Patterson Belknap’s attorneys are deeply involved in the complex issues facing the biotechnology industry. Our practice includes highly experienced trial attorneys with extensive technical expertise in the field. A number of our attorneys have Ph.D.s in molecular and cell biology, immunology, and biochemistry.
We represent biotechnology companies in a broad range of litigation matters, including patent infringement cases, patent licensing and other contractual disputes. We represent both patent holders and accused infringers in cases involving a wide variety of subject matters, such as monoclonal antibodies and fragments, expression of recombinant proteins, DNA and RNA probes, analysis of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products and genetic transformation techniques.
Patterson Belknap litigators try cases in federal court in every judicial Circuit and regularly represent clients in alternative dispute resolution proceedings. We have also assisted in foreign counterpart litigations by coordinating positions, preparing witnesses, and assisting foreign counsel at trials.
The technical expertise of our attorneys enables the firm to represent clients not only in litigation but also in complex reexamination proceedings before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. In addition, we negotiate patent licenses, counsel on new product launches and provide opinions concerning validity and infringement of biotech patents.
Examples of the firm’s biotechnology matters include the following:
- We successfully represented a leading biotechnology company in a number of multi-billion dollar arbitrations over patent and other IP rights to best-selling monoclonal antibody and recombinant protein therapies.
- We successfully defended a major pharmaceutical company in a lawsuit arising from a licensing dispute challenging the validity of biotech patents concerning the cotransformation of eukaryotic cells.
- We resolved a patent infringement action involving analysis of PCR amplified sequences on very beneficial terms for a biotech company.
- In a case concerning a drug’s mechanism of action, we obtained summary judgment of noninfringement based on a series of antibody tests.
- In a patent license dispute concerning the use of a recombinant protein as an enzyme replacement therapy, we obtained one of the largest settlement awards over the life of a contract.
Patterson Belknap Team
The following are brief overviews our team members’ relevant experience.
Gregory L. Diskant
Greg is a senior litigation partner at the firm, where he served as Chair from 1997-2007. Greg has tried numerous complex patent cases in federal courts and before arbitration panels involving medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biologics. He has secured billions of dollars in judgments and settlements for his clients, with multiple verdicts greater than $100 million. In jury trials around the country, Greg has successfully represented both patent holders and accused infringers. Two of his jury victories for plaintiffs were cited as major plaintiff's verdicts of the year; two of his jury wins for defendants were cited as major defendant's verdicts of the year. In February 2010, he obtained a settlement in a series of patent cases of $1.7 billion, the largest patent settlement ever.
William F. Cavanaugh, Jr.
Bill is Co-Chair of the firm and an experienced trial lawyer. He has spent much of his career representing pharmaceutical companies in a wide variety of cases. He has handled high-stakes patent infringement cases involving drugs, DNA analysis and medical devices, and has represented pharmaceutical companies in arbitrations and litigations arising out of patent licensing disputes and pharmaceutical development agreements. He also has handled a number of major antitrust cases in the pharmaceutical industry and recently served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States for Civil Enforcement in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.
Steven A. Zalesin
Steve is a former Chair of our Litigation Department and an experienced trial lawyer. He has wide ranging experience in representing pharmaceutical companies in intellectual property disputes. For example, Steve represented a leading biotech company in a series of multi-billion dollar arbitrations under license agreements concerning best-selling monoclonal antibody and recombinant protein products. Steve also successfully represented a major pharmaceutical company in a lawsuit challenging the validity of biotech patents concerning the cotransformation of eukaryotic cells, and obtained one of the largest settlement awards in a license dispute involving a patent for an enzyme replacement therapy.
Jeffrey I. D. Lewis
Jeff is a partner our Litigation Department with extensive experience in biotech and pharmaceutical issues. His practice is focused on patent litigation and counseling, where he has represented both patent holders and accused infringers. His representative infringement litigations include a wide variety of subject matters, such as monoclonal antibodies, peptides, DNA sequence manipulations, antagonist/agonist interactions and genetic transformation techniques. An Adjunct Professor of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Jeff teaches a course entitled Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Patent Law. Jeff is the President of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and past Chair of its Patent Litigation Committee.
Irena is a partner in our Litigation Department who focuses on biotech and pharmaceutical patent litigation. Irena has a Ph.D in Biology from MIT, where she was an NSF fellow and studied the regulation of DNA replication. Through her research at MIT and the Whitehead Institute, Irena has hands-on experience in recombinant DNA technology, cell biology and genetics. Irena has represented biotech and pharmaceutical companies as plaintiffs and defendants on a wide range of subject matters. For example, in a case involving a drug’s mechanism of action, Irena obtained summary judgment of noninfringement based on a series of antibody tests. In addition to patent infringement litigation, Irena has successfully represented clients in patent license disputes involving biotech patents, and, in a dispute concerning the use of a recombinant protein as an enzyme replacement therapy, obtained one of the largest settlement awards over the life of the contract. Irena also provides patent counseling and validity and infringement opinions on biotech patents.
Herman H. Yue
Herman is an associate in our Litigation Department who focuses on biotech and pharmaceutical litigation. Herman holds a doctorate in Immunology from the University of California, Berkeley Molecular and Cell Biology program, where he was a NSF fellow and studied the regulation of immune responses to pathogens. His work resulted in a biotech patent of his own and hands-on experience with a wide variety of immunology, molecular biology, and cellular biology techniques, including DNA sequencing, polymerase chain reaction, and "gene chips"; creation and characterization of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies; and transgenic and gene knockout technology. Herman’s work at the Firm has included patent infringement cases and patent licensing disputes involving medical diagnostics, enzyme replacement therapy, drug-eluting medical devices and blockbuster pharmaceuticals.
For additional information regarding our Biotechnology practice area, please contact Steven A. Zalesin or Irena Royzman.