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Global Leader

Patents 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Kenneth Adamo is a well-established figure in the North American market who is credited for his considerable experience handling multi-jurisdictional patent disputes.


Ken Adamo is a partner in the intellectual property group in Kirkland’s Chicago and New York offices. Ken has extensive trial experience as lead counsel in jury and non-jury cases before state and federal courts and before the United States International Trade Commission, as well as ex parte and post-grant PTAB experience in the US Patent and Trademark Office. He has had substantial experience as lead counsel in arbitrations and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings, and actively practises before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, having appeared in over 40 appeals to date.

In 2011, Ken was named in IAM Patent Litigation 250: The World’s Leading Patent Litigators. He was also ranked as a top attorney in the “Individuals: U.S. International Trade Commission”, and as a Band 1 lawyer in its “Individuals: Illinois” and “Individuals: National” categories. He was recognised as a “true leader and luminary trial lawyer” who is “sharp and extremely effective both in federal district court litigation and before the ITC”. In the 2012 edition of IAM’s Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners he was again named a top attorney in “Individuals: US International Trade Commission”, and was also ranked in the Gold Band Individuals: Litigation (Illinois)” category. In the 2013 edition he was described as “a ‘brash and bold winner’ who secures superb results for clients”. In 2014 and 2015, Ken maintained those rankings, with IAM describing him as a “nationally renowned trial lawyer [who] has a tremendous amount of energy and is a commanding presence in the courtroom” and “is a polished trial lawyer with extensive district court, ITC, appellate, alternative forum and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) experience”. In 2016, IAM noted that “you can’t be too dazzled by the depth and strength of the firm’s bench of first-chair trial lawyers. Ken Adamo is another big name in the group; he litigates high-stakes cases across the IP spectrum and excels at all levels and in all forums, including the ITC and PTAB.”

IAM Patent 1000 2017: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals, named Ken as another best-in-class advocate: “Ken practised patent litigation well before it came into vogue, and has unrivalled experience and a rare depth of substantive patent law knowledge. He takes the time to get to know your business and goals, and will protect your interests zealously. He does a good job training and developing new talent for the next generation of representation for his clients." Among his peers, he is lauded as a "laser-focused, high-energy lawyer who does an awful lot of work without ever getting flustered". In IAM Patent 1000 2018: The World's Leading Patent Professionals 2018, Ken was again praised for his courtroom practice: "Adamo's name resonates with the business elite, not only because of its synonymy with trial and appellate excellence, but also its association with integrity, commercial expertise and encyclopedic patent law knowledge". IAM 1000 continued to rank Ken in its "Gold Band - Illinois for IP Litigation" in 2019. 

Who’s Who Legal: Patents (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016) named him as one of its ‘Most Highly Regarded’ individuals, saying that “the ‘phenomenal’ Kenneth Adamo … is widely acknowledged as a ‘frontrunner’ of US patent litigation”.

IP Stars: Illinois 2017 noted that a peer said that Ken is “a very strong patent litigator and very good in the courtroom”, adding that he is “very strategic in how he approaches cases and has a good understanding of the technology so it’s easy for him to simplify”. IP Stars: Illinois 2018 said that "Ken Adamo is an experienced patent litigator who also specialises in freedom to operate analyses. His recent work included representations for IBM and Capital One in multiple district suits".

The 2019 edition of Chambers USA ranked Ken in Band 1 Individuals, Patent Litigation in Illinois for the ninth consecutive year, noting that he is “incredibly seasoned, very experienced”, and “has an encyclopaedic understanding of patent law”. The 2016 edition also noted that he “brings an incredible understanding of the law and a depth of experience that few, if any, other practitioners can offer”. The 2014 edition noted that clients describe him as “highly professional”, “very responsive”, and “very attentive”, with the 2013 edition praising Ken for his “great court skills”. The 2012 edition of Chambers USA called Ken “an outstanding patent litigator”.

In the 2016 edition of Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, sources say Ken “brings an incredible understanding of the law and a depth of experience that few, if any, other practitioners can offer”. Chambers Global (2011) noted that Ken is “revered for his powerful courtroom presence.” In 2010, Chambers ranked Ken as a “star performer” in Ohio and Band 1 in Texas, with clients remarking that he “has unparalleled stature as a patent litigator and is ‘incredibly smart with a strong presence that makes him very persuasive to a judge and jury’”, adding that he “enjoys national recognition for his IP practice, which encompasses patent, trademark and copyright issues”. Another source states, “He’s got the energy, the eye for detail and the courtroom presence; he’s just a superb trial lawyer”.

Recent major representations in intellectual property litigation as lead counsel include US federal court and ITC cases for Citicorp, CQG, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, MediaTek, Procter & Gamble, Otter Products, Samsung, TEL, Texas Instruments, TSMC and Xilinx.

Features by Kenneth R Adamo

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