Mr. Cekola focuses his practice on patent, trade secret and trademark matters.  He has litigated numerous intellectual property cases in state and federal courts from start to finish.  He has also represented clients in trademark proceedings and patent prosecution, reexamination, inter partes review and derivation proceedings at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.  In addition, he has analyzed, drafted or negotiated a wide variety of intellectual property related contracts in the context of research and development activities, marketing activities and business disputes.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Cekola worked for three years as a biochemistry associate in research and development for Invitrogen, a leading biotechnology company, where he gained practical scientific experience and industry knowledge that allows him to better help his clients.

Mr. Cekola also has an active pro bono practice.  He was a leading attorney on the team that successfully challenged the U.S. Air Force’s efforts to discharge war hero Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.  He served as co-counsel with immigrants’ rights groups and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to challenge the U.S. Border Patrol’s unconstitutional detention practices, winning an injunction to end the misconduct.  He secured asylum for a Mexican fleeing persecution on account of his sexual orientation.  He first-chaired two jury trials to successful verdict as counsel for the San Diego Public Conservator.  He co-led a family court trial to win a bereaved mother of autistic twins custody of her sole surviving child.

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 the Phi Beta Kappa and a Heyl Science Scholar.  In addition, Mr. Cekola is the author of a published article in the Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business titled “Outsourcing Drug Investigations to India: A Comment on U.S., Indian and International Regulation of Clinical Trials in Cross-Border Pharmaceutical Research.”

Representative Cases:

  • Phigenix, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc. (Northern District of California). Represented Genentech in patent litigation, winning summary judgment that antibody-drug conjugate as approved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and promoted by Genentech for treating certain patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer does not infringe the asserted patent claims. 
  • Allergan Inc. v. Alcon Laboratories and Sandoz Inc. (Eastern District of Texas). Represented Alcon and Sandoz in patent litigation involving abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) for glaucoma eye drops.  Contributed to new FDA drug application strategy that resulted in non-infringement verdict.
  • Dexcom, Inc. v. My Health, Inc. (Southern District of California). Represented Dexcom after it received a demand letter from My Health relating to Dexcom’s FDA-approved continuous glucose monitoring systems.  My Health had filed more than thirty patent cases against medical devise companies in the Eastern District of Texas.  After filing a declaratory judgment complaint on Dexcom’s behalf in the Southern District of California and preparing to file a motion to invalidate My Health’s patent under 35 U.S.C. § 101, the case settled favorably for Dexcom.
  • Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Sandoz Inc. (District of Nevada). Represented Sandoz in patent litigation regarding the company’s ANDA for an injectable oncology drug, 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.  The Federal Circuit affirmed in a published decision.  On account of the litigation result, Sandoz received FDA approval and launched its ANDA product.
  • Ophthonix, Inc. v. VMax Vision, Inc. (Southern District of California). Represented Ophthonix, Inc. in trademark and unfair competition dispute relating to optometry services and eyewear.  Negotiated favorable settlement after filing complaint.
  • nanoPrecision Products, Inc. v. Avago Technologies Ltd. (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office). Represented nanoPrecision Products in petition to institute derivation proceedings relating to its miniature, precision-stamped fiber optic device technologies, and in related trade secret litigation.

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