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Q&A with Jonathon Singer: When the Stakes Are Highest

June 1, 2015

Q&A with Jonathon Singer: When the Stakes Are Highest

June 1, 2015

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Fish Principal and acclaimed patent litigator Jonathan Singer was interviewed by Metropolitan Corporate Counsel in the June 2015 article “When the Stakes Are Highest: Hard work drives enviable track record in Hatch-Waxman litigation.” Singer, who is also head of the Life Sciences practice at Fish, discusses changes and trends in pharmaceutical, life sciences, and Hatch-Waxman patent litigation.

MCC: What changes have you seen in the past few years, and what trends are currently driving Hatch-Waxman and other pharmaceutical litigation?

Singer: The biggest change is how inter partes review (IPR) has affected the litigation landscape. IPRs have given would-be challengers to pharmaceutical patents a powerful tool to short-circuit the Hatch-Waxman litigation process. The whole IPR process is set up to limit patent holders defense of their inventions – the burden of proof is lower, inventors don’t testify, and consideration of real-world factors like how drugs are received in the marketplace get short shrift.

While IPR has been great for knocking out patents only a patent “troll” sees value in, the confined nature of the proceeding really works to the detriment of many innovators. This is especially true in the life sciences area, where companies invest vast sums of money in developing potentially life-saving drugs in exchange for the market exclusivity that a patent gives.

MCC: What advice would you give to innovator drug companies that are looking to protect their intellectual property?

Singer: Take the time and invest the money required to write stronger patent applications. Hire the absolute best patent prosecutor you can find – someone who understands the science behind your technology and has done extensive work in your industry. And, of course, hire litigation counsel that is experienced in the life sciences. Oftentimes I get into litigation and find that the best parts of an invention story are either not in the patent or barely mentioned. I know budgets are tight, but spending too little on a patent application will likely cost you more in the end.

Click here to read the full interview.

Attorney Bio

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Jonathan E. Singer | Principal

Mr. Singer, a renowned life sciences industry leader and acclaimed trial attorney, heads the firm’s life sciences litigation practice. Whether working as lead trial counsel for his clients or as part of a trial or litigation team, Mr. Singer handles all aspects of litigation,...

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