Duane Morris launches in Silicon Valley with K&L Gates hire

Duane Morris has opened in Palo Alto, California with the addition of former K&L Gates IP litigation partner Karineh Khachatourian, who becomes managing partner of the new office.

K&L Gates associate Patrick Salceda is also joining Duane Morris’ new Palo Alto office.

The Silicon Valley launch is aimed at helping Duane Morris provide a more efficient and direct service to its clients throughout the high-technology hub while also enhancing its capabilities in California and nationally.

“Our expansion into Silicon Valley is an exciting opportunity for us,” said Duane Morris chairman John Soroko in a statement. “Duane Morris lawyers will now be able to work from an office close to our clients, supported and augmented by our lawyers based throughout California and more broadly throughout the firm. Karineh Khachatourian brings to Duane Morris a stellar reputation, established relationships with local companies and proven skills as an IP litigator. We look forward to working with her to achieve future growth in Silicon Valley.”

The new Silicon Valley base will focus on a range of areas including patent litigation and prosecution, trademarks and copyrights, venture capital, private equity and related commercial litigation. The firm said that technology-focused lawyers from its existing four California offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Lake Tahoe (the result of the firm’s 2006 merger with Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft) would bring an immediate and broad base of experience to the Palo Alto office, particularly in the areas of patent portfolio management, technology licencing, life sciences and immigration. The firm is also expected to continue hiring in this area over the coming months.

“Our new office in Silicon Valley represents a key strategic growth initiative for us, and is a direct response to feedback from our clients,” said Woody Jameson, chair of Duane Morris’s intellectual property practice. “The leadership group of our IP practice is making a substantial commitment to the West Coast, with a priority on strategic hiring for Silicon Valley, as well as our other California offices. Karineh’s addition is a big step in that direction.”

Khachatourian represents high-tech clients in Northern California in patent, trade secret, trademark and related commercial litigation and counsels clients in the area of IP enforcement. Her technology focus includes computer hardware and software, with an emphasis on encryption technology, related consumer electronics and computer peripherals, and video gaming technology.