McDermott Lures Fenwick Patent Pro Mashhood Rassam (Silicon Valley)

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s Silicon Valley office has swiped a litigator from Fenwick & West LLP with experience defending the intellectual property of a broad range of software and Internet-based technology clients, the firm said Tuesday.

Mashhood Rassam joined McDermott as a partner on Sept. 4, stepping up from his time at Fenwick’s Mountain View, Calif., office as a patent litigation associate. During his seven-year stay at Fenwick, Rassam litigated patent disputes before Texas, Delaware, Oregon and California federal district courts, as well as the Federal Circuit, McDermott said.

Rassam told Law360 Wednesday he was attracted to McDermott’s robust platform that supports litigators working on intellectual property cases overseas.

“They do a lot of [International Trade Commission] work; they do a lot of competitor suits and also a lot of suits where a nonpracticing entity sues the company, so they have a robust practice in all three phases of patent litigation,” Rassam said. “McDermott has offices across all of Europe and Asia, so the platform is really an international one.”

The firm also intends to give him the opportunity to argue cases before the International Trade Commission for the first time, he said.

Rassam also said he was attracted to McDermott’s expanding Menlo Park office, citing the addition of seasoned intellectual property litigator Fabio Marino, who the firm poached from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in March.

Sarah Chapin Columbia, the head of the firm’s intellectual property litigation practice group, said that Rassam’s experience in the country’s busiest venues for patent litigation made him an attractive hire.

“His ability to manage all aspects of patent litigation in venues across the country, including the Eastern District of Texas, will be a real asset to our practice and our clients,” she said.

Since joining McDermott, Rassam has begun working on HTC Corp.’s defense against a patent infringement suit brought by SmartPhone Technologies LLC in Texas federal court in which the smartphone giant is accused of infringing a patent portfolio covering Internet-ready communications and Bluetooth technology.

Rassam maintained an active pro bono practice while at Fenwick, winning a six-figure settlement in a wrongful-death action against the state of California over a San Quentin State Prison inmate who died after suffering a diabetic seizure. Rassam’s team sued the prison and the inmate’s physicians, and successfully defeated the state’s motion for summary judgment before settling.

“As soon as I’ve settled in, I’d like to continue doing [pro bono] work, particularly if I get to do federal litigation,” Rassam said.

In addition to Internet-based technologies, Rassam has litigated disputes over semiconductor design and fabrication technology.

Rassam earned his law degree from the University of Chicago in 2005 and his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, where he studied history.