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A Sidley Austin patent agent’s previous work for a lighting company while at another firm should not disqualify Sidley lawyers from representing an inventor suing the company for patent infringement, a Manhattan federal court has decided.

Sidley is representing Columbia University engineering professor Gertrude Neumark Rothschild in suits against several lighting companies over processes used in the manufacture of light emitting diodes (LEDs). One of the defendants, Philips Lumiled Lighting Co., had called for Sidley’s disqualification on the grounds that Gergely Zimanyi, a patent agent at the firm, had performed work for Philips when he worked for now-defunct Silicon Valley intellectual property boutique Skjerven Morrill.

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