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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 >

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

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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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Circuit Court Re-hears Myriad Case in Wake of Prometheus Ruling

July 20, 2012

Robert Sachs, partner in the Intellectual Property Group with Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in the Genome Web article, "Circuit Court Re-hears Myriad Case in Wake of Prometheus Ruling."

On July 20, 2012, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard oral arguments in a case that could have far-reaching implications for US gene patent laws.  The Myriad Genetics case was remanded back to the Federal Circuit Court to be re-considered after the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo v. Prometheus, invalidating certain gene patents that affect Myriad Genetics' patent claims related to breast cancer risk genes.

Robert Sachs, intellectual property attorney with Fenwick and West, said that in amicus briefs filed with the CAFC, Myriad's opponents claimed the BRCA1 and BRCA2 technologies are laws of nature, with some arguments centering on whether chemicals are products of nature, and likely not patentable, or if they can be viewed as information, which could be patentable.

Sachs explained the Myriad case is happening within a larger context of confusion about the patentability of natural products that has not been cleared up even post-Prometheus.

"There is no way to say that the law will be clear. Confusion will still reign," Sachs said. "[That is] because the jurisprudence in this area is fundamentally flawed. That is because the court has never thought very hard about what it is talking about when it talks about 'laws of nature.' What is it talking about when it talks about 'abstract ideas.' The court has not spent any time thinking about those questions at a hard level."