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George C. Lombardi

George Lombardi is the chairman of the firm’s nationally recognized, 200-attorney intellectual property practice. Mr. Lombardi’s skills have been widely recognized by a number of the leading directories, including The American Lawyer (2014), which named him a “Litigator of the Year”; Chambers USA (2014), where he received a Band 1 ranking and was praised for his “extraordinary courtroom skills”; Legal 500 (2013), which labeled him “as good a ‘bet-the-company’ trial lawyer as there is”; and IAM Patent 1000 (2013), which commented that he is a “truly gifted lawyer and one of the finest trial lawyers anywhere in the world.”

Mr. Lombardi routinely serves as lead trial counsel for companies in highly publicized patent cases. Most recently, his $1 billion jury verdict on behalf of Monsanto in Monsanto Co. v. E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co. was recognized as the number three verdict in The National Law Journal’s Top 100 Verdicts of 2012, and was featured as the cover story in the Spring 2013 Am Law Litigation supplement. This verdict also earned him a “Litigator of the Week” mention by the Am Law Litigation Daily, and recognition as an “Intellectual Property MVP” for 2012 by Law360. The case involved Monsanto’s ground-breaking Roundup Ready® technology, which farmers worldwide use to make their crops herbicide resistant.

He has handled and continues to handle various other patent cases involving medical devices and instruments, pharmaceuticals, and telephone and computer technology. Notably, Mr. Lombardi served as lead trial counsel for Barr/Teva Pharmaceutical in Eli Lilly v. Barr Laboratories—the “mother of all patent challenges,” according to Fortune magazine—which invalidated the patent covering the antidepressant drug Prozac®, the world’s leading antidepressant with more than $2.6 billion in annual sales. He has represented Barr/Teva Pharmaceutical in many other patent challenge cases, both at trial and on appeal to the Federal Circuit, including a victory against Bayer in a case involving a patent on the oral contraceptive Yasmin®, opening a $382 million market to competition by our client. Most recently, he achieved a significant win for Teva against Bristol-Myers Squibb in an ANDA case involving the Hepatitis-B drug Baraclude®, when the trial court held that BMS’s patent on a new chemical compound was invalid as obvious. 

Outside of the patent arena, Mr. Lombardi has secured numerous victories for client Philip Morris in its ongoing tobacco litigation cases. He recently served as lead trial counsel in Beatrice Skolnick v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.et al. In connection with his product liability work, Legal 500 described him as “a bet-the-company trial lawyer who is extremely easy to work with and strikes up a great rapport with juries.” Previously, he served as lead trial counsel in Falise v. Philip Morris, an eight-week trial that helped stem a wave of suits by asbestos manufacturers against the tobacco industry, and as co-lead trial counsel in Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Insurance Fund v. Philip Morris, which involved a $2 billion RICO claim brought by union trust funds against the tobacco industry and resulted in a jury verdict for the defense. In addition, he was second chair in State of Washington v. Philip Morris, the Washington state attorney general action that was being tried to a jury at the time the National State Attorney General Tobacco Settlement was reached in November of 1998.

Mr. Lombardi’s securities and commodities litigation experience includes the successful defense in a jury trial of a $30 million RICO claim arising out of a commodities transaction (Farmland Industries v. Frazier-Parrott Commodities) and the defense of a four-month securities fraud and RICO jury trial in which the client was dismissed before verdict (In re American Continental Corporation/Lincoln Savings & Loan Securities Litigation).

Other significant trials include the successful defense of a sports agent accused of defrauding various universities (United States v. Bloom); the successful defense of criminal fraud claims (United States v. Commito); and the successful defense in a bench trial of a breach of contract case (Indianapolis Life v. Dominick’s Finer Foods). Mr. Lombardi also has represented clients such as Abbott Laboratories, Alcoa, and Bell Atlantic/Verizon in various types of cases.

Mr. Lombardi received an A.B., cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1980 and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in 1984, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Michigan Law Review.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Lombardi was recently recognized at the Inaugural U.S. Benchmark Annual Awards as Litigator of the Year-Midwest. His 2014, 2013, and 2012 Benchmark Litigation honors also include recognition as a Local Litigation Star in the Illinois chapter and a Litigation Star - United States for intellectual property. In addition, Benchmark recognized him in the area of product liability. He is listed in Chambers USA, which noted his ability to “set forth incredibly passionate arguments that appear indisputable” and his “incredible presence in court;” recognized in IAM 1000 Patent directories from 2011-2014; recognized in Legal 500 for patent litigation, national trial lawyers, and product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products, which called attention to his “lead trial counsel capabilities on high-profile cases;” and was listed in the Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Patent Law Practitioners 2013. He was named a “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property in 2013 and 2014, selected as a “Life Science Star” by LMG Life Science in 2012 and 2013, and Law360 recognized Mr. Lombardi as an “Intellectual Property MVP” in December 2012. Winston & Strawn was awarded “Chicago Litigation Department of the Year” in the National Law Journal for white collar defense in 2014. Mr. Lombardi has also been recognized as an Illinois “SuperLawyer” for numerous years.

Activities

Mr. Lombardi is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.

George C. Lombardi

George Lombardi is a chair of the firm’s 200-lawyer intellectual property group. He has broad trial experience, but concentrates his practice in patent cases. George has extensive experience as lead trial attorney in jury and bench trials. He has tried cases in 11 federal and state jurisdictions across the country and appeared in cases in numerous other jurisdictions. Recently, his victory on behalf of Monsanto in Monsanto Co. v. E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co., where he achieved a “remarkable” $1 billion jury verdict, was recognized by The American Lawyer and earned him a “Litigator of the Week” honor and an “Intellectual Property MVP” recognition by Law360. The case involved Monsanto’s ground-breaking Roundup Ready® technology, which farmers worldwide use to make their crops herbicide resistant. George is widely recognized for his work. He was recently honored at the inaugural U.S. Benchmark Annual Awards as Litigator of the Year-Midwest, and was also listed by Benchmark as a Local Litigation Star in the Illinois chapter and a Litigation Star - United States for intellectual property. In addition, he is listed in leading publications such as Chambers USA, which noted his “incredible presence in court;” the IAM Patent directories; Legal 500 for patent litigation, national trial lawyers, and product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products, which called attention to his “lead trial counsel capabilities on high-profile cases;” and the Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Patent Law Practitioners 2013. He was selected as a “Life Science Star” by LMG Life Science in 2012 and 2013, and named a “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property in 2013.

George C. Lombardi

George Lombardi is a litigation partner who concentrates his practice in patent litigation, as well as commercial, products liability, securities, and white-collar criminal cases.

Mr. Lombardi has extensive experience as lead trial attorney in jury and bench trials. He has tried cases in 14 federal and state jurisdictions across the country and appeared in cases in numerous other jurisdictions. He has argued appeals in the Seventh, Second, and Federal circuits and Illinois state courts.

Mr. Lombardi has handled and continues to handle various patent cases involving medical instruments, pharmaceuticals, and telephone and computer technology.

Representative Patent Matters

In re Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Capsule Patent Litigation
He served as lead counsel to Teva Pharmaceuticals in a patent litigation trial in the District of Delaware. In 2009, Teva filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application seeking FDA approval to make and sell a generic version of Amrix, a brand drug prescribed to treat muscle spasms. The patent holder sued Teva for infringement of two patents covering Amrix. After a bench trial in October 2010, the court issued a ruling finding both patents invalid for obviousness. The judge’s ruling opens the door for generic companies to provide patients with a much lower cost alternative to Amrix.

Eli Lilly v. Barr Laboratories (Prozac)
He served as lead counsel to Barr Laboratories in an appeal before the Federal Circuit, which upheld a decision invalidating Eli Lilly’s patents for the anti-depressant drug Prozac®, which was Lilly’s flagship multibillion-dollar product. The press called the case the “mother of all patent challenges.” Our attorneys successfully defeated the patent with a victory that Fortune magazine said “stunned not only Lilly but also the entire drug industry.” On the day the decision was announced, Lilly’s market capitalization dropped by over $35 billion and Barr’s stock almost doubled. Barr has since sold hundreds of millions of dollars of generic Prozac®.

Barr Laboratories v. Bayer Schering
In one of the more significant cases Mr. Lombardi has litigated for Barr/Teva North America, the company filed an ANDA seeking FDA approval to market its generic equivalent of the oral contraceptive pill Yasmin® (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol). He took the case through fact and expert discovery, argued the case during a four-week bench trial, and argued the appeal before the Federal Circuit in 2009. Bayer Schering had asserted patent infringement claims against Barr related to U.S. Patent No. 6,787,531 covering Yasmin®, which had annual U.S. sales of $575 million in 2008. The court held that the asserted claims of Bayer Schering’s ‘531 patent were invalid due to obviousness, paving the way for Barr Laboratories to market and launch the first generic version of Yasmin®. Bayer Schering appealed this decision to the Federal Circuit, which was affirmed, and in October 2009, denied a petition for rehearing en banc. Bayer Schering filed a petition for certiorari in February 2010, which the U.S. Supreme Court denied on May 3, 2010.

Cancer Research Technology Limited and Schering Corporation v. Barr Laboratories Inc. and Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Mr. Lombardi secured a major trial victory for client Teva Pharmaceuticals. After a bench trial in March 2009, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware ruled in favor of Teva in a closely watched patent infringement lawsuit involving the generic version of Schering-Plough’s brain tumor treatment Temodar® (temozolomide). In January 2010, the court found that the patent at issue is not enforceable due to prosecution laches and inequitable conduct. This was only the second case on record in which the defense of prosecution laches has succeeded. The case was appealed to the Federal Circuit, which decided in favor of the Schering-Plough. A petition for rehearing is pending.

Janssen Pharmaceutica et al. v. Barr et al. (Razadyne IR and ER)
He represented Barr against Janssen Pharmaceutica in actions in the District of Delaware (Razadyne IR) and the District of New Jersey (Razadyne ER) against Janssen’s patent for Razadyne, which treats the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. After a five-day bench trial, the District Court of Delaware ruled that the patent was invalid for lack of enablement. The District Court of New Jersey adopted the same ruling for Razadyne ER. In 2009, he argued the appeal in the Federal Circuit, which affirmed.

Trading Technologies v. eSpeed
He represented eSpeed in a patent infringement action involving software for electronic commodities trading. After a favorable Markman ruling, eSpeed obtained summary judgment of noninfringement on all products that were then on the market.

Eolas v. Microsoft
He represented Microsoft in the retrial of a patent infringement case covering Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The case was settled shortly before the retrial was to begin.

Abbott Laboratories v. Mylan Pharmaceutical
He represented Abbott Laboratories, Mayne Pharmaceuticals, and NaPro Bio Therapeutics in a patent infringement case against Mylan Pharmaceuticals involving the leading cancer drug Paclitaxel. This high-stakes case involved five patents, virtually every conceivable type of infringement defense, and six expert witnesses. Before trial, our attorneys succeeded in eliminating most of Mylan’s defenses through summary judgment motions. After a trial in the Western District of Pennsylvania, we defeated Mylan’s final defense, and the court held that Mylan had infringed Mayne’s valid and enforceable patents.

Chiron Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories
He represented Abbott in this patent infringement action. This case concerned an Abbott product used to screen blood supplies for the presence of the HIV virus. Abbott’s test is the leading test in a market with significant annual sales. Abbott sought, in part, a judgment that Chiron’s patent was invalid due to prior invention. After we defeated all of Chiron’s motions for summary judgment, the case settled on the eve of the trial.

Ralston Purina v. Staley Continental
He represented Staley Continental in invalidating a milestone patent proving fraud in connection with the patent application that rendered the patent completely unenforceable. We prevailed at both the trial court and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Non-Patent Matters

Mr. Lombardi has an active trial practice in complex commercial, mass tort, and general litigation. Mr. Lombardi has secured numerous victories for client Philip Morris in its ongoing tobacco litigation cases. He served as lead trial counsel in Price v. Philip Morris, a multi-billion case that was tried before a judge in Madison County, Ill. Philip Morris prevailed in the Illinois Supreme Court. He also served as lead trial counsel in Falise v. Philip Morris, an eight-week trial that helped stem a wave of suits by asbestos manufacturers against the tobacco industry, and as co-lead trial counsel in Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Insurance Fund v. Philip Morris, which involved a $2 billion RICO claim brought by union trust funds against the tobacco industry and resulted in a jury verdict for the defense. In addition, he was second chair in State of Washington v. Philip Morris, the Washington state attorney general action that was being tried to a jury at the time the National State Attorney General Tobacco Settlement was reached in November of 1998.

Mr. Lombardi also has successfully represented McDonald’s Corporation in substantial Lanham Act litigation in both the Northern District of Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as in franchisee litigation in Texas state court. He has represented other clients including Abbott Laboratories, Alcoa, Dominick’s Finer Foods, Bell Atlantic/Verizon, First National Bank of Chicago, and Shearson Lehman Brothers in various types of cases.

Honors & Awards

Honors and Awards Mr. Lombardi was recently recognized at the Inaugural U.S. Benchmark Annual Awards as Litigator of the Year-Midwest. His 2013 Benchmark Litigation honors also include recognition as a Local Litigation Star in the Illinois chapter and a Litigation Star - United States for intellectual property. In addition, Benchmark recognized him in the area of product liability. He is listed in Chambers USA, which noted his “incredible presence in court;” and was recognized in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 IAM Patent directories; recognized in Legal 500 for patent litigation, national trial lawyers, and product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products, which called attention to his “lead trial counsel capabilities on high-profile cases;” and was listed in the Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Patent Law Practitioners 2013. He was selected as a “Life Science Star” by LMG Life Science in 2012 and 2013, named a “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property in 2013, and Law360 recognized Mr. Lombardi as an “Intellectual Property MVP” in December 2012. Mr. Lombardi has also been recognized as an Illinois “SuperLawyer” for numerous years.

Activities Mr. Lombardi is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.

Education Mr. Lombardi received an A.B., cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1980 and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in 1984, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Michigan Law Review.