Plaintiff had an at-will contract with a non-party to develop a drug based on a certain active ingredient. Defendant Biogen reached its own deal with that non-party to settle patent disputes and to license the same active ingredient—requiring that the at-will contract with Plaintiff be terminated. Plaintiff sued Biogen in federal court for tortious interference with contract, arguing that Biogen’s agreement violated a California statute barring contract provisions that restrain any trade or profession. The Ninth Circuit certified the matter to the California Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of Biogen, represented by FDCC member Laurie Hepler who argued the case. Clearing up uncertainty in California law, it held that (1) to state a claim for tortious interference with an at-will contract, a plaintiff must plead and prove an independently wrongful act, beyond interfering with the contract itself; and (2) California’s statutory prohibition on contract provisions restraining trade—when applied to one business restraining another—is subject to the same rule of reason analysis prescribed by antitrust common-law.