A Partnership of Success

Todd Walters details how Ross Oehler and Johnson Matthey have formed a strong alliance with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

The relationship between Ross Oehler and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC (BIR) dates back to 2011. Back then, Oehler was vice president of intellectual property and chief patent officer at Cephalon, a company that was ultimately acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals.

“Ross hired us to work on a case that we probably worked on for three years or so,” recalls Todd Walters, a shareholder for BIR. “We had a great result come out of the case.”

That trend continued as Oehler moved from Teva to his current role with Johnson Matthey. Walters says he and Oehler have continued working together and producing successful results to this day.

“Ross has this practical understanding of business situations that allows outside counsel an opportunity to develop strategies that make sense for the business,” Walters says.

In terms of defending intellectual property, BIR worked with Johnson Matthey on several cases where the latter were deemed inventors of technology to treat diesel exhaust gas and a catalyst used in exhaust treatment. Both cases resulted in favorable results for Johnson Matthey.

Given the changing landscape of regulation on intellectual property and patent protection, Walters says those results reflect the effort that Oehler and the team at Johnson Matthey put into their work.

“With the America Invents Act, our law has come into alignment with the rest of the world in that we are starting to reward those who are first-to-file, as opposed to first-to-invent,” Walters explains. “There’s a transition period that’s taking place . . . we have a collection of new proceedings before a patent trial and appeal board. Johnson Matthey has shown that they’re not only on top of the old law, but they’re on top of where the law has brought us today. Being involved in so many different types of cases, they really know what they’re doing.”

Partnering with such a formidable team means that Walters and his colleagues at BIR can focus on their clients’ business needs instead of getting tied up in procedural issues. It’s a synergy that Walters says he hopes will yield more success for both parties in the future.

“We value our relationship with Ross very much,” he says. “Ross has hired us to work on his cases and to work with his colleagues. We consider Ross not only a client, but a personal friend at this point. He is smart, attentive, and easy to work with. As a team, we have realized great success.”