Christina Blais is involved in many aspects of discovery and trial preparation. She has experience in a wide variety of civil litigation matters, including breach of contract and intellectual property disputes.
Cases of Note
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company v. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation: We represented TSMC against China's then-leading semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, in the largest trade secret misuse case tried to date. SMIC owed its very existence to technology stolen from our client. Following a jury verdict on liability in favor of TSMC, SMIC agreed to pay $200 million in cash and approximately $130 million of its company stock. The case serves as precedent for the strong protection afforded by California's trade secret statute, even where the actual theft occurred in Asia.
STC.UNM v. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company: We served as lead counsel for TSMC in this investigation before the International Trade Commission. We secured a very favorable settlement and then dismissal, safeguarding TSMC’s freedom to operate certain advanced semiconductor patterning techniques patented by the University of New Mexico.
Software Co. v. Software Co.: We defended a red-hot Silicon Valley software company that provides information analysis to the intelligence, defense, and law enforcement communities from trade secret and copyright charges. Our client's competitor brought the charges in the Eastern District of Virginia. We successfully settled the case after five and a half torrid months of rocket docket litigation.
Keller v. Electronic Arts Inc. et al: We secured a favorable settlement for Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) in this groundbreaking antitrust and right of publicity class action. Current and former student-athletes claimed EA improperly used the athletes’ likenesses and biographical information in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball video games.
United States v. McKesson Corporation: We won a complete defense judgment in favor of McKesson after a month-long trial of a qui tam action alleging violations of the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statue. The trial victory allowed McKesson to avoid paying nearly $1 billion in fines, and to avoid the collateral penalties that government agencies can impose on companies found to have paid illegal kickbacks. The Justice Department’s complaint charged McKesson with paying kickbacks to a nursing home operator in the form of underpriced services, and with submitting “legally false claims” to the government. After we had the whistleblower dismissed, a key victory, we then won dismissal of related claims that the nursing home’s supplier subsidiary failed to comply with Medicare supplier standards. With the case’s scope significantly narrowed, we lead our client through a bench trial which featured 24 witnesses, hundreds of exhibits and post-trial briefing. The judge ruled in our client’s favor, vindicating McKesson and its employees. This victory was listed by the National Law Journal as one of the year's five most significant trial wins.
STC.UNM v. Semiconductor Company: We secured a very favorable settlement and then the dismissal of an International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation for a leading semiconductor company. The patent suit was brought by STC.UNM , the licensing arm of the University of New Mexico. Through careful discovery and then summary judgment, we persuaded the court that the patent was unenforceable for most of its term, and that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue as to the remainder of its term. The standing issue was affirmed on appeal.
SanDisk Corp. v. SK Hynix Inc.: We represented SanDisk in a massive trade secret misappropriation and corporate espionage case. SanDisk, a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, sued competitor SK Hynix for misappropriating approximately ten gigabytes of highly confidential trade secret information and using that information over the course of six years to revamp Hynix’s technology and unfairly compete with SanDisk. We obtained a sweeping preliminary injunction that barred Hynix from any further use or disclosure of stolen SanDisk information, and fought back efforts to dismiss the case, to send it to arbitration, to transfer it overseas, and to remove it from the court that granted the preliminary injunction. Following a series of courtroom victories for our client, the parties reached a confidential settlement and entered into a product supply agreement.
In re Qvale Estate: We represented the Qvale Auto Group and its president Bruce Qvale in bitterly-contested litigation concerning the $100 million + estate of auto industry pioneer Kjell Qvale. We successfully defended our clients against claims of elder abuse and undue influence, ultimately obtaining a highly favorable settlement on the eve of trial.
Cisco Systems, Inc. v. Arista Networks, Inc.: We defended Arista Networks in this groundbreaking case which raised the important question of whether and to what extent functional computer commands merit copyright protection. Cisco accused Arista, run by a former Cisco vice president, of copyright infringement for the use of more than 500 commands used to configure network switches. Cisco also accused Arista of infringing two patents, one of which it dismissed before trial. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in our client’s favor on both the copyright and patent claims.
AWARDS AND HONORS
- LSU Chancellor's List, 2005, 2006
- CALI Awards in International Intellectual Property, Patent, Administrative Law and Sports & Entertainment Law
- LSU Trial Advocacy Board
- LSU Civil Flory Trial Novice Award, Spring 2005