Firm History

Firm History
Firm History

Widely recognized as one of the country’s premier IP firms, Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto was founded in 1971 by six partners. They sought to create a firm that would reward its clients with legal services of the highest quality, and, unlike other firms, reward its attorneys on the basis of merit rather than seniority or other factors unrelated to their work.

From its beginning, Fitzpatrick has handled engagements with major impact on the landscape of intellectual property law as well as its clients’ businesses—including, in the firm’s first decade, securing the patent position on which Canon Inc. built its photocopier business.

In the 1980s, the firm represented Merck & Co. in the first-ever “Hatch-Waxman” lawsuit, a major area of litigation in which Fitzpatrick continues to excel. The firm also represented E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. in U.S. International Trade Commission proceedings over the aramid fibers sold under the name Kevlar®. The firm’s success in excluding imports of infringing fibers attracted international attention and prompted diplomatic protests by the European community.

In the 1990s, the firm expanded into new areas of intellectual property law. Our trademark practice grew substantially with the increasing importance of branding in the global economy. Fitzpatrick was also one of the first to enter the field of new media, prosecuting patent applications on Internet business methods before the term “e-commerce” existed.

In the 21st century, Fitzpatrick has continued the legacy of our founders. The firm has achieved landmark successes, including obtaining one of the largest monetary awards granted in the history of patent litigation—a judgment for $442 million plus $100 million in prejudgment interest in litigation over the prescription drug Plavix.

Today, Fitzpatrick has grown to nearly 150 attorneys. As our firm has grown, as the law has evolved, and as society has changed since 1971, Fitzpatrick’s focus on our clients has remained constant. We are thankful that many of our client relationships stretch across decades, and that several date back to our formation more than 40 years ago.