Cozen O’Connor announced that patent litigators Richard T. Ruzich, Kerry B. McTigue, Barry Golob, Donald R. McPhail, Joseph M. Bennett-Paris, Ph.D, Ian Scott and Blake Coblentz have joined the firm’s rapidly expanding intellectual property group as Members. Two associates have also joined the firm --Aaron S. Lukas, Ph.D. and Elese Hanson. The nine attorneys joined Cozen O'Connor from Duane Morris and are based out of offices spread over Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York and Atlanta. They work together closely and focus their practices on complex patent litigation, to include representation of generic drug manufacturers in Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA)/biosimilars litigation and consumer electronics corporations in district court patent infringement actions across the United States.
Ruzich, who is based in Chicago, formerly served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., defending against patent infringement suits brought by private sector entities. McTigue served as co-chair of the Duane Morris Hatch-Waxman IP practice group. He previously served as general counsel for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and as a prosecutor in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. McTigue is based in Washington, D.C., along with Golob, McPhail and Coblentz. Bennett-Paris and Scott are based in Atlanta and New York, respectively.
“Expanding IP litigation is part of our strategic plan for growth,” said Cozen O’Connor Chief Executive Officer Tad Decker. “We made terrific progress with our IP expansion last June when we brought on attorneys from the New York based IP boutique Cohen Pontani Lieberman & Pavane and we are thrilled to be adding another truly noteworthy practice less than a year later. We now have IP litigators practicing out of five offices, which marks a significant expansion of our firm’s national platform.”
“These attorneys had their choice of many of the top firms in the country so their decision to join Cozen O’Connor says a lot about the depth and breadth of not only the intellectual property practice at Cozen O’Connor, but our litigation and business practices in general,” said Cozen O’Connor President and Executive Partner Michael Heller.
Led by chair Camille Miller, Cozen O’Connor’s intellectual property group added 19 New York-based intellectual property attorneys in June 2011 from Cohen Pontani Lieberman & Pavane. The IP group now boasts 42 attorneys practicing out of New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Atlanta. “We are now one of the largest IP practices in the country for generic pharmaceutical patent litigation,” said Miller.
“We are thrilled to join a firm on the rise that continues to expand in key markets and important practice areas such as IP. Cozen O’Connor’s commitment to supporting and growing our group’s practice, especially on behalf of generic companies in the ANDA litigation and consumer electronics arena, will be a great benefit to our clients,” said Ruzich, a registered patent attorney who has developed a national reputation as one of the country’s leading IP/ANDA litigators.
“Cozen O’Connor is committed to a robust ANDA/Hatch-Waxman practice and we are very excited this was a team transition,” added McTigue. He and Golob both have led numerous successful complex litigations. “We have worked hard to build a talented and cohesive team that will flourish at Cozen O’Connor. Joining forces with Cozen O’Connor’s outstanding IP lawyers makes us one of the go-to IP firms for companies across the globe, and forms an ever stronger platform for future growth.”
Richard T. Ruzich focuses his practice on litigating complex patent, copyright, trademark and trade secrets matters. Ruzich previously served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., defending the United States and its agencies against patent infringement suits brought by the private sector. Ruzich is resident in the Chicago office. He serves as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy’s intelligence community.
A former general counsel for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and prosecutor in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, Kerry B. McTigue practices in the area of intellectual property law and litigation with extensive experience in pharmaceutical Hatch-Waxman litigation. McTigue is resident in the Washington, D.C. office.
Barry Golob practices in the area of intellectual property law and litigation with an emphasis on complex patent litigation in the consumer electronics and Hatch-Waxman litigation areas. Golob has led trial teams in more than 50 cases, handling complex jury and bench trials nationwide in both state and federal courts, and has participated in all aspects of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitrations and mediations. Golob is resident in the Washington, D.C. office.
Donald R. McPhail is a trial lawyer who practices in the area of intellectual property law. He has successfully tried cases covering a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, chemical manufacturing processes, semiconductor design and liquid crystal display technology. McPhail, a former PTO examiner, also prepares and prosecutes patent and trademark applications. McPhail is resident in the Washington, D.C. office.
With a doctorate degree in Pharmacology, Joseph M. Bennett-Paris, Ph.D, is a litigator and counsels clients in matters of patent prosecution, non-infringement, patentability, invalidity, and various other legal issues for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Bennett-Paris is resident in the Atlanta office.
Ian Scott concentrates on patent litigation, prosecution and counseling. Opinions of counsel regarding patentability, invalidity, freedom-to-operate and priority of invention of U.S. patents and publications also form a significant part of his practice. Prior to practicing law, Scott worked for Merck KGaA for over nine years, attaining the position of senior chemist. Scott is resident in the New York office.
Blake Coblentz practices in the area of intellectual property law with a concentration in complex patent cases in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Coblentz represents high-tech and generic pharmaceutical companies in both litigation and opinion matters. Coblentz also prepares and prosecutes patent applications and represents clients in re-examination proceedings. Coblentz is resident in the Washington, D.C. office.
With a doctorate in nanotechnology and chemistry from Northwestern University, Aaron S. Lukas, Ph.D., focuses his practice on complex patent cases for clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and electronics industries. He represents high-tech and generic pharmaceutical companies in both litigation and opinion matters. Dr. Lukas also prepares and prosecutes patent applications for products in the areas of nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and advanced materials and devices, counsels clients regarding patent filing strategies and portfolio management, and prepares invalidity, non-infringement and patentability opinions. Dr. Lukas is a named inventor on more than 10 U.S. patents relating to materials used in advanced electronic devices. He is a resident of the Washington, D.C., office.
Elese Hanson practices with an emphasis on patent related issues, including litigation, prosecution, licensing, due diligence and counseling for clients in the pharmaceutical, food science, biotechnology, chemical and healthcare industries with specific emphasis on the generic drug industry (ANDA). She is a resident of the Chicago office.