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Patent litigation and brain surgery have at least one thingin common: The more you do it, the better you get. Experience does notguarantee success, but inexperience often dooms it. In IP Worldwide‘ssecond annual survey of patent cases, the names that come out on top are allfamiliar IP powerhouses. Boston’s Fish & Richardson and Chicago’s Kirkland& Ellis finished first and second on both the plaintiff and defense lists.New York’s Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto came in third on the plaintiffs’ side, while Kenyon & Kenyon, also of New York, took third on the defense side. The survey ranks firms by the number of patent cases thatthey brought and the number of cases that they defended in 2001. The surveydoes not measure success or complexity of cases or weigh the contribution ofco-counsel to a case. But it does offer a glimpse of the firms that clientschose when the chips were down last year. The accompanying charts list allfirms with ten or more plaintiffs and defense cases. A third chart lists thefirms that appear in both lists. There were more than 2,500 patent cases filed last year, andat least that many stories. Three stand out. � Despite the efforts of general practice firms to muscle inon IP, the remaining “boutiques” are doing just fine. Fish &Richardson, Kenyon & Kenyon, and Washington, D.C.’s Finnegan, Henderson,Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, firms with more than 200 lawyers and multipleoffices, have proven that they have the bench and trial skills to handlebet-the-company cases. Fish & Richardson and Kenyon & Kenyon may havebeen founded in the 19th century as specialty firms. But the reason to keepcalling them boutiques has to do with history and heritage rather than size. � The busiest IP firms do drugs — the kind you buy in apharmacy. Fitzpatrick Cella, the consigliere of Big Pharma, leaped onto thecharts on the strength of its patent work for clients like Pfizer Inc.,Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Many other topfirms, like Chicago’s Kirkland & Ellis, also climbed the charts by battlingwith generic manufacturers. � Consistency is the third story. The lists count cases onlyin the year they are filed, so you might expect a lot of turnover. But for themost part the top firms of 2000 did it again in 2001. Fish & Richardsoncame in second on the defense list 2000, beaten only by New York’s Fish &Neave. In 2001 Fish & Neave tied for eighth place. Washington, D.C.’s HowreySimon Arnold & White came in third in 2000 and tied for eighth in 2001. On the plaintiffs’ side too, there is surprising similarity.The 2000 winner, San Francisco’s Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, finished in aseventh-place tie in 2001. Fish & Richardson, the 2001 winner, came in afourth-place tie in 2000. The success or failure of the firms in these cases isoutside the scope of this survey. But, as New York Lotto players know, yougotta be in it to win it. THE CHART: Top IP Firms in 2001

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