When cases matter most, the world’s leading innovators and product developers call on us to protect their technology and intellectual property, indeed the core of their business. We help our clients deal with IP disputes of every type -- patents, trade secrets, copyrights, and trademarks.
We have successfully litigated and tried cases involving technical fields ranging from telecom to biotech, from semiconductors to pharmaceuticals, and from cellular to medical devices. For market leaders to startups - domestic and foreign clients - from Delaware to Virginia to Texas to Wisconsin to California - we are the "go to" lawyers for many of the most novel and significant IP disputes throughout the country.
Robert Van Nest was named the 2013 "Lawyer of the Year" by California Lawyer, and the 2012 "Lawyer of the Year" by the Daily Journal and The Recorder for successfully defending Google against Oracle's $6 billion copyright and patent claims over technology in the Android operating system.
Chambers ranks Keker & Van Nest as one of the top Intellectual property firms in the nation. Robert Van Nest and Jeffrey Chanin are ranked as Band 1 lawyers in California.
The Daily Journal has recognized Robert Van Nest, David Silbert, Jeffrey Chanin, Elliot Peters, and Michael Kwun as Leading IP Litigators in California.
Legal 500 stated we have "the ability to cut through to the essence of a case and empower juries and judges to decide complex issues."
Cases of Note
Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc.: We represented Google in a high-stakes patent and copyright war brought by Oracle with billions of dollars at stake. Oracle, which bought the Java programming language by acquiring Sun Microsystems in January 2010, alleged that Google’s Android mobile technology infringed Oracle's Java patents and copyrights. An expert for Oracle estimated Google owed Oracle up to $6 billion in damages for infringement. Our team defended Google against all the patent and copyright claims, and also argued that the damage estimates were wildly inflated. Following repeated rounds of motions and briefing, the judge dismissed the bulk of Oracle’s copyright claims, and at trial the jury rendered a unanimous verdict rejecting all claims of patent infringement. Although the jury decided that Google infringed an Oracle copyright on nine out of millions of lines of source code, the case is considered a sweeping victory for Google, with zero damages.
VS Technologies LLC v. Twitter Inc.: By winning a defense verdict in this federal jury trial, we protected Twitter Inc. from a patent infringement suit and $40 million damages claim. Virginia-based VS Technologies had obtained a patent for “an interactive virtual community of famous people,” and sued Twitter over its virtual community technology. During the six-day trial, we argued that Twitter's Browse Interests feature did not infringe the terms of the patent and that in fact, the patent was invalid. The jury agreed, and found Twitter not liable for patent infringement.
In re NCAA Name & Likeness Litigation: We represent Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) in a groundbreaking case that will determine how First Amendment protections apply to videogames. This right of publicity case was brought by a putative national class of current and former student athletes in the Northern District of California against EA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Collegiate Licensing Company. Plaintiffs claim EA improperly used the athletes’ likenesses and biographical information in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball video games. The case is currently on appeal at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. At issue is what legal test the circuit will adopt when balancing the right of publicity against rights of free expression.
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. v. Avant! Corporation: We secured an injunction, restitution and settlement monies totaling $460 million for our client Cadence Design Systems, Inc. in a suit for misappropriation of its trade secrets against Avant! and its founders. We referred the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney which secured criminal convictions of the company and four executives.
Chiron Corp. v. Genentech, Inc.: We represented Genentech, Inc. in a high-stakes patent trial. The plaintiff claimed our client's recombinantly engineered, “humanized” therapeutic for breast cancer infringed on the plaintiff's patent. We obtained a jury verdict invalidating the asserted patent on written description and enablement grounds. The verdict was later affirmed on appeal.
Comcast Cable Communications, LLC v. Finisar Corporation: We won summary judgment dismissing Sunnyvale-based Finisar Corporation’s patent infringement claim against Comcast Cable Communications, LLC. We first convinced U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup to cut potential damages from $590 million to $140 million, and later to invalidate the data transmission patent at issue. Finisar appealed, however the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation v. Semiconductor Company: We represented a leading semiconductor company in a patent trial brought in the Eastern District of Texas. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) asserted patent infringement claims against more than a dozen of the world's leading technology companies, including our client. CSIRO contended the defendants' Wi-Fi products infringed on CSIRO's patent, and sought nine to ten figure royalty payments. A week into the jury trial, we reached a favorable settlement with CSIRO, and the remaining parties also settled favorably.
Abbott v. Medtronic, Inc.: Prior to our retention in this matter, U.S. District Court Judge Lowell Jensen had found that Medtronic, Inc. willfully infringed on Abbott's delivery system patent and enjoined Medtronic until that patent expired. The injunction included language for its term to extend if Abbott applied to extend the patent, which the company did at the same time Medtronic planned to release its device. We were then brought on as co-counsel for Medtronic, and persuaded the judge to terminate the injunction upon the patent’s natural expiration date. As a result, Medtronic's Endeavor Rx stent is now for sale on the U.S. market.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company v. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation: We represented the world’s leading semiconductor foundry, TSMC, against China’s leading semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, in the largest trade secret misuse case ever tried. SMIC owed its existence to technology stolen from our client, and faced our damages claim of $2 billion, which would have exceeded SMIC's entire market value. The parties produced nearly 18 million pages of documents and conducted 266 days of deposition in the U.S. and in Asia. Following a jury verdict in favor of our client, SMIC agreed to pay $200 million in cash and approximately $130 million of its company stock. Ultimately TSMC's goal was to protect its intellectual property, not shut down its competitor, and so settled for far less than it could have recovered. For foreign companies that market their goods and services in the U.S., this case established that California’s trade secret statute will protect the intellectual property essential to those goods and services, even if the theft occurred in Asia.
Network Appliance v. BlueArc Corporation: We obtained summary judgment for technology industry newcomer BlueArc Corporation in a multi-patent case. The plaintiff, industry stalwart Network Appliance, asserted more than 50 patent claims concerning fileserver hardware and software, and sought an injunction which would have ended our client's business. The victory on summary judgment was upheld on appeal.
Multinational Biotechnology Company v. Biopharmaceutical Company: We won partial summary judgment for a Seattle biopharmaceutical company and its founder in a trade secret and contract action over a cystic fibrosis drug. Aided by that ruling, and the favorable progress of the trial relating to the remaining claims, another biotechnology company acquired our client for $365 million mid-trial.