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Intellectual property is everywhere in Americans’ daily lives. A dizzying number of patents cover the foods we eat and the medicines we take. We buy licensed products like there is no tomorrow, a fact that has made Mike, Shaq, and Kobe today’s plutocrats. Copyrights apply to the computer programs we use and the music we listen to — or download. Trademarks serve as guideposts for the detergents and deodorants we buy, the beer we drink, and the sneakers we wear. The world has thankfully moved beyond the silly Internet-era notion that only clicks matter, but not bricks. Even so, IP — the most intangible of intangible assets — is here to stay. Consider Qualcomm Incorporated, one of the darlings of day traders and essentially an IP play on wireless technology. Although its stock price has been more than halved, Qualcomm still has a market capitalization exceeding $40 billion. As America’s corporate brainpower continues to churn, the law firms that protect patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets are thriving. This is borne out by IP Worldwide‘s special report on the firms that represent America’s IP. We asked Fortune 250 companies to name the lawyers they rely on for IP work — the firms they use most often for patent prosecution and IP counseling and licensing, and the firms they count on for IP litigation. We also asked the companies to identify their top in-house IP lawyer. LOOSE LIPS DON’T SINK SHIPS Corporations have become more loose-lipped about their IP guard dogs than they were last year [See "Who Protects IP America" October/November 2000, IP Worldwide]. Out of the 250 largest U.S. companies, 202 responded. That’s an 80 percent return — compared with 63 percent last year. In recognition of the importance of IP, more companies named a top in-house IP lawyer — 83 percent, compared with 80 percent last year. Companies, however, are increasingly looking outside for help managing IP assets. Only about 7 percent of the companies reported that they handled all their own counseling work internally, compared with 10 percent last year. And only five companies — Ashland Inc., AT&T Corp., The Bear Stearns Cos., Chevron Corp., and Edison International — say that they mostly handle IP litigation in-house. The respondents collectively named a total of 246 firms. Washington, D.C.’s Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner emerged as the winner overall, and tied for the top place in both IP counseling and litigation. Reporter Ashby Jones writes about how a management shake-up helped catapult Finnegan Henderson to the top. After a new generation of leaders took over about five years ago, the firm opened a slew of national and international offices and beefed up its traditional IP practice with high-tech and international trade work. It also hired seasoned trial lawyers to help overcome a lackluster reputation for jury cases. (The firm had historically been an appellate specialist.) We also choose to profile Chicago’s Kirkland & Ellis, which tied for second on our litigation list and came in third overall. (We profiled the only firm that did better, New York’s Fish & Neave, last year [ See "Built To Last" October/November 2000, IP Worldwide].) Reporter Carlyn Kolker writes that Kirkland built its IP reputation on the shoulders of its general commercial megatrial work and on the Midwestern grit of two partners, William Streff, Jr., and Robert Krupka. The pair joined the firm in the 1970s to write patent applications for clients. But once they took over the practice about a decade ago, they ditched patent prosecution for the thrill of trials. Kirkland isn’t the only general firm that did well in the survey. Our top “Team of 25″ — the firms mentioned by the most companies for litigation and other IP work — is stocked with a healthy mix of both Am Law 100 firms such as New York’s Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Houston’s Fulbright & Jaworski, and Milwaukee’s Foley & Lardner and IP boutiques, like the two “Fishes” — New York’s Fish & Neave and Boston’s Fish & Richardson — and Chicago’s Banner & Witcoff. If the world will continue to be dominated by both bricks and clicks, it seems too that IP work will flow to both boutiques and behemoths. American Lawyer Media Inc. research staffers Shannon Attaway, Michael Scherer, Marion Jacobson, and Peter Lucas assisted on this project. Statistics compiled by Jeni Gallagher. Firms Mentioned Most Often for Litigation and Counseling Firms Mentioned Most Often for Litigation Firms Mentioned Most Often for Counseling, Licensing, and Prosecution

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