The Dallas law firm of McKool Smith, P.C., announces the opening of an office in Washington, DC, the firm's first expansion outside of Texas. The Washington office, close to the U.S. International Trade Commission, will provide the firm with additional expertise in cases involving international trade issues, as well as commercial and intellectual property litigation.
Veteran international trade trial attorneys Michael G. McManus and Rodney R. Sweetland III have joined the firm to lead the new office.
Mr. McManus, who joins the firm as a principal, has an extensive background in international trade and intellectual property litigation. He is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and previously handled chemical, pharmaceutical and petroleum tariff classifications for the U.S. Customs Service's Office of Regulations and Rulings.
Mr. Sweetland, who joins McKool Smith as a principal, is a veteran trial attorney with broad knowledge of federal and appellate law. His work in high-profile technology disputes includes litigation involving cyber-squatting, computer hacking and Internet trademarks.
The U.S. International Trade Commission is an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency charged with protecting U.S. industries from illegal imports and unfair competition. Most of the complaints investigated by the ITC involve intellectual property rights, including patent infringement and trademark infringement by imported goods.
The ITC has grown in prominence as a forum to resolve IP-related disputes because of the extensive experience and training of its administrative law judges and because matters are typically resolved within 12 to 15 months.
According to the Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Justification for the U.S. International Trade Commission, presented to Congress, "the Commission's Intellectual Property-based Investigations caseload has 'exploded' in recent years, more than tripling since FY (fiscal year) 2000."
In addition to the firm's Dallas headquarters, McKool Smith maintains offices in Austin and Marshall, Texas.
McKool Smith's new office is located at 1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036.