More than half of Patterson Belknap's litigators have held judicial clerkships, including at the federal District Court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court levels as well as various state levels. Many have gained invaluable experience through the public roles they played prior to joining the Firm, such as Attorney General of the State of New Jersey and acting head of the Southern District’s Major Crimes Unit. In addition, a number of our attorneys have served as federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York and the District of New Jersey.
Patterson Belknap litigators handle matters in all dispute resolution fora. Together they have tried cases in federal court in every judicial Circuit. They are equally skilled in trying cases in New York state courts. At the same time, our lawyers have represented clients in matters before The American Arbitration Association, The Center for Public Resources, The Conflict Prevention & Resolution International Center for Dispute Resolution, The Hague, International Centre for Dispute Resolution, International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, Jams, The London Court of International Arbitration and UNCITRAL. Many of our attorneys are themselves practicing arbitrators and mediators who know the value of resolving a dispute through alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
The Firm recently represented a Mexican industrial consortium, along with one of its core subsidiaries, in a contract dispute with an international truck manufacturer. After our client had provided quality components for over ten years, the truck manufacturer terminated the parties’ supply contract and sued for past shipping costs. Our client countersued for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement related to the parties’ contractual relationship. Patterson Belknap defended against the shipping cost claims while arguing that it was the truck manufacturer, and not our client, who had breached the terms of the parties’ agreements. In a separate recent matter, Firm litigators secured the dismissal of allegations brought by a prominent hedge fund against our client, a Fortune 500 energy company. In the 1980’s our client leased an interest in a power plant to a banking and financial services corporation with an option to buy it back. In turn, the financial services corporation sold an interest to a hedge fund. After our client bought back the interest in 2012, the hedge fund sued, alleging flaws in the appraisal process that was used to determine the value of the interest. Patterson Belknap attorneys argued that the energy company’s agreement with the hedge fund barred it from seeking damages. A New York state judge agreed with our arguments and dismissed the complaint against our client.
Patterson Belknap also represented a leading supplier to the healthcare industry in litigation in which an owner and operator of hospitals sought a declaration that it was not in breach of failing to pay millions of amounts due under the parties’ hospital software development agreement. Our team removed the case from state to federal court and asserted counterclaims, persuading the plaintiff to agree to mediation and securing a favorable settlement.
False Claims Act and Whistleblower Defense
Patterson Belknap’s False Claims Act and Whistleblower Defense Team regularly defends manufacturing and engineering companies in the event a current or former employee, or “whistleblower,” alleges some form of improper or unlawful conduct. Our experienced team includes complex commercial litigators, former prosecutors, a former state Attorney General, employment attorneys, and corporate and securities attorneys who come together to formulate and implement comprehensive strategies to address these claims and accompanying investigations.
Our team’s experience includes representing major corporations in connection with investigations and litigations brought under unfair and deceptive act statutes and the False Claims Act. These claims arise from allegations of pricing and reimbursement fraud. In one such case, the team represented a global manufacturing and engineering company in an action based on claims by a former employee that the company misrepresented discounts to commercial customers.
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Intellectual Property Litigation
The protection of intellectual property is critical to our manufacturing clients. Our intellectual property lawyers are well-rounded, handling both litigation and transactions. Generalists and registered patent attorneys work side-by-side litigating the most complex patent matters. 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.
For over a decade we 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. The last of the disputes settled with our client receiving $1.725 billion. In total, this client collected more than $3.6 billion. In addition, we recently obtained a reversal in the Federal Circuit of a $593 million jury verdict related to coronary stents.
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.
Our attorneys are also highly skilled in trade secret litigation on behalf of manufacturing clients. Our wins have included securing the dismissal of trade secret misappropriation claims asserted against a jet plane manufacturer and successfully representing a manufacturer of wireless modules in a New York Supreme Court case involving claims of trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition. We also successfully defended a medical manufacturer in a dispute involving claims of theft of trade secrets, breach of contract and unfair competition.
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Complex science, groundbreaking legal issues and nationwide case-management challenges all come into play when a company defends itself against a products liability suit. And with cases routinely brought against a broad range of industries, no manufacturer is immune from these concerns.
Our Products Liability attorneys frequently serve as national and regional litigation counsel for manufacturers of a variety of products, coordinating a select group of firms across the United States—all with proven defense and case-management skills. For manufacturers headquartered abroad, we help them make sound business decisions to minimize liability in the United States and to defend products under attack.
Outside the courtroom, we apply insights gleaned from successful trials when advising clients on the sale and marketing of new products, including medical devices, tires, cosmetics and chemicals. As mediation counsel, we also secure early, cost-conscious resolutions that protect our clients’ businesses.
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