Intellectual Property Litigation


Morrison & Foerster's litigation practice covers all aspects of intellectual property disputes, from complex patent litigation to trademark and interference matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Our clients benefit from one of the largest and best respected patent groups in the world, with nearly 350 attorneys, two-thirds of whom are litigators.

Clients rely on our deep and talented pool of litigators, including a number of the most accomplished trial attorneys in the U.S. The size and experience of our litigation team has provided us with expertise in a variety of venues, including all of the district courts that handle high volumes of patent litigation, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In fact, we were one of the most active in district court representations, ranking second among all law firms in a recent survey.

Our litigators represent clients in all types of trade practice claims under both federal and state laws:  trademark, service mark, and trade dress infringement; dilution; unfair competition; counterfeiting; cybersquatting; and unfair advertising cases. In addition, we have represented many clients in disputes involving infringing Internet domain names and cybersquatting through ICANN’s arbitration procedures. Our clients include both U.S. and non-U.S. concerns, including major corporations, new information technology and life sciences ventures, universities, and nonprofit research institutions.

Our team approach ensures that litigation clients whose cases include scientific or other complex issues benefit from the integration of our patent prosecution practice with our IP litigation practice.

Our intellectual property litigators have won scores of high-stakes cases involving disputes over key patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property for clients such as Bayer, Chiron, EchoStar, Novartis, and Pioneer. We also bring substantial expertise in fields such as biotechnology, chemical technology, communications, electronics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and software.

Our intellectual property litigators are known for their courtroom skills, their ability to analyze the key issues in a case and develop a novel solution for resolving or winning it, and their depth of experience in industries such as life sciences and information technology.

Most recently, our IP litigation practice was recognized as the 2013 Chambers USA Intellectual Property Firm of the Year and a 2012 Law360 Practice Group of the Year.

Bayer
In August 2005, plaintiff Abbott Labs filed suit in the Northern District of California against Bayer and Roche, two of the leading manufacturers of blood glucose meters and strips, asserting infringement of two of plaintiff's patents (Abbott Labs, et al. v. Roche, Bayer). After our client Bayer won summary judgment on one of the patents, the case was reassigned to a new judge, who consolidated it for trial with a related set of cases involving Becton-Dickinson and set a trial date within six weeks on the second patent. The court broke the trial into three phases. Roche settled before trial. After a six-day bench trial in June 2008, in a 54-page opinion, the court found in Bayer's favor on all claims. The court invalidated every asserted claim as obvious, and also found the patent unenforceable because two Abbott employees concealed material information from the Patent Office during prosecution. Bayer has now prevailed on both patents and all asserted claims.
Echostar Communications Corporation
In Forgent Networks, Inc. v. Echostar Communications Corporation, et al. (Eastern District of Texas), we obtained a defense jury verdict for EchoStar in a patent lawsuit brought by Forgent against essentially the entire cable and satellite television industry, including EchoStar, DIRECTV, Comcast, Cable One, Time Warner, Charter, and Cox, as well as Motorola, Digeo, and Scientific-Atlanta, in Tyler, Texas. The case involved patents allegedly directed to DVRs. Forgent alleged that it invented the DVR in 1991. All defendants other than EchoStar settled shortly before trial, leaving EchoStar as the sole defendant. In May 2007, after approximately an hour of deliberations, an eight-person jury found all of the asserted claims invalid as anticipated, obvious, and lacking an adequate written description. EchoStar did not contest infringement at trial and argued only invalidity. At the time, this was only the second defense jury verdict in a patent case in the Eastern District of Texas.
Novell, Inc.
In SCO v. Novell, Inc. (District of Utah), we won a multi-million dollar award in representation of Novell in a high-profile trial in the District of Utah regarding Novell's right to royalty payments from UNIX software licenses granted by SCO. We won dismissal with prejudice on behalf of Novell in two software patent cases (IAS v Novell and France Telecom v Novell, D. Del.), after decisive pre-trial victories. We currently represent Novell in litigation brought by the SCO Group (SCO v. Novell, D. Ut.) that is embroiling the Linux industry. SCO has sued Novell for "slander of title" based on Novell's contention that ownership of the UNIX copyrights that are at issue in broader litigation initiated by SCO did not transfer to SCO. We won summary judgment for Novell in a much-watched suit brought by SCO concerning ownership of the copyrights to UNIX and UnixWare. In 2003, SCO claimed that Linux was an illegal knockoff of the UNIX operating system, which SCO alleged it had purchased from Novell. The court held that, as a matter of law, Novell was in fact the owner of those copyrights. The Wall Street Journal described the ruling as "a boon to the 'open source' software movement...that has become an alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system." The matter then proceeded to a bench trial, at which Novell was awarded over $3 million on its counterclaims. The matter is currently on appeal before the 10th Circuit.
Pioneer Corporation
In Pioneer Corp. v. Samsung SDI Co. (United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas), we represented Pioneer and its affiliates in two patent disputes with Samsung involving plasma display panel (“PDP”) technology. Pioneer and Samsung are two of the largest manufacturers of plasma display panels. Pioneer is the plaintiff in both disputes, one of which is a declaratory judgment action. In September 2006, Pioneer filed an action against Samsung and its affiliates in the Eastern District of Texas, asserting infringement of two of Pioneer's patents. Samsung SDI then filed counterclaims, asserting that Pioneer and its affiliates infringed Samsung's PDP patents. On October 28, 2008, a jury in the Eastern District of Texas decided that three Samsung entities had willfully infringed the patents in suit and awarded Pioneer $59.3 million in compensatory damages. The case has since settled.
Topcon Positioning Systems v. Javad Ashjaee and Javad Navigation Systems
Successful defense of Russian technology company and inventor concerning global positioning systems technology.
Rosen v. PCCW Global (C.D. Cal.)
Won summary judgment for communications provider PCCW Global in matter alleging that PCCW had violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. (2010)
Data Speed Technology LLC v. VMware, Inc.
(District of Delaware). Representing VMware in a patent infringement lawsuit asserting patents directed to enabling access to a shared storage device by multiple computers.
Oracle v. Google
(Northern District of California). Lead counsel for Oracle America in an action for copyright and patent infringement based on Google’s inclusion of Java platform technology in the Android software platform and operating system.
UbiComm LLC v. VMware, Inc.
(District of Delaware). Representing VMware in a patent infringement lawsuit asserting patents directed to technologies for triggering computer “events” based on contextual information, such as the user’s location.
Smartphone Litigation
Co-lead counsel in a high-profile smartphone case leading to a jury verdict of over $1 billion.

Chambers USA 2018

National: Intellectual Property
National: International Trade: Intellectual Property (Section 337)
California: Intellectual Property
California: Intellectual Property (Patent Prosecution)
Washington D.C.: Intellectual Property (Litigation)


Chambers Global 2018
Global: Intellectual Property
Asia-Pacific Region: Intellectual Property
China: Intellectual Property: International Firms
Japan: Intellectual Property: International Firms
United States: Intellectual Property (Patent)
United States: Intellectual Property (Section 337)


Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019
Japan: Intellectual Property: International Firms
Asia-Pacific Region: Intellectual Property


U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms 2019 
National: IP Litigation 
National: Patent Litigation
National: Patent Law
Los Angeles: IP Litigation 
Los Angeles: Patent Litigation
San Diego: IP Litigation 
San Diego: Patent Litigation
San Diego: Patent Law 
San Francisco: IP Litigation
San Francisco: Patent Litigation 
San Francisco: Patent Law 
Washington D.C.: IP Litigation 
Washington D.C.: Patent Litigation 

Best Lawyer

“MoFo has one of the largest and highest-rated intellectual property practices in the world. The firm’s litigators are renowned for their success in high-stakes, complex cases worldwide with some of the top trial and appellate lawyers in the US. The firm is noted for its US Supreme Court and appellate practice.”


Global Chambers 2018

“Active on a range of matters within the IP field, including litigation and international arbitration. Strengths include copyright and patent infringement issues, as well as misappropriation of trade secrets, management of patent portfolios and investigations. Cross-border reach from US offices, with a notable presence in the Asia-Pacific, including a market-leading office in Japan.”


USA Chambers 2018

“Sophistication in the IP area…combined with an exceptional level of client service.”


Chambers Asia Pacific

“Enjoys a sound reputation in this space across China and Hong Kong, and is well regarded in Japan. Especially strong in patent litigation cases, and in handling cross-border transactional matters. Possesses an impressive client following among technology, pharmaceutical and biotech companies.”

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