Merchant & Gould Opens New York Office, Further Expands in Seattle, Washington D.C.

April 05, 2010

115-Year-Old IP Boutique Adds Ninth Office, Continues National Expansion


Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property law firm, today announced the opening of its newest office in New York, N.Y. in Midtown Manhattan. The firm also added professionals to its Seattle and its Alexandria, Va. offices.

"The opening of our New York office, coupled with the opening of our Madison, Wisconsin office last year, gives us surpassing talent and depth in the biotechnology, chemical and pharmaceutical arenas," said Randy King, CEO and Managing Director of Merchant & Gould. "The addition of a New York office gives us access to great new clients and talented new lawyers, while providing a fantastic platform for servicing our existing East Coast and European clients."

The New York office will be headed by partner and well-known pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent expert Adda Gogoris, a former principal at Darby & Darby. She will be immediately joined by two colleagues - partner Dianna Goldenson and patent agent Andrew Larsen, Ph.D. Adda Gogoris' practice spans a broad range, including complex patent prosecution and portfolio analysis in the U.S. and abroad (particularly for startups and medium size biotech and drug development companies), Hatch-Waxman counseling, legal opinions, reissues, reexaminations, interferences, and oppositions, as well as due diligence investigations, IP-driven transactions, technology licenses, and collaboration agreements.

Dianna Goldenson, also joining Merchant's New York office as a partner, focuses on global patent prosecution and opinion work in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and chemical fields, including reexaminations and Hatch-Waxman issues. Prior to her law career, she worked in manufacturing and drug development at Amgen.

Gogoris and Goldenson are accompanied by another member of their longstanding team, ex-Darby patent agent Andrew Larsen, Ph.D. Larsen holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and has extensive research experience in organic, organometallic, and polymer chemistry. Along with his patent work, Larsen graduates from Fordham Law School in May, 2010.

The new office will offer a full range of intellectual property services, including litigation, patent and trademark prosecution, portfolio management and assessment. In addition, the experience of the new partners will enhance the firm's already formidable capabilities in generic pharmaceutical IP law.

In addition to the new office, Merchant & Gould has further expanded its Seattle and Alexandria, Va. locations.

Joining the firm's Seattle office are Paul H. Beattie and Christopher Frank, Ph.D. "Paul originally came to us more than a decade ago fresh from a federal clerkship with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals," recalls King. "Paul was always one of the best writers out there and a strong advocate for his clients. Since then, he has won more than 65 trials and civil arbitrations, with a success rate of over 90%. Paul is now a first chair litigator with a remarkable depth of litigation experience. We are delighted to have him back at Merchant & Gould." In addition to litigating patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, and a variety of commercial cases, Mr. Beattie counsels clients on litigation avoidance and business strategies. Prior to joining Merchant & Gould, Paul worked as an IP litigator at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt's Seattle office.

Also joining the Seattle office as a technical advisor is Christopher Frank, Ph.D. Frank supports patent procurement and client counseling in the fields of biotechnology and chemistry. He holds a Ph.D. in cellular and developmental biology from Harvard University. Frank is also fluent in Japanese. Prior to joining Merchant & Gould, Frank was a scientific advisor with Darby & Darby in New York.

E. Joseph Gess and Melissa M. Hayworth join the Alexandria, Va. office as partners. Both are formerly of Crowell & Moring. Mr. Gess focuses his chemical patent practice on client counseling, including inter-parties proceedings and developing IP strategies. He also has experience in licensing and chemical patent preparation and prosecution. Ms. Hayworth focuses her practice on organic chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, and petroleum chemistry. She also has experience in infringement and validity opinions, IP strategies for inter-parties proceedings, patent preparation and prosecution, and licensing.

"The past two years have not been kind to many IP boutiques," said King. "And we take no pleasure in the setbacks of so many friends and colleagues. But Merchant & Gould has continued to thrive despite this economic climate by staying true to its guiding principles. We grow gradually by reinforcing our already great experience with the best talent available and by delivering excellent client service and value. It's a strategy that has served the firm well, and we hope and believe it will continue to do so going forward."