Six Snell & Wilmer Partners Recognized as Leaders in Their Field by IAM Patent 1000


PHOENIX – Snell & Wilmer is pleased to announce that IAM Patent 1000 has recognized partners Christopher D. Bright, Jaime D. Choi, R. Lee Fraley, Charles F. Hauff, Howard I. Sobelman, and Ketan S. Vakil for excellence in the field of patent law. Snell & Wilmer was once again identified as a recommended firm for its Arizona and California offices, respectively. 

According to the publication, the IAM Patent 1000 is the definitive resource for identifying top patent professionals and firm-wide private practice patent expertise in key jurisdictions around the globe. IAM is the trusted source of worldwide news, analysis, and data on the management of intellectual property as a key business asset, keeping in-house counsel up to speed with the global issues, and strategies that matter.

Bright has over 20 years of experience litigating patent cases for clients across the United States, as well as providing counseling for global patent licensing negotiations and patent due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. Drawing upon his deep scientific experience, degree in physics, and talent for simplifying complex concepts, he has skillfully tried numerous patent cases in U.S. federal district courts and before the International Trade Commission (ITC). Bright also frequently appears before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in inter partes reviews (IPRs) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 

Choi is an intellectual property partner of our San Diego office and co-chair of the Life Sciences and Medical Technology industry group. Her practice focuses on patenting complex, interdisciplinary technologies and building strategic patent portfolios, with an emphasis on evaluating and mitigating risk from third-party patents. She advises clients in a variety of market sectors, including bioinformatics, medical devices, robotics, microfluidics, semiconductor fabrication, digital signal processing, photonics, advanced imaging, and fabrication of complex materials and devices that use them. Choi also has deep experience in disputes, including litigation, arbitration, licensing, and trade secrets.

Fraley offers clients a unique blend of intellectual property counseling, IP rights enforcement and defense, and solution-focused negotiation of IP-related transactions and acquisitions. He has counseled clients worldwide, from emerging and growing businesses to middle-market and large cap companies, in the development of patent, copyright, trade secret and trademark portfolios geared toward accomplishing their business goals and objectives, including the licensing and commercial exploitation in the areas of semiconductors, medical devices, software including SaaS/PaaS, telecommunication, IT and cloud-based networking and services, crowd-sourcing applications, gaming, retail/franchising, sports and entertainment, music, renewable energy, unmanned and other autonomous vehicles, cannabis/CBD, and media law.

Hauff is one of the founders of the intellectual property (IP) group at Snell and Wilmer LLP, and practices in all aspects of IP including, litigation, prosecution, licensing, and other business transactions. He has technical experience in, among other fields, the chemical, biotechnical, mechanical, electromechanical, computer software, medical products, acoustics, and life sciences disciplines. Hauff has handled a variety of litigation matters for clients of varying sizes both in the United States and abroad. In addition, he has worked with a number of technology clients to develop creative strategies for protecting globally innovative technology from exercise and other mechanical devices to cutting-edge medical products and pharmaceuticals.

Sobelman's practice is concentrated in intellectual property law, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, licensing, and due diligence. His practice includes blockchain technologies, big data, software, hardware, internet, business methods, aerospace, solar tracking, financial services, financial planning, insurance products, medical products, mechanical, biotechnology, fiber optics, holography, and various other technologies. In addition, Sobelman has worked with a number of clients to develop creative global protection strategies for procuring substantial patent portfolios for his clients.

Vakil is co-chair of the firm's intellectual property group. He counsels clients on matters related to intellectual property protection, litigation, counseling, and licensing including the procurement and litigation of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. He has significant experience in preparing and prosecuting patents and trademarks, evaluating prior art for patentability, infringement, and validity, preparing infringement and validity opinions, and counseling clients on intellectual property strategies, development, licensing, and infringement. He has also been lead counsel on several Inter Partes Review (IPR) Proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

About Snell & Wilmer 
Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm with more than 500 attorneys practicing in 16 locations throughout the United States and in Mexico, including Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, California; Denver, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; Boise, Idaho; Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Portland, Oregon; Dallas, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Seattle, Washington; and Los Cabos, Mexico. The firm represents clients ranging from large, publicly traded corporations to small businesses, individuals, and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit