NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 22, 2011) — In a case spanning multiple jurisdictions on four different continents, the international law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP successfully represented Firm client Komipharm International Co., Ltd, a leading animal health company based in Korea, in a global patent defense case.
Specifically, McDermott lawyers were successful in uncovering a duplicitous claim of a former Komipharm employee to be an inventor of a potentially valuable family of patents for a cancer treatment pharmaceutical company, and in then wresting the invention title away from the former employee. The McDermott defense team, operating in the United States, Korea, Europe and Australia, also ensured that Komipharm retains control over the intellectual property rights and potential revenue generated by the patents.
In the latest courtroom battle, the McDermott team, working closely with Australian counsel, successfully defended a decision by the Australian Patent Office that a Dutch researcher working under contract to Komipharm was the sole inventor of the therapeutic agent in issue. Building on its victory before the Korean appeallate court last summer, the team further showed that the ex-Komipharm employee had no rights to the invention before an Austrailian Appeals Tribunal.
“The decision of the Tribunal was a clean sweep for Komipharm on every issue presented in the appeal and took the ex-employee to task for credibility,” observed McDermott’s Korean practice group leader In-Young Lee, who served as defense co-lead in the matter. “Coming on the heels of an earlier victory in the Korean appellate court, the Australian decision paves the way for Komipharm to finally resolve similar issues in the U.S. and EU.”
“We are extremely pleased with the great success and progress we have made so far on behalf of our client as they continue to fight these baseless claims across several jurisdictions,” added Paul Devinsky, Intellectual Property partner in the Firm’s Washington, D.C. office. “We are confident that the facts in this case will continue to carry us forward, and will eventually result in a total victory for our client. With our global reach and unique capabilities across Asia, McDermott is happy to take this fight to whichever battle ground is next.”
In addition to Mr. Lee and Mr. Devinsky, who were co-leads in the matter, the McDermott team included partner Judith L. Toffenetti and associate Charles J. Hawkins. In the Australian appellate proceeding, the McDermott team worked closely with the Sydney office of the Australian firm of Allens Arthur Robinson.
With 185 attorneys around the world, McDermott’s Intellectual Property practice is renowned for its broad trial, appellate, prosecution and transaction experience. More than 125 members of McDermott’s intellectual property team hold technical and/or scientific degrees and more than 100 are registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). McDermott’s Intellectual Property practice includes numerous lawyers with valuable industry experience as well as former USPTO examiners and petition specialists.
McDermott Will & Emery’s Korean Practice Group has represented Korean and U.S.-based organizations and institutions in their inbound and outbound commercial activities worldwide for nearly 20 years. Members of our group have studied and trained in Korea and, accordingly, have a substantial knowledge of the legal and business culture of Korea.
About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Extending our reach to Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.