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July 27, 2011 7:01 PM

Fulbright & Jaworski Picks Up Houston IP Boutique

Posted by Brian Baxter

Slusser Wilson & Partridge, an intellectual property boutique in Houston that often represents plaintiffs in patent disputes, has agreed to join Fulbright & Jaworski

Fulbright announced the merger late Wednesday. The move brings Slusser Wilson's three name partners William Slusser, Michael Wilson, and Jayme Partridge under the Fulbright shingle.

"Our lawyers have worked with, and tried cases against Bill, Mike, and Jayme and are very impressed with their capabilities," said Steven Pfeiffer, the chairman of Fulbright's executive committee, in a statement. "This group is a strategic addition to our intellectual property practice during a time when businesses know that their ideas, processes, and information are among their most valuable assets."

Pfeiffer and Stephen Dillard, the head of Fulbright's global litigation department, were not immediately available for comment by the time of this story. Nor were Slusser Wilson's three former name partners.

The addition of Slusser Wilson will increase Fulbright's expertise and personnel as it represents more plaintiffs in intellectual property cases. Slusser, the former head of the trial department in the Houston office of Baker Botts, founded the firm in 1999. He was followed by ex-Baker Botts colleagues Wilson and Partridge, who will join him at Fulbright. Slusser Wilson counsel Brett McKean is joining Fulbright as an associate. (A Fulbright spokeswoman says she isn't sure whether another Slusser Wilson counsel, Fulbright alum Jayne Piana, will make the move back to her former firm.)

Among Slusser Wilson's more notable cases was its representation of Hybrid Patents, a so-called patent troll, in a suit the company filed in 2005 against Charter Communications. Hybrid claimed Charter infringed on its patents related to the transmission of data over cable networks. Charter, the nation's fourth-largest cable operator, prevailed in that case. Former Kirkland & Ellis partner John Desmarais, who launched his own IP boutique last year, represented Charter at trial.

Slusser Wilson was known as Slusser & Frost until 2003, when former name partner Claudia Frost joined Mayer Brown in Houston. She went on to practice at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman before joining DLA Piper last month.

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