Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto has devoted itself to intellectual property law since it opened its doors in New York in 1971 with nine lawyers. More than 40 years later, the firm has about 175 lawyers and a client list that includes major pharmaceutical and electronics companies.

“I’m proud to say we’ve been hot for a very long time,” said Nicholas Cannella, chairman of his firm’s management committee.

Fitzpatrick Cella’s attorneys work in 10 IP-related practice areas, including litigation, patent prosecution, trademarks, copyrights, biotechnology, nanotechnology, interferences, licensing and transactions, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, and electronics and computers.

The firm during the past year has racked up several major victories for pharmaceutical and electronics clients, including AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals L.P., Merck & Co. Inc., Sanofi S.A.’s Genzyme Corp. and Canon Inc. A District of New Jersey judge in March ruled that Anchen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and other generic drug makers infringed an AstraZeneca patent, and rejected the defendants’ invalidity defense. The patent is for Seroquel XR, a drug that treats bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression. Henry Renk, Bruce Haas, Steven Kline and Michael McGraw were the Fitzpatrick Cella partners who represented AstraZeneca.

The firm this year also obtained favorable rulings for Merck and Genzyme in cases concerning the validity of patents the companies hold. A District of New Jersey judge in January affirmed the validity of Merck’s patent for a formulation of the anti-fungal agent in Cancidas, ruling against Novartis A.G.’s Sandoz Inc., which sought to market generic versions of the drug. And, in a dispute between Genzyme and Cobrek Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Northern District of Illinois in March ruled that Genzyme’s patent for Hectorol, a kidney disease drug, is valid and enforceable. Partners Dominick Conde and Brian Slater represented Merck, while partners Scott Reed, Filko Prugo, Donald Curry and Christopher Loh were counsel for Genzyme.

The firm also helped Canon last year win an International Trade Commission consent order, barring about two dozen Chinese manufacturers and U.S. retailers from importing or selling in the United States printer cartridges that, according to the electronics company, infringed two of its patents. Cannella, as well as firm partners Michael Sandonato, Edmund Haughey and Stephen Belisle, worked on the matter for Canon. “It was pretty much a complete success across the board,” Cannella said of the Canon matter.

— Andrew Ramonas