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Kenyon Successfully Represents Toyota in Years-Long Patent Litigation

Kenyon & Kenyon LLP successfully represented Toyota Motor Corp. in a long term patent litigation against American Vehicular Sciences (AVS). Originally brought by AVS in the Eastern District of Texas, the matter asserted 24 patents across seven separate cases – accusing essentially every major Toyota vehicular safety system. In the three years since the original filing, the Kenyon team filed 12 separate petitions for inter partes review (IPR) and won a stay in the E.D. Tex. pending resolution of the IPRs. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board granted each of the IPRs, and significant claims were cancelled or dropped. Additionally, the Kenyon team successfully petitioned the Federal Circuit for a writ of mandamus and the case was transferred from the E.D. Tex. to the Eastern District of Michigan, and filed various invalidity summary judgment papers, causing the plaintiff to drop a number of other asserted patents. In May of 2015, the E.D. Mich. granted the plaintiff’s unopposed motions to dismiss with prejudice all of the remaining cases against Toyota. (2015)

Joseph A. Coppola, Ph.D. Counsel
New York, NY 1.212.908.6493


Joseph Coppola has extensive experience in the area of biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent prosecution, opinions, interferences and licensing.  Prior to joining Kenyon, Dr. Coppola spent more than five years as a senior attorney in the biotechnology practice group at Merck, where he obtained patents and provided validity and infringement opinions in various areas such as newly discovered genes, drug discovery assays, Alzheimer’s disease research, functional genomics, ion channels, hepatitis C virus, inflammation, combinatorial chemistry, proteomics, diabetes, monoclonal antibodies, the crystal structures of proteins, transgenic mice and vaccines.  He also provided guidance to management in connection with patent issues arising in various licensing matters.  Dr. Coppola helped defend several Merck patents or patent applications that became involved in interferences or European oppositions.

Dr. Coppola received his Ph.D. in molecular biology and conducted research in the area of oncogenes at Princeton University and Bristol-Myers Squibb.  His work involved studying the relationship between oncogene expression and the differentiation and transformation of cells as well as structure/function studies of oncogene activation.  He published the results of his research in journals such as Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Molecular Biology, Oncogene, and Molecular and Cellular Biology.  Dr. Coppola was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Fellow.

Select Publications

  • "Thoughts on Oral Arguments in Gene Patent Case," Law360, April 17, 2013.



  • University of Pennsylvania, J.D., cum laude, 1993
  • University of Cincinnati, Molecular Biology, Ph.D., 1984
  • Rutgers University, Microbiology, B.A., 1977

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York
  • Registered Patent Attorney: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office