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. Generalists and registered patent attorneys work side-by-side litigating the most complex patent matters. A distinguishing feature of our intellectual property practice is the frequency with which our 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. Chambers USA, in ranking us as one of the top IP practices in New York, quotes a client who says, "They are great, great trial lawyers. Their trial skills are just right up there with the best I have seen." 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 PLC’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. We are also ranked as a leading law firm by Managing Intellectual Property magazine. The magazine recognizes our IP group at its most prestigious level, "Highly Recommended," in the areas of Patent and Copyright for New York. It praises our “high quality services across the full spectrum of IP law,” noting that the firm is “particularly well-known for patent and copyright litigation.” The firm also ranks nationally for Patent, Copyright and Trademark litigation.
Patterson Belknap has litigated “bet-the-company” patent disputes for decades. We have represented clients in some of the most notable patent cases and clients represented by the firm received three of the 10 largest settlements of patent cases ever. For instance, after a series of related trials involving a ground-breaking patent, we obtained judgments and settlements for our client totaling $3.6 billion, including in 2010 a settlement of $1.725 billion, one of the largest settlements ever of a patent infringement case in the United States.
We are ranked among the top 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 trial skills.” Our team “receives the most widespread acknowledgment for its performance in high stakes patent litigation” and is “particularly strong on life sciences patent litigation.” U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" also ranked us among the top-tier patent law firms both nationally and in New York City.
Many of our attorneys have scientific and technical backgrounds and industry experience in fields such as chemistry, biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, statistics, mathematics, and electrical, chemical and nuclear engineering.
We have tried many patent cases in federal District Courts and have argued many appeals in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. We are engaged in AIA trial proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We also have tried patent cases before the International Trade Commission. We have conducted U.S. and international arbitrations in this country and abroad, and have supervised and worked with foreign counsel on patent litigation matters. In addition, we negotiate patent licenses 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 out of court.
Representative matters include:
- For over a decade we represented a medical device manufacturer in a series of “bet-the-company” patent cases relating to coronary stents. We conducted 14 trials, preliminary injunction hearings and arbitration trials involving infringement, validity and/or enforceability issues. In January 2010, one of these disputes settled with our client receiving $1.725 billion – the largest settlement of any patent infringement case. In total, our client collected more than $3.6 billion in this series of cases. The cases leading up to the $1.725 billion settlement include the following:
- As plaintiffs, we won 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 2000) and an arbitration award of $425 million (in 2003).
- In September 2008, both jury verdicts were affirmed and the district court entered a judgment of over $1.2 billion, including post-verdict damages and prejudgment interest;
- In June 2005, we won jury verdicts of infringement on second and third generation infringing products, which were later affirmed on appeal, and that directly led to the $1.725 billion settlement;
- As defendant, we won a jury verdict (in 2001), later upheld on appeal, that a patent asserted against our client was invalid as obvious; and
- In January 2009, the Court of Appeals found that a patent asserted against our client was invalid as obvious as a matter of law and reversed a judgment against our client in a case where the plaintiff was seeking over a billion dollars in damages.
- We successfully represented a major pharmaceutical company in a Hatch-Waxman case against three manufacturers of generic drugs, involving our cient’s blockbuster treatment for HIV and AIDS. After discovery, the defendants withdrew their challenge to validity and infringement for patents on the drug molecule and methods of its use. In addition, the district court granted our motion for summary judgment that the defendants infringe patents on methods of manufacture and a crystal form of the drug. Following a trial, the district court rejected the defendants’ validity defenses and entered judgment in our client’s favor on all issues on all of the asserted patents.
- We represent a major pharmaceutical company and a major university in one of the first cases under the legislation for biosimilars (BPCIA) and the first involving an antibody product. A biosimilar manufacturer brought a declaratory judgment action in an attempt to bypass the BPCIA’s litigation provisions while obtaining the benefit of its regulatory framework. The district court granted our motion to dismiss the action.
- We successfully represented a pharmaceutical company in a Hatch-Waxman case against a generic manufacturer seeking FDA approval for a generic version of our client’s migraine medication. We obtained a favorable claim construction, leading the defendant to stipulate to infringement. After a trial, the district court rejected defendant’s invalidity defense and entered judgment for our client.
- In a case involving polymer-coated medical devices, we obtained a favorable claim construction for our client, exclusion of plaintiff’s two infringement experts for junk science under Daubert, and summary judgment of noninfringement, followed by an order declaring the case “exceptional” and awarding our client the full amount of the attorney fees and expert fees it had incurred in defending the action. The Federal Circuit affirmed both the grant of summary judgment and the award of fees in our client’s favor.
- We obtained an important victory on behalf of a major pharmaceutical company in a Hatch-Waxman case involving its largest selling drug for treating heartburn and acid reflux. The court ruled in our client’s favor that the asserted patents were infringed, and not invalid or unenforceable, and granted a permanent injunction.
- We successfully defended a major medical device manufacturer in a case involving patents on ultrasonic surgical instruments. The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that 26 of the claims that plaintiff asserted against our client were invalid as anticipated by the prior art and held as a matter of law that the remaining claims were invalid as obvious.
- We successfully represented a leading centrifuge manufacturer in a multi-district litigation brought by a rival against 17 defendants. We led the joint defense effort to invalidate four patents related to the recovery of oil from evaporated thin stillage. In granting our motions for summary judgment, the district court declared the patents invalid on multiple grounds: anticipation, obviousness, incorrect inventorship, lack of written description and enablement.
- Plaintiff accused our client of infringing several patents on coronary stents. At our request, the district court bifurcated our client’s laches defense from other issues for an early trial. Following a bench trial, the district court rejected plaintiff’s claims as barred by laches and dismissed the complaint.
- We won a jury verdict that our client did not infringe a patent on a contact lens. The district court upheld the verdict and, as a further basis for the judgment, relied on our cross-examination of the patentee’s expert as a basis for striking his testimony and further held that without that testimony the patentee lacked evidence needed to prove infringement. The Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment of noninfringement in our client’s favor.
- 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.
Copyright / Trademark
Patterson Belknap is actively involved in litigating copyright disputes. Our practice is recognized among the top in New York by Chambers USA, highlighting our strength in both brand protection and copyright. 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.