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Akin Gump Grows IP Team with Two Washington Patent Lawyers (1)

Oct. 10, 2019, 6:37 PMUpdated: Oct. 10, 2019, 7:58 PM

Akin Gump has hired patent litigators M. Andrew Holtman and C. Brandon Rash from boutique firm Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner to join its intellectual property practice in Washington.

Holtman and Rash both represent technology clients, appearing regularly before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the International Trade Commission, district courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Steven D. Maslowski, head of Akin Gump’s IP practice, said the two new partners’ experience in electronics, computing and software will complement the firm’s existing strength handling life sciences matters.

“Patent disputes can be incredibly complex and technical, requiring both detailed subject matter knowledge and a keen understanding of the litigation process,” Maslowski said in a statement.

Holtman and Rash said they made the switch to Akin Gump in large part because of the firm’s global reach.

“We have exposure to a wider range of clients and potential clients, and we have the ability to hear the opinions of non IP attorneys about how IP is viewed by our potential clients,” said Holtman. “That’s something that I was looking for for a while.”

Holtman, who holds a Ph.D. in molecular genetics, has worked on more than 50 inter partes reviews before the United States Patent and Trademark Office since the start of 2015. His work covers many technologies including gas turbofan engines, hybrid vehicle technology, pharmaceutical formulations, and most biotechnology-related fields.

Holtman also has significant experience coordinating patent matters between the United States, the European Union, and individual European court systems, and has overseen litigation in France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom, according to the firm.

Rash has a background in patent litigation involving electrical, computer and communications-related technologies, focusing on electronics, computer hardware and software, Internet and network communications, semiconductors, wireless and audio technologies.

“I have an electrical engineering background and I’m focused on the high-tech industry,” said Rash. “These are all areas that Akin is strong in.”

Before attending law school, Rash was a technical marketing engineer at a large semiconductor manufacturer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft at srussellkraft@gmail.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com