Michael J. Abernathy concentrates on patent, trade secret, and antitrust litigation. As co-leader of the firm’s intellectual property (IP) disputes practice and life sciences industry team, Mike has first-chair trial experience and is highly sought after by clients that face significant bet-the-company litigation. He has successfully tried biopharma and technology cases to juries across the United States and has trial experience in Hatch-Waxman cases, Section 337 investigations in the US International Trade Commission (ITC), and importation disputes in the Court of International Trade.
IAM Patent 1000 has described Mike as follows: “At trial, Abernathy is a compelling storyteller, but never strays from the substance of his case. He is not afraid to give clients hard advice, which has earned him longstanding relationships of trust.”
With 35 years of litigation experience, Mike frequently advises corporations on the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA), the Hatch-Waxman Act, strategic use of IP assets, post-grant review, licensing programs, and patent due diligence issues. He also has litigated emergency injunction proceedings involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
A frequent speaker, Mike has presented lectures on trial advocacy to the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Northwestern University School of Law, the Practising Law Institute, the Bureau of National Affairs, PwC’s National Expert Forum, and the National Business Institute. His topics have included effective storytelling at trial, presentation of electronic demonstratives, use of electronically stored information under the Federal Rules of Evidence, and retention of technical and damages experts.
Recognized, General Patent Litigator of the Year – Midwest, LMG Life Sciences (2021)
Ranked, Intellectual Property, Illinois, Chambers USA (2020–2022)
Member, Life Sciences Editorial Advisory Board, Law360 (2020)
Recognized, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Chicago; Trademark Law, Chicago, The Best Lawyers in America (2014–2023)
Recognized, IP Patent Star – Illinois, Managing Intellectual Property (2018–2022)
Recommended, Intellectual property: Patents: litigation (full coverage), The Legal 500 US (2019–2022)
Recommended, Industry focus – Healthcare – life sciences, The Legal 500 US (2017–2022)
Recognized, IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals (2016–2022)
Life Sciences Star, Intellectual Property, LMG Life Sciences (2016–2022)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Intellectual Property, Law360 (2019)
Member, Litigation Department of the Year–Intellectual Property, The American Lawyer (2019)
Recognized, Illinois Leading Lawyer, Intellectual Property Litigation, Illinois Super Lawyers (2010–2018)
Recognized, Intellectual Property Litigation, Illinois Super Lawyers (2010–2018)
Recognized, Top Ten IP Lawyers, United States Lawyers Rankings
Faculty, National Institute for Trial Advocacy
Adjunct professor of clinical trial advocacy, Northwestern University School of Law