Press Release

Morgan Lewis Expands IP Team with Four New Chicago-Based Partners

Friday, February 26, 2016

CHICAGO, February 26, 2016: Morgan Lewis has further expanded its global intellectual property team with the addition of four leading IP partners: Michael J. Abernathy, Sanjay K. Murthy, Christopher J. Betti, and Amanda S. Williamson. All will be resident in Chicago.

The team members have worked together for many years as part of a practice honored by independent publications such as Law360 and The National Law Journal as among the nation’s IP elite over the past few years. Highly regarded for their achievements in litigation, procurement, and portfolio management, the lawyers have particularly deep backgrounds in representing companies in the life sciences and technology industries.

“Our new team members present our firm and our clients with extraordinary additional opportunities and capabilities,” said Firm Chair Jami McKeon. “The multifaceted backgrounds of these new colleagues, added to our already outstanding group of IP lawyers in Chicago and across the firm, further broaden our services to clients seeking assistance in protecting their vital intellectual assets.”

Michael J. Abernathy focuses on patent, trademark, trade secret, and antitrust litigation, in which he has tried cases before juries throughout the United States. He also has leveraged his 30 years of litigation experience to advise clients on the strategic uses of IP assets, post-grant review, licensing programs, the Hatch-Waxman Act, and patent due diligence. Mr. Abernathy has litigated emergency injunction proceedings involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices, computer software, trademark counterfeiting, and industrial espionage. He has represented clients involved in an extraordinary range of products and industries, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biosimilars, image processing, cellular networks, computer chips, and automotive systems, among many others.

Sanjay K. Murthy, a patent litigator registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has an extensive trial background representing technology companies in US district courts, the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and Section 337 investigations in the International Trade Commission (ITC). He has successfully tried cases to juries on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, has first-chaired Markman hearings, and has argued numerous motions throughout the United States. Mr. Murthy has successfully handled matters before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the ITC.

A registered patent attorney who spearheaded his former firm’s biosimilars practice, Christopher J. Betti holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology and his work particularly emphasizes biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent matters. A significant portion of his practice involves IP portfolio management; patent preparation/prosecution; patent litigation; due diligence analysis associated with venture capital financing and public offerings; and rendering opinions and strategic advice relating to complex patentability, patent validity, infringement, and freedom-to-operate issues. Mr. Betti regularly counsels biosimilar applicants in all matters related to the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) and provides US Food and Drug Administration regulatory advice relating to biologics and pharmaceuticals.

An IP litigator with a background in chemistry, Amanda S. Williamson focuses on patent infringement actions and related antitrust and breach of contract matters. She has represented clients in various US district and appellate courts, both advancing and defending against charges of patent infringement, and has worked in all facets of IP litigation, including fact and expert discovery, motion practice, claim construction practice, and trial practice. Ms. Williamson has been an integral part of trial teams developing strategies in patent infringement cases before various US district courts. She also has represented clients before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

“I am thrilled to welcome these four outstanding lawyers to our team, offering our clients additional depth, particularly in the areas of life sciences, technology, and manufacturing,” said Eric Kraeutler, who leads Morgan Lewis’s IP practice. “They will strengthen our ability to offer companies a full range of patent services, from patent procurement and portfolio management, to federal court litigation, to ITC and USPTO proceedings.”

The new team continues Morgan Lewis’s expansion in Chicago, including the recent arrival of litigators Beth Herrington and Mark Altschul.

“We continue to build our practice in Chicago with world-class strategic additions, and will continue to do so when we see opportunities that meet our firm strategies" said office managing partner Scott Schutte. “Chicago is a hotbed of new ideas and these lawyers will be ideally situated to assist clients in the American heartland, and to collaborate with our offices across the United States and around the world.”