Kilpatrick Townsend and Keats McFarland & Wilson Announce Future Plans in Los Angeles

Kilpatrick Townsend's West Coast Expansion Continues With Addition of Trademark and Litigation Expertise; Keats McFarland & Wilson to Continue Practice Under Founding Partner Anthony Keats

Feb 04, 2013, 12:00 ET from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

ATLANTA and LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton today announced the opening of a Los Angeles office to be led by preeminent California intellectual property attorneys Larry McFarland, Dennis Wilson and other attorneys formerly with the highly-regarded firm Keats McFarland & Wilson (KMW). Kilpatrick Townsend was formed over two years ago by the combination of Kilpatrick Stockton and Townsend and Townsend and Crew. 

"At the time of the merger in 2011, one of our announced goals was to have an LA office.  We evaluated numerous opportunities and our patience was rewarded," said Paul M. Aguggia, Kilpatrick Townsend Chair.  "Larry McFarland and Dennis Wilson have a terrific reputation in the entertainment, technology, gaming and fashion industries, and we get to fold their expertise into what already is universally ranked as one of the top intellectual property practices in the country.  We look forward to growing in LA on the strength of this practice."

Tony Keats has had a well-known decades-long international practice in brand development and intellectual property protection for entertainment companies and individual talent, fashion, luxury goods, and consumer product businesses. Prior to founding of Keats McFarland & Wilson, Mr. Keats was the leader of Baker & Hostetler's national intellectual property practice team. Mr. Keats has represented most of the major studios, many top individual actors and musicians, as well as many of the world's most famous luxury brands. Mr. Keats said, "I have had the wonderful opportunity to practice with Larry and Dennis for almost two decades. The focus of our practices is now well-established but the needs of our practices will best be served by this new arrangement. In addition to representing individual and commercial members of the creative community in protecting their intellectual property rights, I look forward to dedicating additional time to pressing pro bono needs."

According to Larry McFarland, who will serve as Office Managing Partner for the LA office, he and Dennis Wilson had declined any number of overtures over the years, but Kilpatrick Townsend provided just the platform they needed to serve their clients.  "We immediately add the depth of Kilpatrick Townsend's world-class trademark and copyright practice, the ability to provide patent prosecution and patent litigation from nationally-ranked teams, and national litigation and corporate capabilities."

Dennis Wilson's high-profile practice has received much media attention in the past year, from his copyright triumph for Zynga over Vostu, to his international litigation to stop digital hacking operations for Summit Entertainment (The Twilight Series) to his victory for Hasbro in a putative class action for false advertising.  In recognition, last March the San Francisco and Los Angeles Daily Journals named Wilson one of the California's 75 Best Intellectual Property Litigators.

"Larry and Dennis and David Caplan have deep connections with West Coast brand owners and are highly regarded across the country.  We have had the good fortune to work together as co-counsel and it's exciting to join with them as part of the same national team," observed Bill Brewster, who co-chairs Kilpatrick Townsend's Trademark and Copyright Team.  "They particularly add to our depth in trademark and copyright litigation, Internet enforcement and anti-counterfeiting. And our respective client bases, which focus on brand owners, dovetail nicely."

The addition of the KMW lawyers will give Kilpatrick Townsend over 80 lawyers dedicated exclusively to trademark and copyright work.  Even before the additions, World Trademark Review recently ranked the firm among the top three firms for trademark in the nation.  Kilpatrick Townsend has more trademark lawyers listed in Best Lawyers in America than any other firm in the country; and U.S. News places the team in Tier 1 for Trademark law. 

Kilpatrick Townsend's roster of clients in the trademark and copyright arena includes adidas, The Collegiate Licensing Company (and its parent IMG), Tory Burch, American Eagle Outfitters, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Georgia-Pacific, Pearson Educational, Levi Strauss, Chrysler, Citi Group, Marriott, Flowers Bakeries, Williams-Sonoma, Bank of America and others.  Kilpatrick Townsend also recently made news for its victory on behalf of the HathiTrust in one of the most closely watched copyright cases of 2012.  With the addition of McFarland and Wilson, the client roster will expand its reach to the major and independent movie studios, gaming companies and Internet publishers.

In addition to the intellectual property work, the LA office also will have litigation capabilities, including class action defense and other commercial litigation. Emil Herich has over 25 years of litigation experience in federal and state court in California, and all of the KMW lawyers have experience in a range of litigation. "We expect to build on our litigation expertise here in LA, as well as to leverage Kilpatrick Townsend's national corporate, litigation and IP resources," noted McFarland.  "In fact, we already have used Kilpatrick Townsend's patent and corporate groups for client work while our discussions were underway."

The full list of attorneys joining Kilpatrick Townsend include: Partners Larry McFarland, Dennis Wilson, and David Caplan; Counsel Emil Herich; and Associates Christopher Varas, Caroline Bussin, and Tara Rose.

Kilpatrick Townsend's Los Angeles office will be located at the current Beverly Hills address of Keats McFarland & Wilson. Mr. Keats will continue to practice from his office at the same location.   

With the Los Angeles presence, Kilpatrick Townsend will have five offices in California.  The firm has 19 offices worldwide, including 14 in the United States.

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SOURCE Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton