As part of his Hatch-Waxman pharmaceutical litigation practice, Mr. Aannestad has represented Sandoz Inc. in a series of litigations and at trial. This includes representing Sandoz in a January 2015 bench trial regarding Sandoz’s application to sell an injectable oncology drug. Of the 14 claims originally asserted by Spectrum against Sandoz’s proposed generic version of levoleucovorin, all but two claims were eliminated before trial, and the court invalidated the remaining claims as obvious after a five-day bench trial.
Mr. Aannestad also represented Sandoz Inc. and Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in high-profile patent litigation in the Southern District of New York against Teva Pharmaceuticals, regarding Sandoz and Momenta’s application for approval to sell a generic version of Teva’s lucrative multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone, which has annual sales of approximately $4 billion. In July 2013, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the only asserted patent scheduled to expire on September 15, 2015. This victory follows on the heels of the dismissal of a related action by Teva for a different family of patents involving Copaxone that were scheduled to expire in 2019 and 2020.
Mr. Aannestad is also representing Sandoz in a dispute with Allergan through trial in the Eastern District of Texas regarding Allergan’s patents for reformulations of the glaucoma medication bimatoprost and is serving as trial and appellate counsel for Sandoz against Allergan regarding Sandoz’s application to sell trospium chloride, resulting in affirmance by the Federal Circuit of the District Court of Delaware’s invalidation of all asserted claims.
Mr. Aannestad represented Derma Sciences, Inc., Comvita New Zealand Ltd., and Apimed Medical Honey Ltd. in the District of New Jersey in patent litigation relating to his clients’ patent covering medical-grade, honey-based wound dressings. Mr. Aannestad is admitted to the USPTO and also represented Derma Sciences, Comvita, and Apimed in responding to an inter partes review petition relating to the patent asserted in the litigation.
In 2009–2010, Mr. Aannestad represented Axis-Shield Diagnostics Ltd., Euro-Diagnostica AB, and Stichting voor de Technische Wetenschappen in patent litigation in the Southern District of California against Inova Diagnostics, Inc., regarding infringement by Inova’s products for the detection of rheumatoid arthritis. Mr. Aannestad represented his clients through motion and claim construction hearings, resulting in the elimination of Inova’s primary defense and a favorable claim construction order leading to a settlement resolving the litigation without trial.
Mr. Aannestad had a lead role representing General Atomics in a 2007–2008 patent case against Axis-Shield relating to diagnostic assays for homocysteine. In that case, Mr. Aannestad’s technical skills, combined with his fluency in Norwegian, put him at a distinct advantage in key depositions, resulting in the grant of summary judgment of noninfringement by the Northern District of California and affirmance by the Federal Circuit. Axis-Shield subsequently became a Morrison & Foerster client.
As another example, Mr. Aannestad was part of the team that represented the Regents of the University of California against Monsanto in the Northern District of California, in a case that concluded on the eve of trial in a 2006 licensing agreement worth more than $200 million in royalty payments.
In 2005, Mr. Aannestad helped represent Scantibodies Clinical Laboratory, Inc., a manufacturer of diagnostic parathyroid hormone assays, through trial in a patent infringement action brought by Nichols Institute Diagnostics in the Southern District of California. Following a two-week bench trial and three-week jury trial, the patent was invalidated, and one of Scantibodies' products was found not to infringe. On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling of invalidity. During the case, Mr. Aannestad developed a key damages strategy that successfully undermined Nichols’ damages claims.
The 2014 inaugural issue of the San Diego Business Journal’s Best of the Bar list named Mr. Aannestad as one of the most outstanding lawyers in San Diego.
Mr. Aannestad received his B.S. in biochemistry magna cum laude from the University of Arizona and his J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Arizona College of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Mr. Aannestad is admitted to practice in California and before the USPTO and is fluent in Norwegian. He is an experienced triathlete who has competed in hundreds of endurance events ranging from sprint and Olympic distance triathlons to ultradistance races, eight Ironman races including the Hawaii Ironman World Championship, and has twice cycled from San Francisco to San Diego to raise funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.