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One of our long-standing clients asked us for advice on how to expand its patent portfolio to include nanotechnology. We researched the activities of its competitors, reported our findings, and suggested a course of action to a group of its senior IP counsel and technical leaders. Our report focused on the implications of nanotechnology in the client’s industry and identified desirable avenues of research and product development where nanotechnology could be implemented and protected to provide an advantage in the marketplace.

Finnegan represents a New England company in the coordination of their patent protection strategies for biofuel technologies. We also counsel this client regarding strategic partnerships and provide landscape analysis.

Our client had the technology and the IP but not the market presence. A major pharmaceutical company needed a portfolio of diagnostic products. We assisted our client in a lengthy negotiation over a partnership arrangement that allowed both companies to prosper. While IP was an important part of the transaction, we assisted in creating contractual protection of the client’s business interests, particularly in the event of a separation.

When LG’s “Life’s Good” and “LG Life’s Good” corporate taglines were challenged, the company turned to Finnegan. On the eve of the trial, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss with prejudice all claims. The “Life’s Good” campaign and mark continue to run globally for a wide range of products.

On the third day of trial in the Eastern District of Texas, the judge directed a verdict against the plaintiffs and in favor of Finnegan clients ADT Security Systems, Inc. and Digital Security Controls, Ltd. on all claims.  The plaintiffs were seeking damages for the alleged infringement of a patent relating to a telephone line coupler circuit.  The judge’s ruling for the defendants followed in the wake of a number of favorable rulings on pretrial motions that narrowed the scope of the case.

Nuvera Fuel Cells retained Finnegan to manage all of the company's IP portfolio assets, which were recently consolidated. Much of the management is focused on the procurement of patents, both U.S. and foreign, directed to various aspects of fuel cell technology.

In its highly anticipated Bilski v. Kappos decision, issued on June 28, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's "machine−or−transformation" test, which required that a patentable process either be tied to a machine or apparatus or involve a transformation of a particular article into a different state or thing.   The Court also affirmatively recognized that "business methods" are not categorically excluded from the scope of 35 U.S.C. § 101.   The decision was the culmination of Finnegan’s efforts on behalf of the applicants in In re Bilski, which began with the Supreme Court granting Finnegan’s petition for a writ of certiorari filed in June 2009.  The petition sought to overturn a decision issued on October 30, 2008, by the Federal Circuit which set forth a test requiring that a patentable process either be tied to a machine or apparatus or involve a transformation of one thing into something else.  While the Supreme Court affirmed the rejection of the Bilski business method patent application, its decision overturning the Federal Circuit’s machine-or-transformation test was a victory for patents on business method and software.  Finnegan made the oral argument before the Court on November 9, 2009. 

When Walgreen Co. faced a damage award of nearly $20 million, including prejudgment interest, for infringement of a patent on a “head chair,” the company turned to Finnegan. Although Walgreen had sold only $220,000 of the product, a jury awarded over $1 million in lost profits and another $10 million in future lost profits, which grew to nearly $20 million with interest. On appeal, the Federal Circuit agreed with our argument that the jury award, and the expert testimony on which it was based, was so speculative that it could not stand. The court granted a remittitur, reducing the damage award to $220,000—the amount of actual sales—and further reversed the award of prejudgment interest as it was based on future sales that had not occurred.

We assisted our client in developing and negotiating an arrangement for pooling essential patents for an adopted standard. We created contracts by which the client became the agent for the patent owners in granting licenses to all applicants on a RAND basis.

Nearly a year after accusing firm client FedEx of patent infringement in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Big Baboon, Inc. of Sunnyvale, California, agreed to dismiss its claims against FedEx.  The stipulated dismissal came after Finnegan attorneys persuaded Big Baboon that its accusations were baseless. 


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