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Finnegan has represented many healthcare companies in transactions that included strategic counseling on antitrust and patent misuse issues. For example, Finnegan counseled Applera in its strategic settlement with Roche concerning PCR technology.

Finnegan represented Toshiba against infringement allegations made by Wi-LAN regarding integrated circuit technology in Toshiba television sets. The litigation was fast-paced, with trial initially set for a year after the complaint was filed. The case settled favorably just days before the trial was to begin.

Finnegan client PNC uses the mark SPENDOLOGY for online budgeting tools, and a third-party company, Spendology LLC, simultaneously began “using” the identical mark for virtually identical services. In an attempt to take advantage of the near-simultaneous adoption of the mark, the plaintiff repeatedly tried to extort money from PNC, alleging common law trademark infringement. This case was initially litigated at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), where PNC prevailed on a motion for summary judgment on the issue of trademark priority. The TTAB ruled in favor of PNC, finding PNC had prior rights in the mark. A suit was then filed in federal court seeking an injunction and $120 million in damages. Between the time when the TTAB made its ruling and the time when the plaintiff filed suit, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the B&B Hardware case, which held that TTAB decisions on issues of likelihood of confusion could have issue preclusive effect. Given that decision, Finnegan filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on collateral estoppel grounds in view of the prior TTAB decision on the issue of “priority of use.” The presiding judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland ruled in favor of PNC in a complete victory on the motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s lawsuit. This was one of the first cases to apply the Supreme Court’s decision in B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, regarding the preclusive effect of TTAB decisions, and was the first to consider how that decision applies to issues other than likelihood of confusion. The case was appealed to the Fourth Circuit, where it was dismissed after briefing on a procedural ground, only to be reinstated and taken up on the merits. The Fourth Circuit squarely affirmed the district court ruling on the ground that the issue of priority decided by the TTAB was identical to the issue of priority presented to the district court. Finally, the plaintiff requested a writ of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied.

Finnegan represented Winbond Electronics Corporation in several antitrust cases filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and by class-action plaintiffs in numerous states and Canadian provinces. The allegations involved price fixing in the DRAM industry. Finnegan successfully showed that Winbond was not involved in the discussions that formed the basis of the Justice Department investigation, and therefore negotiated settlements in most of the cases, either at no cost to Winbond or for very nominal settlement amounts.

Finnegan represented Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda, who were each sued in Eastern District of Texas by Norman IP Holdings.  The plaintiff alleged infringement of five semiconductor microprocessor patents that it had acquired from Advanced Micro Devices.  The Finnegan team mounted a strong defense against these allegations and put together a compelling invalidity challenge to all the patents.  All three vehicle manufacturers settled on favorable terms.

Finnegan successfully represented Sensio, Inc. in IPR proceedings involving three design patents directed to triple slow-cooker designs.  Sensio established that the claimed designs were in the prior art and countered the patent owner's attempt to antedate the prior art references.  After an oral argument, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) found all three patents to be anticipated and obvious in view of prior designs.  Finnegan also represented Sensio in the co-pending district court litigation in Kansas, which Finnegan successfully argued should be stayed during the pendency of the IPR proceedings.

Zoll Lifecor filed eight petitions for inter partes review, challenging eight patents owned by Finnegan client Philips.  Following preliminary responses filed by Philips, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied institution because Zoll Lifecor failed to identify its parent company Zoll Medical, who was in litigation with Philips, as a real party in interest. Zoll Lifecor then appealed the PTAB’s decisions to the Federal Circuit and all eight appeals were dismissed on Philips’s motion for lack of jurisdiction.

Finnegan represented the patent owner in infringement litigation against a former reseller of an additively manufactured product, which was making and selling infringing versions of the client’s products.

Finnegan represented Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (“MRIS”) against antitrust counterclaims to MRIS’s claims for trademark and copyright infringement related to real estate listings. Finnegan successfully obtained summary judgment of the original antitrust counterclaims and the amended counterclaims.

Several patents owned by Finnegan client VirnetX were challenged through seven inter partes review (IPR) petitions filed by RPX.  The facts suggested that RPX had been acting on behalf of another, unnamed time-barred entity.  In the window between the filing of the petitions and the due date for its preliminary responses, VirnetX sought discovery on the relationship between RPX and the other entity.  The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) authorized VirnetX to file a motion for additional discovery and granted the motion—one of the few instances where the PTAB authorized, let alone granted, a motion for additional discovery.  Leveraging the discovery in its preliminary responses, VirnetX secured non-institution decisions from the Board, which found that the petitioner was acting as proxy for the time-barred entity—the true real party-in-interest.


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