Winston & Strawn's George Lombardi, based in the firm's Chicago office, was named American Lawyer's "Litigator of the Week" and September's "Litigator in the Spotlight" for his representation of Monsanto Co. in a patent infringement claim against DuPont Co. The trial centered around Monsanto's Roundup Ready system, a technology which allows farmers to make their crops herbicide resistant.
Forty-five minutes after Mr. Lombardi's closing arguments, the jury ordered DuPont to pay Monsanto $1 billion in damages; the largest verdict to date this year.
Mr. Lombardi argued that DuPont combined, or "stacked," its technology to genetic engineering with Monsanto's patent. As a result of this stacking, Monsanto's expert determined royalty damages at between $800 million and $1 billion.
"Behind all the technical jargon, it was a simple case," Mr. Lombardi told American Lawyer. "What DuPont did was bald-faced."
DuPont argued not only that it did not infringe Monsanto's patent, but that the patent itself is invalid on eight different grounds, including non-infringement, obviousness, anticipation, lack of written description, among others. The jury disagreed and sided with Monsanto's narrative.
George Lombardi is a litigation partner who concentrates his practice in patent, commercial, securities, commodities, and white-collar criminal cases. He is the fourth Winston & Strawn attorney to be named "Litigator of the Week" by American Lawyer in 2012 – the most recognitions garnered by any firm. Other honorees include Michael Elkin, Tom Kirsch and Jim Hurst.