Ashby & Geddes
Steeped in the nuances of the Delaware legal system, Ashby & Geddes is a “top-notch firm” for rights holders seeking local counsel for patent disputes. Efficient, responsive and collegial, Steven Balick
and John Day
know how to work as part of a trial team to get the best results. Heading the IP group, the “fantastic” Balick has built a first-rate reputation over many years: “Knowledgeable with great judgement, he is also thoughtful, generous with his time and a pleasure to work with. If you need to discuss a complex issue with anyone, Steven is the man to see”. The “excellent” Day impresses with his sophisticated awareness of IP and commercial law.
Bayard is among the most sought-after Delaware firms for litigation, especially in the pharmaceuticals and software fields. Best known for Hatch-Waxman suits, it has recently won verdicts of infringement and validity for Cephalon, represented Teva against generic competitors and helped to defend Lupin, Natco and Breckenridge Pharmaceuticals against branded adversaries. “Diligent and insightful, its practitioners are also extremely responsive to client and co-counsel needs. They provide incisive advice regarding the local judiciary, which is crucial for securing successful outcomes.” At the helm of the corporate and IP litigation groups, Steve Brauerman
has a panoramic view of patent issues. The “excellent young lawyer” makes “key strategic and procedural contributions from filing to trial”. With four decades of legal practice under his belt, the “superb” Richard Kirk
is another prize fighter in contentious circumstances. Like Brauerman, he is “well respected by Delaware’s federal judges, of whom he has detailed knowledge”.
DLA Piper LLP
Seamlessly integrated into the firm’s national and international structures, the Delaware office of IP giant DLA Piper offers an exhaustive range of services to patent holders; sure-footed in technology-rich transactions, it also handles must-win litigation with tenacity and poise. Denise Seastone Kraft
is an “excellent lawyer” and deft operator in multi-jurisdictional disputes for a number of household names in the computing and electronics industries, including Toshiba and Hewlett Packard. Attentive and devoted client care is a hallmark of her service.
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
With 12 offices housing a small army of lawyers nationwide, Drinker Biddle executes impeccably on even the most challenging patent mandates. Particularly strong in chemicals and electronics, its “fantastic crew” of IP specialists in Delaware excels across all matters, from skilled prosecution, to judicious licensing and first-chair litigation. Captaining the side is Francis DiGiovanni
; tried and tested in disputes, he is formidable in court, but seeks quick and efficient resolutions when favourable. He recently successfully defended Vital Pharmaceuticals against allegations of infringement and secured the invalidation of all four of the plaintiff’s patents. Newly featured Jeffrey Eichen
is a wise counsel and cogent advocate, and a polished performer before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the International Trade Commission and federal courts.
Compact family firm Farnan shines brightest representing plaintiffs in patent disputes; renowned for its work on behalf of non-practising entities, it is also a potent ally of branded pharmaceutical companies. Veteran judge Joseph Farnan
is a font of wisdom with an unsurpassed understanding of patent law and the local judiciary. Adept in complex IP suits, he also handles mediation and arbitration with finesse. His son Brian Farnan
has a flair for commercial lawsuits and has won substantial awards for various clients; he recently obtained large settlements for Enzo Biochem, including $35 million from Thermo Fisher and $21 million from Illumina.
Fish & Richardson PC
A dominant player in IP law across the country, Fish & Richardson is a “force to be reckoned with” in the Blue Hen State. With 400 practitioners globally and all-embracing technical expertise, the firm can assemble a crack team for any patent instruction. The local prosecution group is marshalled by Gwilym Attwell
, a life sciences whizz who is a “go-to” adviser on IP development and monetisation for prestigious innovators such as Johnson Matthey, GlaxoSmithKline and Carnegie Mellon University. He is “highly skilled, yet very approachable – a great combination – and will answer a question or deal with a problem at a moment’s notice”. The Delaware office also boasts a gilt-edged disputes team, featuring the “wonderful” Douglas McCann
, who has “wide-ranging jury trial experience and a knack for grinding out favourable verdicts in high-stakes cases”. Susan Morrison
– another outstanding lead counsel – and Martina Tyreus Hufnal
, who is also known for her prowess in post-grant proceedings, are great in Hatch-Waxman actions. Jeremy Anderson
specialises in resolving technology-related disputes at the Delaware Court of Chancery, while elder statesman William Marsden
continues to play an influential role, having formed part of the trial team which won $139 million in damages for Power Integrations.
Responsiveness, specialist know-how and penetrating advice make Morris James a prime pick for contentious matters – especially in pharmaceutical patent suits, in which it is a staunch defender of generic drug companies. Though a registered patent attorney, “marvellous professional” Kenneth Dorsney
focuses his considerable talents on dispute resolution; having written leading textbooks on the subject, he has razor-sharp insight into abbreviated new drug application litigation. Dorsney’s academic background does not prevent him from being a straight-shooter; his candid guidance goes straight to the nub of the issue. Esteemed colleague Richard Herrmann
sees patent issues from all angles; he is well versed in all aspects of IP, technology and commercial law. Another central team member is Mary Matterer
, a seasoned counsel who oversees diverse intellectual asset cases with poise.
Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
Earning exuberant praise from peers, Morris Nichols comes “top of the list” for patent litigation. The “tier-one practice” is brimming with “high-quality professionals who possess a wealth of knowledge and have illustrious records in court”. The “obvious first choice for leading practitioner in the state”, Jack Blumenfeld
is “absolutely excellent and vastly experienced litigating at the highest levels. He has a strong presence in his cases and handles them in a professional manner. A creative thinker and master strategist, Blumenfeld gets results”. Recent highlights include prevailing as chief counsel for API Industries against Poly-America. Another pivotal lawyer is the “wonderful” Karen Jacobs
, who executes on the trickiest contentious briefs with aplomb. Alongside Blumenfeld, Jacobs has masterminded crucial suits for blue-chips such as Sprint, T-Mobile and Ericsson. “Smart, organised and tenacious”, Maryellen Noreika
is a life sciences maestro famed for her persuasive advocacy in Hatch-Waxman cases. She recently helped to establish the validity of crucial patents for UCB, winning a finding of infringement against 10 defendants. Handling a varied range of IP matters, Mary Graham
is noted for her dexterity in patent and trade secret disputes. She has served as Delaware counsel for AbbVie in proceedings against Gilead. Rodger Smith
is yet another exceptional litigator in the team; the 20-year veteran has secured stunning results for rights holders across the country. He recently acted as lead counsel for Solenis in patent infringement action across numerous districts.
With a finely honed understanding of Delaware’s legal terrain, Potter Anderson helps a mixture of small and medium-sized enterprises and Fortune 500 companies to navigate the patent litigation maze in the state’s federal district courts. David Moore
is a “top lawyer who understands how best to tailor an argument for trial”; with “excellent legal and technical judgement”, he is prized for his work on high-stakes matters. He lately defended Under Armour and MapMyFitness against adidas in an infringement suit, brokering a favourable settlement for his client, and successfully defended Teva in abbreviated new drug application litigation against Merck. The newly featured Philip Rovner
is another dynamic IP force with experience before the district, chancery and state supreme courts. He recently resolved a number of patent and non-patent disputes for Baxter Healthcare. Potter Anderson also boasts a crack patent procurement and transactions squad, led by Janet Reed
, a level-headed biotechnology ace hailed as the “best prosecutor in the state” by a fellow professional. She has been involved in worldwide patent applications, strategic counselling and licensing for the Penn Centre of Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania.
Richards Layton & Finger PA
Commercial law outfit Richards Layton & Finger has an impressive bench of IP lawyers who make light work of even the most abstruse instructions. Captaining the side is Fred Cottrell
, who takes a “practical and effective approach to litigation” and is extolled for his “sagacious strategic advice”. He lately prevailed in arbitration and court proceedings for TerraVia in a dispute with Roquette Frères and won summary judgment for Micron Technology against Semcon. Another valuable ally in patent battles, “outstanding lawyer” Kelly Farnan
retains her gold ranking this year. “Super-hardworking and proactive, she is also comfortable in trial, showing great judgement and arguing cogently.” The firm is a star performer in Hatch-Waxman litigation: Cottrell is representing Shire Development in a complex dispute with defendant Cadila Healthcare, while Farnan is advocating for Breckenridge Pharmaceuticals against Novartis. Another essential contact is Jeffrey Moyer
, whose on-point analysis and polished courtroom performances make him a redoubtable opponent in technology and licensing disputes.
Shaw Keller LLP
Shaw Keller is a splendid choice for complex IP litigation and adjacent commercial disputes, including false advertising and unfair competition actions. The “excellent boutique”, established five years ago by dynamic duo John Shaw
and Karen Keller
, ascends to gold thanks to glowing feedback: “At the top of the heap, it has talented lawyers and performs first-rate work.” The firm “becomes part of your business, ensuring fast and effective communication”. Shaw is an “intelligent lawyer with excellent litigation judgement. He has outstanding knowledge of substantive patent matters and Delaware court procedures”. A virtuoso in Hatch-Waxman litigation, Keller is another standout IP professional. Recent highlights for the team include acting as lead counsel for Life Technologies and Cornell University in complex multi-patent disputes with Illumina – successfully defending a motion for summary judgment in the process – and orchestrating suits for Cephalon against a number of generic pharmaceutical producers.
“Extremely bright lawyers” and fine-grained knowledge of the Delaware judiciary make Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor a trusted co-counsel for technology players that find themselves embroiled in heated patent spats. “Stellar lawyer” Anne Shea Gaza
has all-encompassing contentious experience; she recently went out to bat in significant cases for T-Mobile and Amneal Pharmaceuticals. Gaza is “insightful, extremely sharp and very responsive to client needs”. Expertise in electronic discovery is another string to her bow. Computer and electronics pro Adam Poff
“knows what types of arguments will resonate with particular judges and makes wise strategic suggestions”. According to an associate, he is “one of the best local counsel in any jurisdiction in the country” as satisfied clients such as Samsung and Broadcom Corporation will confirm. Adding further diversity is all-rounder James Lennon
, whose “sharp business instincts, sound grasp of technology and big-picture perspective” prove invaluable on complicated prosecution and licensing mandates. He has recently handled applications for ProShield, Carvetise and Tritek Technologies, and fended off attacks on Mylan Pharmaceuticals from a range of branded drug companies. “Outstanding in competency and efficiency”, Lennon “stays on top of all patent-related decisions in the District of Delaware and is a vital asset in disputes”.