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Akerman Senterfitt Expands Intellectual Property Practice with Addition of Four Attorneys in Denver Office

Monday, December 06, 2010

Miami, FL – Akerman Senterfitt announced today the expansion of its Intellectual Property practice with the addition of four attorneys in the firm’s Denver office. George Matava and John Burke will be joining the firm as Shareholders, Darla Graff joins as Of Counsel and Kelly Lusk joins as an Associate.

“The continued expansion of our Intellectual Property practice allows us to better serve clients worldwide, in all aspects of intellectual property litigation, patent infringement, and appeals,” said Mark Passler, Chair of Akerman’s Intellectual Property practice. “We are excited about the depth of experience and knowledge specifically in the areas of biotechnology, pharmaceutical, patent and trademark litigation that this team brings to our Intellectual Property practice.”

George Matava brings over 30 years of litigation experience, with more than 25 years focused exclusively on intellectual property litigation. He was most recently a partner in the Denver office of Merchant & Gould, and brings wide-ranging experience in all facets of intellectual property litigation, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, e-commerce and antitrust related claims. George has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA for the last five years, and is admitted to the Colorado bar.

John Burke has over 20 years of experience advising clients on intellectual property matters relating to pharmaceutical and biotech patent law. Mr. Burke was previously a partner in the Denver office of Merchant & Gould, where he was the head of the biotechnology practice group which was ranked #1 in both Denver and Colorado by Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Burke is also individually recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, and is admitted to the California, Colorado and New York bars.

Darla Graff brings over a decade of significant experience working with clients on intellectual property issues, with a particular focus on biotechnology and chemical patent prosecution. She has important experience in coordinating activities with international intellectual property portfolios. Dr. Graff has a Ph.D in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Colorado where she studied biophysical and biochemical properties of DNA analogs. She is admitted to the Colorado bar.

Kelly R. Lusk's practice focuses on protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks and trade secrets. Ms. Lusk has been integral in numerous patent infringement, trademark infringement, false advertising and trade secret cases. Ms. Lusk's litigation experience has involved such technology as nutraceutical and automotive products.

Akerman's Intellectual Property team serves clients worldwide in all areas of intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and Internet matters. Our lawyers are experienced counselors representing clients in all aspects of intellectual property litigation, intellectual property licensing, intellectual property transactions and due diligence, and entertainment and sports law.

About Akerman Senterfitt

Akerman is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the U.S. by The National Law Journal NLJ 250 (2010) in number of lawyers and is the leading Florida firm. With 500 lawyers and government affairs professionals, Akerman serves clients throughout the U.S. and overseas from Florida, New York, Washington, D.C., California, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas. More information can be found at or

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