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The market for high-end, large-capacity, technologically advanced washing machines is intensely competitive. When LG entered the U.S. market, Whirlpool and Fischer & Paykel each sued LG, claiming LG’s washers infringed their patents. They did not prevail. Instead, in each case, Finnegan employed an aggressive pretrial strategy that identified strong invalidity defenses. The strength of LG’s prior art defenses caused the opponent in each case to submit the patents to reexamination and stay the cases, pending the reexaminations. When the reexaminations were completed years after the respective lawsuits were initiated, the Fisher & Paykel action was dismissed, and the Whirlpool action was settled at very favorable terms. LG’s washers remain one of the market leaders in the U.S.

Finnegan’s work for Eastman Chemical covers a wide variety of technologies, including Eastman’s valuable specialty polyester resin portfolio. Our work has involved drafting and prosecuting applications for commercially important technologies; specialty prosecution proceedings, such as reexaminations and reissues; the preparation of opinions; prelitigation investigations; and issues involving licensing.

Finnegan client Covidien challenged all claims in a patent directed to a surgical stapler owned by Ethicon Endo-Surgery in an inter partes review petition.  The inter partes review was instituted, and following an oral hearing, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) found the claims to be unpatentable.

On behalf of Crucible Materials, we filed an ITC patent infringement case involving industrial neodymium-iron-boron magnets and prevailed against all eight respondents. We obtained a combination of consent orders, cease and desist orders, limited exclusion orders, and general exclusion orders against Chinese competitors. The general exclusion order prohibits all of Crucible’s foreign competitors from importing infringing magnets, regardless of whether they were parties to the ITC case. We later brought an enforcement action that resulted in civil penalties of $1.5 million against several respondents. The civil penalty was affirmed on appeal.

We represented a major travel-related company in securing worldwide patent protection on a diverse portfolio of software and business-method–related inventions. We advised and defended the client on various allegations of patent infringement and third-party claims for indemnification against infringement allegations.

Starbucks is a household name with thousands of retail locations across the globe and a brand that extends well beyond coffee. Finnegan successfully opposed an application for the mark LESSBUCKS COFFEE for coffee, tea, and coffee- and tea-based beverages and related retail locations. We obtained a ruling that the STARBUCKS trademarks is a famous mark entitled to a broad scope of protection, and that the LESSBUCKS mark was likely to cause confusion.

Finnegan client, the American Petroleum Institute (API) entered into a settlement agreement—the latest in a series of enforcement actions to protect the integrity of API’s engine oil certification program that Finnegan has handled for API. The lawsuit alleged that Tailor Made Oil and its owners, William and Rebecca Selkirk, had falsely claimed their engine oil had been licensed by API to use the API engine oil quality certification marks that denote an oil meets the stringent API engine oil performance standards. The defendants admitted that they counterfeited API’s engine oil quality certification marks and made false performance claims for Tailor Made-branded engine oil sold to consumers and multiple branches of the military. As part of the settlement, Tailor Made Oil agreed to a 10-year ban on bottling or marketing any engine oil for diesel engines and for use in gasoline engines in cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles. They also agreed to pay API’s costs in this litigation. API initially engaged Finnegan to obtain and test a variety falsely labeled engine oil products manufactured by a number of different businesses. After the test results confirmed that the engine oils did not meet API standards as claimed, Finnegan then launched a multipart, simultaneous attack on these businesses and individuals, filing counterfeiting, trademark infringement, and false advertising claims against twelve defendants in two different federal courts. Finnegan also coordinated efforts to apprise the U.S. Navy of the infringement because our investigation uncovered significant sales of falsely labeled products to naval and marine bases in the United States and abroad. Finnegan was able to obtain multiple preliminary and/or permanent injunctions against the defendants in all of these cases. Ultimately, each of the defendants capitulated and agreed to settlement.

Finnegan has represented Boston Scientific in a variety of patent matters since 1995. The work has included prosecution of hundreds of U.S. and foreign patent applications in the medical device area. Finnegan has also represented Boston Scientific in interferences, due diligence investigations of target companies, product freedom-to-operate opinions, reissue applications, and European oppositions.

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.

Finnegan represented the plaintiff in Massachusetts and California federal courts in a long-running copyright battle between two social networking websites. The case established new law on subject matter jurisdiction over copyright claims in federal court.


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