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In MVP: Finnegan's Donald Dunner

Law360
December 13, 2012

Related Professionals: Dunner, Donald R.

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Law360 profiled Finnegan partner Donald R. Dunner in their December 2012 series of MVPs in the legal industry. Dunner was recognized for his intellectual property work in two victories for Akamai Technologies, Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

Dunner successfully argued on behalf of Finnegan client Akamai in an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The August 2012 en banc decision will make it easier for patent holders to prove induced infringement. “The law has always been that all the steps of a claim have to be performed, but it has not always been the law that all the steps have to be performed by one party,” he said. “But in a recent series of cases preceding ours, the court had said that only one person could perform those steps, and carved a very narrow exception. We argued that was bad law.”

In March 2012, Dunner also secured a favorable Federal Circuit decision for Lockheed. The court reversed an earlier U.S. Court of Federal Claims decision regarding the scope of government-contractor immunity.

These recent wins are the latest in a career spanning more than 50 years in which Dunner has argued more than 160 appeals. Dunner told Law360 he especially enjoys patent appeals before the Federal Circuit. “Whether there is a billion dollars involved or $100, each side gets 15 minutes to argue.”