In Memory of Joseph Cwik

It is with profound sadness that our founding partner Joe Cwik passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. Joe was always a strong fighter for clients. He fought hard also against his cancer, but unfortunately the cancer won. He will be remembered by all who knew him as a passionate advocate for clients, but also a friendly and kind man. His spirit and vitality were known. Through his tireless work ethic, through his unshakeable integrity, through his deep faith in doing what’s right for family, friends, and clients, he was a great lawyer, a great teacher, and great friend. And we will miss him. Our firm will continue on and his spirit will continue with us.


When your product is under attack, Joe Cwik is the litigator you want in your corner. As lead trial lawyer at Upadhye Cwik, LLP, Joe heads all litigation (intellectual and commercial) for the firm’s clients. Joe is focused entirely on achieving a successful result for his clients within the court system and before regulatory agencies. His twenty plus years of litigation experience has been sharply focused on consumer health products, especially in industries served by the firm: pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and nutritional supplements. A pioneer in pharmaceutical patent litigation, Joe is known for his innovative litigation strategies which are increasingly emulated by others in this field: for example, he and his team were the first lawyers to successfully defeat a pharma patent through the Inter Partes Review process (IPR).

A Business Savvy Trial Lawyer

A trial lawyer with significant civil litigation experience, Joe has represented numerous clients in disputes involving patents related to pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and medical foods. He also represents clients in patent infringement actions involving Hatch Waxman Act proceedings. For example, he has represented patentees and generic companies that have filed Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) filed with the Food and Drug Administration.

Clients appreciate Joe’s seasoned judgment gleaned from years in the trenches; his experience as first chair on dozens of matters gives him a deep understanding of how to most effectively communicate his client’s case. Joe’s tightly honed focus and strong leadership enable his team to provide firm clients with a streamlined approach, delivering successful results in a cost effective way.

America Invents Act (AIA) Proceedings & IPR’s

Recently, Joe acted as lead trial lawyer in the groundbreaking case Merck & CIE, et al. v. Gnosis S.p.A., et al. where his team achieved the first successful invalidation of several pharmaceutical patents through the new IPR process. This matter was also significant as it was the first time the Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s invalidation of a pharmaceutical patent, issuing a substantive opinion defining the standard of review in the new IPR process as “substantial evidence” instead of the less deferential standard of “clear error,” applicable to district court decisions.

International Trade Commission Practice

In 2018, Joe earned a complete victory as lead trial counsel at the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) for the firm’s client ECI Pharmaceuticals LLC (“ECI”) when Complainants Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. withdrew all allegations in their Amended Complaint and moved to terminate their case alleging false advertising under the Lanham Act. The withdrawal took place during the first day of two day early determination hearing on the issues of domestic industry and injury at the ITC. See, In the Matter of Certain Clidinium Bromide and Products Containing The Same, Case No. 337-TA-1109.

In 2017, Joe earned a ground breaking win when the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) dismissed a Complaint filed by Amarin Pharma, Inc. See, In the Matter of Certain Synthetically Produced, Predominantly EPA Omega-3 Products in Ethyl Ester or Re-esterified Triglyceride Form (ITC Docket No. 3247). Prior to the dismissal, Joe filed a letter opposing institution of the case on behalf of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (“GOED”). In its rulings, the ITC concurred with arguments made by Joe concluding, “Amarin’s complaint does not allege an unfair method of competition or an unfair act cognizable under 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(1)(A), as required by the statute and the Commission’s rules.

Unfair Competition & Trademark Practice

Joe also has broad experience in the defense of false advertising Lanham Act actions and enforcement of trademarks and copyrights. He has defended clients against claims of unfair competition, antitrust and related state law claims with favorable results.

Commercial Disputes

In the area of business litigation, Joe has prosecuted and defended numerous state and federal business claims involving the False Claims Act, breach of contract, fraud, replevin, anti-kickback statutes and tortious interference.

Awards & Recognition

Joe has been repeatedly recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer in the area of intellectual property litigation since 2010 and is included in the IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals.

Cwik, Joseph, George Carrera, Jr., and Brent Batzer. “Intellectual Property Considerations.” Developing New Functional Food and Nutraceutical Products. N.p.: Academic Pr, 2016.

Published by J. Cwik, Local Patent Rules and Their Impact on Patent Litigation, chapter for Thomson Reuters/Aspatore Books – Inside the Minds™ entitled Litigation Strategies for Intellectual Properties Cases (2012)