(Houston, Palo Alto, Wilmington - June 1, 2015)—Reed Smith LLP today announced an expansion of its global intellectual property practice with the addition of six leading attorneys in three U.S. markets.
Peter Chassman, who previously served as head of Winston & Strawn’s Texas IP practice, joins the firm in Houston as a partner. In Wilmington, Delaware, Reed Smith welcomes a team of veteran patent litigators—counsel Rudolf E. “Rudy” Hutz, and partners R. Eric Hutz and Eric Evain, Ph.D. (all of whom were previously with Novak Druce Connolly Bove & Quigg LLP). Katherine M. Basile, former co-chair of Novak Druce’s trademark practice, joins Reed Smith’s Silicon Valley office as a partner, and Jason Garcia joins as counsel.
“These six lawyers represent a strategic expansion of our intellectual property capabilities across the United States,” said James Hultquist, co-chair of Reed Smith’s IP, Information & Innovation Group. “We are delighted to add this remarkably talented and experienced group of attorneys to the firm as the need for top-tier IP representation continues to surge worldwide.”
Peter Chassman, who led the IP department in Winston & Strawn’s Houston office, has regularly served as lead counsel for worldwide technology companies in high-stakes patent cases for more than 21 years.
“I am excited to be joining Reed Smith’s Houston office, which has quickly established itself in the market with a great reputation and a fantastic culture,” said Chassman. “I’m excited to be joining a firm with such great business prospects and a spirit of teamwork, which are apparent to me already.”
Chassman always develops his cases with an eye toward trial. With a strong background in electrical and computer engineering, Chassman brings a deep understanding of the technologies in his cases, often involving telecommunications, integrated circuits, media, computer hardware and software, and other aspects of high technology. He also has handled cases involving other technologies, such as in semiconductor processing, medical devices, oilfield technology, biotech, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices, among others.
Especially known for his experience in the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Chassman argued in the first claim construction hearing ever held in the Eastern District back in the 1990s. Today, Chassman has argued in numerous claim construction hearings, not only in the Eastern District – today’s busiest court for patent cases – but nationally as well. Chassman is a seasoned courtroom lawyer with experience in all aspects of patent cases through trial and appeal. He also has litigated high-stakes patent license agreements, and, outside the courtroom, regularly assists clients with all aspects of intellectual property counseling, including licensing, trade secrets issues, patent portfolio analysis, and trademarks. Chassman has been recognized often in his field – he is Chambers-rated, has been recognized in IAM’s 1000 and 250, and is routinely named an IP Star.
Chassman earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, with highest honors, and a certificate in Computer Engineering, in 1989 from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and he graduated with distinction from Emory University School of Law in 1993. He then joined Arnold, White & Durkee, where he remained through its merger with Howrey & Simon, and later joined Winston & Strawn, when Howrey’s Houston office joined that firm. He is the second IP partner to join the Houston office this year; in January, Kevin Cadwell joined the firm from Baker Botts.
The three-attorney team joining in Wilmington brings more than 90 years of combined experience in patent litigation. The move enhances the firm’s IP capabilities in the Delaware District Court, which is the second most active patent litigation docket in the United States.
“We are all very excited to be joining such a dynamic law firm, where we can take our work to the next level,” said Eric Hutz. “Our collective experience is a great fit with Reed Smith; our team will add further bench strength to the firm’s patent litigation capabilities, especially in the chemicals sector, which will be of great benefit to the firm’s large consumer products and life sciences client base.”
Before joining Novak via a merger in 2013, Eric Hutz, Eric Evain, and Rudy Hutz practiced together at Connolly, Bove, Lodge and Hutz LLP, an IP boutique renowned for winning bet-the-company litigations. For example, the team successfully defended one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies when patents valued at up to $80 billion were at risk.
Rudy Hutz has argued more than 50 appeals at the Federal Circuit in various intellectual property matters, and has conducted intellectual property trials and ADR proceedings before numerous courts throughout the United States. Rudy argued on behalf of client Rohm & Haas before the United States Supreme Court, and established an important exception to the antitrust laws for control of unpatented products under contributory infringement standards. Rudy was also lead counsel in the successful enforcement of Pfizer's patent covering Lipitor®, the world's best-selling drug. Rudy is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Euromoney Magazine's Guide to the World's Leading Patent Law Experts, Who's Who of Patent Lawyers, Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, and the Law Dragon 500. He has been designated as one of the top litigators in the state of Delaware by the National Law Journal.
“During his 50-year career, Rudy Hutz has earned a reputation as one of the very best, and most liked, attorneys in the United States; even his adversaries like him,” said Kurt Gwynne, managing partner of the firm’s Wilmington office. “He has handled more than 50 appeals at the Federal Circuit and is among the few patent litigators who have argued in the U.S. Supreme Court. We look forward to having the team onboard in Wilmington.”
Eric Hutz has been handling patent suits for more than 25 years; his cases currently involve chemical, personal care, smartphone and pharmaceutical products. He also has significant experience in patent licensing, transactions and due diligence in the life science, personal care, and medical device fields, including assisting clients in evaluating IP portfolios, prospective licensors, and acquisition targets.
Eric Evain has more than 15 years of experience litigating complex intellectual property infringement cases for many of the world's largest chemical and manufacturing corporations. Evain represents companies operating in a wide variety of chemical-related fields, including specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, polymers, petroleum, surface coatings, and consumer products. He also regularly counsels clients on freedom-to-operate opinions and trade secret protection strategies. Eric’s litigation work is a strategic tool that over time has brought in more than $500 million in additional value to his clients.
Rudy Hutz earned his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1963 and his B.A. from Princeton University in 1959. Eric Hutz earned his J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center and his bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University (magna cum laude). Evain also brings a strong background in science, having earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Idaho. Evain worked for some 10 years as a corporate research scientist, before obtaining his J.D. from Widener University School of Law (cum laude).
Named a “2014 Female Powerbroker” by Law360, and one of Silicon Valley’s “Woman of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Katy Basile serves a wide range of clients, from name brands to start-ups, in high-tech (hardware and software), social media, personal finance, medical devices, apparel, and consumer goods.
Basile not only has broad experience in all aspects of trademark litigation and proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, but also has a thriving international practice as she manages and enforces worldwide trademark portfolios for major Fortune 500 companies. She is known for her strategic prowess and strong dispute resolution skills. Basile also counsels top brands on a variety of licensing issues and strategic clearance projects.
“I am excited about the opportunities at Reed Smith,” said Basile. “The firm’s global platform is ideal for servicing my clients’ needs both outside the United States as well as in Silicon Valley, where the demand for trademark prosecution, maintenance, and clearance work in tech is strong and increasing.”
Basile earned her J.D. from UCLA in 1987 and received bachelor’s degrees in Development and Cell Biology and in German from the University of California, Irvine. She was previously a partner at Howrey for a decade before joining Novak Druce in 2010, where she served as co chair of that firm’s international Trademark Practice. Basile's Bay Area roots run deep; in addition to her years in private practice, she served in-house as associate general counsel at Levi Strauss and as senior legal counsel at Intel.
Jason Garcia, counsel, is a former USPTO examining attorney who has extensive experience in the clearance and prosecution of trademarks, portfolio management and enforcement, both in the United States and internationally. His experience extends to a broad range of industries including consumer electronics, retail and online marketplaces, automotive parts, food and beverages, wine and spirits, clothing, financial services and other Internet-based services. In addition to his USPTO work, Garcia, who received his J.D. from the American University, Washington College of Law in 1997, previously worked at eBay, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC); prior to joining Novak Druce, Garcia had been a Trademark attorney at Howrey with Ms. Basile.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,800 lawyers in 26 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising, entertainment and media, shipping and transport, energy and natural resources, real estate, manufacturing and technology, and education. For more information, visit reedsmith.com.
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