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Venable Adds to Intellectual Property Litigation Practice with Addition of ITC Practitioner Andrew Pratt to DC Office

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Mr. Pratt has handled numerous ITC matters in recent years, including eight patent trials; scored victories for producers of multifunction device in critical ITC 337 proceedings

Expanding its team of top intellectual property litigation attorneys, Venable LLP announced that Andrew F. Pratt, who has handled a number of notable patent cases before the United States International Trade Commission, has joined the firm as a partner in the Washington office.

Mr. Pratt comes to Venable from the Washington firm of Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg, L.L.P., where he litigated IP matters relating to software, circuits, semiconductor fabrication and processing, Internet business methods, chemical compositions, and mechanical devices.

Mr. Pratt has helped lead some 15 matters before the International Trade Commission (ITC) in the last several years, including eight patent trials. His work has led to a number of victories for clients, including termination of five patents for lack of standing in one ITC matter, and a watershed decision concerning economic domestic industries in another.

“The ITC is a major venue for resolving IP cases. ITC judges and staff have special skills and expect top-flight lawyers to practice before them. ITC cases require that outside counsel bring matching knowledge and experience to the assignment,” said William Coston, who chairs Venable’s IP group. “Andrew Pratt is a top-flight patent litigator who brings particular experience handling matters before the ITC as well as federal courts. In continuing to build out the ’337’ piece of our IP litigation practice, Andrew will be a major addition for clients bringing cases before the Commission.”

Mr. Pratt explained the expanding role of the ITC in patent decisions:

“The Commission has the ability to dispatch cases with much greater speed than almost any district court – many IP disputes are concluded in around 15 months, which as any patent litigator and in-house counsel will attest, can be a major advantage in terms of controlling time, resources and cost,” he said. “The ITC hit everyone’s radar during the cell phone patent wars, but now businesses of all types are looking to the Commission and its 337 proceedings for possible relief. We are seeing more non-patent disputes involving trade secrets and trade dress where obtaining meaningful relief in district court would be difficult or impossible.”

Mr. Pratt noted that it can be relatively easy to bring foreign entities before the ITC. “If only one actionable product is imported – or even just a sale for importation – the ITC can launch a 337 proceeding,” he said.

“The Commission allows for broad terms of discovery and it has the added benefit of a solid bench of administrative judges with experience in patent cases – which can be preferable to jury trials in cases involving complex technology or sophisticated areas of patent law,” Mr. Pratt said. “Add to that the accelerated timetable and speed to resolution and you can understand why companies have come to regard the ITC as a great venue for having their IP disputes handled in a timely and efficient fashion.”

Mr. Pratt noted Venable’s strong and diversified intellectual property practice as the prime reason for his move. “Venable offers a great national platform for intellectual property attorneys. The firm has focused on growing its patent practice, and the firm boasts real strengths in related areas, including brand protection, advertising law and product litigation, which should complement my work. Venable is one of Washington’s elite firms and has built a true national practice – it’s the right place for me to continue growing my IP and ITC practice.”

Mr. Pratt earned his J.D. from Temple University School of Law and his B.S. from the University of Washington.

Note: An American Lawyer Global 100 law firm, Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Maryland, New York, Virginia and Delaware, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, and complex litigation.

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