Disputes arising in the life sciences sectors (biotech, pharmaceutical, biologics, in vitro diagnostics, etc.) have become one of the largest growth areas in international arbitration. In 2013, WIPO reported that 15% of the arbitration and mediation cases filed with the WIPO Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution related to life sciences disputes. In 2018, the ICDR reported that pharmaceutical/biotech disputes were in its top caseload category, which was followed by a 27% increase in 2019 with individual claim amounts over US$1 billion. The increase in the number of international arbitrations in the life sciences sector is attributable to the ever-increasing growth in the number of approved products across all sub-sectors coupled with the globalization of the life sciences sector overall.
More than most industry sectors, arbitration of life sciences disputes requires technically qualified counsel and arbitrators. Patent issues arise twice as often as copyright or know-how issues in technology-related disputes, thereby requiring counsel and arbitrators that are knowledgeable and experienced with respect to life sciences patent law.
As more entities resort to the use of arbitration for resolution of transnational life sciences disputes, the need for counsel and arbitrators that are well-versed in the relevant technology, international commercial arbitration practice and patent law becomes increasingly important.
Our attorneys have unparalleled experience in life sciences technologies, international arbitration and patent law enabling us to understand and effectively service our clients' needs. For example, our attorneys:
have undergraduate and doctoral degrees in chemistry and biology and have hands-on research experience in organic chemistry, recombinant DNA, molecular biology and protein chemistry;
are registered to practice before the United States Patent & Trademark Office;
have successfully represented clients in patent litigation and appeals (including several landmark cases) involving, inter alia, recombinant DNA, chemical products/processes, in vitro diagnostics and biologics;
counsel clients on issues of patentability, patent invalidity, licensing, technology / know-how transfer and joint research agreements; and
regularly serve as counsel in international commercial arbitrations, including cases involving molecular biology, in vitro diagnostics, chemical products/processes, patents and other intellectual property.
In addition to serving as counsel, our experience makes our attorneys particularly well suited to serve as arbitrators in life sciences arbitrations.