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Gibbons Institute Advisory Board Member Joins Gibbons P.C.

George Johnston practiced patent law at Hoffmann-La Roche

George W. Johnston, a member of the Advisory Board of the Gibbons Institute of Law Science & Technology, and most recently Vice President & Chief Patent Counsel at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., has joined Gibbons P.C. as Counsel in the Intellectual Property Department.

At Roche, Johnston developed and implemented a variety of strategies to strengthen the company’s intellectual property throughout the life cycles of its products. For several important products, he enabled Roche to maintain lawful exclusivity for 20 years and beyond, and he won or settled the majority of the company’s patent litigations, ensuring marketing exclusivity and corresponding sales and licensing royalties worth over a billion dollars. He negotiated and prepared the company’s first successful co-promotion alliance agreement, leading to half a billion dollars in revenue. Johnston was also extensively involved in legislative activities benefiting the entire pharmaceutical industry.

Most notably, he helped negotiate and lobby Congress to pass both the Hatch-Waxman Act (and led Roche’s successful efforts to obtain one of the first resulting patent extensions) and Process Patent Amendments Act. In addition, his creative approach for petitioning the FDA led to Roche becoming one of the first companies to obtain pediatric exclusivity rights.

“George's ability to strategically address client's intellectual property matters -- through the prism of his 30-plus years of pharmaceutical industry experience -- is a skill set unmatched by most law firms,” says David E. De Lorenzi, Chair of the Gibbons Intellectual Property Department and also, Co-Chair of the Gibbons Institute. “Recruiting key former in-house IP attorneys like George, who offer our clients a keen in-house perspective and an immersion in the issues and developments so critical to their businesses, has helped us immensely in assembling a high-level, diverse pool of talent and the most comprehensive slate of intellectual property services. We are very pleased that George chose Gibbons as his new home."

Johnston served as the first Chair of the Patent Law Committee for what is now the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He was a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), a leading advocate for protecting IP rights, and has Co-Chaired the American Conference Institute’s long-running national conference, “Maximizing Biopharmaceutical Life Cycles.”

Johnston earned his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law and his Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) with high honors from Stevens Institute of Technology. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey, New York and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.