October 2011 Winner – Joseph J. Zito
Top IP Litigation attorney fought 7 year battle for small research company.
Mr. Zito, representing a small research company headed by Dr. J.B. Classen, fought a seven year struggle, without compensation, against three Pharmaceutical Giants: GSK, Biogen IDEC and Merck over the true nature of 35 USC 101. Despite a devastating decision from the District Court in 2005, Mr. Zito fought on against an army of lawyers from: Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr; Covington & Burling: Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell; Foley Hoag and Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto Classen. In 2006, the battle moved to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit where a terse 39 word decision was handed down in 2009, after oral argument and a 22 month wait. An almost hopeless Petition for Cert to the Supreme Court was filed, and although Mr. Zito personally solicited every major IP player for assistance, no one dared file an amicus brief. In 2010, the United States Supreme Court vacated and remanded back to the CAFC without comment. Finally, on August 31st, 2011, the CAFC issued a 32 page majority opinion, and found Chief Judge Rader adding 6 pages of additional vies on 35 USC 101, as well as a 19 page decent from Judge Moore. With 24 hours, over 30 commentaries discussing the significance of this opinion, including Chief Judge Rader’s “additional views” were posted on line. This decision, described as “closely watched”, “long awaited”, “setting a new standard for 101″ and “certain to cause a firestorm of controversy” breathed new life into Classen Immunotherapies. Mr. Zito is an IP hero because he represented his client zealously, tirelessly and successfully for seven years, in the face of overwhelming opposition and financial duress. Despite the recognition of the significant impact that this case will have on the critical jurisprudence of 35 USC 101, Mr. Zito’s efforts and commitment to his client’s cause has gone unrecognized, all of which taken into account grants him a nomination for the next IP Hero.
Patent Litigation Attorney, ZITO tlp
Patent Litigation Attorney with over 25 years of experience in US Federal Courts across the United States. Admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Maryland, Washington DC, Texas, Indiana, Nebraska, Court of Federal Claims, Federal Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Seventh Circuit and practiced in New York; New Jersey; Massachusetts; Pennsylvania; Virginia; Indiana; Delaware; Wisconsin; Texas; California; North Carolina; Illinois; Michigan; Florida; Ohio; Wisconsin; Nebraska, Louisiana, The International Trade Commission. He has over 28 reported decisions, including two published precedential appellate decisions. Mr. Zito was personally rated in the top five percent of Intellectual Property Litigation attorneys in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and the top five percent in Maryland for 2007, based on a survey of lawyers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia and based upon a review of performance and experience by an independent panel.
Mr. Zito accepting his IP Hero Award!
Jamie LeLiever (left), Joseph Zito (right)
- A bottle of Murgitroyd 12-year-old whisky
- Custom Trophy
- IP Hero T-shirt
- Interview & National Press Release