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David J. Kappos, l’ancien sous-secrétaire au commerce des États-Unis et directeur du Bureau américain des brevets et marques, se joint à Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Le cabinet d’avocats Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP est enchanté d’annoncer que M. David J. Kappos, l’ancien sous-secrétaire au commerce des États-Unis et directeur du Bureau américain des brevets et marques, s’est joint à son équipe en qualité d'associé.

David J. Kappos (Photo : Business Wire)

David J. Kappos (Photo : Business Wire)

Jouissant d’une renommée mondiale, M. Kappos est l'un des ténors du domaine de la propriété intellectuelle, et notamment de l’élaboration de normes, de lois et de pratiques internationales. En 2009, il a été nommé sous-secrétaire au commerce et directeur du Bureau américain des brevets et marques (BABM) par le président Barack Obama et cette nomination a été entérinée par le Sénat. En qualité de directeur du BABM, il a pris une part active dans la mise en œuvre de la plus importante réforme législative du système des brevets réalisée aux États-Unis depuis des décennies, dans la foulée d'une loi signée en septembre 2011 par le chef de la Maison Blanche. Dirigée par M. Kappos, cette mise en œuvre restera dans les annales du BABM comme la période de réglementation et de mobilisation des pouvoirs publics la plus aboutie. M. Kappos a quitté ses fonctions en date du 1er février 2013.

De l’avis d’Allen Parker, le président de Cravath, « M. Kappos sera une recrue de choix pour notre cabinet, dans la mesure où il aidera nos clients à lever les obstacles très complexes auxquels ils se heurtent en matière de propriété intellectuelle, notamment ceux touchant aux contrats, aux litiges et aux questions relatives aux lois antitrust ».

Et d’ajouter : « Son expérience intéressera grandement bon nombre de nos clients, et plus particulièrement ceux qui exercent des activités dans les domaines de la biotechnologie, de la consommation, des industries générales, des médias, du médicament, de la technologie et des télécommunications. En effet, notre cabinet compte, parmi sa clientèle, de nombreuses entreprises appartenant à ces domaines, qui, pour beaucoup d’entre elles, travaillent avec Cravath sur des questions de propriété intellectuelle depuis des décennies. »

Avant de se joindre en 2009 au BABM, M. Kappos a occupé plusieurs postes de direction au sein du service juridique d’IBM, l’entreprise qui possède la plus grande propriété intellectuelle au monde. Se joignant à IBM en 1983, il a passé plus de 25 ans dans cette entreprise. Il a commencé comme ingénieur de développement avant de devenir avocat. De 2003 à 2009, il a été vice-président de l’entreprise et avocat général adjoint en matière de propriété intellectuelle. À ce titre, M. Kappos a géré l’ensemble des activités de l’entreprise touchant à la propriété intellectuelle, et notamment les aspects concernant la protection des brevets, des marques, des droits d'auteur et du secret commercial.

« Je suis vraiment enthousiaste à l’idée de me joindre à Cravath », a déclaré M. Kappos. « Lorsque j’étais chez IBM, j'ai souvent eu l'occasion de travailler en étroite collaboration avec Cravath sur des questions touchant à la propriété intellectuelle. Voilà comment j’ai pu apprécier l’habileté avec laquelle le cabinet parvenait à résoudre les plus délicates affaires de propriété intellectuelle. Ce qui est fondamental à mes yeux, c’est que Cravath traite les questions de propriété intellectuelle dans le contexte des objectifs commerciaux de ses clients, et ce, en faisant preuve d’une expertise juridique à nulle autre pareille, tant sur le plan commercial que sur celui des litiges. »

M. Kappos jouit d’une renommée universelle en raison du rôle de premier plan qu’il joue dans le domaine de la propriété intellectuelle. En 2012, il a été intronisé au Temple de la renommée de la propriété intellectuelle par le site Intellectual Asset Management Magazine et il a été désigné par le site Managing IP comme faisant partie des 50 personnes les plus influentes dans le domaine de la propriété intellectuelle. En 2011, l’Intellectual Property Owners Association l’a nommé professionnel de l’année pour la contribution qu'il a apportée au domaine de la propriété intellectuelle.

M. Kappos est titulaire d’une licence en électrotechnique et en génie informatique de l’Université de Californie à Davis et d’un diplôme interdisciplinaire de l’Université de Californie à Berkeley.

Le cabinet Cravath est considéré comme l’un des chefs de file des domaines de la propriété intellectuelle, des fusions et des acquisitions, du financement des entreprises et du règlement des litiges. En 2012, à la suite d'un sondage visant à classer les meilleurs cabinets de l’année 2011-2012, Cravath a été déclaré par le journal U.S. News & World Report meilleur cabinet d’avocats de l'année. La même année, les sites Chambers USA et Legal 500 l’ont tous deux classé parmi les cabinets de premier plan dans les domaines des fusions et des acquisitions, du financement des entreprises et du règlement des litiges.

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