Robbie Manhas

Senior Associate

Washington, D.C.

A former Federal Circuit clerk, Robbie Manhas is a member of the firm's Supreme Court and Appellate group. His practice focuses on high-stakes appeals, with a particular emphasis on patent law and administrative law. He has been the primary drafter of dozens of appellate briefs and has presented oral argument in the Federal Circuit, the D.C. Circuit, and the Sixth Circuit.

Robbie is a lawyer because he is passionate about legal analysis, writing, and advocacy—understanding how to properly frame and creatively answer challenging questions of law and communicating that understanding to others in a credible and efficient way.

Robbie's work includes wins in the Federal Circuit and other appellate courts and spans a variety of industries and products, such as semiconductors and electronics, software, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and sporting goods. His work has also involved a number of U.S. agencies, including the Patent and Trademark Office, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prior to joining Orrick, Robbie was a Senior Associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where he was a member of its Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Government and Regulatory Litigation groups. Before that, Robbie was a law clerk for the Honorable Richard G. Taranto of the Federal Circuit.

  • Representative engagements include:

    Patent law

    • Juno Therapeutics, Inc. v. Kite Pharma, Inc. (Fed. Cir. No. 20-1758) (U.S. No. 21-1566) - Successfully represented Gilead subsidiary Kite in wiping out a $1.2 billion patent-infringement verdict involving Kite's lifesaving cancer therapy. Kite's appeal raised written-description, enablement, certificate-of-correction, and damages defenses. The Federal Circuit ruled in Kite's favor on written description, not reaching the other issues, resulting in a full reversal. The Supreme Court then denied Juno's petition for a writ of certiorari. [Federal Circuit Opinion]
    • Successfully represented leading tech company in multiple IPR appeals, presenting oral argument and securing full victories.
    • Merck & Co. Inc. v. Gilead Sciences Inc. (U.S. No. 18-378) - Successfully represented Gilead, securing denial of certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court on the question of whether, under the Patent Act, the equitable defense of unclean hands precludes legal relief in the form of damages. This victory preserved a court-ordered nullification of $200 million in damages that had been awarded to Merck.
    • Philips Lighting North America Corp., et al. v. Wangs Alliance Corporation (Fed. Cir. No. 17-1526)* - Represented and presented oral argument on behalf of Philips Lighting, challenging an IPR determination on errors with regard to motivation to combine, reasonable expectation of success, and adequate notice. The patent was directed to a circuit arrangement for operating semiconductor light sources.
    • Secured Mail Solutions LLC v. Universal Wilde, Inc. (Fed. Cir. No. 16-1728)* - Successfully represented Universal Wilde in defending against an appeal from a district court's order dismissing 243 patent claims as reciting ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The patent was directed to methods of electronically verifying the contents of a mail object. [Opinion]

    Administrative law and statutory interpretation

    • George v. McDonough (U.S. No. 21-234) - Represented petitioner, a disabled veteran, at certiorari and merits stages of a case about the scope of "clear and unmistakable error," a statutory exception to finality in the veterans-benefits context that allows otherwise-final benefits denials to be challenged on collateral review.
    • Li v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (D.C. Cir. No. 20-1245) - As court-appointed amicus curiae, successfully argued that the D.C. Circuit and the Tax Court lacked jurisdiction to hear an IRS whistleblower's appeal of the agency's rejection of her claim for a whistleblower award. Presented oral argument. The court "extend[ed] its appreciation to Mr. Manhas for his excellent amicus brief on the topic." [Opinion]
    • Military-Veterans Advocacy v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Fed. Cir. No. 19-1600) - Successfully represented and presented oral argument on behalf of Military-Veterans Advocacy in challenging VA's final rule implementing the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017. Secured invalidation of a regulation related to attorney fees. [Opinion]
    • Oracle America, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Labor (D.D.C. No. 1:19-cv-03574) – Represented Oracle in an APA and constitutional challenge to the Department of Labor’s administrative tribunals for prosecuting, adjudicating, and remediating claims of class-wide employment discrimination against government contractors. Case settled while cross-motions for summary judgment were fully briefed and pending.
    • Procopio v. Wilkie (Fed. Cir. No. 17-1821) (en banc) - Successfully represented "Blue Water Navy" veteran in a pro bono en banc case, securing a 9-2 ruling that the Agent Orange Act unambiguously grants veterans who served within the Republic of Vietnam's 12-mile territorial sea a presumption of herbicide exposure and service-connection based on having "served in the Republic of Vietnam." [Opinion]

    Other

    • Roummel Ingram v. John Prelesnik (6th Cir. No. 16-2172)* - Represented and presented oral argument on behalf of Roummel Ingram in a pro bono appeal from a district court's denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
    • Ada Mercedes Conde-Vidal, et al. (1st Cir. No. 16-1313)* - Represented a group of individuals and advocacy groups petitioning for a writ of mandamus based on a district court's refusal to enter judgment that the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), rendered unconstitutional Puerto Rico's laws barring (1) LGBT marriage and (2) recognition of lawful LGBT marriages entered in other jurisdictions.

    * Representation prior to joining Orrick.