03 March 2020

Foley & Lardner hires team of four patent lawyers from Dentons

Photograph of Washington DC

Washington DC

Market for IP lawyers remains buoyant as partners Eric Sophir and Gary Solomon brought in to grow Foley's IP capabilities

Foley & Lardner has hired four intellectual property lawyers from Dentons to expand its national IP and electronics practice group.

The move, the latest of a series of IP team hires by national US firms, sees Eric Sophir and Gary Solomon join as partners, with Matthew Horton joining as senior counsel and Kamyar Maserrat as an associate. Sophir was co-practice leader of Dentons’ IP group. 

Christopher McKenna, co-chair of Foley’s electronics practice group, said the team boasted "decades of electronics industry knowledge and legal experience" and was "a terrific strategic match in terms of clients, practice and geography".

The team will be based in Foley’s Washington DC office, apart from Solomon, who will be based in Dallas.

Sophir's experience includes protecting innovations, resolving patent disputes and monetising patents. His practice has an emphasis on strategic portfolio development and he provides advice on a range of patent issues, including clearance analysis and prosecution strategies.

He said he was impressed by the breadth of Foley's intellectual property experience, including its patent litigation capabilities.

Dallas-based Solomon has more than 20 years' experience as a patent attorney, conducting IP due diligence, participating in IP transactions, and preparing legal opinions related to the novelty, non-infringement, invalidity and unenforceability of patents.

Horton’s practice focuses on cybersecurity platforms and processes, mobile devices and apps, cloud computing and other computer hardware tech.

Prior to his spell at Dentons, Maserrat was a patent lawyer for IBM and has in-depth experience of preparing and prosecuting US patent applications involving software and electronics. 

Paul Hunter, co-chair of Foley’s electronics practice group, said: “This group’s arrival immediately enhances our IP capabilities in Texas and deepens our electronics practice in DC.”

Research published in January found that US patent filings had hit an all-time high in 2019, increasing by 15% with 333,530 patents granted.

Other recent IP team moves include last November's hiring by Polsinelli of four female patent lawyers, including two shareholders, to launch a Seattle-based practice as part of a nationwide drive to grow its capability.

In October, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld hired two IP partners in Washington DC from a boutique.

And in August, Foley was itself the subject of a team hire when Eversheds Sutherland hired five litigators, including three partners, to open an office in San Diego. 

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