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Former U.S. International Trade Commission Senior Investigative Attorney Karin Norton Joins Intellectual Property Litigation Practice in Sidley’s Washington Office

Monday, June 29, 2009

Washington, DC – Sidley Austin LLP announced today that Karin Norton, 46, has joined the firm as counsel in the Intellectual Property Litigation practice. She will be based in the Washington, D.C. office. Ms. Norton’s practice will focus on patent and other intellectual property litigation with a primary focus on Section 337 investigations before the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC"). Prior to her years in private practice, she was a Senior Investigative Attorney with the Office of Unfair Import Investigation at the Commission for eight years, and she served as lead government counsel in many of the key Section 337 cases before the Commission.

"Karin is a terrific addition, and we could not be more pleased," said Carter G. Phillips, managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. "Her level of experience in intellectual property coupled with her government experience from the ITC will be invaluable and perfectly complements our already respected IP practice around the firm and our substantial ITC practice. For example, last year the firm was involved in the trial of three significant ITC cases. We expect that Karin will add significantly to our strength in this important IP venue."

Ms. Norton has substantial trial experience, particularly before administrative law judges at the Commission, and has litigated a broad range of technologies including cellular telephones, disk drives and DVD players, semiconductor chips, data storage systems, medical devices and biologics, chemical compounds, disposable cameras, abrasive pads, garage door openers, and automotive gauges. In addition, she has an extensive background in biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device technologies. Her well-known experience in complex IP matters is grounded in her doctoral work in human physiology, her earlier years as a medical researcher, and her previous involvement in patent litigations for several prominent pharmaceutical companies.

"I am thrilled to join Sidley Austin and its well-respected intellectual property litigation and ITC practice groups," said Ms. Norton. "I have been involved in Section 337 investigations with lawyers in the San Francisco office for nearly a decade and have always admired the quality of their work and professionalism. I look forward to working with them and the rest of Sidley’s strong IP litigation group on a daily basis."

A member of the bar in the District of Columbia and New York, Ms. Norton graduated with a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. She received a Ph.D. in Human Physiology from Temple University and her B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Patent Attorney registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, Ms. Norton is a Member of the Executive Committee of the International Trade Commission Trial Lawyers Association, and is also a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Women in IP Law and International Trade Committees. Prior to joining Sidley, Ms. Norton was special counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Covington & Burling LLP.

Sidley has one of the premiere ITC practices among major law firms. The Firm’s attorneys have decades of experience litigating in the ITC, including most recently trying three ITC cases in 2008. More generally, Sidley’s global Intellectual Property Litigation practice provides a full range of litigation in the fields of patents, trade secret and unfair competition, false advertising, copyright and theft of idea and trademark litigation.

The ITC is an important forum for resolving patent disputes. During the 2007 fiscal year, there were 73 active Section 337 matters and related (ancillary) proceedings before the Commission, including 31 new investigations and 2 new ancillary proceedings. All but four of the active Section 337 matters involved allegations of patent infringement. The volume of ITC cases has increased substantially in recent years. The Commission expects that over the next several years the Section 337 caseload will remain at its current level, if not continue to increase.

In addition to representing clients in Section 337 proceedings at the ITC, Sidley also represents clients before Customs & Border Protection in matters arising out of ITC orders, and represents clients on appeal from the ITC to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Federal Circuit. Coupling the strengths of the Firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation and International Trade practice groups, Sidley’s ITC practice provides experienced, trial-tested legal representation for clients worldwide.

Sidley Austin LLP is one of the world's largest full-service law firms, with more than 1800 lawyers practicing in 16 U.S. and international cities, including Beijing, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. Every year since 2003, Sidley has been named to Legal Business’ Global Elite, its designation for the 18 firms "that define the pinnacle of the legal profession." BTI, a Boston-based consulting and research firm, has named Sidley to their Client Service Hall of Fame as one of only two law firms to rank in the Client Service Top 10 for seven years in a row, and to the BTI Power Elite as one of only seven law firms demonstrating the best client relationships for the fourth consecutive year.

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