October 23, 2023 | 2 minute read|Austin

AUSTIN – Bracewell LLP announced today that Christopher L. (“Kit”) Crumbley has joined the firm’s intellectual property litigation team as a partner in the Austin office. Crumbley most recently was a Lead Administrative Judge at the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB).

“We are excited to welcome Kit to the firm,” said Bracewell Managing Partner Gregory M. Bopp. “Kit’s extensive experience and technical background, including his many years in PTAB leadership, bring additional depth and resources to our successful IP litigation team.”

Crumbley has over 20 years of patent law experience. He joined the Patent Trial & Appeal Board in 2012, serving as an administrative patent judge before his promotion to a Lead Administrative Patent Judge in 2017. Crumbley participated in some of the original post-grant trials conducted under the America Invents Act (AIA), and authored hundreds of decisions on AIA petitions and ex parte appeals. As a member of PTAB leadership, Crumbley frequently advised the Director of the USPTO and was deeply involved in significant PTAB and agency reform efforts, including the PTAB’s Consolidated Trial Practice Guide and rulemaking on motions to amend and Board decision-making procedures.

Prior to being appointed to the Patent Trial & Appeal Board, Crumbley served for nearly a decade as a trial attorney with the Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, defending the government in patent litigation suits before the United States Court of Federal Claims and appeals before the Federal Circuit.

“Kit’s unparalleled experience strengthens our ability to provide comprehensive advice and counseling to businesses across all technological fields, most notably regarding post-grant validity challenges and their appeals,” said Doug Stewart, chair of Bracewell’s IP litigation practice.

Bracewell’s intellectual property team advises US and non-US companies on a range of matters, including US patent, trade secret, trademark, and copyright litigation, patent and trademark prosecution, IP enforcement, international trademark clearance, anti-counterfeiting, domain name issues and licensing. Through its understanding of technology — and by offering in-depth jury trial experience — Bracewell has earned a reputation for positioning clients for successful litigation outcomes at all levels.

“Bracewell is an outstanding firm,” said Crumbley. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues and applying my experience as a litigator and administrative judge to help clients develop innovative legal strategies for successfully coordinating district court litigation and PTAB proceedings.”

Crumbley graduated, cum laude, with a B.A. in chemistry and political science from Rice University in 1997. He earned his J.D. in 2000 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served on the articles review board of the Virginia Law Review. He began his legal career as a litigation associate with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner in Atlanta.