United States: Delaware

Firms

  • Fish & Richardson
  • Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • Richards Layton & Finger PA
  • Shaw Keller LLP
  • Ashby & Geddes
  • Bayard PA
  • Connolly Gallagher LLP
  • Devlin Law Firm LLC
  • Farnan LLP
  • Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
  • Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP

Ashby & Geddes

Efficiency and economy distinguish the patent litigation style of Ashby & Geddes. The dispute-centric firm fields a tight-knit team of advocates who know their craft and demonstrate excellent strategic judgement, along with an ability to get to the nub of problems quickly and decisively. Steven Balick, Andrew Mayo and John Day come as a package deal, which works well for clients: they can ping over queries and get immediate answers regardless of who’s in the office and who’s attending court hearings, while also reaping the benefits of the trio’s combined wisdom. “All are great lawyers with really strong business knowledge. They have the respect of Delaware judges.”

Bayard PA

Bayard doesn’t take cases just to stay busy; it is selective in tackling representations requiring a sophisticated approach, and focuses on complex pharmaceutical litigation and defence-side advocacy in the life sciences, software and high-technology areas. Leading the charge is Stephen Brauerman, a perceptive lawyer who knows everything that’s happening on the local patent litigation scene. Patrons highly recommend him, calling him “by far the most engaged local counsel to partner with”. “Steve will not only sit in on meet-and-confer calls involving several defence counsel; he guides discussions, explores new ideas and comes up with great strategies.” Peers, meanwhile, describe him as “someone who litigates on the merits, rather than fighting points that aren’t going to drive outcomes”. Recent work examples include serving as Delaware counsel in Hatch-Waxman litigation for several generic drug companies, including Alembic, Sandoz and Teva.

Connolly Gallagher LLP

Connolly Gallagher is a repository of trust for many of the country’s top law firms when litigating patent cases in Delaware. It plays the local counsel role superbly, providing invaluable input on strategy informed by a fine-grained appreciation of the preferences and perspectives of different judges; closing down unnecessary discovery disputes; and stepping up to take pleadings when required. At the helm is Arthur (Chip) Connolly, a “consummate professional with the perfect litigation demeanour and an invaluable member of any litigation team”. “Chip is just one of the nicest people on the planet – when you think of civility in the legal profession, it’s him. Suffice to say, he’s a really skilled lawyer, too.” Also garnering plaudits is Ryan Newell, a “really diligent and impressive advocate who is wonderful on his feet in the courtroom”. On the defence side, they have recently been representing Hospira and Pfizer in an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) case and acting for Comcast Cabe Communications Management in a suit concerning technology used to prevent the unauthorised copying and distribution of digital content. On the plaintiff side, they have been acting for TriMed against Arthrex with respect to bone fracture management technology.

Devlin Law Firm LLC

This agile IP boutique renders a high-quality, business-focused, cost-effective service to innovators large and small. In its core practice area of patent litigation, the set knows what it takes to try and win cases. Star quarterbacks Timothy Devlin and James Lennon are outstanding at representing plaintiffs; their precise understanding of litigation and business risk, coupled with expertise in breaking down technical complexity, is central to their glowing track record not just in Delaware, but across the country.

Farnan LLP

Farnan is a trial boutique that you can rely on in the most serious situations: its pedigree – particularly with Joseph Farnan at the helm – is simply exceptional. Farnan Jr spent 25 years as a District of Delaware judge, affording him unique insight into local litigation. He is also hailed as an “extraordinarily good mediator”. Brian Farnan gives the firm eminent standing, particularly with respect to plaintiff’s patent litigation: “Brian has good judgement and brings a reasonableness to the table that is often lacking. He’s fair to deal with and a great courtroom advocate.”

Fish & Richardson

“Consistently excellent” is the verdict on Fish, a national – and global – IP heavyweight which “belongs at the top of any list concerning patent practice”. Looked at through a litigation and post-grant lens, Fish is undoubtedly a leader in the United States, with respect to both case volume and – more importantly – case wins; across the organisation, lawyers are in court day in, day out, zealously representing marquee technology companies. Wilmington trial lawyers Douglas McCann, Jeremy Anderson, Martina Tyreus Hufnal and Susan Morrison contribute dynamically to this collective effort and are among the busiest members of the firm’s nationwide practice. McCann is on the frontlines of suits that impact on entire industries, but he never loses perspective. “There’s nothing over the top or bombastic about Doug – he’s a focused, smart and controlled litigator who doesn’t miss anything.” Anderson’s niche is trying corporate and technology disputes in the non-jury Delaware Court of Chancery; he resolves them with a commercial touch, thanks to the breadth of his experience. Hufnal deftly handles multi-patent cases in which parties are seeking or attempting to deny large monetary awards; versatile enough to take on chemical and software disputes, she is at her best in pharmaceutical battles. Local managing partner Morrison is also seasoned in Hatch-Waxman litigation, borne out by a stellar record of successes litigating Allergan’s patents covering glaucoma and ocular hypertension drug Combigan; she recently secured a Federal Circuit affirmance of a 2018 preliminary injunction win against Sandoz. With 78 principals, 51 associates and four of counsel specialising, Fish is extremely well equipped in prosecution too, and has enjoyed striking filing growth in recent years. Worthy of note is the close integration of its contentious and non-contentious practices – something which has played significantly into its post-grant superiority. Gwilym Attwell, who regularly handles inter partes reviews and lectures on PTAB practice, supervises prosecution and counselling activities locally.

Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP

“Morris Nichols continues to represent the gold standard when it comes to patent litigation in Delaware.” Its group is the most active by a significant margin and is instructed in approximately one-third of all patent cases in the state – and a much higher percentage of ANDA cases – as both Delaware and lead counsel. Regardless of its role, the team rightly prides itself on the depth of its advice and involvement: its lawyers draft motions, give substantive input, take witnesses to trial and do much else besides. The driving force is dean of the Delaware patent bar Jack Blumenfeld, a “believable, down-to-earth and spectacularly effective advocate in whom judges place absolute trust”. Surrounded by great talent, he is not the only one demonstrating leadership abilities: so too are Karen Jacobs and Rodger Smith at the senior level, and Jeremy Tigan and Brian Egan as budding partners. Jacobs is a pillar of the community – not just for her decades of patent litigation practice, but also for her indelible contribution to wider IP and legal life through bar activities. Smith II has been racking up the wins lately, most notably earning a $155 million damages award for Bayer Healthcare arising from the infringement of a patent covering therapies for haemophilia treatment. Tigan’s profile is increasing rapidly as he goes out to bat for Galderma Laboratories and for marquee software and networking technology companies. Former Paul Weiss counsel Egan is another accomplished trial lawyer and a great client relationship builder, too. Joining them in the IAM Patent 1000 rankings for the first time this year is Michael Flynn, another rising star with balanced litigation judgement and sound business sense. Working alongside Smith, he recently obtained a $3.2 million damages award for f’real Foods.

Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP

Tracing its roots back to 1826, Potter Anderson & Corroon is a venerable presence on the Delaware landscape. Providing A-to-Z support to corporates, including some of the world’s top companies, the ensemble is ready for any occasion. In the patent space, plaintiffs and defendants are afforded sterling representation both in bench and jury trials and in alternative dispute resolution forums – whatever the technology or problem – by a glittering line-up of litigators, including veterans and up-and-comers. The first name on the team sheet is practice chair David Moore, who brings a laser commercial focus to IP cases. Like Moore, Philip Rovner has broad-ranging contentious experience and sharpened trial instincts. Taking on greater responsibility and increasingly making their mark on the practice are partner Bindu Ann Palapura and counsel Alan Silverstein. Palapura shows her versatility and well-roundedness by taking on patent, trademark and trade secret cases and working effectively across technical divides and diverse industries. Silverstein earns recognition for the first time this year as “a rare litigator who has genuine empathy and sincerity and who looks for positive results for all parties”. The IP team fulfils a counselling and rights procurement function for clients, too. Biochemistry PhD Janet Reed is the go-to for life sciences support.

Richards Layton & Finger PA

Bringing Richards Layton Finger on board is a smart play for technology companies facing off against competitors in patent litigation. The well-resourced defence specialist is on a superb run of form right now, putting in assured performances on behalf of Micron and Texas Instruments, among others, and winning crucial jury verdicts - including one against GlaxoSmithKline for Vectura, which was awarded a 3% royalty rate amounting to approximately $90 million. Taking the lead on this was Kelly Farnan, a “fantastic trial lawyer with a natural ability to cut through complex issues and present them in a clear and simple way”. One of the most popular patent lawyers in the state, “she is a tenacious advocate, but always fair and reasonable”, and “knows the Delaware court extremely well”. Fellow gold-tier member Fred Cottrell is also in hot demand. Micron’s first choice, he is the most senior member of the team and in the top five in the state in terms of contentious patent experience. Litigation group vice-chair Jeffrey Moyer, who has been working with Texas Instruments, is another veteran and a brilliant general litigator. Props are also due to Jason Rawnsley, a young lawyer whom clients consider an “invaluable team member” and someone with deep substantive patent law knowledge.

Shaw Keller LLP

A litigation boutique to count on when the chips are down, Shaw Keller handles itself in the courtroom with confidence and poise, and is unfazed by technical and legal complexity or high stakes. Setting the tone is John Shaw, a nationally respected advocate who “knows the Delaware system and judges”. His approach can best be described as pragmatic: he wants to get to business wins quickly and efficiently, and designs his strategies accordingly. Another proficient litigation and trial team leader is Karen Keller, who shines in the chemical and life sciences arenas. Keller gives generously of her time and expertise to help advance patent litigation best practice in Delaware and more broadly.

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

In recognition of its expertise in pharmaceutical patent litigation, Womble Bond Dickinson earns IAM Patent 1000 stripes in Delaware for the first time this year. The Wilmington office is home to a strong core of specialists comprised of section leader Mary Bourke, an experienced first-chair litigator whose résumé is replete with ANDA and biologics wins; Dana Severance, who is increasingly taking on lead counsel roles while maintaining exceptional case management proficiency; and Daniel Attaway, “a brilliant writer and oral advocate” who “gives back to the community in many ways”.

Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP

Dynamic litigation outfit Young Conaway delivers crisp results in patent infringement actions. Drawing on a vast encyclopaedia of attack plans, its lawyers skilfully work up case strategies and then present resonantly in the courthouse. Savvy commercial litigators Anne Shea Gaza and Adam Poff each have two decades in the game and have notched up many IP victories. Gaza represents plaintiffs and defendants across a wide sweep of sectors and technologies, and is noted for her ambidexterity; she is also an authority on electronic discovery. For co-chair of the IP litigation practice Poff, the software field is a happy hunting ground.

Other recommended experts

Both in and away from the courtroom, Neal Belgam of Smith Katzenstein & Jenkins has a gift for resolving disputes. Serving as Delaware counsel to the country’s premier law firms in patent litigation over pharmaceutical and high-technology innovations is a major part of his practice and something he is extremely good at. Especially well suited to cases involving mechanical technologies, Francis DiGiovanni is Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath’s top IP litigator in Wilmington. He is an expert at the intersection of intellectual property and unfair competition, and in the area of trade secrets. Chair of the Morris James IP group Kenneth Dorsney is a font of insight regarding ANDA litigation strategy – a subject on which he has published extensively. Not just a scholar, he is also tried and tested in the courtroom. The career of famous patent litigator Rudolf Hutz has spanned a remarkable 50-plus years, during which he has litigated across all major scientific and technical disciplines and appeared before myriad different forums. He flies the flag at Reed Smith. “Patricia Smink Rogowski has a unique ability to prosecute and litigate patents at the highest level. Her prosecution expertise gives her a real advantage in disputes and she has a wonderful reputation with the bench.” Clients find her to be “exceptionally patient, supportive and creative”, and “appreciate the sincere care she shows for your business and budgets”. She operates as a solo practitioner. Pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical companies have plenty of contentious counsel to choose from in Delaware, but not many prosecutors. Filling the void is seasoned chemical engineer Geoffrey Zelley of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, an “extremely attentive” and efficient prosecutor whose long-range strategic thinking is fuelled by filing, litigation and post-grant experience.

Individuals: litigation

  • Steven J Balick - Ashby & Geddes
  • Jack B Blumenfeld - Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • Fred Cottrell - Richards Layton & Finger PA
  • Kelly E Farnan - Richards Layton & Finger PA
  • Douglas E McCann - Fish & Richardson
  • John W Shaw - Shaw Keller LLP
  • Mary W Bourke - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Stephen B Brauerman - Bayard PA
  • Arthur G (Chip) Connolly III - Connolly Gallagher LLP
  • John G Day - Ashby & Geddes
  • Timothy Devlin - Devlin Law Firm LLC 
  • Kenneth L Dorsney - Morris James LLP
  • Anne Shea Gaza - Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP
  • Karen Jacobs - Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • Karen Keller - Shaw Keller LLP
  • Andrew Mayo - Ashby & Geddes
  • David E Moore - Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
  • Jeffrey L Moyer - Richards Layton & Finger PA
  • Rodger D Smith II - Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • Jeremy A Tigan - Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • Jeremy D Anderson - Fish & Richardson
  • Daniel M Attaway - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Neal C Belgam - Smith Katzenstein & Jenkins LLP
  • Francis DiGiovanni - Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Brian Egan - Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • Brian Farnan - Farnan LLP
  • Michael Flynn - Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • Martina Tyreus Hufnal - Fish & Richardson
  • James M Lennon - Devlin Law Firm LLC
  • Susan E Morrison - Fish & Richardson
  • Ryan P Newell - Connolly Gallagher LLP
  • Bindu Ann Palapura - Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
  • Adam W Poff - Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP
  • Philip A Rovner - Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
  • Dana Severance - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Alan Silverstein - Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP

Individuals: prosecution

  • Gwilym Attwell - Fish & Richardson
  • Janet E Reed - Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
  • Patricia Smink Rogowski - Rogowski Law
  • Geoffrey Zelley - Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Luminaries

  • Joseph J Farnan Jr - Farnan LLP
  • Rudolf E Hutz - Reed Smith LLP