SOURCE: The Eclipse Group LLP

November 16, 2006 09:00 ET

O'Connor Christensen & McLaughlin Merges With The Eclipse Group to Create "360-Degree" Intellectual Property Law Firm

New Legal "Powerhouse" Carves Niche as Boutique Firm Offering Same IP Capabilities as Senior Attorneys in Major National Firms at Greater Value

IRVINE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 16, 2006 -- In a move that creates a rarely found full-service "boutique" intellectual property (IP) firm, IP litigation specialist O'Connor Christensen & McLaughlin LLP has merged with The Eclipse Group LLP (www.eclipsegrp.com), a national IP law firm headquartered in Los Angeles. The combined firm, which retains The Eclipse Group name, now handles the entire spectrum of IP-related matters, from patent and trademark prosecution and strategic counseling and licensing to litigation of infringement, antitrust issues and more.

Known as O'Connor Christensen & McLaughlin, The Trial Division of The Eclipse Group LLP, the former independent IP litigation firm will continue to offer its nationally established brand of exceptional trial and appellate work from its Irvine, Calif., office, yet will work in tandem with The Eclipse Group's Intellectual Property Law Division to provide clients with a full continuum of services. In addition to its locations in California, the firm has offices in Chicago and Durham, N.C.

"We call it the 360-degree approach," said Becky V. Christensen, a founding partner of O'Connor Christensen & McLaughlin and managing partner of The Eclipse Group's new Trial Division. "Here you have two specialized IP firms with excellent reputations within the industry, but we each could address only half of our clients' IP needs. Our coming together completes the circle, providing the best of both worlds for our clients -- they benefit both from the expertise of specialists rather than generalists, and from 'one-stop shopping' for all of their IP needs."

Topping the list of The Eclipse Group's clients are leading national and global technology, communications and scientific companies, including Fortune 500 companies, as well as research universities, emerging growth companies and local businesses.

According to Jennifer H. Hamilton, managing partner of The Eclipse Group's Intellectual Property Law Division, the firm wanted to offer these clients the full range of intellectual property and patent-related services, but lacked a litigation component.

"We realized that in addition to procurement and maintenance of patents, copyrights and trademarks, our clients needed access to experienced litigators for those times that their intellectual property rights are threatened or infringed upon," said Hamilton.

"The attorneys of O'Connor Christensen & McLaughlin are a natural fit with The Eclipse Group. We were impressed with the firm's established reputation as excellent IP litigators with proven results, and knew that teaming with them would solidify our firm's position as a premier provider of IP services."

As an example, Hamilton points to O'Connor Christensen & McLaughlin's recent argument in Illinois Tool Works v. Independent Ink, 126 S. Ct. 1281 (2006), an antitrust case argued before the United States Supreme Court, that involved presumed market power in a patented product.

For Christensen, a key market advantage driving the merger was the opportunity to establish an IP entity comprised solely of highly experienced, senior attorneys.

"We've got a dozen attorneys on board here," said Christensen, "all high-caliber senior professionals with stellar credentials and both technical and legal backgrounds. This 'powerhouse' approach -- offering a full array of IP services provided exclusively by highly experienced senior attorneys at rates significantly lower than larger counterparts -- is unusual for a boutique law firm, giving us an edge over the competition. Plus, how many IP firms have two female managing partners and the majority of ownership is women and minorities?"

About The Eclipse Group LLP

Founded in 2002, The Eclipse Group LLP is a full-service intellectual property firm dedicated to preserving and protecting all aspects of its clients' intellectual capital. The firm is comprised of two divisions: the Intellectual Property Law Division, which specializes in procurement, maintenance, and enforcement of intellectual property rights; and the Trial Division, which concentrates on pre-litigation counseling through trial and appeal for patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, unfair competition and antitrust matters. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Irvine, Calif., Chicago, and Durham, N.C., The Eclipse Group is committed to providing exceptional solutions at fair rates for its clients across the country. For more information, visit www.eclipsegrp.com

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