SAN FRANCISCO — Intellectual-property trial lawyer Stephen Akerley recently joined the San Francisco office of Mintz Levin, where he will serve as part of the firm’s bicoastal intellectual-property practice team.
Akerley, who has secured more than $100 million in settlements in his representation of patent owners, according to the firm’s website, joined Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., earlier this month as the firm plans to expand and strengthen its presence on the West Coast, according to a news release from the company.
Akerley, who earned his Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and his Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco School of Law, has extensive experience in representing clients before the International Trade Commission and in international tribunals, the release said.
Akerley said that what led to his decision to join Mintz Levin was the firm’s client-focused approach and views operating an IP practice.
“I was introduced to Mintz a few months ago and in my discussions with Mike Renaud, the head of the IP practice, I realized that he and I shared many views about what a successful IP practice should look like in 2017,” Akerley told the Northern California Record. “The landscape has changed dramatically over the last several years, and Mintz is a very dynamic, entrepreneurial and collegial environment that is client focused. I also like the fact that Mintz is a full-service IP practice with a robust IPR practice and a very talented ITC group in D.C., in addition to its award-winning district-court trial practice.”
Akerley’s legal defenses include representing clients who were up against some of the largest tech companies around the globe, including serving as global lead counsel for cases involving Hewlett-Packard located in California, Texas and Germany for patent infringement, which led to a $141 million settlement.
Akerley, who originally planned to focus on transactional law, became interested in intellectual property while working as a summer clerk for a small firm.
“I stumbled into intellectual-property litigation,” he said. “At the beginning of law school, I wanted to be a transactions lawyer. However, I ended up taking a summer job after my second year with a small trial boutique in San Francisco, where one of the partners was focused on IP ligation.”
“Because the firm was so small, I had significant substantive responsibility even as a summer clerk and after I won the first motion that I had written, I was hooked,” he said.
“I consider myself very lucky because every time I get a new patent case I have not only the challenge of the litigation from a procedural standpoint, but I have to learn about the technology, no matter what the field,” Akerley added.
Akerley’s professional recognitions include The Legal 500’s top intellectual-property litigators in Silicon Valley, and the National Law Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 litigators in the United States.