Chiron v. Genentech
After biotechnology leader Genentech was ruled to have infringed a patent held by Chiron Corp. in the development of its highly successful breast cancer drug, Herceptin, The Focal Point worked with Genentech’s counsel, Keker, Van Nest & Peters, to defend against Chiron’s claim for a potential $700 million share of the royalties and its secondary claim for “willful” infringement which could have tripled the award.
The Focal Point’s Role
Lead counsel John Keker, of Keker, Van Nest & Peters, used The Focal Point’s graphics extensively in his opening and closing statements and during expert witness testimony. He was also armed with several digital animation sequences and a 12-foot long magnetic timeline which he “built” piece by piece during the trial by adding on 20 individual magnetic elements. This broad range of visuals helped to maintain the jurors’ focus throughout the complex trial and allowed them to absorb enough of the detailed biology to clearly appreciate the differences between the research and development of the respective companies.
Having been persuaded by the theme of “confusion in the patent office,” the jury took less than eight hours to unanimously agree that counsel had met the burden of “clear and convincing evidence” and found for Genentech on all counts, surprising pundits by breaking the Chiron patent, eliminating its claim for royalties, and truncating the trial after the initial phase.
US District Court for the Eastern District of California
The Focal Point’s Client