Federal Circuit Reverses $1.2 Billion Judgment Against Client Gilead Sciences


Siding with an Orrick appellate team and trial teams from Munger, Tolles & Olson and Fish & Richardson, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today overturned a $1.2+ billion patent infringement judgment against Gilead’s Kite Pharma unit in a long running intellectual property battle with Juno Therapeutics, Inc. involving a lifesaving cancer therapy.

The Federal Circuit wiped out the judgment in this unanimous published opinion, which found Juno’s patent claims invalid for lack of written description. “Substantial evidence does not support the jury’s verdict in Juno’s favor on the issue of written description,” the court wrote.

Partner Josh Rosenkranz, head of our Supreme Court and Appellate practice, led the Orrick team, arguing the case in July. Underscoring the importance of the case, the Federal Circuit chose the appeal as the first case to be argued in person since oral arguments went virtual at the start of the pandemic.

This is the second billion-plus-dollar blockbuster win for Gilead in high stakes patent litigation. Our appellate team, supported by Fish & Richardson’s trial team, also prevailed in the Federal Circuit in Gilead’s patent infringement battle with Idenix, preserving a lower court decision overturning a $2.54 billion judgment in that case, the largest patent verdict in history. The American Lawyer’s Litigation Daily recognized the win in a Litigator of the Week feature.

In addition to Josh, the Orrick team in the Kite appeal included partner Mel Bostwick and associates Robbie Manhas and Jeremy Peterman, as well as co-counsel with Fish & Richardson and Munger, Tolles & Olson.