Peter Perkowski is a partner in the Los Angeles office who concentrates his practice in intellectual property litigation, including patent, trademark, publicity rights, false advertising, copyright, entertainment, and sports matters.
Mr. Perkowski has represented companies in patent infringement disputes involving many technologies and industries, including life sciences, medical devices, Internet technology and interfaces, software and digital technology, and gaming machines. His patent practice has focused on litigation under the Hatch-Waxman Act, which established a regulatory framework for development, approval, and sale of generic drugs. Under this statute, he has litigated cases involving drugs for the treatment of allergies, sleep disorders, depression and anxiety, ADHD, skin conditions, and numerous cancers. Mr. Perkowski also counsels generic pharmaceutical companies on regulatory and pre-litigation issues related to drug approval. His litigation and regulatory work has been critical in helping his clients bring low-cost drugs to market sooner than otherwise, benefiting more than just the clients he represents.
Mr. Perkowski’s non-patent intellectual property work has been wide and varied. He has handled false advertising and trademark cases under the Lanham Act and disputes over rights of publicity, copyright infringement, and trade secret misappropriation. Among Mr. Perkowski’s significant cases are copyright disputes related to the James Bond movie franchise and the Reginald Denny beating video; trade secret disputes between competitors in the sports apparel and video game programming industries; and disputes involving television and film contracts. He was also a member of the Disney trial team on Katzenberg v. Disney, an infamous dispute involving the valuation of some of Disney’s best-known intellectual property.
Significant Cases and Decisions:
In 2009, Mr. Perkowski achieved a favorable result for a pharmaceutical company involving a cancer chemotherapy drug. After successfully resisting the brand company’s efforts to transfer the case to its “home town” court, Mr. Perkowski obtained summary judgment invalidating a key patent. The decision, recently affirmed on appeal, permitted generic market entry two-and-a-half years early.
In a later case involving the same drug, Mr. Perkowski beat back the assertion of another patent in the U.S. International Trade Commission. Moving quickly in a declaratory judgment action that had been filed earlier in district court for the client, Mr. Perkowski’s summary judgment motion convinced the brand company it would lose both cases. The brand thus agreed to “walk away” from all pending cases—worldwide—against the client involving the patent, effectively winning cases in at least six courts in five different countries.
In another case, Mr. Perkowski was instrumental in designing and implementing a novel litigation strategy that allowed his client to launch its generic chemotherapy agent years before expiration of the brand company’s patents. After obtaining summary judgment that the proposed generic drug product did not infringe a patent blocking market entry, Mr. Perkowski’s client was able to launch first, capturing the lion’s share of the generic market. Mr. Perkowski also took a key role in the legal and regulatory battle that followed, which involved issues of first impression and in which the brand tried and failed, in four different courts, to keep the client’s drug off the market.
Mr. Perkowski is a recognized leader in the appellate practice of Winston & Strawn’s Los Angeles office. He has appeared for clients in cases before federal and state appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeal for the 3rd, 5th, 9th, and Federal Circuits, and the California Supreme Court. He is also frequently asked to consult with colleagues on appellate matters in these and other courts.
Mr. Perkowski’s noteworthy appellate representations include:
- A coalition of child health and welfare organizations as amici curiae in the Fifth Circuit in support of a student-athlete who was interrogated by her coaches, forced to reveal her sexual orientation, then outed to a parent and kicked off the team;
- More than a dozen community legal and health organizations as amici curiae in the California Supreme Court in support of a lesbian woman denied reproductive health care because of the doctors’ religious beliefs;
- A national gay and lesbian advocacy group as amicus curiae in the California Supreme Court in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples;
- A coalition of thirty international, national, regional, and statewide faith organizations, nearly 170 local California congregations and faith groups, and more than 700 clergy and faith leaders as amici curiae in the California Supreme Court in support of petitioners seeking to overturn California’s “Proposition 8;” and
- A national environmental interest group as amicus curiae in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case seeking mitigation measures regarding the U.S. Navy’s use of mid-frequency active sonar harmful to marine mammals.
Pro Bono Representations:
Mr. Perkowski has represented many of those most in need of legal services, including immigrants seeking political asylum, prisoners in habeas and civil rights matters, and children in the foster care dependency system. He has also done pro bono work for an animal rescue organization in a trademark dispute. In his work, he has obtained political asylum for a man who fled anti-gay gang violence in Guatemala and assisted a lesbian woman in obtaining second-parent adoption of her partner’s biological son.
In 2012, International Asset Management (IAM) recognized Mr. Perkowski in the “IAM Patent 1000” as a “brilliant strategist” who provides “outstanding client service” across the spectrum of IP litigation. Also in 2012, he was named by Super Lawyers magazine as a Southern California “Super Lawyer,” after being named a “Rising Star” from 2008 to 2010. In 2010, Mr. Perkowski was named to the National LGBT Bar Association’s inaugural “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” list, which recognizes LGBT lawyers who have distinguished themselves in their fields and demonstrated a profound commitment to LGBT equality.
Honors and Awards
Mr. Perkowski is lecturer faculty at California State University, Long Beach’s Master’s Program in Sport Management, where he teaches Legal and Ethical Issues in Sport. His classes and lectures focus on intellectual property and antitrust matters in sport contexts. Mr. Perkowski also serves on the Board of Directors of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
Mr. Perkowski received a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1992. In 1998, he received a J.D., with highest honors, from The George Washington University Law School, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and managing editor of The George Washington Law Review. In 2011, he received an M.A. in Kinesiology (Sport Management option) from California State University, Long Beach.
Speeches and Publications
“Beware Your Expired Patents,” Law360, March 8, 2010 (with Gail Standish)
“‘Pfizer’ Establishes Further Limits on Plaintiffs in Class Actions,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, Aug. 7, 2006
“United States Supreme Court Reaffirms Severability Doctrine,” 24 ASA Bulletin (Swiss Arb. Ass’n), June 2006 (with Stephen Smerek)
“Alternatives to Predispute Jury Waivers after Grafton Partners,” Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, April 2006
“High Court Reaffirms Separate Enforceability of Arbitration Pacts,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 24, 2006 (with Stephen Smerek)
“Class Actions: The Ins and Outs of Opting,” California Lawyer Magazine, December 2005
“Representing the Generic Company – ANDA Litigation & Strategies for Battles With Brand Pharmaceuticals,” University of Southern California Regulatory Science Program, Medical Products and the Law course, November 2011
“Settlement Strategies and Mechanics,” Bridgeport Tenth Annual Class Action Litigation Conference, April 2011
“Hatch Waxman Act: ANDA Approvals, Exclusivity, and Paragraph IV Litigation” for the University of Southern California Regulatory Science Program, Medical Products and the Law course, November 2010
“When Good Contracts Go Bad – A Litigator’s Perspective on Common Contract Disputes” for the Association of Corporate Counsel of America, Southern California Chapter, April 2010
“Operating in the New Media Age – Legal Issues of Conducting Business Through Online Social Media” for Ford Motor Company, February 2010
“Cost-effective eDiscovery,” Bridgeport Electronic Discovery in California Conference, November 2009
“Online Social Networking: Legal Risks for Businesses – Identifying and Minimizing Liability in Company and Employee Misuse,” Strafford teleconference/Webinar, October 2009
“Online Social Networking: Legal Risks for Businesses – Identifying and Minimizing Liabilities in Company and Employee Misuse,” Strafford teleconference/Webinar, November 2008
“Online Social Networking: Legal Risks for Businesses – Identifying and Minimizing Liabilities in Company and Employee Misuse,” Strafford teleconference/Webinar, May 2008
“Navigating Legal Issues in the Electronic Age” for the Association of Corporate Counsel of America, Southern California Chapter, February 2008
“Privacy Protection: What Every In-House Counsel Needs to Know About Managing and Protecting Private Employee, Consumer and Company Information” for the Association Of Corporate Counsel of America, Southern California Chapter, February 2007
“Better than Boilerplate: Arbitration Provisions that Bring Results – A Practical Guide for Negotiating and Enforcing Arbitration Clauses” for the Association of Corporate Counsel of America, Southern California Chapter, February 2006