Wilson Sonsini Hires IP Litigators Away from Sidley Austin

Edward Poplawski

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati announced last week that it was significantly expanding its patent litigation practice by hiring a team of IP litigators away from Sidley Austin.

This new lateral hiring class is lead by high-profile litigator Edward Poplawski. Poplawski is particularly known within the industry as lead trial counsel for Cornell University in winning a $184.1 million jury award against Hewlett-Packard Company and for obtaining an $81 million damages award plus attorneys’ fees against Medtronic, Inc. on behalf of Etex Corporation.

While Sidley Austin still lists some 119 attorneys who practice in the area of intellectual property litigation, it is worth nothing that this is certainly a big loss for the firm. Lateral hires come and go, and The American Lawyer recently lamented that lateral hire results are frequently lackluster. Still, Poplawski is not just any lateral hire, which requires one to take a moment to ponder what might be going on here and what prompted the move. You see, Poplawski was the head of the Sidley Austin’s West Coast Intellectual Property and Technology Practice and Global Co-Chair of the Firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice. Poplawski was also a member of Sidley Austin’s Executive Committee. See Poplawski PLI faculty profile.

The Poplawski lead litigation team will be located in Wilson Sonsini’s new Los Angeles office, and the Wilson Sonsini website says that Poplawski will become one of the firms lead IP litigators. The LA office for Wilson Sonsini becomes the firm’s 14th location.


About Edward Poplawski

In addition to the aforementioned, Poplawski focuses his practice primarily on patent litigation, including jury trials and proceedings before the International Trade Commission. He received the prestigious California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award in 2009. He has successfully litigated a wide spectrum of technology and life sciences patent cases for marquee clients such as Atmel, Deutsche Bank, eBay/PayPal, First Data, Genentech, Hewlett-Packard, IGT, Intuit, LSI, McAfee, and Samsung. Poplawski earned his J.D. from the Villanova University School of Law in 1983, and holds a master’s degree and a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University.

About Vera Elson

Elson has substantial trial experience in federal district courts across the country and before the ITC relating to matters such as patents, trade secrets, and copyright claims. She also regularly provides strategic IP counseling for technology clients. Prior to joining Sidley, Elson was a partner at McDermott Will & Emery and, earlier, at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Before practicing law, she worked as an electrical engineer at Hughes Aircraft’s Advanced Circuit Technology Labs. Elson received her J.D. from USC’s Gould School of Law in 1991, an M.S. in engineering from UCLA in 1985, and a B.S. in cybernetics from UCLA in 1982. A former partner in Sidley’s Silicon Valley office, she will be based in WSGR’s Palo Alto office.

About Paul Tripodi II

Tripodi joined Sidley with Poplawski in 2000 and whose practice focuses on complex patent litigation and trade secret misappropriation spanning a broad range of technologies, including smartphones, wireless navigation, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, integrated circuits, data transmission, and video games. He has been involved in both bench and jury trials, as well as proceedings before international tribunals and the International Trade Commission. Tripodi received his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law in 1992, an M.S. in chemical physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1989, and a B.S. in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University in 1987.

About Olivia Kim

Kim specializes in complex patent infringement litigation in areas such as biometric sensors, biotechnology, computer processor architecture, graphical user interfaces, Internet payment systems, mobile phones, network security, pharmaceuticals, and plasma display panels. Experienced in all stages of litigation, Kim has participated in a significant number of jury and bench trials. Before becoming an attorney, she was a researcher at UCLA’s immunology and physiology labs. Fluent in Korean, Kim received a J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2003 and a B.S. in biochemistry from UCLA in 1998.

About Sandra Fujiyama

Fujiyama focuses her practice on IP litigation for clients in industries ranging from biotechnology to electronics, with a particular emphasis on patent litigation. An experienced trial lawyer, she also has expertise in general IP counseling, prosecuting patent and trademark applications, performing trademark registerability analyses, and conducting IP due diligence. She earned her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 1998 and a B.S. in biochemistry from UCLA in 1995.


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Join the Discussion

4 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    April 2, 2013 04:08 pm


    Is there any such thing as simple patent litigation? There are efforts to put together some kind of small claim process for patents, which I think is a fundamentally good idea.




  • [Avatar for John Darling]
    John Darling
    April 2, 2013 11:33 am

    Are there any attorneys who focus on simple patent litigation? 🙂

  • [Avatar for Googooli]
    April 1, 2013 05:16 pm

    Why no patent prosecutors?

  • [Avatar for American Cowboy]
    American Cowboy
    April 1, 2013 05:05 pm

    “requires one to take a moment to ponder what might be going on here and what prompted the move. ”

    Isn’t it the same old same old? Money?