McKool Smith Snags Former ITC Commissioner as Principal


Former International Trade Commissioner Scott Kieff joins McKool Smith

Focus will be mix of intellectual property, antitrust, and trade-related work


By Rossella Brevetti

Former International Trade Commissioner F. Scott Kieff joined trial firm McKool Smith as principal in its Washington, D.C., office, the law firm announced.

Kieff served as an ITC commissioner from October 2013 to June 2017.

Joining McKool Smith presents the opportunity to engage in a mix of intellectual property, antitrust, and trade-related work, Kieff told Bloomberg Law in a phone interview.

His plan is to focus on growing McKool’s practice at the ITC and before other agencies and courts, often by combining tools from these areas, Kieff told Bloomberg Law in an email Jan. 9, adding that he would “grow our neutral work” in these fields by doing mediations, arbitrations, and compliance monitoring.

“McKool has a fantastic team of trial lawyers who are among the best in handling complex problems in any forum from district courts to the ITC and other agencies,” he told Bloomberg Law. “They are entrepreneurial and flexible in building mixed strategies in different areas of law combined.”

In addition to experience in patent matters and disputes before the ITC, Kieff “has significant expertise in antitrust, trade secret, and false advertising-related cases, all areas in which we are seeing an increased demand for our services,” David Sochia, McKool Smith’s managing principal, said in a statement. ITC Section 337 cases involve intellectual property rights claims, including allegations of patent infringement and trademark infringement.

McKool has more than 30 lawyers with significant experience before the ITC, according to a spokesman for the firm. In November, the firm won a major ruling on behalf of TiVo’s Rovi Corp. against Comcast before the ITC, which found that Comcast violated Section 337 and issued an order prohibiting Comcast from importing infringing products, he said in a Jan. 9 email.

Kieff was a George Washington University Law School professor prior to his ITC appointment. Before earning his J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, he studied molecular biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and conducted molecular genetics research at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He launched his legal career in 1994 as a trial and patent lawyer for Pennie & Edmonds in New York and Jenner & Block in Chicago, according to McKool Smith.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rossella Brevetti in Washington at rbrevetti@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerome Ashton at jashton@bloomberglaw.com