Vicki G. Norton, Ph.D.

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Vicki G. Norton, Ph.D., is co-chair of the firm's Life Sciences and Biotechnology Practice Group. In over two decades of life science patent counseling and litigation, she has devised strategies for clients to successfully counter patent claims and demands totaling over $2 billion, has performed IP diligence for transactions and at the market offerings worth over $2.5 billion, and has formulated worldwide patent strategies for clients entering public markets with valuations of over $6 billion. Dr. Norton also audits technology portfolios and identifies patent coverage issues for her clients’ transactions, venture financings, and patent enforcement opportunities. She has handled patent matters in a variety of life science fields, including precision medicine and diagnostics, biologic drugs, pharmaceuticals, immuno-oncology, stem cell technology, transgenic plants and cells, methods to screen and make gas-absorbing materials, molecular biology, nanotechnology, combinatorial chemistry, probe amplification assays, nutraceuticals, microbiology, and devices for physical therapy. Dr. Norton has also advised clients on all facets of litigation involving technologies including diagnostics, biopharmaceuticals, transgenic organisms, small molecules and nanotechnology. 

Prior to attending law school, Dr. Norton served as a research and teaching assistant at the University of California, Davis, where she conducted research on histone acetylation and chromatin structure for her doctoral thesis.

Dr. Norton is a 1994 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, where she was managing editor of the UCLA Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif, and a graduate of the University of California, Davis (Ph.D., Biochemistry and Biophysics; B.S., summa cum laude, Biochemistry).

Representative Matters

  • Represented Quest Diagnostics in the sale of a stream of royalty revenue from commercialization of the drug candidate Ibrutinib to Royalty Pharma for $485 million in cash.
  • Teva v. Watson, Case No. 10-CV-5078 (D.N.J. — C.Cecchi). Represented Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Hatch-Waxman Litigation against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. concerning the Parkinson's disease drug AZILECT®, the active ingredient of which is rasagiline. The matter was settled during trial.
  • Advised Quest Diagnostics on intellectual property matters in connection with Quest's definitive merger agreement with Celera Corporation.
  • Counsel to a leading biopharmaceutical company in its defense against a demand for multi-million dollar damages in a patent infringement suit concerning a biologic drug useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; dismissal of the case on a motion following the close of discovery was affirmed on appeal.
  • Counsel to a leading biopharmaceutical company and affiliates in actions brought for declaratory judgment that no royalties were owed for production of biopharmaceuticals, where a multi-billion dollar claim for royalties was at stake; cases brought by several biopharmaceutical companies against same patentee were consolidated in a multi-district proceeding; following discovery of invalidity and prior art witnesses the patentee filed a covenant not to sue and the case settled in a manner the client found favorable.
  • Represented a trustee for a biotechnology liquidating trust in defense to claim of breach of license agreement; obtained dismissal of claims brought against the trust.
  • Represented a manufacturer of fluorescent calcium indicator probes in defending against patent infringement claims, obtaining a settlement the client found favorable.
  • Represented a manufacturer of nanoparticle technology in an action seeking a declaratory judgment of ownership; obtained settlement.
  • Represented a producer of transgenic plant seeds in patent infringement actions, including cases consolidated for discovery with other cases brought by patentee in the same jurisdiction.
  • Represented a leading manufacturer of life sciences products in a patent infringement suit involving energy transfer fluorescent indicators used in DNA sequencing; obtained summary judgment of infringement; after completion of discovery, the case settled in a manner the client found favorable.
  • Represented a patentee in actions seeking damages for infringement of an injection molding patent.

Areas of Practice

  • Intellectual Property Law and Litigation

Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Education

  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 1994
    - Managing Editor, UCLA Law Review
    - Order of the Coif
  • University of California, Davis, Ph.D., 1990
  • University of California, Davis, B.S., summa cum laude, 1981

Experience

  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2008-present
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC
    - Partner, 2004-2008
  • Pillsbury Winthrop LLP
    - Partner, 2003-2004
  • Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP
    - Partner, 2002-2003
    - Associate, 2000-2001
  • Lyon & Lyon
    - Associate, 1994-2000

Professional Activities

  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
    -Chair-Elect, Biotechnology Committee
    -October 2017-October 2019
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
    - Vice Chair, Biotech Committee
    - Co-Chair, Biologic Products and Competition Sub-Committee
  • San Diego Intellectual Property Law Association
    - Member of Amicus Committee of the SDIPLA
    - Board Member, 2000-2006
    - President, 2004-2005
  • Intellectual Property Owners BIO
    - Member
  • BIO IP Counsel Committee, Member
  • California State Bar
    - Committee for the Administration of Justice, 2006-present (Chair 2010-2011)

Honors and Awards

  • Named one of Daily Journal's "Top 25 Portfolio Managers/Patent Prosecutors," 2013
  • Voted by peers as one of San Diego's Top IP Attorneys, 2005

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, "Cannabis 102: Intellectual Property, Trademark and Branding, and Marketing," The Duane Morris Cannabis Webinar Series, February 27, 2018 (video playback)

  • Speaker, "Is it Easier to Win a Nobel Prize than to Obtain a patent: Impact of Patent Developments on Biomarker IP," AACC Philadelphia Local Section Symposium, San Diego, July 30, 2017
  • Moderator, "Intellectual Property, Licensing, & Regulatory Considerations for Emerging Technologies," AIPLA Webinar, October 4, 2016
  • Panelist: "Mars 101-International and Interplanetary Considerations for GMOs: Patents, Export control, Biodiversity and Regulation," AIPLA Spring Meeting, Minneapolis, May 18, 2016
  • Co-moderated, "Whether to Pursue Enforcement of Patents Before the ITC and/or District Court, and Preparing for PTAB Challenges to Pre-AIA and Post-AIA Patents," AIPLA Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., October 2015
  • Speaker, "Biosimilars Latest Intellectual Property and FDA Issues," San Diego Intellectual Property Law Association Meeting, San Diego, February 26, 2015
  • Panelist, "Global Patent and Product Liability Challenges," 17th Annual FDA-OCRA Educational Conference, Irvine, California, June 4, 2014
  • Speaker, "Cabilly III and Other Notable Antibody Patents," IBC 23rd Antibody Engineering and 10th Antibody Therapeutics Conferences, San Diego, December 2, 2012
  • Speaker, "Paragraph IV Disputes and Litigation: Federal Court, PTO Proceedings & ITC Actions," ACI Hatch-Waxman Boot Camp, San Diego, June 26, 2012
  • Speaker, "How the Dynamics of Biosimilars Are Changing the Hatch-Waxman Landscape" American Conference Institute's Hatch-Waxman Boot Camp, San Diego, June 25, 2012
  • Speaker, "An In-Depth Look at 180-Day Exclusivity," ACI Hatch-Waxman Boot Camp, San Diego, July 19, 2011
  • Speaker, "180-Day Exclusivity," ACI Hatch-Waxman Boot Camp, San Diego, May 25, 2010
  • Panelist, "Intellectual Property Management & Technology Licensing," NanoEquity Asia 2008, Singapore, May 28-29, 2008
  • Panelist, "Nanotech IP and Licensing," NanoBioNexus, April 2007
  • Chaired Panel Discussion, "From Bench to Bench" Chemistry and the Law Session, ACS Meeting, San Francisco, September 2006
  • Chaired Panel Discussion, "The Convergence of IT and Biotechnology," FWE Meeting, September 2002
  • Chaired Panel Discussion, "The Status of Nanotechnology," Nanotech Venture Fair, September 2002
  • Panelist, "Patented Medicines: Bringing Life-Saving Drugs to the Developing World," April 19, 2002