After recently being named as The American Lawyer's IP Litigation Department of the Year, WilmerHale can now also count itself among Law360's Intellectual Property Practice Groups of the Year for 2013. This marks the third year that the firm has been recognized on the list, which highlights only five law firms per practice area that had particularly outstanding accomplishments in the previous year.
WilmerHale was recognized for some of the year's most noteworthy IP cases. As outlined in the Law360 feature, the firm's victories "span from technology and electronics to pharmaceuticals and genetic engineering. One of its highest-profile victories came in August when the U.S. trade representative blocked an order from the International Trade Commission banning the import of certain Apple mobile devices that the ITC found infringed Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s patents."
The feature goes on to highlight WilmerHale's victory for client Monsanto Co., which it was awarded in a significant patent law case (Bowman v. Monsanto Co.) that was decided in May 2013 by the United States Supreme Court. In its decision, the Court unanimously held that producing new crops of soybeans containing Monsanto's patented Roundup Ready® trait without Monsanto's permission constitutes patent infringement.
WilmerHale is also credited with representing Pfizer in winning its $2.15 billion settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, Limited and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Limited. The settlement-which ended a decade-long patent battle and resulted in Pfizer being owed for patent-infringement damages resulting from Teva and Sun's "at-risk" launches of generic Protonix® in the United States-also takes center stage in the Law360 profile:
"That was a record-setting settlement just in terms of the numbers, but ... also, there have been relatively few cases where generic companies launch products at-risk that are later taken to trial," IP Litigation Group Co-Chair Lisa Pirozzolo told Law360. "That was really precedent-setting, especially when at-risk launches have become more common in the pharmaceutical area."
The piece also highlights the firm's strength in handling a variety of different kinds of subject matter and its plans for further practice expansion outside of the United States.
"We think companies are going to be putting increasing attention on their global patent portfolios, and ... there's going to be an increasing amount of litigation that has an international component to it," Selwyn shared with Law360.
A committee of Law360 editors reviewed roughly 675 submissions from 130 law firms this year and chose 154 groups from 69 firms to honor in this year's awards. Winners were selected based on the significance of the litigation wins or deals worked on, the size and complexity of the litigation wins or deals worked on, and the number of significant, large or complex deals the group worked on or lawsuits the group won in 2013. WilmerHale was also selected as among the Appellate Practices of the Year and the Life Sciences Practices of the Year.