NEW YORK (September 26, 2013) –Morrison & Foerster was named Firm of the Year: Patent Prosecution and Palo Alto partner Mika Mayer was named Patent Prosecution Attorney of the Year: Medical Devices at the inaugural LMG Life Sciences awards ceremony in New York City. In addition, Dr. Kate Murashige, a senior partner in Morrison & Foerster’s San Diego office, was inducted into the LMG Life Sciences Hall of Fame. The awards recognize and honor the leading firms, in-house counsel teams and lawyers that have played an important role in the life sciences industry during the past year.
LMG Life Sciences honored Ms. Mayer, a member of the firm’s Patent Practice Group, for her invaluable work in helping medical device clients create strategic and meaningful patent portfolios, and also for her work in leading hundreds of IP due diligences for some of the most sophisticated life sciences and medical device companies and investors in the world.
“It speaks volumes that Mika won this award based on the glowing recommendations of her colleagues and clients,” said Morrison & Foerster Chair Larren M. Nashelsky. “Not only is she one of the best lawyers in her field and trusted by the top medical device companies to handle their most important matters, but also she is universally respected by her peers. Mika could not be more deserving of this award.”
Ms. Mayer noted that it was an “incredible honor to receive the award among such a distinguished group of peers.”
Dr. Murashige was honored for her groundbreaking and ongoing accomplishments in the biotechnology space and commended for the reputation she has built during the past 30 years. She was one of only five lawyers inducted into LMG’s Hall of Fame during this year’s event.
“Kate is a pioneer in every sense of the word,” said Michael Ward, chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Patent Practice Group. “She was at the forefront in chemistry and biotechnology patent prosecution and counseling, wrote some of the first biotechnology patent applications ever and blazed a trail in life sciences.”
Dr. Murashige, who holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry, has led a number of noteworthy matters during the course of her career. She prosecuted a bovine growth hormone patent on behalf of the University of California, which took approximately 20 years from application to issuance and resulted in long-term licensing revenue to the university valued at potentially more than $250 million. More recently, she secured blocking patents covering gene silencing using small interfering RNA on behalf of Plant Biosciences Ltd., and she obtained patents to treat Female Sexual Dysfunction using certain technologies on behalf of the Dutch company, Emotional Brain.
Dr. Murashige was one of the first members of the Patent Practice Group, formed more than a decade ago and named Firm of the Year at this year’s LMG Life Sciences awards. The firm has since assembled a world-class patent prosecution and counseling practice, representing major corporations, new technology ventures, universities and nonprofit research institutions in a wide range of patent and technology-related matters.
LMG Life Sciences is the only publication dedicated to the comprehensive analysis of the life sciences industry. In the 2013 LMG Life Sciences guide, Morrison & Foerster is highly recommended in four categories – Patent Prosecution, Patent Strategy & Management, Licensing & Collaboration (Non-University) and Licensing & Collaboration (University). The firm is also ranked in three other categories – Corporate, Hatch-Waxman Patent Litigation (Generic) and Government Investigation/Fraud & Abuse. Morrison & Foerster was also one of only 10 firms to be recognized as a Life Cycle Firm for having a broad, multidisciplinary practice.
In addition, 14 lawyers from the Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. offices have been named Life Science Stars. Michael Jacobs, Rachel Krevans, Mika Mayer, Gladys Monroy, James Mullen, Kate Murashige, Catherine Polizzi and Michael Ward were honored in the intellectual property category; Van Ellis, Michael O’Donnell, Stephen Thau and Mark Wicker were recognized in the financial and transaction category; and Adam Hoffinger and Robert Salerno were named for their work in non-IP litigation and enforcement.