WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 24, 2008) – In a notable expansion of its intellectual property practice, Morrison & Foerster LLP has added three IP litigation partners Alexander J. Hadjis, Kristin L. Yohannan, and Rudy Y. Kim, to its Washington, D.C. and Palo Alto offices. Each is a former Federal Circuit Judicial Law Clerk.
Led by Mr. Hadjis, the group concentrates on patent and intellectual property litigation before federal courts, the International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, with special expertise in semiconductors, computers, electronic systems, biotechnology, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. The notable scientific backgrounds in high technology and life sciences of these partners and their colleagues are a perfect complement to the firm’s national IP practice.
The group’s arrival also boosts the firm’s ranks of the more than 100 USPTO-registered lawyers and rapidly increasing number of former Federal Circuit Clerks. Morrison & Foerster took on more than 70 new patent cases in 2007, including five appeals before the Federal Circuit. The firm’s ITC practice was recently ranked as one of the most active in the country.
“Our practice continues to gain technical talent and trial prowess with the addition of Alex, Kristin, and Rudy,” said Steven Kaufmann, who chairs Morrison & Foerster’s 500-attorney global Litigation Department. “They provide a complementary addition to our roster of lawyers distinguished for their track record in handling patent litigation and major disputes in all other areas of intellectual property. We are particularly excited to further expand our presence in Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Kaufmann added.
Mr. Hadjis, who serves as lead trial counsel before the federal district courts and the U.S. International Trade Commission in complex patent cases, frequently handles cases that involve the nexus of IP and antitrust law, along with industry technology standards disputes. Among his noteworthy trial wins, Mr. Hadjis applied an antitrust-based patent misuse defense against Philips in a case before the ITC involving recordable and rewritable compact discs. With a background in electrical engineering, Mr. Hadjis has successfully litigated and tried cases involving semiconductor technology for companies such as Intel, MediaTek, Spansion, Thomson, Broadcom, Genesis Microchip, Cypress Semiconductor and Atmel.
Kristin Yohannan brings a strong mix of experience in patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret cases. Ms. Yohannan represents leading medical device, pharmaceutical, computer, semiconductor, and biotech companies in patent infringement and ANDA cases. Before the Federal Circuit, Ms. Yohannan has been involved with 25 appeals, arguing 15 of them, and she wrote several briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court as an Associate Solicitor at the USPTO. She has authored sections of Section 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which governs the USPTO. Ms. Yohannan also authored an international treaty on industrial design patents and advised the director of the USPTO on various matters.
Rudy Kim, who like Mr. Hadjis has a degree in electrical engineering and is also a registered patent attorney, focuses on patent litigation and also advises high-tech companies in the acquisition and licensing of their intellectual property assets. He has represented clients on IP matters involving a wide span of technologies, including computer hardware and software, data storage, digital security, broadband communications, semiconductors, medical devices, and biotech.
“We’ve long been aware of Morrison & Foerster’s eminence and profile across all areas of IP – in litigation, patent prosecution, technology transactions, and life sciences – and we know the firm has an extremely deep and talented bench, along with a number of the top patent trial attorneys in practice today,” said Alex Hadjis. “We felt that at this juncture, our practice could benefit exponentially from being integrated into the broad, global IP and patent litigation group that Morrison & Foerster offers.”
The incoming group arrives as Morrison & Foerster continues to grow its widely recognized intellectual property platform. The Washington office recently added longtime patent litigator and IP transactional attorney Mark Ungerman, who previously headed the Washington IP practice and firmwide technology practice at Fulbright & Jaworski. Joining the Tokyo office earlier this spring was Yukihiro Terazawa, one of Japan’s leading technology transaction lawyers and international IP litigators.
“IP and IP litigation are key practices for us in all of our markets,” said Morrison & Foerster Chair Keith Wetmore. “Adding Alex and his team in Washington, D.C., the home for the globally critical ITC practice, and Palo Alto, the center of Silicon Valley and our historic home turf, underscores our place on the very short list of firms able to handle the most important IP litigation a client can face,” added Mr. Wetmore.
Earlier this year, American Lawyer selected Morrison & Foerster as one of the finalist firms in the IP category of its biannual selection of Litigation Department of the Year. Also this year Chambers & Partners named Morrison & Foerster one of three top global IP firms, while Chambers’ 2008 USA Guide placed the IP practice in its top Band 1 tier, noting the “consistently high quality” of the firm’s “highly sought-after” litigators. IP practice co-chair Harold McElhinny was also named one of the country’s top 10 patent lawyers by Conde Nast Portfolio.
Alexander J. Hadjis
A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (1993), Mr. Hadjis also earned a Master of Laws degree from George Washington University Law School (1996). He received his B.S.E.E. in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University (1990). He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Wilson Cowen of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from 1996 to 1997.
Kristin L. Yohannan
Ms. Yohannan received her J.D. from George Washington (1994) and her B.A. in biology/chemistry from Lafayette College (1989). She also earned a Masters degree in molecular genetics from the University of Connecticut (1991). She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Pauline Newman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from 1995 to 1997.
Rudy Y. Kim
Mr. Kim earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center (1998) and a B.S. in electrical engineering from UCLA. (1994). He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alan D. Lourie of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from 1999 to 2001.
The lawyers all previously practiced together as partners at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, where Mr. Hadjis chaired the patent litigation group. Mr. Hadjis and Ms. Yohannan will be resident in Morrison & Foerster’s Washington, D.C. office and Mr. Kim will be resident in the firm’s Palo Alto office.