Boston-based law firm Burns & Levinson LLP announces a significant expansion of its Intellectual Property Group with the addition of three new hires, cementing the firm's role as having one of the largest and most sophisticated intellectual property practices in New England. The firm welcomes partners Joseph M. Maraia and John C. Serio, and of counsel Steven Mills.

This expansion brings the size of the firm's Intellectual Property Group to 32 attorneys and two patent agents. The IP Group is co-chaired by Dr. Ronda P. Moore and Deborah J. Peckham, who joined the firm in 2009 from K&L Gates LLP.

"This expansion underscores the reputation we have built and the increasing client demand we continue to see in intellectual property and life sciences law," said Burns & Levinson Managing Partner David Rosenblatt. "IP is a growing business concern, and the integration of the new attorneys and their successful relationships with their clients furthers Burns & Levinson's commitment to strategically growing our Intellectual Property Group into one of the nation's top IP practices. We could not be prouder to bring on Joe, John and the rest of the team, and to welcome our new clients."

Among the clients transitioning to Burns & Levinson are Raytheon Company, Segway Inc., Lumenpulse Inc., EyeGate Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Smith & Nephew, Private Access, Inc., Bioven International Ltd. and Andrew Alliance.

"As a global company with a vast intellectual property portfolio, it is imperative that we work with a law firm that can meet our international needs. As a New England-based organization, it's also important to us to work with a local firm and develop strong and long-lasting relationships with individual attorneys," said Rod Keller, president of Segway Inc. "Segway's transition to Burns & Levinson has been truly seamless. We're pleased to be continuing our relationship with Joe Maraia and utilizing the firm's full-service IP department."

Mr. Maraia was previously head of Pierce Atwood LLP's Patent Practice and a member of its Intellectual Property & Technology Group. He is also immediate past-president of the Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA), making him the third Burns & Levinson attorney to serve as president of BPLA. He has a long history representing leading companies in the engineering arts and biotechnology sectors.

"The full integration of Burns & Levinson's Intellectual Property Group with other practice areas, such as Corporate, allows us to meet all of our clients' legal needs and provide them with an advantage in the marketplace," said Mr. Maraia. "That, coupled with the firm's forward-thinking and attentive client service focus, provides us with the perfect platform to deliver strategic intellectual property advice aligned with all of our clients' business goals."

"As a biotech/medical device company, intellectual property is the most important asset that we have, and from the first day Joe Maraia has treated our intellectual property as if it was his own," said Stephen From, president and CEO, Eyegate Pharmaceuticals. "Most importantly, Joe is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and actually work, and our success rate for having patents granted has dramatically increased. When we were looking for a firm to assist in certain corporate work we had no hesitation choosing Burns & Levinson based on Joe's recommendation."

Mr. Serio, formerly of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, is an FDA practitioner and registered patent attorney whose IP practice is concentrated on biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, chemistry and analytical scientific equipment. He has significant experience in Food and Drug Law, particularly with product recalls related to pharmaceuticals, medical devices and food products. He also assists European-based technology companies in their IP and FDA strategy.

"As a small firm, pursuing a big idea, we've valued John Serio's understanding of our technology breakthrough, his appreciation for the challenges of innovation, and the kinds of steps that should be taken to support and nurture both the idea and the innovator,” said Robert Shelton, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Private Access, Inc. "I'm confident John's unique ability to understand and relate to innovators, combined with his significant patent expertise, will be a tremendous asset to Burns & Levinson and its clients."

"Burns & Levinson's strength in its Corporate, IP and Life Sciences practices distinguishes us from other firms in the market," said Mr. Serio. "We are a full-service IP group within a full-service firm, and this expansion affords us a strength and capacity that successfully meets our clients' needs."

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