Irell & Manella Elects Keith Orso to Partnership

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January 2009

Irell & Manella Elects Keith Orso Partner

Patent litigator elevated to partnership; represents various semiconductor and pharmaceutical companies; Orso’s work for leading technology clients enhanced by engineering background


LOS ANGELES (January 5, 2009) –Keith A. Orso, a patent litigator in Irell & Manella LLP’s Century City office, has been elected to the firm’s partnership.

Since joining Irell & Manella as an associate in 2002, Mr. Orso, 34, has litigated patent infringement disputes for a wide range of clients, including semiconductor manufacturers, semiconductor testing and packaging companies, medical device manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies.  He has engaged in high-profile IP litigation on behalf of Texas Instruments and Quidel Corp., among others.  Mr. Orso’s practice also includes pre-litigation counseling, including counseling regarding patent enforcement issues.

Mr. Orso currently is handling cases for leading names in the semiconductor industry.  For example, alongside other Irell & Manella partners, he is defending Texas Instruments against patent infringement allegations relating to microprocessor architectures.  Mr. Orso and other Irell & Manella attorneys recently secured summary judgment of noninfringement on behalf of Texas Instruments in a separate case.  Mr. Orso also is defending San Jose, Calif.-based Atmel Corp., a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers and other components, against patent infringement claims relating to random number generators.

Mr. Orso twice has been named to Los Angeles Magazine’s list of “Rising Stars” in intellectual property litigation.

“Keith is an extraordinary lawyer.  For the past six years, really from his first months at the firm, Keith has demonstrated a creative and strategic approach to our clients' problems coupled with top-flight courtroom and trial skills,” said David Siegel, Irell & Manella’s managing partner. “With his proven ability to lead some of our biggest matters and his substantive background as an engineer, and most importantly, his great character, Keith is a very welcomed and valuable addition to our partnership.” 

Before joining Irell & Manella, Mr. Orso clerked for the Honorable Mariana R. Pfaelzer of the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California. 

Mr. Orso earned his J.D. in 2001 from the UCLA School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif and worked as an Articles Editor for the UCLA Law Review.  He obtained a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 1998 from the University of Texas, Austin, where he was a John E. Kasch Fellow and was inducted into the honor societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Omega Chi Epsilon.

In 1996, Mr. Orso earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, with Distinction, from Harvey Mudd College, where he was awarded the Davies Engineering Prize.  While at Harvey Mudd, he also completed the requirements for a major in Economics from Claremont McKenna College.