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Irell Elects Two New Partners, Promotes One Counsel


Irell & Manella LLP announces the election of Amy Proctor and Annita Zhong to the firm's partnership and the promotion of Kamran Vakili to counsel, effective January 1, 2019. All three are litigators. Proctor and Zhong are based in the firm’s Los Angeles office, while Vakili is in Newport Beach.

Proctor helps clients manage and resolve patent infringement disputes across a broad range of technologies, including computer architecture, signal transmission, renewable energy, and pharmaceuticals. Her expertise includes patent litigation and contested patent office proceedings, particularly inter partes reviews, at all stages from pre-litigation through trial and appeal. She was named to the Southern California Rising Stars list in 2017-2018.

Proctor earned her J.D. from USC Gould School of Law, where she was a member of Order of the Coif and earned the Arthur Manella Scholarship and the Malcolm Lucas Award. She earned her B.S. in physics, cum laude, from the University of Florida, where her research focused on using microelectromechanical systems to measure quantum forces. Before joining Irell, Proctor clerked for Judge John A. Kronstadt of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.   

Vakili focuses on intellectual property law, particularly patent litigation, asset creation and strategic counseling. He has worked closely with a variety of U.S.-based and international clients to develop, manage and protect global patent portfolios. He has extensive experience prosecuting patent applications before the USPTO, as well as representing plaintiffs and defendants in litigation before state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Vakili earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Fordham University School of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as a member of the Fordham Law Review. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in physics from Princeton University, where he studied self-organizing behaviors of electrons in two dimensions, and received his B.S. in physics, with honors, from the California Institute of Technology.

Zhong focuses on patent post-grant proceedings, patent litigation and licensing. She has deep experience handling inter partes review proceedings before the PTAB, where she has an extraordinary track record of success. She has also litigated patent and trade-secret-related cases before federal and state courts, the International Trade Commission, and arbitral panels. Her experience spans technologies such as semiconductor fabrication and packaging, computer architecture, telecommunication network, wireless communication, standard essential patents, chemistry and materials. She also advises regarding the evaluation and exploration of patent portfolios. She was named to the Southern California Rising Stars list in 2018.

Zhong earned her J.D. from Yale Law School, her Ph.D. in chemistry from California Institute of Technology, and her B.S. in chemistry and chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before attending law school, Zhong worked as a senior research scientist. She is a co-author and co-inventor on peer-reviewed journal articles and issued patents.

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