For New York-based Kenyon & Kenyon, big-name clients with high-profile intellectual property problems is familiar turf.
The firm, which can deploy about 170 lawyers in New York, Washington and Palo Alto, Calif., in 2012 handled matters for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Barnes & Noble Inc. and Maker’s Mark Distillery Inc. With a 134-year history and lawyers who count years of intellectual property experience, Kenyon & Kenyon represents a rarity that clients covet, according to senior partner Michael Lennon in New York. "That’s the value of our firm," he said.
For Teva, Kenyon & Kenyon helped the pharmaceutical giant stop competitors Mylan Inc., Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc., Sandoz Inc. and Natco Pharma Ltd. from producing generic versions of Teva’s multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone. The pharmaceutical represents Teva’s best-selling drug with annual sales of about $3 billion.
A judge in the Southern District of New York ruled in June that the generic Copaxone drugs infringed on all of Teva’s patent claims, keeping the generics off the market until 2015. The defendants appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Lennon called the judgment a "huge accomplishment" for lead partners Elizabeth Holland in New York and William James in Washington. "It’s much more difficult to win a case in the Southern District of New York," he said.
[Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly identified the  lead partners representing Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.  They were Elizabeth Holland and William James.]
The firm defended Barnes & Noble against Microsoft Corp.’s patent-infringement suit over the ­bookseller’s Nook electronic reader. The case ended in a settlement that created a new education venture involving e-books. Richard DeLucia and Elizabeth Gardner in New York were the lead Kenyon & Kenyon partners on the case.
"It had potentially very serious ramifications," Lennon said of Microsoft’s suit.
The firm made headlines with its successful representation of Maker’s Mark in a patent dispute with liquor company Diageo North America Inc. over the red wax the whiskey maker uses to seal its bottles. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in May ruled that the red wax is a trademark, prohibiting Diageo from using it on Jose Cuervo Reserva tequila bottles. Washington-based Kenyon & Kenyon partner Edward Colbert, the brother of comedian Stephen Colbert, handled the case.
"These types of cases have a huge impact on a corporation’s market and brand identification, and success," Lennon said.