Partner and co-chair of Katten’s Patent Litigation practice Deepro Mukerjee talked to Bloomberg Law about his intellectual property (IP) practice, a significant case he worked on which garnered media attention, changes that have occurred in the industry and litigation in general due to COVID-19, and his advice to young attorneys.

Deepro joined Katten in 2018 and often serves as lead trial counsel for some of the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical companies and other bio-tech and technology companies in patent litigations across the country. He is also a member of Katten’s Board of Directors.

“To say that this was the right decision all around would be an understatement,” Deepro said of his decision to join Katten. “My practice merged seamlessly with the already lauded IP practice that had been established well before my joining. Our niche expertise is without a doubt the representation of nearly every major generic pharmaceutical company in the world.”

On the biggest challenge facing the IP industry, Deepro said the COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty for his clients and influenced business decisions. While the generic pharmaceutical industry is thriving, as there is a continued need for high quality affordable prescription drugs, Deepro explained that litigation in this area of law has changed, from remote depositions and trials to less travel costs and expenses. Deepro said remote capabilities, like witness preparation centers and conference rooms, may be beneficial even once the pandemic is over.

Other changes in the industry include pharmaceutical companies competing for market share of COVID-19 vaccines and larger investments in certain therapeutic areas, such as anti-anxiety treatments and medicines.

“I am constantly focused on how we may service our clients better. These are unprecedented times, and those firms that understand the uniqueness, and in their DNA want to do better in this new normal, are the ones that will thrive,” Deepro said.

When asked about his most interesting case, Deepro described representing one of the world’s largest fresh produce distributors in a plant patent lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. According to Deepro, there have only been a handful of plant patent cases in all of US jurisprudence. Deepro was successful in having all claims against his client dismissed and in having his client receive rights to the patent involved in that suit.

Deepro’s advice to an associate just beginning in the IP industry is to take ownership of cases and care about clients’ matters as if they are their own, as well as foster good relationships.

“We are business partners with our clients, and it is never too early to learn and nurture that. Forge relationships early on — not just with colleagues and mentors, but with others in the profession,” Deepro said.

Read, “Leading Questions: Katten IP Litigator Deepro Mukerjee,” in its entirety.