February 16, 2018
Weil was profiled in Law360’s “How They Won It” series for securing a jury trial verdict for client Illumina in a high-profile patent infringement dispute with Ariosa Diagnostics. The verdict marks the culmination of six years of litigation involving the invention of a revolutionary Down’s Syndrome blood test that is replacing the invasive and risky traditional amniocentesis test. The federal jury ultimately awarded Illumina nearly $27 million in damages and found both patents infringed by Ariosa.
The article describes the Weil team’s attributes that were critical to success in the complex litigation over the course of several years, highlighting the “expertise of hard-hitters on the Weil team” as a factor that was needed to secure the victory. Patent Litigation partner Ed Reines described the complicated nature of the case by saying, “A multi-year, multi-venue battle between Illumina and a giant like Roche really comes down to a mosaic. There’s no one piece that’s going to make it work.”
Weil’s approach to jury selection as the trial approached was also mentioned in the article. Counsel Derek Walter explained why a smart, sophisticated jury was appropriate for this trail. “We realized that you wanted to have a smart jury, not just because we wanted smart people who were going to be able to grasp the infringement issues, which at times gets very technical, but [also because we wanted people who] would also see past the allegations of wrongdoing and realize there wasn’t any merit to these allegations,” Mr. Walter explained.
In addition, the article also notes that Ariosa’s counterclaim provided an additional complication for the Weil team. The counterclaim alleged the lawsuit violated a supply agreement it had with Illumina and amounted to a breach of contract. Ariosa, which also claimed the lawsuit ruined its initial public offering, sought more than $100 million in damages. The jury ultimately rejected the counterclaim.
In addition to Mr. Reines and Mr. Walter, the trial team also included associates Christopher Lavin and Hannah Jones. Counsel Robert Vlasis, and associates Bobby Magee, Daniel Musher, Matthew Sieger and John Stratford further supported the trial efforts remotely.