Patterson Belknap attorneys recognize the critical nature of intellectual property. We understand our clients’ business objectives and formulate strategies and approaches designed to achieve those goals. Our lawyers are well-rounded, handling litigation as well as transactions; for instance, generalists and registered patent attorneys often work side-by-side litigating the most complex patent matters. A distinguishing feature of our intellectual property practice is the frequency with which these attorneys take complex cases to trial.
Our attorneys advise our clients in all aspects of intellectual property including patent, false advertising, copyright, trademark and trade secrets and theft of ideas. Our work in intellectual property is recognized by legal and industry publications both internationally and nationally. U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" ranked us among the top-tier intellectual property litigation firms both nationally and in New York City. Euromoney / Institutional Investor's Benchmark: America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys has similarly ranked us among the best firms for intellectual property litigation, plaintiff's intellectual property litigation, and appellate litigation nationally and in New York.
Patterson Belknap has litigated “bet-the-company” patent disputes for decades. We represent clients in some of the most notable patent cases in the country. As described below, in 2010 we secured a settlement of $1.725 billion, the largest settlement ever of a patent infringement case in the United States on behalf of a Fortune 50 client.
We are ranked among the top ten firms in New York for patent litigation by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. The guide notes, “this team of attorneys combines exceptional scientific knowledge with terrific skills.” Our team “receives the most widespread acknowledgement for its performance in high stakes patent litigation.”
Many of our attorneys have scientific and technical backgrounds and varied industry experience, including in such diverse fields as chemistry, biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, statistics, mathematics, and chemical, nuclear and electrical engineering. This expertise enables the firm to represent clients not only in patent infringement litigation but also in complex reexamination and interference proceedings before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. In addition, we negotiate patent licenses and sales and provide opinions concerning patent validity and infringement. Our willingness to go to trial (when in the client's interest), and ability to assess realistically the strengths of a case, not only serve our clients in court but also can increase the chances for a favorable outcome.
Representative matters include:
- For over a decade we have represented our client, a medical device manufacturer, in a series of “bet-the-company” patent litigations relating to coronary stents. We conducted 14 trials, preliminary injunction hearings and arbitrations involving infringement, enforceability and/or validity issues. In January 2010, the last of the disputes settled with our client receiving $1.725 billion. In total, this client collected more than $3.6 billion. The cases leading up to this settlement include the following:
- We secured the reversal in federal court of a $593 million jury verdict. The Federal Circuit found that our client did not infringe a doctor's patent on heart devices.
- As defendant, we won a jury verdict allowing client to continue selling state-of-the-art coronary stent device; 1994 jury victory was cited by The National Law Journal as one of the major defense verdicts of the year;
- As plaintiffs we won back-to-back jury verdicts of $271 million and $324 million (both cited by The National Law Journal as among the major plaintiff's verdicts of the year) and an arbitration award of $425 million;
- We won jury verdicts of infringement on second and third generation infringing products that directly lead to the $1.725 billion settlement;
- Both jury verdicts were affirmed and the district court entered a judgment of over $1.2 billion including post-verdict damages and prejudgment interest; and
- We secured a court of appeals reversal of a finding of infringement where the plaintiff was seeking over a billion dollars in damages.
- The firm obtained an important victory on behalf of a major pharmaceutical company in a patent case against a top competitor. Our client is the exclusive U.S. marketer of, and exclusive licensee on a patent related to its largest selling drug. Our client’s opponent filed an ANDA application to sell a generic version of the drug. In response, we sued in federal court, alleging that their proposed generic product would infringe our client’s patent. The court ruled in our favor, stating that the defendant failed to show that our patent was invalid or that inequitable conduct had been committed. The court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from marketing its generic product until our client's patent expired.
- The firm obtained a significant victory after a Florida federal jury ruled in favor of our client, accused of infringing a patent for a type of soft contact lens that can be worn for extended periods of time. Following the jury's verdict, a U.S. District Judge entered final judgment. As an alternative bases for the judgment, the Judge found that our client was entitled to judgment as a matter of law based on the plaintiff's failure to prove infringement after expert testimony on cross-examination was deemed inadmissible.
- We successfully represented a major software company, which was accused of infringing patents on speech recognition technology. The court granted summary judgment for our client that the asserted claims were invalid as anticipated by the prior art or as obvious.
- We have represented a leading biotechnology company in a number of high-stakes commercial arbitrations over patent and other IP rights to best-selling monoclonal antibody and recombinant protein therapies.
- Following a four-day bench trial, we secured a federal court decision in favor of our client, a major pharmaceutical company, ruling that the patent at issue was valid and enforceable. In an 80-page decision, the court rejected every point raised by the defendants. The patent at issue covers a drug our client produces which has become their #1 selling product.
- We represented a large manufacturing company accused in of infringing eight unrelated patents in a variety of technologies ranging from JPEG data compression to digital subtraction angiography. After obtaining favorable pretrial rulings, we were able to settle the case for a small fraction of our client’s potential exposure.
- We successfully represented a software company in cases where it was accused of infringing patents relating to video computers and cellular phones. In both of these cases, the district court granted our motions for summary judgment in our client’s favor.
- We represented the patent owner in a declaratory judgment action involving inventorship on a patent for a bone fixation device. The case settled on favorable terms.
- Our attorneys secured a favorable settlement for our client, a major medical device manufacturer in the Eastern District of Texas, in a case involving software for resource scheduling.
Copyright / Trademark
Patterson Belknap is actively involved in litigating copyright disputes. Our practice is recognized among the top in New York by Chambers USA. The firm also counsels clients on copyright issues, handles copyright registrations, and negotiates licensing agreements. The firm has represented well-known entertainers, composers, authors, publishers, and television/radio networks as both plaintiff and defendant.
Our litigators have long been at the cutting edge of trademark and unfair competition litigation. The firm has tried many preliminary injunction hearings on short notice, generally taking discovery on an expedited basis. The lawyers in this area also counsel clients on trademark and trade dress issues and handle trademark filings.
Representative copyright and trademark matters include:
- We represented a well-known news publisher in a copyright and “hot news misappropriation” claim against a website operator that was systematically republishing items from our client’s newswire. The case, which garnered significant press attention, ended when the defendant made a public acknowledgement of liability, agreed to a permanent injunction and paid a substantial sum in damages to our client.
- We are defending a leading consumer products company in a trademark infringement arbitration involving one of our client's best-selling products. The action arises from allegations that our client violated trademark rights and breached a license agreement through the use of redesigned packaging.
- We represented a leading restaurant chain in a suit brought against it by a celebrity rap artist. The action arose out of a letter sent to the artist making an offer to participate in a public relations event. The rap artist claimed that dissemination of the letter to the media violated his right of publicity under New York law and his trademark rights under federal law and sought damages and injunctive relief. Following fact and expert discovery, summary judgment briefing and mediation, the case resolved on mutually satisfactory terms.
- We are representing a financial news and information company in strategic IP litigation in both the Illinois courts and the federal courts in New York to defend its franchise in index-based derivatives trading. This market comprises a wide variety of exchange-traded and structured investment products, such as options and futures, based on well-known indexes. To date, we have won every decision in these related cases on forum selection, jurisdiction, copyright preemption, and discovery issues.
- We successfully represented a publisher that owns copyrights and trademarks in world famous cartoon characters in litigation against unauthorized licensing by a third party of merchandising rights, and based on our success in that litigation we have been engaged to represent another rights-holder in ongoing trademark litigation against the same accused infringer.
Trade Secret and Theft of Ideas
Our clients have been involved in claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and ideas in the consumer products, toy, manufacturing and movie industries as both plaintiffs and defendants. We also have counseled clients on ways to make those types of claims less likely and to protect their secrets and ideas.
Representative matters include:
- Our attorneys defeated preliminary injunction and protected the launch of a highly anticipated CD for a music production company.
- The firm defended a major pharmaceutical company, a software publisher and others from claims of theft of trade secrets.
- We defended an entertainment company and a cable network from claims of misappropriation of ideas.
- Our attorneys prosecuted a suit for misappropriation of trade secrets while assisting in a parallel, ongoing criminal investigation.
- We have defended a major toy company and others against various claims by independent inventors for misappropriation of product ideas.
- We represented a leading information reporting and media company in a federal case against a competitor alleging that the competitor illegally accessed its proprietary software system and used that illegal access to copy aspects of our client’s market-leading product.