Type: News
Date: 02/18/2014

Ruzich and Bennett-Paris Join Taft

Chicago Office Strengthens Intellectual Property Practice

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP is pleased to announce that Richard T. Ruzich and Joseph M. Bennett-Paris, Ph.D. have joined the firm’s Chicago office as partners in the Intellectual Property (IP) practice group in the pharmaceutical and life sciences litigation area.

Since the announcement of Shefsky & Froelich’s merger with Taft in November 2013, six intellectual property attorneys have joined the new Taft Chicago office. In total, Taft boasts 35 IP attorneys and two patent agents.

“Shefsky & Froelich’s merger with Taft has enabled us to expand our practice area offerings to better serve our clients. The strength of Taft made these enhancements possible, and we are pleased to report that the strong momentum of the merger continues,” said Cezar “Cid” Froelich, chairman of Taft Chicago.

Ruzich focuses his practice on complex patent litigation, representing generic pharmaceutical companies in Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) litigation under the Hatch-Waxman statutory framework. An accomplished trial and appellate advocate, registered patent attorney, and frequent lecturer and author, he is known worldwide for his legal work on behalf of his generic clients, including biosimilars sponsors. In addition, Ruzich has broad experience managing patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets matters for clients in other industries, such as computer hardware and software, medical devices and industrial chemicals industries.

Prior to entering private practice, Ruzich was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., defending the United States and its agencies against patent infringement suits brought by the private sector. He further served the public sector as a lieutenant commander with the U.S. Navy Reserves (2001-2013) in various intelligence/counter-intelligence duty stations, including the Pentagon, Western Europe and Japan.

Ruzich received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering technology from Bradley University and worked as an electrical engineer in Chicago and New York for several years before attending law school. He graduated cum laude from Southern Illinois University School of Law and earned his LL.M. in intellectual property law, with honors, from The John Marshall Law School.

Dr. Bennett-Paris counsels clients in all areas of patent law, including patent prosecution, non-infringement, patentability, freedom-to-operate, invalidity and licensing. His practice primarily focuses on biotechnology, pharmaceutical, chemistry, and most recently, biosimilars. Notably, for 10 years, Dr. Bennett-Paris represented Pharmasset, Inc., acquired by Gilead Inc. in 2011 for $11 billion. While representing Pharmasset, he directed the prosecution and strategy of the patents covering the recently approved drug SOVALDI® (sofosbuvir), a 2'-methyl nucleoside compound (the first in a new class of nucleotide polymerase inhibitors), which is the first all oral treatment to bring about a near eradication of hepatitis C in patients infected with the virus. His practice also includes copyright matters and entertainment law, particularly with regard to the music and publishing industries.

Dr. Bennett-Paris is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D.), Loyola University Chicago (Ph.D., Pharmacology) and the University of Southern California (B.S., Biological Sciences). Prior to entering law, Dr. Bennett-Paris served on the faculty of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

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