Former acting deputy USPTO director moves to O’Melveny

Veteran government litigator Coke Morgan Stewart joins firm’s Washington DC office

Senior counsel at O'Melveny Coke Morgan Stewart

O’Melveny & Myers has hired seasoned government lawyer Coke Morgan Stewart as senior counsel in its intellectual property bench at its Washington DC office. She will advise clients on complex IP matters, including litigation, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) matters, and appeals to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Before moving to O’Melveny, Stewart had served as deputy attorney general for the Commonwealth of Virginia since January 2022.

Stewart’s arrival expands O’Melveny’s East Coast capabilities and bolsters the firm’s IP and technology practice group, which has added several leading litigators in the past year including former Finnegan partner Robert F Shaffer, who joined the firm’s DC office in February and Gregory A Morris, who joined as a partner in its New York office in August 2022 from Honigman.

Stewart has held many important governmental roles throughout her 25 year career as a trial and appellate lawyer. Before the Attorney General’s office, she spent over 10 years at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), rising to the second highest-ranking officer, serving as its acting deputy director and acting deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property.

Other important roles at the agency held by her included senior counsel to the director, acting chief of staff, acting deputy solicitor and associate solicitor.

She has advised on numerous patent, trademark, and copyright cases before the US Supreme Court, as well as handling more than 50 appeals before the Federal Circuit. She has also litigated countless complex patent infringement cases representing both the patent holder and the alleged infringer.

Prior to her government service, she worked in private practice in the Washington DC office of Kaye Scholer. Stewart said she was “honoured and excited” to join O’Melveny and to work with many former USPTO and PTAB colleagues.

Ryan Yagura, chair of O’Melveny’s intellectual property and technology practice group, said her “impressive credentials, deep knowledge of intellectual property law and policy, and strong litigation skills, especially at the appellate level”, made her an excellent addition to its team.

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