Lawyers at Texas firm Gray Reed & McGraw have been working in Waco for years, but with more patent litigation expected to be filed in the city, the firm is planning to open an office there.
Gray Reed’s partners agreed on Waco over the weekend as the firm’s third office, the firm said. It will start in a temporary space and move into the Texas Life Building later this year.
The 140-lawyer firm, which also has offices in Dallas and Houston, is the second Texas midsize firm with a big intellectual property practice to open an office in Waco. Houston-based intellectual property firm Patterson & Sheridan launched an office there earlier this year, hiring two lawyers to initially open the office.
Waco is expected to be a hotbed for IP litigation, because of the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods decision, which limits venue options. Additionally, well-known IP litigator Alan Albright recently took the bench as a federal judge in Waco, in the Western District of Texas.
“With Judge Albright coming in, having been a very well-respected patent litigator in his own right, there’s probably going to be a large influx of cases there,” said Eric Tautfest, chairman of Gray Reed’s IP department.
Tautfest said he will split his time between Waco and Dallas. Senior counsel David Henry, a registered patent attorney and IP litigator, and associate Alex Uber, also a registered patent attorney, have been working remotely in Waco and will now work in the new office. The office will also include of counsel Pat Souter, a health care lawyer who is a health care studies professor at Baylor Law School in Waco.
Tautfest said the new Waco office shows the firm’s commitment to the area, which is about an hour’s drive from Dallas.
In Waco, the firm said, it has clients seeking legal services in health care, IP, real estate and tax. They include Southern Financial Group Specialty Property, Hobbs Bonded Fibers, Peak Nano Systems, Mashburn Enterprises, Premier ER and Urgent Care, Brazos River Capital Independent Bank, Start-Up Waco, the Baylor Launch Program, an entrepreneurship incubator program, and Extraco Banks.