National Law Journal Names David Berl & Jessica Rydstrom Trailblazers

October 2021

The National Law Journal recently recognized partners  David Berl and Jessica Rydstrom as “Trailblazers” for their representation of AstraZeneca in a closely-watched patent case in the Northern District of West Virginia concerning AstraZeneca’s blockbuster Symbicort product, an inhaler treatment for asthma.  In 2018, AstraZeneca filed suit in West Virginia, where Mylan is headquartered, to enforce three Symbicort patents.  W&C stepped in as lead trial counsel in May 2020, just months before the start of trial, and developed a claim construction strategy that narrowed and positioned the case optimally for trial.  The case proceeded to a bench trial held via Zoom in October 2020.  In March 2021, the Court issued a ruling that gave AstraZeneca a complete victory.  The case was especially significant because it was only the second pharmaceutical patent trial held in West Virginia since the Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group, which narrowed the choice of venue in patent infringement cases for domestic corporations.  It was the first in which the patent owner prevailed.   As David and Jessica reported to the National Law Journal, the case underscores the fact that “the conventional wisdom that courts in less traditional jurisdictions are less equipped to digest complex, scientific trial presentations, and that overly simplistic case presentations are the optimal strategy, is not correct.”  To the contrary, “[j]ust as in more traditional patent-heavy jurisdictions, if presented clearly and simply, complex and more subtle scientific arguments can prevail.  Over-simplifying trial themes and presentations is unwarranted and counter-productive.”  As a result of the team’s efforts, AstraZeneca has secured patent protection over its flagship respiratory product.

The team representing AstraZeneca also included Williams & Connolly associates Jessica Ryen and Kevin Hoagland-Hanson.

Click here to view David & Jessica’s Trailblazer profile. 

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