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White & Case Expands IP Practice with Five New Partners

Monday, October 06, 2008

Creates New Group in Washington, DC, While Strengthening Technology Practices in Palo Alto and Asia

Washington, DC, & Palo Alto, CA – Global law firm White & Case LLP announced today a significant expansion of its Intellectual Property Practice with the addition of five new partners from McDermott Will & Emery. The group brings with it considerable trial experience in patent litigation matters and US International Trade Commission proceedings, as well as in-depth capabilities related to patent licensing, technology transfer and patent and technology portfolio strategy analysis.

The partners – all of whom were previously with McDermott’s Intellectual Property, Media and Technology Department – include Jack Lever, who cofounded and served as global head of the department and who, most recently, led its Asian practice; Shamita Etienne-Cummings; David Tennant; Bijal Vakil; and Jennifer Yokoyama.

Lever, Etienne-Cummings and Tennant will be based in White & Case’s Washington, DC, office, while Vakil and Yokoyama will be located in the Firm’s Palo Alto office.

"Jack, Shamita, David, Bijal and Jennifer are exceptional practitioners with impeccable credentials, and we are fortunate to have them join us," said Dimitrios Drivas, chair of White & Case’s global Intellectual Property Practice. "They add tremendous strength and diversity to our IP Practice, enabling us to expand our patent litigation credentials by adding a new group in Washington, DC, aligned with our Antitrust and International Trade Practices while reinforcing the strengths of our Palo Alto office in serving clients in the technology industry."

Gary Thomas, executive partner in White & Case’s Tokyo office, added: "Jack and his team are well known and highly respected in Asia, and we look forward to working with them to expand our practice here, especially in the area of outbound business among Japanese technology manufacturers, as well as in Taiwan, India, and China – other markets where we seek to grow our technology and patent litigation practices."

Partner Biographies

Washington, DC

  • Jack Lever - Lever has more than 30 years of trial experience representing major US and foreign technology companies in patent infringement litigation. He has also counseled major corporations in developing and improving intellectual property protection, assisting them in IP audits and developing licensing strategies for corporate IP portfolios. In addition to federal district court litigation, Lever has litigated extensively before the US International Trade Commission (ITC), and as a registered patent attorney, he regularly advises clients on more complex patent prosecution matters, including patent interferences, reexamination, and reissue proceedings before the US Patent and Trademark Office. He is highly rated in Best Lawyers in America and recognized as one of the Top 100 lawyers in Washington, DC. Lever is admitted to the bars of the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia and is a member of numerous bar associations, including the American Bar Association’s sections on Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law and Litigation, and the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
  • Shamita Etienne-Cummings - Etienne-Cummings concentrates her practice on litigation, including counseling and patent enforcement and defense before district courts, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the US International Trade Commission. She has also successfully represented numerous clients in negotiating licenses for a wide variety of patented technologies, including large-scale database networks, internet software packages, telecommunication software and electronics. Etienne-Cummings was named as a Washington Elite Lawyer in the August 2005 issue of Washington SmartCEO. A member of the California and District of Columbia bars, Etienne-Cummings is also admitted to practice before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and several US district courts. She also is registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office.
  • David Tennant - Tennant has represented clients and served as lead counsel in numerous transactional matters, including patent licensing, technology agreement, and service provider negotiations. He has also counseled clients on establishing, developing, maintaining, and leveraging patent portfolios to maximize value and has counseled clients on patent invalidity, enforceability, and infringement studies. Additionally, Tennant has litigated various complex patent cases concerning a wide variety of technologies including computer servers, semiconductor processes, semiconductor devices, and circuits. He has also worked abroad directly with Japanese companies and also served as in-house counsel for a top Japanese-based international consumer electronics manufacturer. Tennant is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia and is registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark office.

Palo Alto

  • Bijal Vakil - Vakil focuses his practice on all aspects of IP, including litigating patent, trademark, copyright, technology licensing, and other related disputes. He represents clients in a large variety of high-tech industries, including biotechnology and computer hardware and software. His experience also includes representation of international entities in resolving IP issues in the United States, and he has successfully litigated before numerous federal district courts and the US International Trade Commission. Vakil has been named among the "40 Under 40 People to Watch in 2008" by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. He is admitted to practice in all state and US District Courts in California and before the US Supreme Court. Vakil serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Superior Court of Santa Clara and sits on the State Bar Committee on Federal Courts. He is a member of the Federal Circuit Bar Association, a board and life member of the Asian Pacific Bar of Silicon Valley, a life member of the South Asian Bar of Northern California, and co-chair of the Judiciary Committee, National South Asian Bar Association.
  • Jennifer Yokoyama - Yokoyama concentrates her practice on patent infringement litigation, where she has substantial experience representing companies in cases involving a broad range of technologies, including internet products and services, plasma flat panel displays, electronic systems, and semiconductor products and processes. Yokoyama is a member of the bar of the state of California and is registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office. She is also admitted to practice in the Central, Northern, and Southern district courts in California.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with more than 2,300 lawyers in 37 offices in 25 countries. Our clients value the breadth and depth of our US, English and local law capabilities and rely on us for their complex cross-border commercial and financial transactions and for international arbitration and litigation. Whether in established or emerging markets, the hallmark of White & Case is our complete dedication to the business priorities and legal needs of our clients.

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