News and Views
Press Release

Blank Rome Bolsters Intellectual Property Group with Addition of Two Attorneys in Houston

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Jonathan M. Harris has joined the Firm as Partner and David M. Wilson as Of Counsel in the Intellectual Property and Technology group in Houston. Both join from intellectual property boutique Conley Rose, P.C.

“We’re excited to welcome Jon and David to Blank Rome,” said Alan J. Hoffman, Chairman and Managing Partner of the Firm. “Our intellectual property practice has seen exciting and significant growth, particularly over the past two years. We’re confident that Jon and David will help us continue our momentum, bringing a high level of patent prosecution and litigation skills to the team.”

These additions further bolster Blank Rome’s national intellectual property practice, which added 23 attorneys from intellectual property law firm Wong, Cabello, Lutsch, Rutherford & Brucculeri L.L.P in 2015 and an additional 25 IP attorneys as part of its transaction with Dickstein Shapiro in 2016. With almost 80 attorneys, Blank Rome’s IP team is among the largest practices in the United States. In addition, the Houston office continues to grow in the region, most recently welcoming Energy Partner Elizabeth E. Klingensmith. Blank Rome opened its Houston office in 2011 with five attorneys and has since grown to 45 attorneys.

Mr. Harris guides large corporate technology companies in developing and managing their patent portfolios. His clients include high-tech electrical, software, medical device, and Fortune 500 companies. He assists clients on the preparation and prosecution of patents and works on patent litigation, licensing, and freedom-to-use analysis. His patent prosecution practice focuses on drafting and prosecuting patent applications in the electrical and software spaces. In addition, Mr. Harris has extensive experience managing and conducting due diligence during the buying and selling of patent portfolios and in the administrative patent review processes with the patent office.

Mr. Wilson prepares and prosecutes patents for clients operating in various fields of the electrical and mechanical arts, including software, telecom, semiconductors, signal processing, downhole tools, flow measurement systems, medical devices, and computer systems, as well as in the energy industry. His practice also includes drafting legal opinions and representing clients in infringement and invalidity cases. Mr. Wilson has a worldwide practice assisting clients in providing legal protection for their technologies in Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico, and other international jurisdictions, as well as in the United States.

“Jon and David are accomplished attorneys and excellent additions, especially as we continue to see adversarial patent proceedings and inter partes review (“IPR”) cases increase in the region,” said Keith A. Rutherford, co-chair of Blank Rome’s Intellectual Property and Technology group. “They have extensive experience representing Fortune 500 companies in technical fields before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which will greatly benefit our clients in this space.”

“Blank Rome has an impressive national platform, which we are certain will help us expand our practice, particularly when it comes to inter partes review work,” said Mr. Harris. “We have known many of Blank Rome’s Houston attorneys for years. It is a highly skilled group with similar technical and legal capabilities to what David and I have to offer, and our complementary practices will give us the opportunity to strategically grow together to provide even more comprehensive and effective services to our clients.”

“The Firm handles a substantial number of IPR cases, which was a big draw for us,” said Mr. Wilson. “Additionally, we were looking for a place that had a truly collaborative culture, and we found that at Blank Rome. We work with clients in numerous industries, so being able to work closely with colleagues in different practice areas, such as energy, for example, will be very beneficial to us and our clients.”

Previously, Mr. Harris and Mr. Wilson were electrical engineers. Mr. Harris worked as a NASA engineer on the crew healthcare systems for the International Space Station (“ISS”) and, in particular, on the exercise equipment used aboard the station. Mr. Wilson designed and developed data acquisition systems in the seismic exploration industry. Both are registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Mr. Harris received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas, his M.S. in Electrical Engineering and M.B.A. from the University of Houston, and his J.D. from the South Texas College of Law where he was the note and comment editor of the South Texas Law Review.

Mr. Wilson received his B.S. in Engineering Technology from the University of Houston, and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center.