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Fundamentals of Patent Litigation 2015

Author(s): Gary M. Hnath, John J. Molenda,
Practice Area: Intellectual Property
Published: Jun 2015
PLI Item #: 59218
CHB Spine #: G1225

Gary Hnath is a Partner in Mayer Brown’s Washington DC office, where he focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation and counseling, including disputes involving patent, trademark and copyright infringement and trade secrets. He has participated in numerous District Court cases, several Federal Circuit appeals, and over 40 investigations at the International Trade Commission under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, one of the principal forums for litigating intellectual property disputes involving imported articles.

A leading authority in the area of Section 337 litigation, Gary is a former president of the ITC Trial Lawyers Association and Chair of the ITC Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. He has lectured throughout the United States and Asia and written widely on the subject of Section 337 investigations. While working at the ITC, Gary was lead counsel for the government in Certain Concealed Cabinet Hinges, which raised issues of first impression as to what constitutes a “domestic industry” under the 1988 amendments to Section 337. His position on this issue was adopted by the Administrative Law Judge and the Commission in a decision which is still cited as one of the leading cases in the field.

Gary has successfully represented both patent holders and companies accused of infringement in cases involving a variety of technologies, including high-intensity sweeteners; coenzyme Q10; toner cartridges; sleep apnea products; laminated packaging; linear actuators; medical devices for vein harvesting; personal computers; acetic acid; wireless local area networks; ground fault circuit interrupters; agricultural vehicles; multiplexers used in space satellites; gear couplings used in industrial machinery; and neodymium-iron-boron magnets, to name just a few. He was lead counsel for the first company in China to win a Section 337 case after trial at the ITC. His recent notable victories for clients at the ITC include the successful defense of two manufacturers in China accused of infringing four process patents for the manufacture of sucralose. In this high profile case, the Commission found all of the asserted patents not infringed, and one of the patents invalid, after a hotly contested trial.

Gary has also represented numerous clients on a pro bono basis. For example, in a case for a Washington DC public school bus aide fired from her job as a result of an erroneous drug test, Gary was successful in obtaining a ruling that his client’s constitutional rights had been violated and an order reinstating her with back pay. The court’s decision in that case was cited for several years as one of the leading decisions in the US discussing the constitutionality of random drug testing.

In addition to private practice, Gary has served as law clerk to the Honorable Walter E. Black Jr., US District Court for the District of Maryland and a senior trial attorney with the ITC’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations.

John Molenda is co-chair of Steptoe's Healthcare & Life Sciences industry team and is based in Steptoe’s New York office. His practice focuses on patent litigation and counseling at the district court and appellate levels, as well as post-grant proceedings before the US Patent and Trademark Office. He represents clients across technologies, including biotherapeutics (biologics), pharmaceuticals (Hatch-Waxman), biochemical research tools, medical devices, computer software, genetically modified plants, polymers, and automotive parts.

Dr. Molenda's practice has recently focused  on the cutting-edge field of biologics litigation, including pre-litigation counseling and strategy concerning application of the Biologics Act to biotherapeutic development programs.  Dr. Molenda is currently coordinating the strategy for a global monoclonal antibody biosimilars program and previously co-led the legal aspects of an EPO biosimilars program. He speaks regularly on current issues impacting the Biologics Act, including appearances for Knowledge Congress, BIOTECanada, and Canaccord Genuity, and moderating webcasts for the Federal Circuit Bar Association.

Dr. Molenda’s appellate practice concentrates on patent appeals before the Federal Circuit, and his experience includes substantial involvement in numerous such appeals. He routinely advises clients on Federal Circuit practice and procedure, and has guest lectured on these topics at Fordham University School of Law. Dr. Molenda is an active member of the Federal Circuit community, and he currently serves as co-chair of the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s Rules Committee. Prior to private practice, he served as a Federal Circuit law clerk with the Honorable Alan D. Lourie.

Dr. Molenda’s district court practice includes all aspects of pre-trial and trial proceedings. He has played substantial roles in several trials, successfully led a court-ordered mediation, participated in numerous Markman-related proceedings, and managed all aspects of discovery. Dr. Molenda speaks regularly about current legal issues in patent litigation, including serving as a co-chair of PLI’s Fundamentals of Patent Litigation 2014 program and moderating webcasts for the FCBA. He has also authored several articles concerning the Federal Circuit’s evolving law of claim construction.

Professional Affiliations

Federal Circuit Bar Association

Co-Chair, Rules Committee (December 2011-October 2014) Co-Chair, Legislation Committee (October 2008-October 2011)

Co-Vice-Chair, Patent Litigation Committee (October 2005-October 2008)

New York Intellectual Property Law Association New York State Bar Association


FCBA Legislation Committee Individual Leadership Award, 2011 FCBA Legislation Committee Leadership Award, 2011

Areas of Practice

Appellate & Supreme Court

Intellectual Property IP Litigation


Patent Litigation Patent Office Practice


The University of Michigan Law School, JD, 1998

New York University, Postdoctoral Research, 1995; Biochemistry

Vanderbilt University, PhD, 1994; Chemistry

Vanderbilt University, MS, 1994; Chemistry

Vanderbilt University, 1991; Chemistry and History, cum laude, with Honors in the College of Arts & Science

Bar & Court Admissions

New York

US Supreme Court

US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

US District Court for the Southern District of New York

US District Court for the Eastern District of New York

US Patent and Trademark Office