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Steptoe Bolsters ITC Litigation Practice with Steve Adkins, Matthew Bathon

Monday, November 24, 2014

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce that Steve Adkins has joined the firm as a partner and Matthew Bathon has joined as of counsel in Steptoe’s Section 337/ITC Litigation practice. Both will be based in the firm’s Washington office. Mr. Adkins is serving as lead counsel with Steptoe in two cases for a large Canadian auto parts supplier before the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). The cases are slated to go to trial in early 2015.

Mr. Adkins brings a depth of experience as lead trial counsel in representing both respondents and complainants based in Asia, Europe, South America, and the United States. He and his team have represented parties in more than 50 Section 337 investigations before the ITC involving various technologies, such as chemicals, computer software, telecommunications, mechanical and semiconductor (including graphics and flash memory). Of the ITC investigations in which they have participated, Mr. Adkins and his team have delivered approximately 95% wins to the practice's clients, recently winning against a patent troll on findings of no infringement and no domestic industry.

Mr. Adkins has extensive experience in all phases of complex commercial litigation pertaining to patent infringement, trademark and trade dress infringement, trade secrets misappropriation, general business disputes, and reinsurance disputes. Along with the ITC, Mr. Adkins has represented clients in matters before various state and federal appellate courts, including the US Supreme Court. He has tried cases before juries, judges, and administrative law judges.

Prior to returning to private practice, Mr. Bathon served as a senior investigative attorney in the ITC’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations, where he represented the federal government in investigations regarding electrical, computer, and mechanical patents in various technologies, including video game systems, digital televisions, Blu-ray video, digital image capture and transmission, semiconductor lasers and laser drivers, and graphics processing. During his tenure at the ITC, Mr. Bathon served as lead government counsel in three trials as well as a number of claim construction hearings.

In welcoming both, Steptoe Chair Phil West commented: “Steve is a talented trial lawyer who has spent most of his career focused on litigation before the ITC, where he has a strong track record for success. His arrival, coupled with Matt’s government service at the ITC, will strengthen not only our ITC practice, which is consistently recognized as one of the most active and successful, but also our overall intellectual property practice, particularly in federal district court patent litigation.”

Steptoe’s Section 337/ITC Litigation practice consists of lawyers who have almost four decades of litigation experience before the ITC. It is led by Charles Schill, who has handled more than 130 unfair trade practice cases at the ITC, and has won or favorably settled almost all. The group also includes Bob Rogers, who retired from the ITC in July 2008 after serving five years as an administrative law judge, where he presided over 20 hearings, and issued 17 initial determinations and two temporary exclusion order initial determinations. Collectively, Steptoe’s Section 337 lawyers are consistently ranked in the Chambers and Legal 500 legal directories, and in the 2014 edition of Intellectual Asset Management magazine’s IAM Patent 1000 ITC, the group is touted for offering “a rare and winning combination of trade expertise, a deep bench of technically trained lawyers, adept IP litigators and an international office network to ensure that all angles are covered.”

Mr. Adkins commented: “I have known Charles Schill for many years and have long admired him and the ITC practice he has built at Steptoe. Not only does the team have a reputation for stellar results and effective service to clients, but the firm’s IP Department generally will provide my practice with a deep bench of capabilities to continue to litigate large, complex matters.”

Mr. Adkins earned his law degree from the University of Richmond, and a bachelor of arts, with honors, from Georgia College.

Mr. Bathon received his law degree from Vanderbilt University, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Evansville.

About Steptoe

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is an international law firm widely recognized for vigorous advocacy in complex litigation and arbitration, successful representation of clients before governmental agencies, and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions. The firm has more than 500 lawyers and other professionals in offices in Beijing, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, Phoenix and Washington. For more information, visit

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