IP boutique Desmarais is expanding its life science patent capability with two additions from Sidley Austin. Bindu Donovan and Todd Krause joined the firm Monday.
Founding partner John Desmarais said that while the firm’s high-tech practice has been strong, he’s eager to take advantage of the growing opportunity in life sciences IP litigation, especially in the area of biologic drugs.
“The traditional branded-generic battles are strong, and the biologics are picking up steam,” he said Wednesday.
Donovan and Krause each have more than 20 years’ experience in patent litigation, much of it in Hatch-Waxman cases involving treatment for conditions such as cancer, diabetes and high cholesterol. The two were part of a Sidley team that litigated a bench trial this summer for Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen over its Zytiga prostate cancer treatment.
At Desmarais the pair will represent brand-name pharmaceutical companies against generic and biosimilar challengers.
Donovan earned her law degree from Fordham and has science degrees from Western University and York University in Canada. “I’m very excited to join Desmarais LLP, and I look forward to the opportunity to help the firm expand its life sciences practice,” she said in a written statement. “This firm is one of the industry’s elite IP litigation boutiques, and I’m very pleased to be part of its growth.”
Krause has a law degree from the University of Houston and a doctorate in biological sciences from the University of Texas at Austin. “Our goal is to make Desmarais LLP a leader in life sciences litigation and to continue to protect brand-name pharmaceutical companies’ key drugs from generic attack,” he said.
Since its founding in 2010, the now 57-lawyer Desmarais has made its presence felt mostly in the traditional technology space. The firm just scored an $82.5 million jury verdict for IBM this summer over e-commerce patents infringed by Groupon, for example. (The case settled earlier this month for $57 million.)
Before starting the firm, John Desmarais’ practice at Kirkland & Ellis included Hatch-Waxman cases, including the defense of Forest Labs’ Lexapro and Namenda franchises in multiple cases against generic drugs.
He said he’s excited to expand that practice now alongside two litigators who possess deep scientific expertise plus strong legal and trial skills. “That combination is hard to find,” he said.