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
  • Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP

Ashby & Geddes

Ashby & Geddes is a popular choice for patent litigation in Delaware. Chair of the practice Steven Balick and director John Day are familiar faces to judges in the state and respected for their “extremely thorough analysis of patent issues” in all areas of technology. Making his debut in the IAM Patent 1000 this year is Andrew Mayo, who is taking on leadership roles in complex and high-stakes cases. “Working with Steve and John, Andrew has developed a great reputation as a reasonable litigator with excellent substantive patent law knowledge and a good feel for how judges will approach and decide a case.”

Bayard PA

Bayard is repeatedly selected as Delaware co-counsel by some of the top patent litigation firms in the United States. Its small but highly capable team is trusted by the court because it rises above the fray and douses – rather than fans – the flames that litigation can light up. “A skilled patent and commercial litigator” and past president of the Delaware chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Stephen Brauerman is “a hungry and hard-working attorney” with an impressive track record. He has served as Delaware counsel to Coca-Cola, Galderma Laboratories and Realtime Data Networks, demonstrating his technical and industry versatility. Heavyweight Richard Kirk recently retired from the firm, but Brauerman was prepared for this and excellent associate Sara Bussiere has been confidently stepping up and gaining responsibility.

Connolly Gallagher LLP

Prestigious law firms and leading innovators trust Connolly Gallagher’s “exceptionally efficient, helpful and smart” litigators. Arthur Connolly III and Ryan Newell are working on high-stakes pharmaceutical cases, including defending Merck Sharp & Dohme in an infringement action brought by Sanofi; representing Pfizer and Hospira in an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) filed by Amgen; and acting for Torrent Pharmaceuticals in an ANDA case against H Lundbeck. On the high-tech side, they are representing HTC and many others. Connolly and Newell do not overstaff or over-litigate cases – they like to be hands on and run things leanly. Chip Connolly particularly stands out for the depth of his knowledge regarding Delaware practice.

Devlin Law Firm LLC

Specialist IP firm Devlin is small, nimble and cost-effective and run by lawyers with bags of experience encompassing every facet of patent litigation. “What Timothy Devlin has built is so impressive. Tim is a smart, practical and strategic thinker who routinely outmanoeuvres opposing counsel – it isn’t good if you’re across the aisle from him, but it’s brilliant if you’re on the same side. He provides an excellent service and has an incredible record of success.” His partner James Lennon is known for his prowess at breaking down complex technologies for lay audiences. He, too, has a strategic mind and approaches cases with his business-thinking cap on.

Farnan LLP

The name Farnan is synonymous with litigation excellence in Delaware; the firm was founded by Joseph Farnan, a former District of Delaware judge with impeccable standing. Like its peers, the firm has a vibrant local patent litigation practice, but is distinguished by its fluency in alternative dispute resolution. Brian Farnan and rising star Michael Farnan are on the frontlines of many complex patent suits; they dine on a broad diet of other commercial cases, too, and have sharpened their advocacy skills to a fine point as a result.

Fish & Richardson

A towering national patent prosecution, post-grant and litigation firm, Fish is a different animal to the other IAM Patent 1000-ranked firms in Delaware. Its Wilmington office is home to a deep bench of litigators – all of whom serve as lead counsel locally and in the courts nationally. The first name on the team sheet is Douglas McCann, a key point of contact for Sanofi-Aventis and other pharmaceutical heavy hitters when it is time to litigate under the Hatch-Waxman Act. Martina Tyreus Hufnal is another respected life sciences litigator who, alongside McCann, recently supported a team led by some of Fish’s biggest national names – including Juanita Brooks and Frank Scherkenbach – in reversing a $2.5 billion jury verdict against Gilead Sciences. Hufnal also contributes much to broader firm life and is captaining its next generation associate training initiative. Delaware managing principal Susan Morrison completes the line-up of pharmaceutical maestros. Anchoring the high-tech litigation practice, meanwhile, is Jeremy Anderson, who flexes finely honed trial skills across a broad range of IP and commercial disputes. Gwilym Attwell flies the flag of the prosecution and post-grant practice locally, and to much acclaim: “He is terrific at high-end patent work and can break down complex IP issues very effectively for those who don’t have much patent knowledge. He thinks before speaking, practises with integrity and understands the role he plays in a business context – he deserves an A grade all-round.” He overseas patent prosecution work for Chemours, Sumitomo Dainippon, Carnegie Mellon University, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and many others.

Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP

A sure bet for the gold tier year in, year out, Morris Nichols is the apex predator of Delaware patent litigation; it handles nearly 30% of all IP cases and nearly 50% of all ANDA cases filed in the state. Jack Blumenfeld is the guy everyone talks about – “he’s a fantastic lawyer with excellent litigation judgement and a perfect demeanour for the Delaware court” – but “it is the depth of the firm’s bench that truly sets it apart”. In recognition of this, the IAM Patent 1000 extends its coverage of the team and adds Jeremy Tigan and Brian Egan to the listings for the first time this year. “Smart, reasonable and as substantively knowledgeable as they come, Jeremy is the future.” Egan has been doing great things in the context of client Edwards Lifesciences’ litigation against Boston Scientific over transcatheter heart valves and scored a notable inter partes review success. These contentious mavens flourish under Blumenfeld and other senior practitioners, such as Karen Jacobs, who coordinates the IP litigation group. She is admired as a leader by all, including members of the team, clients such as Amazon.com and Facebook and women in the legal profession. Courtroom dynamos Rodger Smith II and Mary Graham both have decades of experience. Trade secret litigation is increasing in the United States and Smith is riding that wave and representing Dow Chemical in a significant trade secret misappropriation matter. Dispensing precious pearls of wisdom regarding Delaware court practice, Graham serves in an of counsel role.

Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP

Potter Anderson & Corroon’s patent litigation team is thriving under the stewardship of chair David Moore. “Dave has a great sense of humour and is a personable guy – judges really like him. He has outstanding communication skills and a gift for making what is complex seem simple and relatable.” A litigator who “exudes confidence”, Philip Rovner also “does amazing patent work”. In Bindu Ann Palapura, the group has a rising star. Alongside Moore, and collaborating with gold-tier New York firm Desmarais, she recently won a two-week jury trial in which Groupon was found to have infringed client IBM’s e-commerce patents; IBM secured $82.5 million. Potter Anderson & Corroon’s patent capabilities are not restricted to litigation; it has a solid prosecution, portfolio management and counselling practice, which is headed by Janet Reed, a biochemistry PhD with a loyal following of biotechnology innovators.

Richards Layton & Finger PA

For many, “Richards Layton & Finger is the best choice for Delaware counsel in big-ticket patent litigations that go to trial”. Leading lights Fred Cottrell and Kelly Farnan are “extremely knowledgeable regarding the Delaware judges’ practices and preferences, very current on Delaware case law and responsive lawyers who run teams of associates well. They have exemplary judgement and provide exemplary value”. Cottrell has been representing Genentech and the City of Hope as local counsel in a matter under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act against Pfizer, while Farnan has been busy with German therapeutic antibody company MorphoSys in litigation against Janssen Biotech and Genmab. Both know the life sciences industry inside and out. Additional commentary paints a particularly nice picture of “superstar” Farnan: “She doesn’t play games and gets people in line when they are being unreasonable. She is a really genuine person and an extraordinarily good advocate on her feet who has credibility with every judge in Delaware.” Further helping to make Richards Layton & Finger a force to be reckoned with is Jeffrey Moyer, an authority on trade secret and non-compete matters. Right now he is working hard for Texas Instruments on the patent side of his practice.

Shaw Keller LLP

Dynamic trial boutique Shaw Keller brings the heat in patent litigation not just locally but across the country – and in all technical areas and industries. John Shaw and Karen Keller are inveterate winners who know how to get to the finish line faster and more efficiently than others. A strong leader with excellent engineering credentials, Shaw is one of the few Delaware lawyers who has seen action at the International Trade Commission. Keller is an “incredibly smart, personable and well-respected lawyer with a deep knowledge of local practice and the Delaware bench. She simply has a knack for litigation and is able to analyse complex problems and present sensible and pragmatic solutions”.

Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP

Home to one of the most reputable IP litigation practices in the state, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor is outstanding on the patent side of things. “Rising star” Adam Poff has built up momentum for the group. “Providing critical, on-point and fast advice with respect to litigation strategy”, he knows the likes and dislikes of each Delaware judge by heart. Second in command, Anne Shea Gaza is a “responsive, knowledgeable and dependable” patent litigator with more than 20 years’ experience under her belt. Possessing a “solid grasp of the Delaware bench, local rules, procedure and customs”, “confident and conscientious” Gaza “goes out of her way to keep clients informed of all relevant developments”, making her a valuable and easy-to-work-with partner.

Other recommended experts

Impressing clients and competitors as both lead trial lawyer and Delaware counsel, Womble Bond Dickinson’s Daniel Attaway is a “skilled patent litigator” and “a fantastic up and comer in Hatch-Waxman and biotechnology litigation”. Seeing the bigger picture without losing sight of smaller details, he is perfect at managing complex cases that require extensive document discovery. No one-trick pony, Smith Katzenstein & Jenkins lawyer Neal Belgam shines bright in commercial and IP litigation: “Belgam has been litigating for more than 25 years, doing a lot of work before the Delaware district court. He is extremely solid, experienced and reasonable and enjoyable to litigate with or against.” Leader of Womble Bond Dickinson’s life sciences practice, Mary Bourke is a biotechnology beacon in the Delaware litigation landscape. With more than 30 years’ experience, she is the go-to attorney in ANDA litigation. Co-chair of Drinker Biddle & Reath’s IP group Francis DiGiovanni is an excellent choice for patent owners in the mechanical engineering sphere. Proficient on both sides of the ‘v’, he is quick to anticipate the tactics of his adversaries. Seasoned litigator Kenneth Dorsney, the chair of Morris James’s IP practice, knows when to apply pressure and when to release it and, as such, is effective in trial and at the settlement negotiation table. Reed Smith’s Rudolf Hutz has spent more than five decades offering a panoply of IP services to clients in the medical device and life sciences theatres. A savvy patent litigator, he has successfully tried cases at all levels of the court system. Rogowski Law’s solo prosecutor Patricia Smink Rogowski “is extremely pleasant to work with”. She optimises clients’ IP coverage by offering “sound advice on when to narrow, broaden, split, combine or abandon patent claims”. “Not only is she a very reactive attorney who can, when urgent matters emerge, quickly discern potential issues at stake and offer prompt strategies to tackle them, she is also skilled at translating legal jargon into plain English, helping clients to make more prompt and sound IP decisions.” Denise Seastone Kraft of DLA Piper has plenty of trial experience – in 2017 alone, she handled three IP jury trials in Delaware. She knows local rules and practices well and is a thorough strategist. “Extremely skilled patent prosecution attorney” Geoffrey Zelley is one of Drinker Biddle & Reath’s best when it comes to patent drafting, filing and counselling. A favourite among chemical innovators, he combines quality with cost-effectiveness, scoring highly for value.

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 Connolly III - Connolly Gallagher LLP
  • Timothy Devlin - Devlin Law Firm LLC 
  • Kenneth L Dorsney - Morris James LLP
  • Anne Shea Gaza - Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP
  • Mary B Graham - Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • Karen Jacobs - Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • Karen Keller - Shaw Keller LLP
  • 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
  • John G Day - Ashby & Geddes
  • Francis DiGiovanni - Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Brian Egan - Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • Brian Farnan - Farnan LLP
  • Martina Tyreus Hufnal - Fish & Richardson
  • Denise Seastone Kraft - DLA Piper LLP (US)
  • James M Lennon - Devlin Law Firm LLC
  • Andrew Mayo - Ashby & Geddes
  • Susan E Morrison - Farnan LLP
  • 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

Individuals: prosecution

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

Luminaries

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