comparing patent litigation firms

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fatduck
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comparing patent litigation firms

Postby fatduck » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:51 pm

so i've heard similar spiels from several (GP) firms about the type of patent litigation work they do - a lot of "we don't do a lot of troll defense, we do competitor suits with difficult issues" or "we don't do budget work, we pass that on to smaller firms"

is there a good source for this sort of information? other than chambers IP rankings, i haven't found a good, neutral source of detailed descriptions of what particular firm's IP groups are up to.

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gotmilk?
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Re: comparing patent litigation firms

Postby gotmilk? » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:03 pm

I had the same difficulty when I went through OCI. It's hard to tell. Here's the best that I can come up with:

-look at firms' website/attorney bios. They often list recent cases or big deal stuff they did. If it's mostly troll litigation, there you go. If not, that's helpful too.
-ask associates and partners during callbacks what are the cases they've been working on over the last few months. Get the names of the parties, figure out if they're trolls or not.

A couple other thoughts:
-Don't be afraid to just go with a firm that seems like a great fit in every other way (aka you get along great with the people) even if it's not the best patent lit practice. The people matter more in the end, as long as the practice isn't really terrible.
-Sure, it's great to be on supermassive Apple-Samsung type cases, but as a younger associate, it's really not. You're not getting as much good substantive experience as you would if you were on a smaller case- no one will even let you go near important briefs, let alone a Markman. I'm not saying you should go to some crappy troll defense shop, but there's a happy medium where you aren't fighting off really lame trolls and you aren't stuck doing privilege logs on some 50 lawyer megacase (which is what too often happens at several of the "top" patent lit firms).
-The nature of trolls is changing. Now there are trolls represented by good counsel like Irell or McKool Smith, and you'll have to work hard to win. Just because the other side is a troll doesn't mean it won't be an interesting, challenging case. The key is making sure you aren't going to a firm that just took 20 lame troll cases from bigcorp on a flat fee- then it's all about quickly negotiating a settlement price, and the work is no fun.

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fatduck
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Re: comparing patent litigation firms

Postby fatduck » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:24 pm

gotmilk? wrote:-Don't be afraid to just go with a firm that seems like a great fit in every other way (aka you get along great with the people) even if it's not the best patent lit practice. The people matter more in the end, as long as the practice isn't really terrible.
-Sure, it's great to be on supermassive Apple-Samsung type cases, but as a younger associate, it's really not. You're not getting as much good substantive experience as you would if you were on a smaller case- no one will even let you go near important briefs, let alone a Markman. I'm not saying you should go to some crappy troll defense shop, but there's a happy medium where you aren't fighting off really lame trolls and you aren't stuck doing privilege logs on some 50 lawyer megacase (which is what too often happens at several of the "top" patent lit firms).
-The nature of trolls is changing. Now there are trolls represented by good counsel like Irell or McKool Smith, and you'll have to work hard to win. Just because the other side is a troll doesn't mean it won't be an interesting, challenging case. The key is making sure you aren't going to a firm that just took 20 lame troll cases from bigcorp on a flat fee- then it's all about quickly negotiating a settlement price, and the work is no fun.

thanks, this is pretty much exactly where i'm at. may pm you later if/when i'm deciding between offers.

anonmyuos
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Re: comparing patent litigation firms

Postby anonmyuos » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:32 pm

Law360 does a decent job of keeping track of what firms are doing in patent litigation world.

http://www.law360.com/ip/ You can use the left side of that to click on the firms and see what kind of headlines they have. Also their surveys are helpful.

I haven't really found a ton of others. Corporate Counsel has a lot of good info on how the IP lit business operates on the inside, but their website is atrocious and a lot of their content is subscriber only. If you have access to Lexis or West, try searching their archives (Lexis has it, at least) for their annual surveys. It will give you an idea of what firms take on how many clients and what kinds (If I remember correctly, they survey number of suits, side of suits (plaintiff/defendant), and amounts involved).

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gotmilk?
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Re: comparing patent litigation firms

Postby gotmilk? » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:41 pm

fatduck wrote:
gotmilk? wrote:-Don't be afraid to just go with a firm that seems like a great fit in every other way (aka you get along great with the people) even if it's not the best patent lit practice. The people matter more in the end, as long as the practice isn't really terrible.
-Sure, it's great to be on supermassive Apple-Samsung type cases, but as a younger associate, it's really not. You're not getting as much good substantive experience as you would if you were on a smaller case- no one will even let you go near important briefs, let alone a Markman. I'm not saying you should go to some crappy troll defense shop, but there's a happy medium where you aren't fighting off really lame trolls and you aren't stuck doing privilege logs on some 50 lawyer megacase (which is what too often happens at several of the "top" patent lit firms).
-The nature of trolls is changing. Now there are trolls represented by good counsel like Irell or McKool Smith, and you'll have to work hard to win. Just because the other side is a troll doesn't mean it won't be an interesting, challenging case. The key is making sure you aren't going to a firm that just took 20 lame troll cases from bigcorp on a flat fee- then it's all about quickly negotiating a settlement price, and the work is no fun.

thanks, this is pretty much exactly where i'm at. may pm you later if/when i'm deciding between offers.


Feel free. Good luck.




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