Mr. Johnston focuses his practice on the preparation, prosecution, licensing, and litigation of patents, as well as counseling on intellectual property matters, with a particular focus in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
Prior to joining Gibbons, Mr. Johnston served as Vice President & Chief Patent Counsel at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., a major healthcare organization, having ascended through the ranks from Patent Counsel. At Roche, Mr. Johnston developed and implemented a variety of strategies to strengthen the company’s intellectual property throughout the life cycle of its products. For several important pharmaceuticals, he enabled Roche to maintain lawful exclusivity for 20 years and beyond, and he won or settled the majority of the company’s patent litigations, ensuring marketing exclusivity and corresponding sales and licensing royalties worth billions of dollars. He negotiated and prepared the company’s first successful co-promotion alliance agreement, leading to half a billion dollars in revenue.
Mr. Johnston was also extensively involved in legislative activities benefiting the pharmaceutical industry. Most notably, he helped negotiate and lobby Congress to pass both the Hatch-Waxman Act (and led Roche’s successful efforts to obtain one of the first resulting patent extensions) and Process Patent Amendments Act. In addition, his creative approach for petitioning the FDA led to Roche becoming one of the first companies to obtain pediatric exclusivity rights.