Fish & Richardson Principals Juanita Brooks and Roger Denning were recognized alongside San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer as well as various local government officials and professionals in the real estate, construction, design and financial industries who are positively impacting the region on The Daily Transcript’s list of “100 Influential Leaders in San Diego.”
The publication highlighted the knack Denning, managing partner of Fish’s San Diego office, and Brooks, a renowned intellectual property litigator, have for teaching both judges and juries about complex technologies—an ability that has led both to continued courtroom success in high-stakes, big-dollar cases.
“Being able to teach technology to a jury for the relatively short time that you’ve got them in the courtroom — at least enough to help them understand the technologies underlying the case — can be crucial to winning a trial,” Denning said in The Daily Transcript interview.
To demonstrate his track record of success, The Transcript showcased Denning’s recent case regarding the world’s leading kidney dialysis care provider, Fresenius, in a product liability suit.
Denning is also leading the patent-protection charge for San Diego-based ResMed’s CPAP technology to treat sleep apnea and, in a court case this month, will try to stop pharmaceutical titan Sandoz from putting generic versions of a glaucoma medicine on the market that infringes patents on on Allergan’s Combigan drug.
Denning’s education in electrical engineering may not seem like it would lend itself to a career in corporate litigation, the publication noted, but it has proved pivotal in his ability to protect clients in patent infringement and product liability cases involving medical devices, computer software and sporting goods.
Brooks’ two decades in criminal defense have given her a different courtroom edge.
Prior to joining Fish in 2000, Brooks switched legal gears into patent litigation—a move that has seen her become one of the nation’s leading intellectual property attorneys serving small business and international Fortune 100 companies alike. Her clients include Fresenius, Allergan, Microsoft, and 3M.
“I found it actually helped that I didn’t have a background in any one particular technology, because that enabled me to learn each technology in the same way a judge or jury might,” she said. “It helps me break down the technology in a way that is understandable to someone that doesn’t have a technical degree.”
Displaying Brooks’ courtroom feats, The Transcript shared her recent success in nullifying a $200 million verdict against client Gilead Sciences Inc. The biopharmaceutical company, behind two multibillion dollar cures for hepatitis C, was initially ordered to pay Merck & Co., but a persuasive Fish team led by Brooks proved opposing counsel acted in bad faith and that the patents at issue were unenforceable.
The trial was one of more than 150 Brooks has handled during her storied career, which sees her manage more than 30 active patent cases each year. A dedicated volunteer, speaker, mother and advocate for both women and minorities, The Transcript also noted Brooks’ work to diversify the legal profession.
The Transcripts’ list of “100 Influential Leaders in San Diego” published on September 22.
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