FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Wesley E. Overson

Morrison & Foerster LLP

San Francisco, CA, USA


Wes Overson is the head of the 165-attorney Litigation Department in Morrison & Foerster's San Francisco office. His practice focuses on patent litigation and other complex litigation involving technological, scientific, and medical issues. His clients include international pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations, for whom he has crafted winning strategies for both the courtroom and arbitration proceedings.

Among his notable recent representations:
In 2009, he obtained a finding of fraud on behalf of a client who had purchased a company after being misled regarding it's technology rights. The arbitrator granted rescission of the purchase contract.

Mr. Overson was a key member of two trial teams in 2008. He and a MoFo team achieved a complete defense victory for Bayer in a patent case brought by Abbott Laboratories. Bayer won summary judgment on one of Abbott's asserted patents, then went to trial on the other asserted patent. Bayer won on invalidity and inequitable conduct, enabling Bayer to receive a substantial award of attorneys' fees. This "rare instance" of winning an inequitable conduct defense resulted in the case being listed in San Francisco Daily Journal's Top Defense Wins of 2008. The Federal Circuit recently affirmed the ruling. Therasense v. Becton Dickinson, 593 F.3d 1289 (Fed. Cir. 2010).

Mr. Overson also defended a trade secret and licensing claim where the claimant was seeking more than $30 million. Our client counterclaimed and ultimately obtained a net damages award in its favor, along with significant injunctive relief. The successful counterclaim strategy led to a settlement netting our client more than $50 million.

In 2008, he also defended GlaxoSmithKline in a class action alleging false advertising regarding an over-the-counter cold sore product and in a successful appellate challenge to a class action settlement of the case.

In 2007, he successfully defended a laser company facing patent and trade secret allegations in a three-month jury trial in Silicon Valley.

Also that year, Mr. Overson represented Chiron Corp. in an arbitration asserting its patent on a diagnostic test for HIV. The case settled after closing arguments, with Chiron receiving payments of more than $100 million.

In Alvarez v. Fountainhead, 55 F.Supp.2d 1048 (1999), Mr. Overson obtained the first preliminary injunction under the Americans with Disabilities Act ordering a preschool to train its staff to accommodate a four-year-old boy with asthma. 
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