Christy Lea resolves high-stakes patent and trade secret disputes at both the trial and appellate levels. She has represented clients in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries for nearly two decades. Christy is also an accomplished PTAB trial litigator having served as lead counsel in numerous IPRs.
Notably, Christy co-led the firm’s trial team that won a $70 million jury verdict with $21 million in enhanced damages for CardiAQ in a trade secrets misappropriation case against its former vendor, Neovasc Inc. The National Law Journal ranked this verdict as #6 for IP and #21 overall for verdicts that year. The court also granted CardiAQ co-founders Arshad Quadri, M.D. and Brent Ratz co-inventorship of the Neovasc transcatheter mitral valve patent. The decision made Edwards Lifesciences, which acquired CardiAQ for $400 million, co-owner of the Neovasc patent. Christy continues to represent Edwards Lifesciences in district court and before the PTAB. In addition, Christy represented and currently represents Smith & Nephew in numerous litigations and PTAB trials, including in the “negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) wars” against KCI/Wake Forest, as well as various orthopedics cases.
A formidable advocate both in and out of court, Christy is able to explain even the most sophisticated technologies to judges and juries alike, converting complex information into easily-understood straight-talk. She offers particular skill in working with, positioning, and maximizing fact and expert witnesses in critical patent litigation with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line. Hard-working, ingratiating, persuasive, and always prepared, Christy takes a personal interest in the individuals with whom she works and represents.
Named a "Life Science Star" by Legal Media Group (LMG) Life Sciences, a "Woman to Watch" by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), a “Top 10 Life Sciences Litigator” by Managing IP magazine, and a Super Lawyers magazine Southern California “Rising Star” in intellectual property law, Christy believes in service beyond the office. An avid fundraiser for various charities, Christy is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Orange County Public Law Center and the Advisory Board for the Ole Miss School of Engineering, as well as a founding member of the firm’s Pro Bono and Diversity Committees.
Honorable Jan Patterson, Justice of the Texas Third Court of Appeals, Intern Fall 1999
Christy has received multiple awards for her legal accomplishments:
- Recognized as a Patent Star in Managing IP's "IP STARS" guide for her outstanding intellectual property legal work (2018-2021)
- Named the 2021 "Attorney of the Year" by the Orange County Women Lawyers Association (OCWLA) for her outstanding role in the legal community and proven commitment to advancing women in the legal profession, as well as women's issues generally.
- Named a "Future Star" and "Local Litigation Star" in the Benchmark Litigation 2021-2020 California Guide
- Named a "Top IP Lawyer" in 2020 and 2019 by the Daily Journal
- Recognized by The PTAB Bar Association as one of the "Top 50 Women in PTAB Trials" in 2019
- Named by The Legal 500 for Patent Litigation in 2019
- Named a "Life Science Star" by Legal Media Group (LMG) Life Sciences for Patent Litigation and Hatch-Waxman Litigation (2012-2018)
- Recognized as a "Woman to Watch" by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Women in IP Committee for her professional accomplishments, leadership in diversity, and the empowerment of women (2017)
- Named as one of the Top 10 Life Sciences Litigators in the United States by Managing IP magazine (2012)
- Named as one of Southern California’s “Rising Stars” in intellectual property law in a survey of her peers, published in Los Angeles magazine and Super Lawyers magazine (2006)
- Featured in the Los Angeles Daily Journal (2005)
Ted Cannon, Christy Lea, Kerry Taylor, Michelle Armond, "Supreme Court Issues Two Important Decisions Affecting Inter Partes Review Patent Challenges," Knobbe Martens Firm Alert, April 2018
Joseph S. Cianfrani and Christy G. Lea, Federal Circuit Clarifies the Methodology for Performing Claim Construction, August 2005.
Speeches & Seminars
Panelist, USC Gould School of Law Intellectual Property Institute, Los Angeles, March 2015
Christy Lea & Rabinder Narula, Obviousness: 5 Years Post-KSR, Bay Area In-House Medtech Attorney Group (BAIMA), May 18, 2012.
Christy Lea, David Cavanaugh, Douglas Portnow, & Michael Bednarek, Obviousness: 5 Years Post-KSR, ACI Advanced Summit on Medical Device Patents, February 28, 2012.
Medical Device Blog