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Willy Jay is a partner in and co-chair of Goodwin Procter’s Appellate Litigation Practice and is head of the Litigation Department in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. A former Assistant to the Solicitor General, Mr. Jay has extensive experience with litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Courts of Appeals. He has argued 13 cases before the Supreme Court, briefed more than 30 cases on the merits and briefed more than 150 cases at the certiorari stage. In the 2014 Term, he argued and won two significant intellectual-property cases before the Supreme Court, both by a vote of 7-2: Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., a landmark patent case setting a new standard of review for claim construction, and B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., an important decision on the intersection between agency decisions and IP litigation. Mr. Jay also has significant experience with cases in the Court’s original jurisdiction.

Mr. Jay has handled cases in every federal court of appeals as well. He has personally briefed or argued more than 40 appellate cases, both in private practice and on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment, Criminal and Civil Divisions, and he has participated in numerous appellate matters involving government appeals or amicus participation.

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business described Mr. Jay as “a ‘true talent' who earns rave reviews from his peers.” Mr. Jay is also listed in Legal500 and Best Lawyers in America. He has been named “Litigator of the Week” by the AmLaw Litigation Daily and a “Rising Star” by both the National Law Journal and Law360.

Mr. Jay has particular experience in appellate cases involving intellectual property (including patent, copyright, and trademark law), administrative law (with a particular focus on pharmaceutical regulation), environmental law, class action practice, federal preemption of state law, and the First Amendment (including campaign finance regulation, election law, and election crimes).

Since joining Goodwin Procter, Mr. Jay has handled complex litigation matters in the Supreme Court; in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh, D.C. and Federal Circuits; in several state appellate courts; and in various trial courts and administrative agencies. His recent significant representations include:

  • Persuading the Supreme Court to grant certiorari, and to reverse on the merits, in two significant intellectual property cases:

    Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc.: The Supreme Court agreed to take up the subject of patent claim construction for the first time in nearly 20 years and hear Teva’s challenge to the Federal Circuit’s longstanding precedent insisting on reviewing factual issues de novo. Mr. Jay was counsel of record on the successful petition for certiorari and the merits briefs and argued the case in October 2014. In January 2015, the Supreme Court agreed with Teva’s arguments by a vote of 7-2, vacating a Federal Circuit decision that had invalidated patent protection for Teva’s blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone® 20mg.

    B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc.: This trademark case affects both infringement litigation in district court and litigation before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The Supreme Court confirmed by a vote of 7-2 that one tribunal’s decision on the “likelihood of confusion” between two trademarks can be binding on other tribunals as well; many courts of appeals had resisted for many years the idea that the Trademark Board could render a decision binding on a federal district court, but the Supreme Court has now made clear that it can. Mr. Jay was counsel of record on the successful petition for certiorari and the merits briefs and argued the case in December 2014.
  • Orally arguing Securities Act claims and securing a victory on behalf of Municipal Mortgage & Equity and several of its former and current officers and directors when the Fourth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims that the company made false statements in the registration statement for its 2005 secondary public offering.
  • Successfully defending, in the Fourth Circuit, a complete defense victory at trial in a certified class action under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Mr. Jay co-authored the successful briefs and argued the appeal. Mr. Jay also co-authored the successful appellate briefs in a companion case (involving another certified class) under the Maryland Finder’s Fee Act, in which the Fourth Circuit also affirmed a complete defense victory.
  • Achieving a victory before the Second Circuit on behalf of the independent trustees of a group of mutual funds. The Second Circuit’s decision vindicated the corporate governance rights of the board of a registered investment company organized as a Massachusetts business trust.
  • Successfully winning rehearing en banc in the First Circuit on behalf of a national bank in a putative nationwide class action, and co-authoring briefs that won a complete victory on rehearing en banc.
  • Persuading the First Circuit to affirm dismissal of an unfair business practices action against a logistics company.
  • Representing leading technology and pharmaceutical companies in patent appeals to the Federal Circuit and in successfully opposing Supreme Court review of favorable Federal Circuit decisions.
  • Serving as lead counsel for an industry intervenor in a significant environmental case under the Endangered Species Act and Administrative Procedure Act.

  • Representing amici curiae in the Supreme Court and courts of appeals, in cases involving securities, antitrust, federal preemption of state law, ERISA, patent law, false advertising, and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Mr. Jay’s amicus clients have included IBM, RichRelevance Inc., the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the American Council of Life Insurers, the American Bankers Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Mining Association, the American Library Association, and America’s Health Insurance Plans.

As Assistant to the Solicitor General, Mr. Jay received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his work on litigation arising from the bankruptcy of Chrysler, as well as a Special Commendation from the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division for his work on litigation involving oil drilling, invasive species and interstate water rights.

While in law school, Mr. Jay was executive editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Prior to joining Goodwin Procter in 2012, Mr. Jay served for five years as Assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice. In that capacity, he handled Supreme Court and appellate matters for a wide variety of federal agencies, including every Cabinet Department and numerous executive and independent agencies. Previously, he was a litigation associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in its Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group.

2015 IPO Annual Meeting
September 28, 2015
Chicago, IL

6th Annual Supreme Court IP Review
September 25, 2015
Chicago, IL

NAAG Supreme Court Advocacy Seminar
December 10, 2014
Washington, DC

"Legal Policy in the Second Obama Term"
November 13, 2012
Washington, DC

"2011-2012 Supreme Court Term"
October 27, 2012
New Orleans, LA

"Appellate Decision Making"
October 19, 2012
Washington, DC

"2011-2012 Supreme Court Term"
October 16, 2012
Bar Harbor, ME