JOSEPH F. LEIGHTNER
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Assistant General Counsel
Transforming Ideas Into Commercial Reality
Legal executive known for partnering with business leaders to lead commercial negotiations and close deals. Executing contracts with suppliers, customers and service providers. Credible and collaborative, adept at providing high value strategic advice to senior management and project teams on legal issues. Intellectual Property background to evaluate developing technologies, protect intellectual property, and license technologies. Extensive dealings with regulatory authorities and compliance with FDA, OSHA, EPA and USDA regulation.
Broad experience in the flavor and fragrance industry, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, plastics and chemicals. Knowledge of regulatory and industry requirements for food, drug, and consumer products. Leveraging existing relationships to grow the business as well as integrate/divest companies and business units.
Hiring and development of junior attorneys.
Contract negotiation and drafting Licensing Regulatory Compliance Dispute Resolution
Acquisitions & Divestitures Outsourcing Agreements
INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES INC., New York, NY (2000 - July, 2018)
Vice President and Assistant General Counsel (2005 to July, 2018). Reporting directly to the General Counsel.
Managed 2 human resources, employment, compliance counsel, 3 patent attorneys, a patent agent, and paralegal.
-Negotiated and structured commercial transactions for top 20 customers, each contract more than $20M. Key legal person for key customer contracts resulting in sales increases from $1.4 to $3.5 billion.
-Reviewed wide variety of licensing arrangements and coordinated the acquisition, integration, and divestiture of multiple businesses valued over $100 M. Prepared and reviewed sales, vendor, technology, consulting, agency, distribution, and outsourcing agreements.
-Provided legal and strategic advice and opinions relating to intellectual property (patents, trademarks, and copyrights) and general legal matters for sales, operations, procurement, finance, IT, product development, marketing, manufacturing, labor and employment, and regulatory and compliance functional areas.
-Negotiated and drafted contracts for global, large $$ and complex customer transactions and provided primary legal guidance for the procurement of $1.5 billion raw materials and services. Consolidation of vendors and products resulting in $50M annual savings.
-Managed U.S. multi-jurisdictional litigation matters valued at more than $10M, including directing outside counsel, related to product liability, product recalls, patent infringement, insurance recovery actions, trade secrets, environmental, employment, and commercial contracts to mitigate risk and costs.
-Assisted GC with corporate governance functions, board meetings, annual meetings, department budgets, selection and assignment of outside counsel. Led corporate investigations of compliance issues.
-Led teams of co-workers in the selection of software and technology platforms, such as, contract management, e-Discovery, and invoicing programs which reduced staffing and operating costs.
INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES INC., New York, NY
Patent and Trademark Counsel (2000-2012). Managed Intellectual Property staff, including patent attorney, patent agent, and paralegal.
-Provided legal and strategic business advice and opinions relating to intellectual property (patents, trademarks, and copyrights), including patentability, validity, infringement, and freedom to operate.
-Prepared and maintained global portfolios of patents and trademarks; development and implementation of global filing strategy and portfolio management resulting in annual savings of $250K.
-Successfully filed third-party actions including reexaminations, appeals, and oppositions.
-Negotiated and drafted complex commercial transactions and licensing arrangements for patents, trademarks, trade secrets, joint development agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and other IP related transactions.
-Managed multi-jurisdictional U.S. litigation relating to intellectual property, including directing outside counsel.
-Led legal operations for intellectual property functional area, including, budgets, selection of outside counsel, and selection of technology platforms to reduce annual expenditure and eliminate a patent paralegal.
JOHNSON & JOHNSON, New Brunswick, NJ
Counsel, Patent Department. Intellectual property counsel for McNeil Consumer Healthcare, manufacturer of Tylenol® acetaminophen, Motrin® ibuprofen, Mylanta® antacid, Lactaid® dairy products, Nicotrol® smoking cessation products, and other consumer healthcare products. Product portfolio annual sales of $3 billion.
-Provided strategic advice and legal opinions regarding patents and technology related to patent validity, patent infringement, and freedom to operate/market products.
-Negotiated and drafted commercial agreements, including licenses of new products, joint development, confidential disclosure, contract manufacture, and co-promotion agreements.
-Prepared and prosecuted patent and trademark applications, maintained global portfolios of business patents and trademarks; development of global patent strategy and portfolio management. Headed projects for patent protection and ultimately commercialization of new pharmaceutical gel coatings, tamper resistant packaging and appropriate dosing of products. New products had annual sales of more than $150 M.
-Provided support in due-diligence for acquisitions and patent litigation.
ROHM and HAAS COMPANY (now Dow Chemical Company), Philadelphia, PA
Senior Counsel, Patent Department. Intellectual property counsel for the Polymers and Resins, Monomers, Performance Plastics, Architectural Coatings, Agricultural Chemicals, and Corporate Exploratory business units.
UNION CARBIDE CORPORATION (now Dow Chemical Company), Danbury, CT
Counsel, Patent Department. Intellectual property counsel for the Specialty Chemical, Solvent and Coatings, Polymers, and Polyolefin business units.
CAPEHART and SCATCHARD, Mount Laurel, NJ
Associate, Environmental Department. Counsel for state and federal environmental matters, including legal and strategic advice related to Superfund matters and OSHA regulations, preparation of memorandum and pleadings for litigation, and permit applications.
NON-ATTORNEY EXPERIENCE: CHEMICAL ENGINEER
OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION, Pottstown, PA Pilot Plant Group Leader
OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION, Burlington, NJ Process Engineer
BF GOODRICH CORPORATION, Pedricktown, NJ Production Engineer
J.D., Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, NJ. New Jersey
M.S. in Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA Pennsylvania
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA U.S. Patent and Trademark Office