James Cekola is an associate in the firm’s Intellectual Property Group. Mr. Cekola focuses his practice on patent litigation and has significant experience with life science matters and pharmaceutical cases brought under the Hatch-Waxman Act. Building on the experience he gained from working in the life sciences industry, he regularly develops case theories; handles motions, patent claim construction, and expert reports; and is involved in discovery and trial work. Mr. Cekola has experience representing clients in all stages of intellectual property litigation, including before numerous district courts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States. He also has experience with reexamination and inter partes review proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Mr. Cekola also maintains an active pro bono practice. He first-chaired a jury trial to unanimous verdict. He has worked on high-profile civil rights cases such as Fehrenbach v. Department of the Air Force, et al. (D. Idaho), successfully challenging the Air Force’s efforts to discharge highly decorated Air Force Lt. Col. Victor J. Fehrenbach under the “Don't Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Mr. Cekola received an Inn of Court Pro Bono Publico Award from the Casa Cornelia Law Center for his efforts helping Casa Cornelia immigrant clients fight for their human rights. He also has received the Wiley W. Manuel Award from the California State Bar for his pro bono contributions.
Before law school, Mr. Cekola worked for three years as a biochemistry research associate for Invitrogen (Life Technologies), where he learned first-hand about the daily challenges that clients face. Mr. Cekola worked primarily to develop methods for nucleic acid transfection, and for visualizing protein bands directly in a polyacrylamide gel following electrophoresis.
Mr. Cekola received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business and recipient of the Arlyn Miner Book Award for Excellence in Legal Writing and Research. Mr. Cekola received his B.A. magna cum laude in chemistry and mathematics from Kalamazoo College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was a Heyl Science Scholar.
Mr. Cekola is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Allergan, Inc. v. Sandoz Inc. (Eastern District of Texas). Represented Sandoz Inc. in patent infringement action relating to bimatoprost, a glaucoma drug.
Natural Alternatives International, Inc. v. DNP International Co., Inc. (District of Delaware). Represented DNP in patent litigation relating to beta-alanine, a component in, among other things, certain nutritional supplements.
Ophthonix, Inc. v. VMax Vision, Inc. (Southern District of California). Represented Ophthonix, Inc. in trademark and unfair competition action relating to optometry services and eyewear.
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Sandoz Inc. (District of Nevada). Represented Sandoz in Hatch-Waxman litigation regarding the company’s application to sell an injectable oncology drug. Of the 14 claims originally asserted by Spectrum against Sandoz’s proposed generic version of levoleucovorin, successfully eliminated all but two claims before trial. After a five-day bench trial, the court found clear and convincing evidence of obviousness and invalidated the remaining two claims.
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