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June 24, 2011 5:33 PM

Paul Weiss Nabs Two Patent Litigators from Weil Gotshal

Posted by Drew Combs

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison has beefed up its patent litigation practice with two lateral partner hires announced late Thursday.

Nicholas Groombridge and David J. Ball, Jr., have joined the firm from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where both were partners (Groombridge cochaired the patent litigation practice at Weil). Groombridge is based in Paul Weiss's New York office, while Ball is resident in Washington, D.C.

"Nick and Dave augment our patent litigation practice and enhance our ability to capitalize on the increased demand we had seen for our services in the patent area," says Brad Karp, the chairman of Paul Weiss. Adds Ken Gallo, managing partner of the firm's Washington, D.C., office, "We have been looking for the right opportunity [in patent litigation], but we are not easy to please so it has taken a while." The two new additions bring the total number of patent litigation partners at Paul Weiss to six.

Groombridge, explaining his and Ball's move, describes it as "a pull, not a push." He adds, "This is an opportunity to take what is already a very high-quality presence Paul Weiss has in the patent area and to expand it over the next two to three years."

The hires will expand the firm's pharmaceutical and biotechnology related patent litigation capabilities. Groombridge's clients have included Monsanto Co., Novartis AG, and GlaxoSmithKline Plc on matters involving biologics, drugs, drug delivery systems, and diagnostics. He currently represents the GPS device maker Garmin Ltd. and the biotechnology company Biogen Idec Inc., in patent matters. Paul Weiss and Groombridge share the biotechnology company Genentech, Inc., as a client.

"Some clients have indicated they will be moving their work and I am very grateful for that," Groombridge says, declining to identify specific clients whos work will move to Paul Weiss.

Ball has represented clients in a wide variety of patent infringement and related claims.

The two attorneys joined the firm on Thursday.

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A patent is referred to a set of rights granted to an individual or business by the state that gives them public disclosure of a new invention for a specific amount of time. This grant does not actually give the holder the exclusive right to practice the invention, but simply the right to preclude other outside parties from using or imitating it. Patent Litigation is a controversy or disagreement between two independent parties regarding a dispute of intellectual or physical property.

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