Meredith Addy, co-founder of AddyHart P.C., is a deeply experienced intellectual property litigator who specializes in cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in the federal district courts, and at the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Addy has led 40 federal district court cases and more than 60 appeals to the Federal Circuit. Experienced in protecting and monetizing corporate intellectual asset portfolios, Addy in 2015 earned her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School.
Addy has spent her career counseling high-profile companies in the software, technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries. She focuses on developing and executing strategies to achieve the most efficient approach to realizing her clients’ IP goals. Her clients describe her as “an exceptionally skilled lawyer” and a “key figure, who knows the courts inside and out,” adding that she is “extremely pro-business. She really understands business and how it’s run.” (Chambers USA)
Practicing in today’s highly complex technical environment, Addy has an innate ability to explain complex legal and technical issues to jurists and laypeople alike—an ability that in part depends on her training as an electrical engineer.
Addy has held high management positions at AmLaw100 firms and IP boutiques, including serving as office managing partner of the Chicago office of an AmLaw100 firm; serving as chair of the national patent litigation practice at another AmLaw100 firm; and serving as chair of the national appellate practice at one of the nation’s largest IP law firms. She has also served on firms’ Executive Committees and Boards of Directors.
Addy served on the Federal Circuit’s advisory counsel for ten years and was a co-founder and the first president of the Richard Linn American Inn of Court, directed to intellectual property. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Federal Circuit Bar Association and as chair and co-chair of the Amicus Committees for the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC).
During her more than 25-year career in IP law, Addy has assisted district courts, appointed both as a Special Master under F.R.C.P. § 706, and as a Court-Appointed Expert under F.R.C.P. § 53 in handling various aspects of complex patent cases about technologies ranging from encryption to guided vehicles to medical devices, advising courts on all aspects of the discovery process; claim construction and patent validity; summary judgment proceedings; pre-trial proceedings, and trial.
Addy created and writes the blog Business De Novo, to generate conversations around the business of innovation. She is a perennial editor of Claim Construction in the Federal Circuit, a publication of West LegalWorks, is a frequent speaker at legal and industry events, has taught CLE-credit courses on patent litigation, and has written numerous articles and publications.
I recently opened a Bordeaux and re-read the petition for certiorari in American Axle v. Neapco. Not because I like watching horror films or black-and-white footage of a piano sliding downstairs, mind you. But well, you know. The Petition is well written and the Bordeaux did its job; however, it was still painful to read the recounting of the successive bad decisions to invalidate American Axle’s patents in light of the arguments made by accused infringer Neapco. Yet, in context, it’s just another of the thousand blows against U.S. inventors and our innovation ecosystem. It’s shameful that a company with a new and useful technology in the automotive industry was stymied in its appeal by our nation’s highest patent court.
Athena Diagnostics filed a petition for en banc rehearing of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo on April 8, 2019. Amicus briefs are due April 22, 2019. The Athena decision continues to apply U.S. Supreme Court-created common law to the analysis of 35 U.S.C. §101. In its brief requesting rehearing, Athena argues that the decision is “precisely the evisceration of patent law against which the U.S. Supreme Court has long warned” and that the claims at issue were patent eligible, as they are “novel, man-made substances”, “do not preempt natural laws” and “serve a new and useful purpose of diagnosing serious diseases”. Knowles IP Strategies LLC (Sherry M. Knowles) and AddyHart (Meredith Addy) intend to file an amicus brief in support of neither party requesting that the Federal Circuit carry out its constitutional duty to apply strict statutory construction of the literal words of 35 U.S.C. §101 to decide the case (See, Unconstitutional Application of 35 U.S.C. § 101 by the U.S. Supreme Court; 18 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 144 (2018)).
Four years later, the patent landscape demonstrates that Alice has become a train wreck for innovation… Unfortunately, the Federal Circuit failed to rein in this rout of Machiavellian creativity, which it could have done by relying on well-settled procedural process and patent doctrines… This year, the Federal Circuit appears finally to have awakened from its slumber. In two recent opinions, Aatrix v. Green Shades and Berkheimer v. HP, the Federal Circuit embraced long-established procedural rules and patent doctrines… Savvy and creative patent lawyering will prevail. To be successful, patent practitioners must show the PTO, the courts, and Congress the importance of our clients’ innovations and explain why the type of technology should not dictate whether there is enforceability.
But this morning, on seeing the juxtaposition of two random emails in my inbox, I had to pause at the ongoing nuttiness of our regulatory environment. In fact, I wanted to scream. First, I see, sunscreen is banned in most schools. Because it’s a drug. Email number one this morning. And while you catch your breath, consider the one immediately following it in my inbox. Headline: “Is the U.S. still the driving force of the global patent market?” … We’re not focused on the big picture. We’re mired in fights over little issues that don’t make a difference in the overall health of the country—much less our innovation economy.