Williams & Connolly’s reputation for handling “bet-the-company” civil litigation at the trial and appellate levels applies equally to the firm’s thriving Intellectual Property Practice. Major corporations including Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Samsung, Alcon (a division of Novartis), Genentech (now part of Roche), Bayer, Google, MedImmune (a subsidiary of AstraZeneca), and many others place their trust in Williams & Connolly litigators to handle major intellectual property matters, particularly in patent litigation and related licensing disputes. Several dozen Williams & Connolly attorneys devote a substantial portion of their practice to patent cases, including ten former clerks of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Many of our lawyers practicing in this area have science degrees and thirteen have been admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Representative areas of concentration include:
Pharmaceuticals: A major part of Williams & Connolly’s patent litigation practice is representing brand-name pharmaceutical companies in Hatch-Waxman pharmaceutical patent litigation against generic competitors seeking to sell generic versions of the brand companies’ drugs. Over the years, the firm achieved significant successes for many companies involving a diverse array of highly successful drugs, prevailing numerous times at trial and in the Federal Circuit.
Biotechnology: The firm also handles significant patent, licensing, and trade secret disputes in biotechnology for Roche, Genentech, and MedImmune, among others, in courts and arbitral forums throughout the world, including before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark MedImmune case, which addressed a licensee’s ability to challenge a patent while still paying royalties.
Electronics and Software: The firm handles major patent and licensing matters in the electronics and software fields. In addition to handling the landmark CLS Bank International v. Alice Corp. matter before the en banc Federal Circuit, the firm serves as counsel in trial courts and the International Trade Commission, and in international arbitrations on behalf of major technology firms including Samsung, Google, and Kodak.
Medical and Mechanical Devices: The firm has handled or is handling a number of significant patent and license disputes concerning a wide variety of devices, including surgical instruments for cancer diagnosis and treatment, implantable defibrillators, marine seismic survey technology, laser hair removal equipment, and biosensors for blood testing.
Inter Partes Review/Patent Office Disputes: The firm has handled a number of Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings before the patent office, and our lawyers currently serve as lead counsel in a number of IPRs for both Patent Owners and Petitioners. Many of the IPRs handled by the firm involve parallel district court litigation. The firm has served as counsel in other patent office proceedings of strategic importance to the firm’s clients, including interferences.
Other Proceedings: The firm’s patent experience is also brought to bear in other contexts. Recently, the firm was retained to defend AstraZeneca in the Nexium Antitrust Litigation, a class action involving allegations of unlawful settlements of Hatch-Waxman patent litigation. The firm has been retained on numerous occasions by major law firms accused of malpractice resulting from patent litigation or prosecution.