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Recent Alum Wins Federal Circuit Bar Association Student Writing Competition


Katie Albanese '19 Wins Federal Circuit Bar Association Student Writing Competition

Katie Albanese ’19 won the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s 2019 George Hutchinson Writing Competition, an annual writing contest named for George Hutchinson, the first Chief Clerk of the Federal Circuit and an active member of the Federal Circuit Bar Association and The Federal Circuit Historical Society. The competition is open to law school students throughout the United States whose paper focuses on a topic that lies within the scope of the specialized jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The papers are judged by selected members of the Federal Circuit Bar Association. Albanese was recognized for her accomplishment at the 2019 Annual Dinner and Reception on November 22, and her paper will be published in the Federal Circuit Bar Journal.

She originally wrote her winning paper, titled When is Enough Enough? What Constitutes an Adequate Written Description of Genus, during her 3L year at Villanova Law for the Advanced IP and Cyberlaw Seminar with Michael Risch, Vice Dean and Professor of Law. “Professor Risch was crucial in my editing process and continuously countered my arguments such that I addressed all sides of the issue,” said Albanese.

The paper focused on issues that occur when a patentee tries to claim a biological genus – a term used by scientists for biological classification – by disclosing some of the species within that genus, which is common practice in pharmaceutical and genetic patents. The paper analyzed cases on the topic to assess what level of disclosure is sufficient in the eyes of the courts. It also provided best practices for patent drafters, attorneys and judges in writing and interpreting such patents.

Albanese credited her Villanova Law experiences with preparing her for success in the Intellectual Property field. “Delving into the Intellectual Property community at Villanova and in the general Philadelphia area allowed me to gain familiarity with some of the more difficult issues in this type of law.”

“To win the Federal Circuit Bar Association George Hutchinson Writing Competition is a great honor,” stated Albanese. “The Federal Circuit is the country’s most trusted authority on patent law and to get their seal of approval on my work is an incredible feeling.”