Press Releases

Intellectual Property Partner, Don Pelto, Brings Life Sciences Specialty to Sheppard Mullin D.C.

January 26, 2007
Don J. Pelto has joined the Washington, D.C. office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as part of the firm's Intellectual Property practice group. Pelto, and his team of IP specialists who are joining Sheppard Mullin with him, most recently practiced with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis in Washington, D.C.

Pelto specializes in intellectual property and patent litigation, representing domestic and international clients in intellectual property litigation, counseling and procurement. Specifically, he has experience with technological developments in the fields of molecular biology, pharmaceuticals, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical small molecules, diagnostics, chemi–informatics and software, medical products and devices, including surgical devices, medical product manufacturing processes and fluid handling devices and related methodologies.

"Don's arrival marks another significant step in expanding our IP practice, which continues to be the fastest growing group in the firm," said Guy Halgren, chairman of the firm. "The team's life sciences knowledge and experience dovetail with our current West Coast biotech clients and matters."

"I look forward to growing the firm's IP practice nationwide and specifically in the D.C. office,” Pelto said. “Sheppard Mullin is a top-notch national firm with an excellent reputation. I am thrilled to be joining with members of my former team, as well as to be working with the great lawyers here and across the firm's offices."

"We are excited to have Don and his team join us," said Ed Schiff, managing partner of the firm's Washington, D.C. office. "His specialization is an excellent fit for the D.C. office, in light of the region's prominence as a life sciences hub, and complements our growth in the pharmaceutical regulatory practice area."

"Don's group is an excellent addition to the firm's IP practice, which now includes over fifty attorneys firm wide," commented Gary Clark, chair of the firm's Intellectual Property practice group. "They bring an incredible collective background in both IP litigation and the life science industry."

Pelto has experience in the preparation and prosecution of patent applications and licensing and technology transfers. His litigation experience includes interferences, Section 337 actions, District Court infringement actions and Federal Circuit appeals. He has written opinions on freedom to operate, non-infringement and invalidity.

Additionally, Pelto has successfully asserted and defended against patent infringement claims, both in the U.S. District Courts and the United States International Trade Commission. He has also represented clients in appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Before entering law school, Don was a research biologist with the National Institutes of Health, National Institutes on Aging where he performed original research in conjunction with the Laboratory of Neurosciences and the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Sciences. Pelto earned a J.D. from University of Baltimore School of Law in 1985 and a B.S. from University of Maryland in 1982.

About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with 490 attorneys in nine offices located throughout California and in New York and Washington, D.C. The firm's California offices are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Century City, Orange County, Del Mar Heights and San Diego. Sheppard Mullin provides legal expertise and counsel to U.S. and international clients in a wide range of practice areas, including Antitrust, Corporate and Securities; Entertainment, Media and Communications; Finance and Bankruptcy; Government Contracts; Intellectual Property; Labor and Employment; Litigation; Real Estate/Land Use; Tax/Employee Benefits/Trusts & Estates; and White Collar Defense. The firm was founded in 1927.