Mark Hannemann of Kenyon & Kenyon
Mark Hannemann of Kenyon & Kenyon (David Lubarsky)

Correction: This item has been changed to reflect that Michael Lennon and Clifford Ulrich were the attorneys who defended Volkswagen and Audi.

Kenyon & Kenyon’s patent litigators deftly navigated the full constellation of federal court and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office options to defend their clients last year.

The firm used a combination of aggressive litigation, a motion to change venue and petitions for inter partes review in its defense of automaker Toyota Motor Corp. American Vehicular Sciences LLC initially asserted 24 patents in seven district court cases related to various automotive safety technologies. Only 11 claims survived, and six of those stand rejected by the patent office.

Then, in that case same in April, partners George Badenoch, John Flock and Thomas Makin obtained a ruling that transferred the case from Texas to the Eastern District of Michigan, where patents from the same ­patent portfolio have previously been invalidated, the firm said.

“You have choices when you’re a defendant these days in a patent case — you have a lot of choices to make, especially early on in the case,” partner Mark Hannemann said. “You really need to be able to hit the ground running, take a good look at the patents, understand the case and then plot the right course, the right strategy, to try and maximize the chances of a good result for your client.”

Michael Lennon and Clifford Ulrich used a similar tactic in defense of Volkswagen Group and Audi A.G. They requested ex parte re-examination of all the asserted patents in 37 lawsuits filed by Beacon Navigation GmbH in the U.S. District Court for Delaware. Kenyon also got that case moved to the Eastern District of Michigan, which granted a stay. Claims from four of the re-examined patents have been canceled and claims in the other four stand rejected.

The firm is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court as counsel for Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and Yeda Research and Development Co. in a case to prevent generic versions of Teva’s multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.


Year founded: 1879
Headquarters: New York
Total attorneys: 157
IP partners: 55
IP associates: 92
Patent agents: 5