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Daily Journal Names Six Knobbe Martens Partners Among California’s “Top Intellectual Property Lawyers” of 2015

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, one of the nation’s leading intellectual property law firms, is pleased to announce that partners William Bunker, Eric Furman, Ph.D., Jon Gurka, Joseph Jennings, Salima Merani, Ph.D., and Joseph Re have been selected by the Daily Journal for inclusion in its annual rankings of the “Top Intellectual Property Lawyers in California” of 2015. Mr. Gurka, Mr. Jennings, and Mr. Re were recognized among the Top 75 Intellectual Property Litigators, while Mr. Bunker, Dr. Furman, and Dr. Merani were named among the Top 25 Intellectual Property Portfolio Managers & Patent Prosecutors.

The Daily Journal names attorneys to the lists based on a number of criteria including hundreds of nominations and staff selections, along with consideration of each nominee’s major intellectual property successes over the last year. This is the fourth year in a row Dr. Merani has been recognized; the third year in a row for Mr. Re; and the second year in a row for Mr. Jennings.

William Bunker focuses on developing and executing worldwide patent and trademark protection strategies for a wide diversity of clients ranging from startups to multi-national corporations. He has extensive experience in the many fields of medical devices, as well as computer-implemented and internet-based inventions such as financial services and various forms of business methods. Mr. Bunker frequently advises clients on clearance matters as well as responding to and conducting due diligence in investment and acquisition contexts; and licensing and all forms of business transactions involving IP comprise a substantial portion of his practice. Mr. Bunker has handled patent portfolio and due diligence for AutoAlert Inc., a company that produces software for car dealerships, which was acquired last year by HGGC LLC, a private equity firm, worth $300 million. Mr. Bunker also helped client Skybox Imaging Inc. obtain patents that had a significant impact in Skybox’s acquisition by Google Inc., which was reportedly worth approximately $500 million.

Eric Furman, Ph.D., focuses on patent protection and other forms of intellectual property protection for biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Dr. Furman’s practice includes strategic patent counseling and procurement, freedom to operate analysis, counseling on infringement and invalidity issues, licensing, and due diligence studies as related to negotiations for mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Furman’s team obtained a key patent in Europe for Aethlon Medical Inc. protecting a device called a Hemopurifier, which is used to remove circulating deadly viruses such as Ebola and HIV from the bloodstream. The device was named one of the top inventions of 2014 by Time magazine.

Jon Gurka has an active intellectual property litigation practice involving patent, trademark, trade dress, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition and breach of contract matters.  Mr. Gurka specializes in complex patent litigation cases that typically involve numerous patents.  Recently, he served as trial counsel for Masimo Corporation in a three-week jury trial against Philips Electronics North America Corp. and Philips Medizin Systeme Böblingen GmbH.  Masimo obtained a $466 million verdict based on infringement of its patents covering pulse oximetry technology. The verdict was featured in The National Law Journal's "Top Verdicts of 2014" as the top intellectual property verdict and fifth largest verdict overall, and was also listed as the "Top IP Award of 2014" by Law360.  At that trial, Mr. Gurka had the primary role of handling Masimo’s non-infringement defense against Philips’ counterclaim patent for which Philips sought $169 million in damages. The jury rejected Philips’ infringement case on all theories and awarded zero damages.

Joseph Jennings represents various clients in all type of intellectual-property disputes, including those involving patents, trademarks, trade-secrets, and related unfair competition claims. He has represented clients in district courts throughout the country and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He has also represented clients in connection with international disputes involving litigation in jurisdictions throughout the world. Most recently, Mr. Jennings represented a start-up orthopedic medical device company, KFx Medical, in a patent infringement lawsuit against sports medicine giant Arthrex, Inc. Mr. Jennings led a team in obtaining a $29 million jury verdict for induced infringement of three KFx Medical patents. The district court granted additional damages and interest, bringing the total award to $35 million. Mr. Jennings also represented KFx on Arthrex’s subsequent appeal. The Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment in its entirety on January 20, 2015. This successful patent enforcement has allowed KFx to obtain a number of significant licenses from other competitors.

Salima Merani, Ph.D. has nearly fifteen years of experience in building patent portfolios for life sciences companies, including several medtech and biotech companies. She also has extensive experience in conducting patent due diligence for investors, such as venture capital and investment firms. Dr. Merani provides a unique perspective to both investors and emerging growth companies with her wide-ranging experience in US and international patent and trademark portfolio management, licensing, strategic offensive positioning, infringement analysis, IPOs, acquisitions, and managing global patent risk. In June 2014, Dr. Merani served as lead IP counsel for Ulthera, Inc., a medical aesthetics company, in its successful acquisition by Merz Pharmaceuticals Inc., a prominent pharmaceutical company, for $600 million. In the past year, Dr. Merani and her team also obtained 40 patents and allowances for Insera Therapeutics Inc., a medical device company dedicated to treating stroke, by using a prioritized examination procedure at the USPTO.

Joseph Re is a nationally recognized trial and appellate attorney known for handling high-stakes patent cases throughout the country for both patent holders and accused infringers. Re sits on the Federal Circuit’s Advisory Council, and has earned victories as the leading lawyer in several significant trials and appeals this past year. Most recently, Re led a Knobbe Martens team to achieve a complete victory for longstanding client Masimo in obtaining a verdict of more than $466 million against two Philips defendants. Additionally, the jury rejected Philips’s infringement claims for $169 million. The verdict was featured in The National Law Journal's "Top Verdicts of 2014" as the top intellectual property verdict and fifth largest verdict overall, and was also listed as the "Top IP Award of 2014" by Law360.

The full list of the Daily Journal’s 2015 Top Intellectual Property Lawyers in California can be found at www.dailyjournal.com.

About Knobbe Martens

With more than 275 lawyers and scientists nationwide, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP dedicates its practice to all aspects of intellectual property law, including litigation. Consistently ranked among the top intellectual property law firms worldwide, Knobbe Martens serves a diverse group of clients from multinational corporations to emerging businesses of all stages. Headquartered in Orange County, California, Knobbe Martens also has offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Contact: Nicholas Gaffney 415-732-7801