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Sylvia M. Becker

Sylvia M. Becker

Special Counsel

Washington, DC
T: +1 202 682 3579
F: +1 202 682 3580

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Legal Services


  • Georgetown University Law Center
    JD/MSFS, magna cum laude, 1987
  • Georgetown University
    BSFS, cum laude, 1980

Bar Admission(s)

  • District of Columbia
  • US District Court for the District of Columbia
  • US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Languages Spoken

  • French
  • German

Sylvia Becker concentrates her practice in intellectual property litigation, including the representation of major pharmaceutical companies in complex patent cases. Sylvia is fluent in both German and French.

Patent infringement litigations in which Sylvia has been involved include:

  • Representing Acorda Therapeutics in a set of patent infringement cases against eight generic drug manufacturers involving AMPYRA® (dalfampridine), an oral medication to improve walking in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Acorda Therapeutics Inc. v. Actavis et al. (D. Del.).

  • Representing Pfizer and Greenstone as defendants in a patent infringement case brought by Apotex relating to the hypertension medication Accupril®. Apotex v. Pfizer Inc. and Greenstone LLC (S.D. Fla.)
  • Represented Children’s Hospital and Novartis in Hatch-Waxman cases concerning TOBI®, the first FDA-approved inhalable antibiotic formulation for treatment of cystic fibrosis patients. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Novartis v. Akorn Inc. (N.D. Ill.) and Seattle Children’s Hospital and Novartis v Teva Pharmaceuticals (D. Del.).
  • Represented Rolls Royce in a high-stakes patent infringement action regarding jet engine technology. Rolls Royce plc v. United Technologies Corp. (E.D. Va.).
  • Represented Novartis in Hatch-Waxman litigations against several generic drug companies asserting patents applicable to its urinary incontinence medication, Enablex®. Novartis v. Anchen Pharmaceuticals (C.D. Cal. and D. Del.), Novartis v. Watson Pharmaceuticals (S.D. Fla. and D. Del.) and Novartis v. Teva Pharmaceuticals (D. Del.).
  • Represented Aventis in actions alleging that generic copies of the popular antihistamine, Allegra®, infringe patents covering particular crystal forms of the active ingredient, fexofenadine hydrochloride. Aventis v. Barr Laboratories and Teva Pharmaceuticals (D.N.J.), Aventis v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals (D.N.J.), Aventis v. Sandoz and Aventis v. Sun Pharmaceuticals (D.N.J.).
  • Represented Rockefeller University and Chiron (which was acquired during the litigation by Novartis AG) in an action alleging patent infringement by Centocor’s anti-TNF antibody product REMICADE® and Abbott’s anti-TNF antibody product HUMIRA®. The litigation resulted in settlements in which each defendant took a royalty-bearing license to the patents. The Rockefeller University and Chiron Corporation v. Centocor, Inc. and Abbott Laboratories (E.D. Tex.).
  • Acted as lead trial counsel in an arbitration concerning Abbott’s alleged infringement of the patents asserted in The Rockefeller University and Chiron Corporation v. Centocor Inc. and Abbott Laboratories (E.D. Tex.) litigation. The Rockefeller University and Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc. v. Abbott Laboratories (International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution).
  • Defended Pfizer at the trial and appellate court level against allegations by the University of Rochester that administration of the drug Celebrex® infringed a patent held by the university. The case culminated in a landmark decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regarding the “written description” requirement as applied to pharmaceutical and biotechnology patents. University of Rochester v. Searle (W.D.N.Y.).
  • Represented Pfizer against a generic drug manufacturer, which had filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application seeking FDA approval to market a generic version of Pfizer’s Zoloft® product, a leading medication for the treatment of depression and anxiety. The patents in the suit -- a method-of-treatment patent and a polymorph patent -- raised cutting-edge issues under the Hatch-Waxman Act. Pfizer Inc. v. Zenith Goldline Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. (D.N.J.).
  • Represented Pfizer in litigations brought by Bayer as patent holder and Pfizer as licensee against generic drug companies seeking to market copies of Pfizer’s drug Procardia XL® and Bayer’s drug Adalat CC®. Bayer Corp. and Pfizer Inc. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals (W.D. Pa.) and Bayer Corp. and Pfizer Inc. v. Biovail (D.P.R.).
  • Represented Bayer in a case involving Barr’s effort to market a generic version of Bayer’s antibiotic Cipro® prior to expiration of Bayer’s patent on the active ingredient. Sylvia represented Bayer, applying her German-language skills to great advantage, as the case involved mostly German-language documents and German-speaking witnesses. Bayer A.G. v. Barr Laboratories (S.D.N.Y.).

Earlier in her career, Sylvia was awarded the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship in Germany, during which she worked in the German Foreign Ministry, and in both trial-level and appellate courts responsible for intellectual property and competition cases. She was also awarded a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship in Washington, DC, where she served as staff attorney for the Women’s Legal Defense Fund, working on employment discrimination and family law issues. Sylvia has been featured in Who's Who Legal 2016 for life sciences in New York.