Foley & Lardner announced today that the firm has expanded its national intellectual property capabilities with the addition of four attorneys to its Intellectual Property Department and Electronics Practice Group. Eric Sophir and Gary Solomon join as partners, while Matthew Horton and Kamyar Maserrat join as senior counsel and associate, respectively. All will be based in Foley’s Washington, D.C. office, except for Solomon, who is based in Dallas.
The highly-skilled team comes over from Dentons, where Sophir and Solomon were partners. Sophir also served as co-practice leader of the firm’s IP group.
“Led by Eric and Gary, this group brings decades of electronics industry knowledge and legal experience to bear when counseling clients through technically complex issues,” said Christopher McKenna, co-chair of Foley’s Electronics Practice Group. “Our Electronics Practice Group just came off a record year in revenue and headcount growth, and this team’s significant collective practice will surely help us continue this upward trend. They are a terrific strategic match in terms of clients, practice and geography, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the team.”
Sophir counsels clients on protecting innovations, gaining market share, resolving patent disputes and monetizing patents. His practice includes various aspects of patent law, including patent preparation and prosecution, infringement and validity analysis in patent litigation, licensing and selling, due diligence, clearance and landscape analysis, and post-grant proceedings. Sophir’s practice has a particular emphasis on strategic portfolio development, including invention harvesting and patent filing strategies. His clients range from startups to Fortune 50 companies.
A major component of Sophir’s practice is counseling on patent issues and not just patent preparation and prosecution. He advises clients on the risks and value associated with acquiring, licensing or otherwise commercializing a patent portfolio. Such advice includes clearance and freedom-to-operate analysis, clearance and landscape analysis, and patentability analysis. He also provides advice on prosecution strategies to better protect a product or more effectively deter competitors and has litigated a wide range of complex disputes involving patents in federal court, arbitration and re-examination proceedings. He has also conducted analyses and prepared opinions regarding patent infringement, invalidity and enforceability, and has counseled clients asserting patents and defending allegations involving competitors and non-practicing entities.
“I have always been impressed by Foley’s breadth of intellectual property experience, including its patent litigation capabilities. This, combined with the sophisticated, bet-the-company legal matters the firm consistently handles, made the move very appealing – and ensures my clients will continue to receive top-notch service,” said Sophir. “I was also drawn to Foley’s appreciation of a full-service IP group, along with its collegial, collaborative atmosphere and proactive attorneys.”
Solomon’s practice focuses on patent preparation, prosecution, and the monetization and protection of intellectual property assets. He has years of experience creating large and strategic patent portfolios for his clients, as well as conducting IP due diligence and evaluating the quality of IP assets. Solomon also has extensive experience preparing patent legal opinions, including those related to novelty, non-infringement, invalidity and unenforceability, and has participated in a number of IP transactions, including acquisition, funding and company sales.
Solomon brings more than three decades of experience working with startup companies in both technical and legal capacities, including 10 years as a practicing engineer and more than 20 years as a patent attorney. He holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering and has significant expertise in the areas of communications systems, telecommunications automatic control systems, power systems, robotics, antennas, microelectronics and industrial equipment, medical devices, fashion and beauty, and many more.
“Foley is a full-service firm with a strong understanding of how intellectual property integrates into business and belongs in a general practice firm, as well as an excellent cross-selling philosophy that strongly benefits clients,” said Solomon. “I also appreciate how all the attorneys seem to know and genuinely like one another, and that each office I have visited is filled with people who enjoy coming to work every day, which I think is important. I’m extremely pleased to join such a great firm with great people.”
Horton, who is fluent in software code and complex mathematics, brings a combination of legal and technical knowledge to his work on high technology, patent law and intellectual property protections. His practice focuses on cybersecurity platforms and processes, mobile devices and applications, cloud computing systems, and computer hardware and semiconductor technologies. Horton has successfully drafted and prosecuted a variety of high technology patents, and regularly counsels clients on developing strategic intellectual property portfolios.
A former patent attorney with IBM, Maserrat brings in-depth experience to his preparation and prosecution of U.S. patent applications involving software and other electronics. His invention experience spans a wide range of technologies, including cloud computing, natural language processing, data analytics and migration, advertising, e-commerce, and other software and business method innovations.
“This group’s arrival immediately enhances our IP capabilities in Texas and deepens our Electronics Practice in D.C.,” said Paul Hunter, co-chair of Foley’s Electronics Practice Group. “We are pleased to welcome them to the firm and look forward to their contributions as we continue to grow our national practice.”