon’s shot to the top should not be startling. It’s the product of two large trial firms: Howrey & Simon, and Arnold White & Durkee, and the “new” Howrey handles as many as 110 litigations at a time. When you tally all the votes on both questions, Fish & Neave and Howrey Simon come out tied, with 13 mentions each. Washington, D.C’s Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner places second with 11 “votes” followed by Chicago’s Kirkland & Ellis with ten votes. CORPORATE FIRMS MAKE HAY Kirkland isn’t the only big firm at the top of the heap. Even relative IP newcomers such as New York’s Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Philadelphia’s Morgan, Lewis & Bockius made strong showings. Am Law 100 firms like Atlanta’s Alston & Bird, Houston’s Baker Botts and Fulbright & Jaworski, Minneapolis’s Dorsey & Whitney, and Chicago’s Sidley & Austin all did well in litigation. Milwaukee’s Foley & Lardner, Washington, D.C.’s Shaw Pittman, and Dallas’s Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld cracked their way into top spots in the counseling/prosecution category — traditionally a mainstay of IP boutiques. What may be most encouraging about the survey for IP lawyers is that, at least now, corporate America is willing to let hundreds of IP firms bloom. The 155 members of the Fortune 250 responding to the survey collectively picked 220 different firms. Many of them rely on three or more firms. Fish & Neave and Howrey Simon are not the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati or Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz of the IP practice. At least not yet. And that’s good news for all the other firms hungrily eyeing this field of the future. Statistics compiled by Jeni Gallagher. Summer interns Eric Adler, Francesca Periconi, and Maria Shim assisted on this project.
COURTROOM WARRIORS Firms mentioned three or more times as a primary litigation firm.
9 Howrey Simon Arnold & White
7 Fish & Neave
6 Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner
6 Kirkland & Ellis
6 Weil, Gotshal & Manges
5 Baker Botts
5 Fish & Richardson
4 Kenyon & Kenyon
4 Pennie & Edmonds
4 Sughrue, Mion, Zinn, Macpeak & Seas
3 Alston & Bird
3 Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione
3 Darby & Darby
3 Dorsey & Whitney
3 Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto
3 Fulbright & Jaworski
3 Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler
3 Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson
3 Sidley & Austin
3 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
3 Venable

IP COUNSELORS Firms mentioned three or more times as a primary counseling, licensing, and prosecution firm.
6 Fish & Neave
5 Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione
5 Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner
5 Fulbright & Jaworski
5 Kenyon & Kenyon
4 Baker Botts
4 Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis
4 Darby & Darby
4 Foley & Lardner
4 Harness, Dickey & Pierce
4 Howrey Simon Arnold & White
4 Kirkland & Ellis
4 Shaw Pittman
4 Vinson & Elkins
4 Woodcock Washburn Kurtz Mackiewicz & Norris
3 Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld
3 Alston & Bird
3 Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells
3 Dorsey & Whitney
3 Fenwick & West
3 Fish & Richardson
3 Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto
3 Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu
3 Marshall, O�Toole, Gerstein, Murray & Borun
3 Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
3 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
3 Townsend and Townsend and Crew
3 Weil, Gotshal & Manges

GANG OF 24 Firms mentioned five or more times in both sets of answers.
13 Fish & Neave
13 Howrey Simon Arnold & White
11 Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner
10 Kirkland & Ellis
9 Baker Botts
9 Kenyon & Kenyon
9 Weil, Gotshal & Manges
8 Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione
8 Fish & Richardson
8 Fulbright & Jaworski
7 Darby & Darby
6 Alston & Bird
6 Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis
6 Dorsey & Whitney
6 Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto
6 Pennie & Edmonds
6 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
6 Sughrue, Mion, Zinn, Macpeak & Seas
6 Woodcock Washburn Kurtz Mackiewicz & Norris
5 Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells
5 Foley & Lardner
5 Harness, Dickey & Pierce
5 Townsend and Townsend and Crew
5 Vinson & Elkins

Related Chart: Who ProtectsIP America Return to Special Report: Who Protects IP America

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.