Peter J. Devlin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fish & Richardson, is responsible for managing the firm nationally. He assumed the firm’s top management position in 2000. Under his leadership, Fish has opened several new offices, expanded its burgeoning international practice, bolstered its reputation as a national firm at the pinnacle of the IP and business world, strengthened its financial performance, and positioned itself for further growth. Since 2000, the firm has grown to ten centrally managed and fully integrated offices across the United States and in Germany with over 400 attorneys and technology specialists. Fish has moved up on the American Lawyer 100 list, which ranks firms by gross revenue. The firm placed among the top 100 firms for the first time in 2005.
Mr. Devlin has also helped broaden the firm’s pro bono program and expanded its commitment to diversity. He introduced a national “diversity chair” to focus on the firm’s ongoing diversity initiatives and supported the firm’s high-level sponsorship of the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation (AIPLEF), which promotes diversity in the IP field. In 2005, the firm became AIPLEF’s first law firm Platinum Sponsor. In 2006, Fish launched a 1L Diversity Fellowship Program, providing fellowships to minority first-year law students. The program includes mentoring, a $5,000 academic scholarship, and a paid summer associate position in the office of the student’s choice. In 2009, the firm increased its pro bono hours 52% over the previous year. In March 2010, the Massachusetts Bar Association honored Fish with the “Pro Bono Award for Law Firms” for its pro bono dedication.
The firm has reached many milestones and accumulated numerous accolades during Mr. Devlin’s tenure. Patent and trademark application filings have increased significantly. With nearly 1,700 patents, Fish is among the top firms in the country in number of patents obtained each year. The firm files approximately 3,800 patent applications and almost 500 trademark applications each year. In February 2010, Fish was named a top patent prosecution firm by Managing Intellectual Property. For six years in a row (2004 to 2009), IP Law & Business ranked Fish as the nation’s top patent litigation firm. Fish was a finalist for the prestigious “Top IP Litigation Department of the Year” by American Lawyer in January 2010. Fish is also the number one IP firm for America’s biggest companies according to Corporate Counsel (September 2009), and was named the number one firm in the world for PCT filings by Managing Intellectual Property in October 2009. The firm handled two of the top ten most important IP cases of 2009 (Managing Intellectual Property, January 2010). Fish was also named to the National Law Journal’s “Appellate Hot List” in 2008 and 2009.
Mr. Devlin’s law practice emphasizes client counseling in the areas of patent infringement and validity opinions, patent due diligence, product clearance, and licensing; and in U.S. and foreign patent prosecution, focusing on medical device technologies, electronics, and software. In the medical device area, Mr. Devlin has concentrated on surgical devices, methods, and systems, particularly minimally invasive surgical devices and ophthalmic devices. He also has experience in ultrasonic surgical devices and methods, such as ultrasonically-assisted liposuction and phaco-emulsification. Mr. Devlin’s prosecution work has also involved medical lasers and computerized blood pressure measurement systems and techniques. In the electrical and software technologies area, his practice has encompassed computer architecture (such as pipelined processing, parallel processing, and graphics superconducting); operating systems and visual programming software; and expert systems. Additionally, he is experienced in computer networks; magnetic and optical storage systems and the related aspects of SCSI host adapters, RAID controllers, and error correction; database systems and management; Phong-shaded graphical display systems; and graphical user interfaces. Mr. Devlin has also worked in the areas of micro-electromechanical systems, inertial measurement (gas and fiber optic ring laser gyroscopes), and voice compression technology. Before joining Fish, Mr. Devlin worked for Raytheon Company, first as an electrical engineer and then as a patent attorney.