For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

FLEX by Fenwick is the only service created by an AmLaw 100 firm that provides flexible and cost-effective solutions for interim in-house legal needs to high-growth companies.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney


We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

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Ariad v Lilly, Part II: The next big patent battle

August 04, 2006

Michael J. Shuster, Ph.D., co-chair of Fenwick & West's Life Sciences Group was recently quoted in a CNN Money article entitled, "Ariad v Lilly, Part II: The next big patent battle."

The pharmaceutical industry is paying close attention to an upcoming legal show down, slated for August 7, between Ariad Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly & Co. A U.S. District Court jury in May found Eli Lilly liable for patent infringement and ordered $65 million in damages, but Eli Lilly is asking for reconsideration during next week's bench trial.

At issue is a patent for Ariad's experimental drug, AP23573, which covers a method of treating soft-tissue and bone cancers. Critics question the validity of the drug's patent because it attempts to protect the process in which the drug works, not the drug's chemical composition.

Patent lawyer Shuster, with a PhD in biophysics, believes that Ariad's patent is vulnerable, as courts are starting to crack down on patents they see as too broad.

"There's a general notion that patents are becoming anti-competitive; they are throwing up so many roadblocks that it's becoming difficult to bring new products to market," Shuster said. "The courts are trying to decide where to draw the line. How broad is too broad?"

"Too many patents are creating a thicket of claims that have to be navigated in order to bring (patented drugs) to market," he added.

Read the complete article by staff writer Aaron Smith.