After more than a year of litigation, William “Bill” Gaede of McDermott Will & Emery won a jury verdict in March 2016 affirming the validity of Amgen Inc.’s patents for an entirely new class of medicines.
The verdict, which followed a six-day trial in the District of Delaware, protected Amgen’s patents to medicines that dramatically reduce high LDL cholesterol—the bad stuff. Gaede shared with The Recorder what was on the line for Amgen and how he approaches issues dealing with novel technology.
What was at stake at trial in Delaware for Amgen? At stake in this case, was the protection of Amgen’s patents covering a class of antibodies with the potential to treat millions of people who are affected by high levels of LDL cholesterol which cannot otherwise be controlled by diet or statins.
The judge excluded evidence that both sides wanted to present at trial. You recalibrated and moved forward while your opponents attempted to convince the judge to reinstate some of the excluded evidence. Why did you make that tactical decision and how did it play to your favor? Judge Robinson’s pretrial evidentiary rulings were even-handed and essentially leveled the playing field between the parties. Instead of dwelling on the rulings, our team decided to quickly adapt and chart the best course for success under the changed evidentiary landscape.
We adjusted our strategy and adhered to the rulings in the face of repeated attempts by our opponent to reargue the pretrial motions. As a team, we realized how important it was to look ahead to trial so we could prepare for the even bigger challenges that would come our way as the litigation unfolded.
In this case, your client was wielding phone-book sized patents. How does that play to your advantage, and when can it be a challenge? Phone-book sized patents typically signal a very complex and technical subject matter, and our case was no exception as it involved novel questions about monoclonal antibodies and biologics.
It’s always a challenge to figure out how to take a complex scientific topic and communicate it to the jury in a relatable manner. In our case, I think this challenge played to our advantage because our IP litigators had the unique ability to digest and explain technical and scientific terminology in an approachable way to help jurors understand the underlying business themes at play in the trial.
What trait would you say you have that keeps clients coming back to you? I think industry leading companies come back to me for high-stakes patent disputes because I not only have a deep understanding of the underlying technical nature of cases, but I also have the ability to take complex scientific subject matters and communicate them in an approachable way for judges and juries alike.
A prospective client with a crisis calls and asks why you and your team should be retained. What is your answer? McDermott Will & Emery offers clients one of the strongest and most active full-service IP practices in the world. With a deep bench of lawyers with backgrounds in electrical engineering, chemistry, hardware, software and life sciences, McDermott can strategically staff and seamlessly assemble the best squads possible for every case and matter.
And McDermott does not hesitate to enter the courtroom when a client’s interests are best served by taking a case to trial. Our IP practice is exceptionally experienced in managing and conducting complex IP trials in the U.S. District Courts, state courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, including the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
But above all, McDermott lawyers are the trusted advisers clients need to get them through all difficult legal matters. We are there for our clients every step of the way, and we pride ourselves on being an indispensable part of their success.