Foley & Lardner hires IP duo strengthening high-tech capabilities

Ngai Zhang and Drew Schulte move over from Perkins Coie to the AmLaw 100 firm as it seeks to bolster its innovative technology capabilities

New IP hire Drew Shulte joins Foley & Lardner in Miami – an evolving “technology hub” Preve Beatrice

Two respected IP partners, Ngai Zhang and Drew Schulte, have left Perkins Coie to join Foley & Lardner’s innovative technology sector and electronics practice.

Zhang will join Foley’s Washington DC office, while Schulte will join the US firm’s Miami practice; it is the latest move by the Wisconsin-headquartered firm in its strategic expansion on the US East Coast.

The firm notes that they bring extensive experience counselling on strategic patent prosecution, with a focus on software and financial technology sectors.

Pavan Agarwal, chair of Foley’s innovative technology sector, said that the two IP partners were “exceptional fits” for Foley, as Washington DC and Miami continue to evolve as technology hubs.

Zhang focuses his practice on internet and technology law, including patents, trademarks, open source, technology transactions, user agreements, contests and sweepstakes.

He advises a wide range of clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, on AI and machine learning, fintech, blockchain, cybersecurity, cloud computing, digital health, and virtual, augmented and mixed realities. Zhang also has extensive experience with patent portfolio management and prosecution, as well as patent post-grant review and litigation.

Admitted before the US and European patent offices, Schulte focuses his practice on patent prosecution, particularly in the fintech space.

In addition to post-grant proceedings in the US, Schulte has conducted more than 60 European Patent Office (EPO) oppositions and argued before both the EPO Technical Board of Appeals and the Enlarged Board of Appeals.

Zhang and Schulte said that Foley offers “our practices an environment conducive to expansion”. They added that the firm’s “intersectional approach that spurs collaboration across practices will be invaluable in offering our clients the full spectrum of IP support”.

Christopher McKenna, co-chair of Foley’s electronics practice group said their “innovative approach and keen understanding of diverse technological areas will greatly benefit our high-tech industry clients and further strengthen our electronics practice capabilities, both on the East Coast and nationally”.

The pair’s recruitment is the latest move in Foley’s plans to grow its presence on the US East Coast. Earlier this month, it hired antitrust lawyer Mark Grundvig in Washington DC from the US Department of Justice as a partner while former Goodwin Procter partner Joe Bernardi joined its innovative technology sector and private equity and M&A practices in Boston.

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