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Steven Zalesin

Work 212-336-2110
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Work Department

Litigation; False Advertising


Steve Zalesin is a nationally recognized trial lawyer with extensive experience in intellectual property, false advertising and complex commercial matters. He has successfully tried cases and argued appeals in numerous courts throughout the United States. He has also represented clients in arbitration proceedings in several countries. For more than 30 years, Mr. Zalesin has represented the nation’s leading manufacturers and service providers in a series of landmark cases that have shaped the law of false advertising, while helping to preserve and grow the markets for our clients’ products. He recently secured a federal jury verdict for the world’s leading beverage company in a closely-watched advertising dispute over juice labeling. Mr. Zalesin initially obtained summary judgment dismissing the claims against our client, and successfully defended that ruling before the Ninth Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision, and remanded the case for trial. The Los Angeles jury rejected the plaintiff’s claim in full, returning a verdict in our client’s favor after a six-day trial and less than a day of deliberation. As a result of the favorable verdict, Mr. Zalesin was named “Litigator of the Week” by The American Lawyer (March 24, 2016). A significant portion of Mr. Zalesin’s practice involves high-stakes commercial disputes in the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech industries. He recently co-tried a closely-watched case on behalf of a leading pharmaceutical company against a competitor, arising out of the competitor’s acquisition of another major player in the industry. The case settled on terms favorable to our client. Mr. Zalesin also represents Fortune 50 companies in patent litigation. In 2014, he co-tried an ANDA case that resulted in an injunction against the launch of a generic version of our client’s billion-dollar AIDS drug. In another recent win, Mr. Zalesin obtained summary judgment on behalf of the world’s largest software company, demonstrating that a competitor’s patent on voice recognition technology was obvious as a matter of law. He is currently leading the worldwide defense of a biotech company’s groundbreaking patents on a drug that treats a rare genetic disorder. Mr. Zalesin has substantial experience defending consumer class actions. He is currently representing major pet food, soft drink and orange juice producers in multi-district litigation over their product labeling and advertising, and a leading educational publisher in a royalty dispute with college textbook authors. In the recent past, he has successfully defended the markers of several best-selling food and pharmaceutical products against consumer protection claims.


Admitted in: U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; Third Circuit; Ninth Circuit; Federal Circuit; D.C. Circuit; U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; Northern District of Florida; New York


J.D., 1985, University of Pennsylvania Law School (cum laude, Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review); B.S., 1982, Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications (magna cum laude)

United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Advertising and marketing: litigation

Within: Leading lawyers

Steven Zalesin - Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Within: Advertising and marketing: litigation

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP's New York-based false advertising practice counts Eli Lilly, Blue Buffalo Company and The Hershey Company among its clients. Steven Zalesin led a team which successfully defended Coca-Cola in a putative class action where plaintiffs argued the false use of the term 'diet' in Diet Coke, as no-calorie soft drinks purportedly do not assist with weight loss or weight management. Other work includes representing Johnson & Johnson in Lanham Act litigation brought by Andover Healthcare alleging products were inaccurately labeled as not made with natural rubber latex, because they contained latex proteins. Changes to the team include the departure of Travis Tu to an in-house role at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

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