Amar Thakur Utilized His Legal Skills and Experience to Help Build the Intellectual Property Practice at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP by LawCrossing


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									PARTNER PROFILE                                                                                        1. 800.973.1177

                             Amar Thakur Utilized His Legal Skills and Experience to
                             Help Build the Intellectual Property Practice at Sheppard,
                             Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP
                             [By Kenneth Davis]
                             When Amar Thakur graduated from law school back in 1995, he initially wanted to go into business law but ended up going
                             into intellectual property law instead. Thakur said he first got into IP law because of his technical background.

“I would say intellectual property law chose         that they were buying $5 million of our             Applera. He said the case was settled in the
me,” he said. “Because I had a degree in             client’s software.”                                  middle of last year with a “complicated set
electrical engineering, I had headhunters                                                                 of agreements that included a $35 million
                                                     Thakur also represented Beckman Coulter, a
calling me with that background. And then                                                                 payment to our client.”
                                                     maker of biochemical laboratory instruments,
when I looked into the area, I found it incredibly
                                                     in a patent-infringement lawsuit against
interesting. And now at this point, I can’t                                                               Additionally, he has a trade-secret case
imagine doing anything else.”                                                                             currently pending for his client Wireless
                                                      About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter &                   Facilities against Celeris Systems.
Thakur is currently a partner at renowned             Hampton, LLP
national firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter &             Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton’s               Thakur joined Sheppard Mullin from Latham
Hampton in its Del Mar Heights office, where          founding partners began the firm in Los             & Watkins in June 2004. He explained why
he has a thriving intellectual property practice.     Angeles in 927 with the simple blueprint of        he decided to make the move from Latham to
                                                      providing superior client service and legal
In January, he was named co-chair of the                                                                  Sheppard Mullin:
                                                      counseling. Sheppard Mullin attorneys
firm’s intellectual property practice group. He
                                                      continue to respond rapidly to ever-
said his practice is devoted to litigation and                                                            “I was attracted to Sheppard Mullin because I
                                                      changing business and legal environments
licensing.                                                                                                think it’s a premier California firm with a large
                                                      with creative, cost-effective, and practical
                                                      solutions. The firm’s philosophy is to staff        office in San Diego-Del Mar,” he said. “At that
“So I represent people in patent and trademark        matters with experienced, effective, results-       point, I believe they were 60 or 65 lawyers or so,
litigation,” he said. “And I also have a pretty       oriented attorneys who recognize that               but they didn’t really have a material IP practice
substantial practice in technology licensing          availability, accessibility, and responsiveness     in San Diego-Del Mar, which is obviously an
and transactions.”                                    to clients are fundamental.                         essential component of a law firm. So it was
                                                                                                          sort of an entrepreneurial opportunity for me to
Thakur has a roster of prominent clients in the       The firm practices in the following areas           go in and be the second IP lawyer in the Del Mar
                                                      of law: general civil trial and appellate
life sciences and technology fields, including                                                            office and try to grow it, and as you’ve probably
                                                      practice in all state and federal courts;
Broadcom Corporation, Amgen, Peerless                                                                     heard, things have gone quite well.”
                                                      financial institutions law; commercial law;
Systems, and Sony Online Entertainment.
                                                      banking; bankruptcy and reorganization;
                                                                                                          Thakur completed his undergraduate work
                                                      construction; corporate; securities; antitrust;
He recently represented InfoVista, a leading          entertainment; intellectual property; unfair        at the University of Washington in Seattle,
provider of service-centric performance-              competition; labor and employment; pension          graduating in 992 with a degree in electrical
management software, in a trademark-                  and employee benefits; federal, state, and          engineering. He went on to earn his law
infringement lawsuit against Microsoft. The           local taxation; government contracts; real          degree, with honors, from Arizona State
case settled on December 29 of last year.             estate; land use; environmental; white-collar       University in 995.
                                                      criminal defense; international business;
“The terms of the settlement are confidential,”       administrative; probate; trust; estate              After graduating from law school, he went to
                                                      planning; aerospace and defense.
Thakur said. “But it is public information that                                                           work in the Phoenix office of law firm Bowman
in January of this year, Microsoft announced                                                              and Brooke, where he was a general associate.

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PARTNER PROFILE                                                                                    1. 800.973.1177

Thakur said that he really wanted to practice      young, and there’s really sort of good energy in   to do what you enjoy. If it’s not your passion,
law in California but took the job at Bowman       the group, and I’ve enjoyed that as well.”         don’t do it for the money. Find the area of
and Brooke because his wife was working on                                                            law that you like the most, and at the end of
her M.B.A. at Arizona State University.            In addition to running his practice and            the day, happiness is the function of doing
                                                   co-chairing Sheppard Mullin’s intellectual         what you like, not a function of how much
Once Thakur’s wife completed her M.B.A.,           property practice group, he frequently             money you make.”
they moved to California, and he joined Fish       speaks publicly about legal issues related
& Richardson in the firm’s San Diego office        to intellectual property and technology            Thakur was born in London, England, and went
in 997. At Fish & Richardson, his practice        transactions. He also regularly participates       to high school in New Delhi, India. He and his
focused on intellectual property matters. In       on panels at American Corporate Counsel            family moved to the states in 987. His wife,
2000, he came over to Latham & Watkins’            Association events and is a guest lecturer at      Lisa, is the Vice President of Operations for
San Diego office and continued to practice         the Graduate School of Management at the           Scripps Health. They have two sons: Devan
intellectual property law. Thakur joined           University of California, Irvine. Thakur said      (seven) and Jai (four).
Sheppard Mullin’s Del Mar Heights office as        he also often speaks at gatherings where law
special counsel in June 2004. In January of        students are present. A month ago, he hosted       He said he enjoys running in half marathons as
2005, he made non-equity partner and then          a get-together at his house for the South Asian    well as playing golf.
equity partner in January 2006.                    Bar Association.
                                                                                                      ON THE NET
                                                   “It was mostly law students who were in the
Thakur discussed what he enjoys most
                                                   community who wanted to meet with lawyers
about his job:                                                                                        Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP
                                                   in the area,” he said. “So I’m always trying to
                                                   do something like that. At the end of the day, I
“I think what I enjoy most about the job is
                                                   think it’s important to continue to reach out to
sort of being able to have grown it in the way                                                        Broadcom Corporation
                                                   your community and reach out to students.”
I wanted to grow it,” he said. “We’ve grown                                                 
in the Del Mar office; before January, I was
                                                   Thakur had the following advice for law
helping grow that. And we’ve grown it from                                                            Amgen
two to 6 lawyers and brought in great clients                                              
and brought in what I think is really top-tier
                                                   “The reality is grades matter, so study hard,”
talent in our group. The group is relatively all
                                                   he said. “And I would say the other thing is


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