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Sutherland Continues to Expand IP Practice, Strengthen Litigation Capacity

November 10, 2004

WASHINGTON (November 10, 2004) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP today announced that it has expanded the firm's Intellectual Property Practice in its Washington, D.C. office with the addition of three partners.  Robert A. Gutkin, Blair M. Jacobs and Robert J. Walters primarily focus their practices on intellectual property litigation, with a particular emphasis on patents and trial work.

Sutherland's rapidly growing Intellectual Property Litigation Group represents national and multinational companies involved in high-stakes, high-profile litigation regarding a broad spectrum of technologies.  Its skilled litigators have proven expertise in patent, trademark, copyright and other related litigation matters and have successfully handled intellectual property jury trials throughout the United States.

The three new lateral partners each have substantial first chair trial experience in patent and complex litigation matters.

"The breadth and depth of the firm's Intellectual Property Litigation Practice has allowed its attorneys to achieve excellent jury trial experience, especially through the recent boom in patent cases," said John L. North, head of Sutherland's Intellectual Property Practice.  "The addition of these well-regarded partners to our D.C. office marks a significant advancement in strengthening the capacity of Sutherland's Intellectual Property Litigation Practice platform.  Bob Gutkin, Blair Jacobs, and Rob Walters provide an ideal complement to the firm's overall growth strategy and will further strengthen our ability to meet client needs."

Mr. Gutkin earned his B.A., cum laude, at Brandeis University, his M.A. at the University of Chicago, and his J.D. at the University of California at Davis School of Law.  Mr. Gutkin has handled trademark, copyright, unfair competition, and patent infringement cases on technologies as diverse as surgical lasers, cryogenic devices, lubricants for dental handpieces, gravity feed displays, magnetic resonance imaging equipment, power supplies, cellular technology, fiber optics, and catalytic converters for use in sulfuric acid production.  Mr. Gutkin has tried matters in State and Federal Courts and handled alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including arbitration and mediation.  He has also represented clients in proceedings before Congressional Committees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Mr. Jacobs has previously served as a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice, and served at the White House where he worked for the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.  Mr. Jacobs has represented clients in patent infringement cases involving a diverse array of technical areas and has substantial trial experience.  Mr. Jacobs also has substantial appellate experience, including several appearances at the Federal Circuit and other federal appellate courts around the country.  He began his career as a law clerk to the Honorable Walter E. Hoffman, Senior Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Mr. Jacobs earned his B.A. at Wake Forest University and his J.D. at the University of Richmond School of Law where he served as the Notes and Comments Editor on the University of Richmond Law Review.

Mr. Walters has extensive trial and litigation experience in intellectual property disputes concerning a wide variety of technologies.  He has handled patent infringement, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, copyright and related matters in a number of jurisdictions, including patent disputes at the International Trade Commission.  Mr. Walters also counsels clients in other areas of intellectual property law, including licensing, preparation of patent applications, and portfolio management.  Mr. Walters earned his B.E.T. in Civil Engineering, cum laude, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, his LL.M. with a focus in International Intellectual Property and Litigation at Georgetown University Law Center, and his J.D. at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

They were most recently partners at Pillsbury Winthrop LLP.

Sutherland is a national law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation's largest companies.  Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 400 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Washington, New York, Austin, Houston and Tallahassee.  For further information about the firm, please visit

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Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an international law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

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