Intellectual Property: Patent

As profiled below, we have achieved incomparable results in patent litigation. Our success reflects the depth and talent of the lawyers in our patent practice. It also reflects the strategic and results-oriented focus we adopt for every facet of a patent case - including discovery, claim construction, summary judgment, trial, appeal, as well as alternative dispute resolution. Our approach enables us to obtain the best possible results for our clients - by out-litigating without out-spending our opposition.  

Cases of Note

Round Rock Research LLC v. SanDisk Corporation: We represented SanDisk in defending against numerous patent assertions by Round Rock, including a total of 15 patents asserted in two separate litigations in the District of Delaware, and 12 patents asserted in another litigation in the Northern District of California. We prevailed in all adjudicated phases of the Delaware and California actions before the parties reached a broad settlement. In the first Delaware phase, which culminated with a jury trial on two asserted patents, we obtained a jury verdict invalidating all asserted claims of both patents. In the next Delaware phase, a second jury trial was vacated after we obtained summary judgment invalidating claims from a third patent asserted by Round Rock. The other patents in the Delaware actions remained pending adjudication when the parties settled. In the California action, we secured final judgment in favor of SanDisk after obtaining a summary-judgment victory based on patent exhaustion.

Ziptronix v. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company: We won summary judgment of non-infringement for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. and its subsidiary TSMC, North America in a long-running patent lawsuit brought by North Carolina semiconductor company, Ziptronix, Inc. Ziptronix had asserted nine patents and more than 500 patent claims directed to TSMC’s manufacturing of semiconductors for use in backside-illumination image sensors used predominantly in smartphone cameras. On behalf of TSMC, we defeated Ziptronix’s claims by arguing that the territorial limits of U.S. patent law prohibited reaching TSMC’s business transactions and manufacturing operations in Taiwan.

Netflix, Inc. v. Rovi: We defended our clients Netflix, Inc. and Roku Corporation in a U.S. International Trade Commission complaint filed by Rovi Corporation. The complaint accused our clients, along with Mitsubishi Electric Corp., LG Electronics Inc., and Vizio Inc., of infringing several patents related to interactive program guides. The complaint sought an order banning television and media-player makers from entering the U.S. By the time of the trial, the other defendants had settled and our clients faced four patents. We successfully defended our clients, with the ALJ finding one of the patents invalid and none of the patents infringed, as well as no actionable importation or available remedy. The ITC reviewed the entire investigation and confirmed there was no violation. Rovi then pursued the matter in District Court with three of the same patents used in the ITC investigation as well as two additional patents. We composed a strategy which drew upon recent developments in patentable subject matter eligibility, and won our motion for summary judgment of invalidity on all five patents.

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.

Apple Inc. v. HTC Corp: We served as lead counsel for HTC, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of handheld devices, in its battle with Apple over smartphone technology. Apple first sued HTC in district court and before the International Trade Commission (ITC), claiming our client had infringed on 20 patents related to various computer-related technologies, including user interfaces, operating systems, power management, and digital signal processing. The ITC hearing that went to decision resulted in a favorable ruling, and HTC obtained a settlement to become the first Android handset maker licensed by Apple.

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.

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.

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.

Caritas Technologies v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld our successful defense of a $2.2 billion patent infringement claim against Comcast Cable Communications, LLC. The plaintiff had asserted that Comcast’s Digital Voice service infringed on its patents for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. We obtained a non-infringement judgment in the Eastern District of Texas, which was sustained on appeal.

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.

Key Contacts

Leo L. Lam

Leo L. Lam

(415) 391-5400
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Ashok Ramani

Ashok Ramani

(415) 676-2210
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Christa Anderson

Christa Anderson

(415) 676-2276
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