Harter Secrest & Emery Adds Two Seasoned Intellectual Property Partners



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Michael J. Berchou and Rowland Richards now practicing in firm’s Buffalo office


Buffalo, New York, August 1, 2016 – Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, a full-service business law firm with offices throughout New York, announced that prominent Intellectual Property attorneys Michael J. Berchou and Rowland Richards, formerly with Phillips Lytle, have joined Harter Secrest & Emery’s Intellectual Property practice, in the firm’s recently relocated Buffalo office at 50 Fountain Plaza.

Berchou and Richards add considerable depth and expertise to Harter Secrest & Emery’s already strong Intellectual Property practice. With Berchou and Richards, the firm now has more than 20 intellectual property attorneys and other professionals who practice from the firm’s Buffalo and Rochester offices.

“Adding Mike and Rowland to our firm further establishes Harter Secrest & Emery as a leading firm for intellectual property law, not only in Buffalo and Western New York, but across Upstate New York and throughout the Northeast,” said Craig S. Wittlin, Harter Secrest & Emery managing partner. “In the rapidly expanding global marketplace, it has become more imperative than ever for companies to protect and address their intellectual property assets. Leveraging the collective strength and experience of our intellectual property lawyers allows our clients to maximize the potential of their intellectual property portfolios.”

Harter Secrest & Emery provides comprehensive intellectual property legal services to clients throughout the United States and in many foreign countries. The firm’s attorneys assist clients in acquiring patents, trademarks, and copyrights, and have extensive experience negotiating and drafting licensing agreements, as well as serving as lead counsel in complex patent and other intellectual property litigation. In addition, attorneys in the Intellectual Property practice provide strategic counseling to clients on assessing potential threats, and avoiding potential intellectual property conflicts with third parties. The firm’s clients have ranged from Fortune 500 corporations, major motion picture studios, and investors, to start-up ventures, entrepreneurs, and individual inventors, and operate in multiple fields, including manufacturing, retail, consumer goods, office products, and high technology.

“I am thrilled to join Harter Secrest & Emery, and I look forward to working with the firm’s diverse group of talented attorneys,” said Berchou. “As an intellectual property attorney, the firm’s broad platform and significant depth in patent and trademark litigation and prosecution will enable me to provide clients with the best possible service.  Additionally, Harter Secrest & Emery has displayed a commitment to building and sustaining its intellectual property practice, and its Buffalo office, along with an impressive collaborative style, all of which were very attractive to me.”

“This exciting move dramatically expands the intellectual property expertise and talent available to our clients,” Richards added. “With such a combined and team-orientated intellectual property practice, we have a unique opportunity to provide exceptional legal services to a broad base of extraordinary clients, from entrepreneurial startups to the largest companies regionally and nationally.”

Over the past two decades, Berchou has been involved in a number of high profile, complex intellectual property litigation matters, serving as lead counsel in multiple patent, trade secret, trademark and copyright cases in district courts across the country. As both a registered patent attorney and electrical engineer, he brings extensive technical understanding to his practice, which includes representing both plaintiffs and defendants in such areas as medical devices, computer storage and network connectivity, live streaming, vibration sensors/accelerometers, ballistic fabrics, and artificial turf. Among his professional honors, Berchou is recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in 2015 and 2016, and earned a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating in Intellectual Property, Patents and Litigation.

Berchou is a graduate of the University at Buffalo, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, a Master of Business Administration, with distinction, and his law degree.

Richards’ areas of practice include patent, trademark and copyright counseling, domestic and foreign trademark and patent prosecution, licensing and technology transfers, oppositions and cancellations, reissues and reexaminations, infringement opinions, enforcement and litigation. In recognition of his professional achievements, Richards has been recognized in the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® from 2013-2015, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America®.

Richards earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University, and is a cum laude graduate of Vermont Law School.

“Mike and Rowland are first-rate lawyers, who bring to Harter Secrest & Emery outstanding professional credentials. They also are terrific people and professionals, who reflect our firm’s culture and principles,” said John G. Horn, partner in charge of Harter Secrest & Emery’s Buffalo office. “Their addition to our team of talented attorneys in Buffalo is consistent with our focus on strategic growth to address the growing needs of our clients and ongoing changes in the business climate locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.”

Harter Secrest & Emery, which opened its Buffalo office in 1995 with two attorneys, now has nearly 30 attorneys, along with additional professional staff, working in downtown Buffalo.


Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Harter Secrest & Emery LLP is a full-service business law firm providing legal services to clients ranging from individuals and family-owned businesses to Fortune 100 companies and major regional institutions. With offices in Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, Corning, and New York City, New York, the firm is a recognized leader in corporate, employee benefits, environmental and land use, healthcare, higher education, immigration, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate, and trusts and estate law. Visit www.hselaw.com for more information.

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