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David J. Kappos Joins Cravath, Swain & Moore LLP

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is pleased to announce that David J. Kappos, former Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has joined the Firm as a partner.

Mr. Kappos is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost leaders in the field of intellectual property, including the development of global intellectual property norms, laws and practices. In 2009, he was appointed Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the USPTO by President Barack Obama, and this appointment was confirmed by the United States Senate. As Director of the USPTO, he was instrumental in achieving the greatest legislative reform of the U.S. patent system in generations through patent reform legislation signed by the President in September 2011. The subsequent implementation led by Mr. Kappos included the most comprehensive rulemaking and public engagement period in USPTO history. Mr. Kappos resigned this position effective as of February 1, 2013.

According to Allen Parker, Cravath’s Presiding Partner, “Dave will be an outstanding addition to our Firm, supporting our clients when they are addressing their most complex intellectual property issues, including those involving our clients' deal activity as well as their litigation and antitrust matters.”

Mr. Parker continued, “Dave’s experience will be highly relevant to a wide range of Cravath’s clients, including in the biotechnology, consumer, general industries, media, pharmaceutical, technology and telecommunications sectors. The Firm represents numerous companies within each of these sectors, many of which have spent decades working with Cravath on their intellectual property matters.”

Prior to joining the USPTO in 2009, Mr. Kappos held several executive posts in the legal department of IBM, the world’s largest IP holder. He joined IBM in 1983, spending more than 25 years at the company. Mr. Kappos served first as a development engineer and then as a lawyer. From 2003 to 2009, in his last post at IBM, he served as the company’s Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Intellectual Property. In that capacity, Mr. Kappos managed global intellectual property activities for IBM, including all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret protection.

“I am simply thrilled to be joining Cravath,” Mr. Kappos said. “I was fortunate to work closely with Cravath on many intellectual property matters over the years as a client at IBM, and I developed an extremely high regard for the Firm's unique ability to achieve the best possible results handling the most complex and important corporate and contested IP issues. Of critical importance to me, Cravath handles intellectual property in the context of the client's business objectives, with absolutely first-in-class legal expertise, both in the corporate and litigation arenas.”

Mr. Kappos has been widely lauded for his leadership in the intellectual property field. In 2012, he was inducted into the Intellectual Property Hall of Fame by Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, and named one of the 50 most influential people in intellectual property by Managing IP. In 2011, he was named intellectual property professional of the year by the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

Mr. Kappos has a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Davis, and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Cravath is a recognized leader in areas of intellectual property, M&A, corporate finance and litigation. In 2012, the Firm was named “Law Firm of the Year” for intellectual property litigation by U.S. News & World Report – 2011-2012 Best Law Firms Survey and, in the same year, it was ranked in the first tier for its M&A, securities, commercial banking and litigation work in both Chambers USA and Legal 500.

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