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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe announced Monday that William Coats III, one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s leading intellectual property trial lawyers, will become a partner in its Menlo Park office. Coats comes from Howrey Simon Arnold & White. “I think there’s a real synergy between what he wants and what we have,” said Gary Weiss, partner in charge of Orrick’s Menlo Park office. “We’ve been talking to Bill for five years to get him over. I don’t think there’s another copyright litigator in the Bay Area — actually, in California — that has the experience and the reputation that he does.” Coats joined Howrey, Simon in late 1996 and helped found the firm’s office in Menlo Park. Coats served as lead trial counsel for Accolade Inc. in Sega Enterprises v. Accolade Inc., 977 F.2d 1510 (9th Cir. 1992), a precedent-setting copyright case that established the legal guidelines for permissible reverse engineering and development of compatible software products. Coats counts Lucasfilm Ltd., Universal Studios and Pioneer Corp. among his clients. “Orrick, from my perspective, just presents a good opportunity … it fits me and my clients,” Coats said. He added that Orrick’s broader practice areas played a significant role in his decision.

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