Patent Litigator Joins Akin Gump's Los Angeles Office

Tina Spee

Daily Journal Extra

November 1, 2004

In an effort to increase its Los Angeles intellectual property capabilities, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld added local patent litigator Richard J. Codding to its partner ranks.

Before the move, Codding spent six years as a partner at the downtown office of Howrey Simon Arnold & White where, he says, he practiced alongside at least eight "hard-core patents litigators." He joined Akin Gump on Oct. 4.

"Akin is a large, very competent national firm," Codding says, "with .... the opportunity for me to come here and help them increase the patent litigation capabilities, nationally, but in particular on the West Coast.

"It was an attractive opportunity for me."

Christopher A. Mathews, the senior intellectual property partner at Howrey Simon, agrees that the move will help further Codding's career goals.

"To the extent that he's interested in putting his mark on an intellectual property group, I think it makes sense for him to go someplace like Akin's Los Angeles office," Mathews says.

According to Akin Gump's communications manager, Kristen M. White, with the addition of Codding, two intellectual property litigators are based in the Los Angeles office. The firm has 62 intellectual property litigators worldwide.

Codding specializes in patent, unfair competition and antitrust disputes. He has a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Over the years, I've dealt with an awful lot of cases that have involved semiconductors, ... memory devices for computers, data compression schemes and things of that type," Codding says. "Those cases typically involve some fairly sophisticated technology."

Two years ago, Codding defended a maker of a blade used in the Lasik eye procedure against charges of patent infringement. He says the dispute settlement allowed his client to continue manufacturing the cornea-slicing blade. Codding declines to identify the party names in the dispute or the names of other clients he represents.

David C. Allen, managing partner of Akin Gump's Los Angeles office, says the firm, in its hunt for new attorneys, focused on finding well-known intellectual property litigators with "hot" subspecialties like electrical engineering.

"Richard's name was at the top of the list," Allen says. "We've been, for a number of years, on a plan to strengthen our intellectual property practice, including patent litigation."

Washington, D.C.-based Akin Gump has 13 offices worldwide, including locations in San Francisco, Riverside, New York, Houston, Moscow and London. Firmwide, Akin Gump has 942 attorneys, 94 of whom are based in Los Angeles.

Howrey Simon, also based in Washington, D.C., has offices in Irvine; Menlo Park; San Francisco; Chicago; Houston; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and London.

The move was brokered by legal recruiter Bill Vochoska of Santa Monica's Alan Miles & Associates

Return to News Index