A focused team at your side
Whether defendant or plaintiff, you want an intellectual property (IP) litigation team focused on the best outcome possible for your case and your goals. When your company is faced with an IP dispute, the stakes can be staggering—literally millions or hundreds of millions of dollars can be on the line. A loss may even put an end to your business. When faced with such potential risks, you need a litigation team with deep knowledge of both the technology or science at hand and the law. You need seasoned litigators who bring a multifaceted and strategic approach to the dispute, together with a thorough understanding of your business.
At Finnegan, we understand that “victory” comes through many channels and in many forms. With more than 200 litigators, we are fully prepared and qualified to litigate through trial and appeal. We also have an impressive track record of achieving our clients’ goals before a verdict is reached. Our ability to obtain successful results in claim construction hearings, summary judgment proceedings, contested patent proceedings, arbitrations, and settlement negotiations means we often resolve cases long before trial and at considerable savings to clients. Simply stated, a successful litigation outcome is one that meets your business goals in the most cost-efficient manner possible.
Leadership in IP litigation
Finnegan’s lawyers have litigated hundreds of cases in nearly all federal district courts, numerous state courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. We routinely appear before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and its Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
Our vast archive of trial experience provides us with the insight and tools needed to handle all types of cases—large or small, complex or straightforward. We assess the potential risks and rewards of disputes, and provide creative solutions for innovative clients of all sizes, including Fortune 100, Global 1000, start-ups, and public and private organizations. We have worked with clients in virtually every industry. Our cases have involved issues as complex as human growth hormones, gene therapies, and semiconductor chips. Others have involved more everyday products, like washing machines, trampolines, and makeup brushes.
A full exploration of effective alternatives
When you retain Finnegan, our entire firm becomes part of your team. All of our expertise, our reputation, and our experience—both legal and technical—are brought to bear in deciding how to approach your case. We begin with frank and honest conversations, timely and judicious discovery, careful analysis of the potential risks and rewards, and a mapping of the strengths and weaknesses of your position. We listen carefully to better understand your business objectives, your options, your risk tolerance, and your ultimate goals. We then develop a team approach and strategy that best meets your needs.
We understand that the realities of litigation can be daunting, but we work with clients to find enterprising solutions that are both cost-effective and case-effective. Historically, fewer than four percent of district court patent cases ever go to trial. Thus, while we litigate with a potential trial or appeal in mind, our vision is to resolve each case successfully as soon and as economically as possible. This may mean pursuing litigation alternatives, such as licensing, mediation, or arbitration, or a companion proceeding before another court or administrative agency, such as the USPTO or ITC. Or you may decide that settlement is the best resolution.
District Court Litigation
Strong cases built on complete comprehension
When cases involve highly technical issues in a complex legal field, it is essential that your lawyers understand the subject matter of the dispute. Finnegan assists businesses in virtually all industries and technologies. More than 75 of our lawyers, student associates, and technical specialists hold Ph.D.’s, and 300 of our professionals have undergraduate degrees in scientific fields. This deep understanding of the technology allows us to build and present arguments that are logical, understandable, accurate, and persuasive.
We have the experience and expertise to select and prepare witnesses who provide accurate and credible testimony. Our international network of resources, combined with our technical backgrounds, enables us to identify and retain the world’s leading technical experts. Our lawyers’ training and diverse backgrounds allow them to persuasively present and cross-examine trial witnesses, particularly on complex technical issues. We have long-standing relationships with top jury consultants and graphical experts to ensure that your case is presented in the best light. When beneficial, we conduct mock trials to gauge likely outcomes and develop the most effective themes of your case.
Exploit unique challenges to your advantage
In the global economy, IP disputes are often litigated in Section 337 proceedings at the ITC. These cases involve complex technology, substantive and procedural laws that are unique to the agency, and a procedural schedule that is the fastest track to trial in the United States. Finnegan’s combination of ITC experience and technical expertise enables us to thrive in these high-pressure litigations.
ITC cases proceed to trial in about 18 months, much faster than the two-plus years in most U.S. district courts. Trials trigger settlements, and the average time to settlement is also fast in the ITC. But only those litigants that are prepared to defend their rights at trial can expect the most favorable settlements. When our clients do proceed to trial, we deploy our full range of resources, as needed.
More than 90 percent of Section 337 cases are patent disputes. They require lawyers with engineering and scientific expertise to analyze the technology, and others with extensive knowledge of ITC procedural law. We have lawyers with decades of ITC trial experience. We litigate at the ITC every day. Our ITC teams draw upon all of Finnegan’s practice groups—Electrical and Computer Technology, Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical, Chemical/Metallurgical, Mechanical, and Trademarks—to forge litigation teams with a working knowledge of the law and technology necessary for success.
Patent Office Trials
Setting the pace
Since the inception of post-grant review proceedings resulting from the America Invents Act (AIA), Finnegan has been setting the pace before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). We were the first firm to file a covered business method (CBM) review petition, the first to argue at an oral hearing, and the first to win a trial before the PTAB. Since that first trial, we have maintained our position as a leader in PTAB trial practice with a majority of our patent attorneys working on inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR), including CBM, cases. Finnegan has 220+ professionals registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and is a leading firm in terms of volume practicing before the PTAB, having represented clients—petitioners and patent owners—in more than 400 IPRs, PGRs, and CBMs.
Post-grant review proceedings have been a game changer when it comes to patent litigation strategy. Most patent infringement cases today involve not only a U.S. district court or the International Trade Commission, but also the PTAB. Before bringing suit, patent owners must be prepared to respond to one or more petitions for review challenging the asserted patent, and accused infringers must carefully consider defensive and offensive strategies to avoid moves in one venue that may hamstring positions in another.
Our understanding of patent litigation, combined with our patent prosecution and patent challenge experience before the USPTO provides our clients with a significant advantage when coordinating IPR/PGR/CBM proceedings against a litigation backdrop. It is critical for the litigation and PTAB teams to be in sync so strategies are cohesive and align for the client’s position in each case—whether it is the asserting party/patent owner or accused infringer/petitioner. And with one of the most highly regarded appellate practices in the country for handling patent appeals to the Federal Circuit, our attorneys are acutely aware of the importance of setting the record for likely appeal of either or both cases.
Insight that can make all the difference
Finnegan’s attorneys have briefed and argued more cases before the Federal Circuit than any other law firm. In addition to our experience at the Federal Circuit, we represent our clients’ interests in the regional circuit courts of appeal and the state appellate court systems. Finnegan attorneys also have been involved in many of the landmark IP cases heard by the Supreme Court, from guiding clients through the certiorari process to drafting amicus curiae briefs to arguing before the Court.
The factors that distinguish Finnegan in this highly specialized area of patent litigation are numerous. We are widely known for the quality of our briefs and oral arguments. We have a comprehensive understanding of the technology and the law, and this allows us to quickly identify the one or two arguments that hold the most promise to persuade. Our knowledge helps us craft concise and powerful arguments. In addition, we are highly experienced at preserving issues for appeal during the post-trial motion period. Our meticulous attention to detail and knowledge of science and the law also help us come up to speed quickly on cases where we did not serve as trial counsel. With only one or two briefs and 15 minutes of oral argument to make your case, Finnegan brings the type of experience that can make all the difference.
Coming together to avoid uncertainty
When circumstances warrant, we are adept at crafting settlements before, during, and after trial. Historically, some of our most significant achievements for clients have been attained through tactics that allowed them to meet their business and financial goals without the risks attendant to having a jury, judge, arbitration panel, administrative board, or appellate panel decide their future.
Our experience is that a good settlement can often result in advantageous business solutions. We can bring magistrates, mediators, and arbitrators to the table to help craft win-win scenarios. When settlement becomes an option close to or during trial, our deep bench of talent provides us with additional experienced lawyers to address settlement strategies, while allowing the litigation team to remain focused on the trial.
Arbitration and Other Alternative Dispute Resolution
Sidestepping costly choices to find better answers
Finnegan has one of the strongest reputations for litigating IP disputes through trial and appeal. But when circumstances merit its use, we favor alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Our ADR capabilities run the gamut from resolution of domestic infringement cases to settlement of multinational infringement disputes, resulting in agreements that set the standards to be used as the basis for future patent challenges. Over the past decade, we have participated in a number of important national and international ADR proceedings with the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the American Arbitration Association.
We have national and international experience in a variety of ADR procedures, including mediations before U.S. magistrate judges, under pilot programs of various U.S. district courts, before neutral experts, through various ADR organizations, and in open negotiations between principals and their lawyers. Our attorneys often act as neutral lawyers and have served as special masters and court-appointed advisors for patent cases in U.S. district courts across the country.