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Eric Sonnenschein
Eric R. Sonnenschein
Special Counsel
Washington +1 202 662 5476 esonnenschein@cov.com Download V-card

Eric Sonnenschein focuses in the area of patent litigation, with an emphasis on pharmaceutical and biological patents. He has litigated numerous cases at trial and on appeal, representing clients including Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Merck, and Warner Chilcott. His work is characterized by intellectual rigor, persistence, clarity in writing, and obtaining excellent results for clients.

  • Successful representation of Warner Chilcott at trial and on appeal in Hatch-Waxman suit involving patent covering Lo Loestrin®, an oral contraceptive. (Obtained judgment upholding validity of the asserted patent after 7-day bench trial; that judgment was affirmed on appeal).   
  • Successful defense of Warner Chilcott in patent infringement suit asserted by Bayer Pharma AG, obtaining summary judgment that the patent asserted by Bayer against Warner Chilcott was invalid as indefinite and dismissing interference claim that sought to invalidate Warner Chilcott patent.
  • Successful representation of Janssen Pharmaceuticals at trial in Hatch-Waxman suit involving patent covering Ortho Tri-Cyclen® Lo, an oral contraceptive. (Obtained judgment upholding the validity of the patent-in-suit).   
  • Successful defense of Merck in the International Trade Commission in a patent infringement matter involving Merck’s NuvaRing® product. (The Petitioner dropped case against Merck in the midst of the hearing).
  • Successful representation of Ortho-McNeil in Hatch-Waxman suit brought against Barr relating to a patent covering Ortho Tri-Cyclen® Lo. (Obtained preliminary injunction requiring product recall after Barr launched generic version of product at risk).   

Mr. Sonnenschein has also litigated a variety of cases outside of the patent infringement context, including disputes involving employee benefits. Among such cases, he was centrally involved in successfully defending IBM’s cash balance plan against age discrimination claims in Cooper v. IBM Personal Pension Plan, 457 F.3d 636 (7th Cir. 2006), perhaps the most significant benefits case in the country in recent years, and in successfully defending Verizon’s cash balance plan against similar claims in the 2nd Circuit. Hirt v. The Equitable Retirement Plan, 533 F.3d 102 (2d Cir. 2008).

Pro Bono

  • Representation of death-row inmate in Arizona state post-conviction proceedings.
  • Successfully represented low-income foster parents in competing adoption trial, as part of a six-month pro bono rotation at the Children’s Law Center. (The court granted foster parents’ adoption petition over competing petition of biological relative).
  • Successful representation of prison inmate in civil rights appeal raising issues under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Spruill v. Gillis, 372 F. 3d 218 (3d Cir. 2004) (obtained reversal of dismissal of complaint on appeal).
  • Successful representation of transgendered individual seeking to obtain change to gender designation on Maryland birth certificate.