Rudy Telscher
Rudy Telscher (Patrice Gilbert)

Husch Blackwell has expanded its technology, manufacturing and transportation practice, adding five intellectual property litigators in St. Louis from IP-focused Harness, Dickey & Pierce, including Rudolph Telscher, who argued the winning side in a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case on patent fee-shifting.

Telscher joins Husch Blackwell as a partner, as do Kara Fussner, Steven Holtshouser and David Nester, while Daisy Manning comes aboard as an associate, the firm said in an announcement Wednesday. All five lawyers come to Husch Blackwell from Harness Dickey and plan to focus patent litigation and other IP disputes.

“We are very pleased to be joined by this outstanding group of intellectual property trial lawyers,” said a statement by Joseph Orlet, head of Husch Blackwell’s technology, manufacturing and transportation group. “Their skills and experience in high-stakes intellectual property litigation will be a great asset for our technology and manufacturing clients.”

Husch Blackwell touted the group’s recent track record, with a specific spotlight on Telscher, who the firm said has “not lost a trial or case-dispositive motion in more than a decade.”

Among his high-profile representations, Telscher in 2014 argued and won for client Octane Fitness LLC at the Supreme Court in a case that ultimately reworked the rules for fee shifting in patent litigation, relaxing a standard that allows judges to award attorney fees in patent suits found to be baseless. As sibling publication the Litigation Daily noted at the time, Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness marked Telscher’s first-ever Supreme Court argument and put him in opposition to veteran high court advocate Carter Phillips of Sidley Austin.

Telscher was also once referred to as “an intellectual property slugger” in connection with a publicity rights case in which he represented a fantasy sports company against Major League Baseball. In that case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit sided with Telscher’s client, finding that it had a First Amendment right to use names, statistics and biographical information of professional baseball players.

Telscher said in a statement that he’s excited to move to Husch Blackwell, and noted that the firm’s practices outside the realm of litigation would be a boon for clients.

“The firm has earned a reputation for delivering exceptional results and great value for clients,” he said. “In addition to having a tremendous litigation platform, the firm’s industry focus provides the right mix of litigation, regulatory and transactional skills needed to address our clients’ complex challenges.”

In addition to Telscher, the other lawyers joining Husch Blackwell from Harness Dickey all have extensive backgrounds in IP litigation and trial work. Holtshouser, for one, has some three decades of trial and appellate experience, focusing on patent and trademark litigation as well as white-collar investigations and defense. Holtshouser is also a former longtime assistant U.S. attorney in St. Louis.

Husch Blackwell’s add-on of an IP litigation group puts it among some other Am Law 200 firms that have made similar moves this year. In March 2016, Show Me State rival Polinselli picked up 44 IP lawyers from Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg, which was in the process of disbanding. In September, Andrews Kurth announced plans to combine with New York-based IP firm Kenyon & Kenyon.