Paula Blizzard's practice focuses on complex business litigation and criminal matters, including antitrust and patent cases.
Before joining Keker & Van Nest in 2004, Ms. Blizzard served as special counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division in San Francisco, where she reported directly to the assistant attorney general for antitrust in Washington, D.C. She worked extensively on United States v. Microsoft, and played a significant role on the United States v. Oracle trial team.
Prior to beginning her legal career, Ms. Blizzard worked as a consultant for NASA, performing a variety of computer science and electrical engineering tasks ranging from spacecraft design to website development. In addition to her J.D. degree, she has undergraduate degrees in physics and literature.
Cases of Note
Genentech, Inc. v. The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania: On behalf of Genentech, we sought a declaration of non-infringement and invalidity of a University of Pennsylvania patent that purported to cover a specific breast cancer therapy. After a very successful pretrial conference, we were able to negotiate a settlement which greatly benefitted our client.
Biax Corp. v. Motorola Mobility et al.: We represent Motorola Mobility and third-party Broadcom in a patent case targeting a key technology underlying a wide variety of semiconductor chips. The case is pending in the District of Colorado and trial is set for 2013.
State of New York v. Intel Corp.: We were lead trial counsel for Intel Corp. in a high-profile antitrust case. The New York Attorney General claimed Intel violated federal and state antitrust statutes by maintaining an illegal monopoly in the microprocessor market. We won several key motions near the start of trial that severely limited the scope of New York's case. The matter settled shortly thereafter with a payment by Intel of only $6.5 million in partial repayment of some of New York's costs.
In re Budeprion Multidistrict Litigation: In a multi-district class action, plaintiffs challenged a drug company's product label under California's unfair competition law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act. We settled the case on extremely favorable terms to our client.
Plaintiffs v. Technology Company: We successfully handled a series of state and federal class actions, and related derivative actions for our client concerning its alleged failure to disclose discord among its management. In the federal cases, we prevailed on a motion to dismiss and the subsequent appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In the state cases we also secured dismissals.
Abbott and Fournier v. Impax Laboratories, Inc.: We represented Impax Laboratories, Inc. against Abbott and the French pharmaceutical company Fournier in a plaintiff-side antitrust case that alleged monopolization in a drug market. We led the trial presentation for all of the plaintiffs, and secured a settlement for Impax midway through the trial.
Purdue Pharma v. Impax Laboratories, Inc.: We defended Impax Laboratories, Inc. against patent claims related to generic oxycodone products. Following the Federal Circuit’s reversal and remand of inequitable conduct findings in an earlier lawsuit brought against another defendant, we brought a revised challenge under the terms of the Federal Circuit’s order. We then secured a settlement that released our client from all past liability, and gave the company a limited license.
Plaintiff v. Impax Laboratories, Inc.: Impax Laboratories, Inc. asked us to take over this patent case midway through the discovery process. We completed discovery, handled all of the depositions, and achieved a very favorable result for our client.
Plaintiffs v. National Security Agency: We are representing AT&T customers pro bono in their suit against the U.S. government over warrantless wiretapping. Our clients assert these wiretaps violate their constitutional rights and various statutes designed to limit executive power. The case is currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
United States Department of Justice v. Executive: We are representing a Japanese firm's senior executive in a Department of Justice Antitrust Division investigation of price-fixing in the freight forwarding industry.
United States Department of Justice v. LCD Panel Company: We represented a Taiwanese manufacturer of liquid crystal display screens in a massive price-fixing investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.
United States v. Executive: We represented an investment fund executive charged with criminal tax fraud related to a tax-shelter transaction that the fund designed and implemented. We resolved the matter by negotiating a plea to reduced charges.
Discover v. Visa USA, Inc.: We defended Visa USA, Inc. in one of the largest private civil antitrust matters in U.S. history. Discover sued MasterCard and Visa for alleged antitrust violations, claiming that credit card network rules affected member banks’ ability to issue American Express and Discover cards. The case settled on the eve of trial for billions less than Discover claimed. We also defended Visa in a similar action brought by American Express.
United States Department of Justice v. Sales Executive: We are representing a sales executive in a Department of Justice Antitrust Division investigation of price-fixing in the SRAM industry.
Former Employees v. Lucasfilm Ltd.: We advised Lucasfilm Ltd. in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and are now representing the company in a series of antitrust class actions brought by former employees of Lucasfilm, Apple, Intel and Pixar. Plaintiffs allege unlawful agreements related to hiring and employee retention.
Plaintiffs v. National Milk Producers Federation et al: We are defending one of the largest dairy producers in the country from an antitrust class action. Plaintiffs claim the dairy producers illegally conspired to raise market prices of milk, costing consumers $9.55 billion.
Non-Practicing Entity v. Technology Manufacturers and Patent Aggregator: When a group of technology companies refused to settle a patent infringement suit on the terms plaintiff demanded, the plaintiff filed a second suit—this time against the defendants and their defensive patent aggregator—for violation of US antitrust laws. The plaintiff’s novel theory—that defensive patent-aggregation represents a monopsony “buyer’s cartel”—would have threatened the concept of patent aggregators as a whole. Along with our co-defendants, we filed a motion to dismiss attacking plaintiff’s theory and were able to secure an early and very favorable settlement for our client. The court later granted the motion to dismiss as to the remaining defendants.
Publications and Speaking Engagements
"CAFA at Age Seven: State and Federal Court Differences in Litigating UCL Cases," The State Bar of California Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section's 22nd Annual Golden State Institute, 2012
"Women in Oral Advocacy Panel," UC Berkeley School of Law, 2012
Co-author, "ANDA Litigation: Strategies and Tactics for Pharmaceutical Patent Litigators," American Bar Association, 2012
"Offensive and Defensive Patent Portfolio Acquisition: Is Google Getting It Right?," ABA Business Law Section Meeting, 2012
"Document Retention Policies and Document Preservation," client presentation, 2012
Co-author, "Antitrust Issues that Arise in ANDA Disputes," Bloomberg BNA Pharmaceutical Law & Industry Report, 2012
"Current Trends and Issues in Antitrust Litigation," Practicing Law Institute, 2010