Norton Rose Fulbright bolsters Riyadh office with new IP partner

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Norton Rose Fulbright has appointed Zayd Alathari, an intellectual property lawyer with experience in the Middle East and the US, has joined its Riyadh office as a partner.

Alathari joins the Mohammed Al-Ghamdi Law Firm in association with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP from Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), where he led the company’s IP initiatives as its senior manager & IP counsel in the Middle East and Africa.

In eight years at SABIC, Alathari led a team that supported SABIC’s Middle East and Africa manufacturing teams and the company’s global technology & innovation teams for the chemical, agri-nutrients and metal business in the US, Europe, Middle East, China and India. Alathari also helped develop and implement SABIC’s global IP strategies and policies, and he provided legal and IP advice and contract support to protect and enhance the value of the company’s technology.

Additionally, Alathari and his team drafted and negotiated a wide range of technology agreements; prepared and prosecuted patent applications; managed and maintained patent portfolios; conducted due diligence; and handled freedom to operate (FTO) opinions.

Before his in-house career in Saudi Arabia, Alathari practiced at Venable LLP in Washington, DC. As an associate and registered patent attorney, he advised US-based and international clients on IP litigation, transaction and patent prosecution matters.

Tim Kenny, Norton Rose Fulbright’s global head of Intellectual Property, said, “Zayd possesses a broad range of IP experience with more than two decades split between a multinational corporation and a large law firm. When combined with Norton Rose Fulbright’s global platform, Zayd’s versatility and perspective will benefit our clients and their businesses worldwide.”

Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, partner-in-charge of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Riyadh office, commented, “Zayd is an accomplished leader who excelled in managing SABIC’s comprehensive intellectual property portfolio. He is well connected to major corporations in Saudi Arabia and respected throughout the Middle East.”

Alathari, who is also a member of the Gulf Petrochemical and Chemical Association’s (GPCA) research and innovation committee, said, “Saudi Arabia’s ambitious economic growth and diversification efforts are transforming the region as it heavily invests in technology, digitalisation, localisation, data protection and management, and a circular economy. Strong IP rights are critical to protecting these initiatives, and Norton Rose Fulbright’s global presence will help my clients realise and commercialise their maximum potential.”

Alathari earned his JD at American University Washington College of Law, his MS at Johns Hopkins University and his BS in biology from The George Washington University. A registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), he is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and Virginia.

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