January 26, 2023

Munger, Tolles & Olson’s Defense of Kite Pharma Against Patent Infringement Claims Reaches Successful Conclusion

Munger, Tolles & Olson, in collaboration with co-counsel at Fish & Richardson and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, successfully defended Kite Pharma in an intellectual property lawsuit seeking over $1.2 billion in damages brought by Juno Therapeutics and the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research for alleged patent infringement. 

This month, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Juno Therapeutics’ petition for rehearing of the court’s November 2022 denial of Juno’s petition for certiorari. The denial of the petition for rehearing ends over five years of litigation in federal court and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

MTO was lead counsel for Kite Pharma, a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, in a jury trial alleging that Kite infringed a patent exclusively licensed to Juno.  

Following an unfavorable jury verdict in 2019, MTO, Fish & Richardson and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe represented Kite Pharma in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2021, the Federal Circuit reversed the jury verdict, agreeing with Kite’s arguments that the asserted patent claims were invalid. 

After the Federal Circuit rejected Juno’s petition for rehearing, Juno filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied.

The MTO team included Blanca Fromm Young, Peter Gratzinger and Adam Lawton.

The litigation was covered by multiple news outlets including Law360 and Reuters.