Mr. Hough is the Head of Morrison & Foerster’s Tokyo office Litigation Department. Mr. Hough’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and arbitration, with an emphasis on intellectual property disputes. His matters have included breach of contract claims, joint venture dissolutions, trade secret misappropriation claims, and distribution agreement disputes, among other subjects. Mr. Hough has also conducted internal investigations, and represented witnesses and subjects of government investigations.
Mr. Hough is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association (for which he served as vice chair of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section), and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (for which he served as Secretary of the Arbitration Committee). Mr. Hough obtained his law degree (J.D. 1986), cum laude, from New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Snow scholar, a member of the Order of the Coif, and a recipient of the John Norton Pomeroy and the Maurice Goodman Memorial Prizes. Mr. Hough joined Morrison & Foerster in 1991 and from 2007 to 2011, he was the Head of Litigation in the New York office. Mr. Hough is licensed as a Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi and a member of the Daini Tokyo Bar Association.
Mr. Hough’s patent litigation experience includes a variety of technical fields, including biotechnology, semiconductors, medical devices, and “business methods.” His copyright experience includes software, jewelry and toy designs, and rights to musical compositions. In a high profile case, he represented the author and publisher of the best-selling book Memoirs of a Geisha.
Representative Commercial Litigation Matters
- Lead counsel for plaintiff JPMorgan Chase in multiple litigations concerning a large real estate development in Henderson, Nevada. The dispute is described in several published decisions, including JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. KB Home, 740 F. Supp. 2d 1192, 1207 (D. Nev. 2010) (denying defendants' request to file counterclaims) and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. KB Home, 632 F. Supp. 2d 1013, 1029 (D. Nev. 2009) (largely denying defendants' motion to dismiss). After these favorable decisions, and a victory after a four day trial in bankruptcy court, the disputes settled on favorable terms.
- Lead counsel for plaintiff Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company in a dispute concerning a loan for the Las Vegas Hilton & Casino ("LVH"). After expedited discovery and a bench trial, the district court of Clark County, Nevada ordered the appointment of a receiver for the hotel and gaming operations at LVH, as requested by our client.
- Lead counsel for defendant KDDI Corporation in a contract dispute with Pacnet Network, Ltd. arising from failures of certain components used in a submarine fiber optic cable system after a major earthquake off the coast of Taiwan. Obtained dismissal of tort claims and claim for punitive damages, and prevailed on appeal in a decision reported in Pacnet Network Ltd. v KDDI Corp., 78 A.D. 3d 478 (1st Dep't 2010).
Representative IP Litigation Matters
- Lead Counsel for Reed Elsevier Inc. in White v. West Publishing, Inc. and Reed Elsevier Inc. d/b/a LexisNexis (S.D.N.Y., copyright infringement).
- Lead counsel for Avon Products in Coleman Company v. Avon Products Inc. (copyright infringement and trademark) and Avon v. Cosmetics Plus (D.S.D., trademark infringement).
- Lead counsel for L&S Broadway Company in Chapman Roberts v. Atlantic Recording Corp. and L&S Broadway Co. (S.D.N.Y., copyright infringement).
- Lead counsel for Public Technologies Multimedia in Rose v. Public Technologies (S.D.N.Y., business methods patent) and Korszun v. Public Technologies (D. Ct., software patent).
- Lead counsel for Random House and Arthur Golden in Iwasaki v. Golden and Random House (S.D.N.Y., copyright infringement and defamation arising from publication of Memoirs of a Geisha).
- Lead counsel for defendants SoftBank Mobile and NTT DoCoMo in a patent infringement case brought in the United States district court for the District of Maryland. Obtained dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction on behalf of both clients in a decision reported at Tech. Patents LLC v. Deutsche Telekon AG, et al., 573 F. Supp. 2d 903 (D. Md. 2008).
- Counsel for plaintiff Hitachi Plasma Patent Licensing Co., Ltd. in a patent infringement lawsuit against LG Electronics in the Eastern District of Texas (plasma display patents).
- Counsel for National Music Publishers Association in Eldred v. Ashcroft (Sup. Ct. amicus brief, copyright term extension).
- Counsel for National Music Publishers Association in The Football Association Premier League et. al., v. YouTube, Inc. et. al. (class action regarding copyright infringement).
- Counsel for Tendril Software Corporation in InLine Software Corporation v. Tendril Software, Inc. (D. Del., copyright and theft of trade secrets).
Representative Arbitration Matters
- ICDR arbitration in New York for an Israeli company seeking to enforce an exclusive distribution agreement against an American health care equipment distributor.
- ICDR arbitration in New York for a Japanese company against an American customer.
- ICC arbitration in Japan for a Japanese telecom company against English and American telecom companies concerning operation and maintenance of an undersea fiber optic communications cable.
- ICDR arbitration in San Francisco for a Japanese investor in a Japanese joint venture with an American software company.
- Arbitration under J.A.M.S. Rules in San Francisco for a Japanese investor in a Korean joint venture with an American software company.
- Represented multiple executives of British bank as witnesses in investigations conducted by U.S. and U.K. authorities into libor setting practices.
- Japanese chemical company: investigation requested by the board of directors triggered by receipt of grand jury subpoena regarding possible antitrust violations. Investigation included EU and US subsidiaries.
- U.S. software company: investigation of Japanese subsidiary of requested by audit committee after receipt of whistleblower complaint about revenue manipulation.
- U.S. company: investigation with internal audit committee, after receipt of whistlerblower complaint about self-dealing and FCPA violations. Investigation extended to operations in China and other parts of Asia.
- Representation of chief legal officer of a U.S. hedge fund in an investigation conducted by the New York Attorney General.
- Representation of several members of executive committee of a large U.K.–based bank in an investigation conducted by FSA in the U.K. and the DOJ, SEC, and CFTC in the U.S.
- U.S. company: investigation of Taiwanese subsidiary focused on possible FCPA violations.
- U.S. company: investigation of Philippine subsidiary focused on possible FCPA violations.
- Chinese NASDAQ-listed company: investigation requested by special committee of the board focused on possible FCPA violations.
- U.S. company: investigation of Chinese representative office requested by audit committee after receipt of whistleblower complaint alleging self-dealing by senior management and cover-up of product safety issues.