Deciding to litigate should be a business decision based on facts about your company and your competitors.
- Is someone infringing your IP rights? What will it take to stop them?
- Has one of your competitors challenged the efficacy of your product and your advertising claims? What substantiation do you need?
- Is someone threatening to sue you or demanding that you cease certain conduct? If so, how should you respond?
We help companies, large and small, uncover the facts needed to form a strategic response and determine whether to litigate. We know that litigation is not always the answer. There may be better ways to accomplish what you have in mind. You deserve to know the options.
WHAT GOES INTO YOUR DECISION TO LITIGATE?
What do you want the end result to be?
In some cases—if your brand is at stake, for example—litigation may be the only way to protect what you’ve built.
In other situations the course may not be so clear. What are the other options? How do you maintain market share, yet be compensated for what you’ve lost? What strategies will help you drive your business model? We can create those solutions.
You know what you want. We know how to get you there.
We can help you make the best business decision. We’re qualified to help because we’ve faced disputes like yours many times. We know your industries. We know what evidence is needed and how to effectively present it to the courts. And we know how long it will take and what other factors—that may seem unrelated to the IP issues—are likely to come into play.
To do that well, we’ve learned to think like our clients. To stand in their shoes. To feel the risks and to weigh the possible rewards.
We are trial lawyers who understand business.
We advise on the full range of options—licensing, cross-licensing, joint venture negotiations, alternative litigation forums, and specialized proceedings at the Patent Office, to name a few—because we believe the measure of our value is not only our highly favorable record in court, but also our skill in reaching the best business result.
When litigation is the way to go, we move fast.
Although not every case involves a request for a preliminary injunction, many in the IP and brand arena do. Without prompt help from a court, infringements of your intellectual property can kill market share or severely hurt your company.
On the other hand, if you’re accused of infringement, it can be a disruptive and costly event to your business.
Venable attorneys have extensive experience with motions for preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders involving a wide variety of products and services. We are quite adept at obtaining and blocking requests for injunctive relief.
When reexamination makes sense, we know how to manage the process.
Reexamination can be a relatively inexpensive way to establish the validity or invalidity of a patent. It’s a strategy we have helped clients use often. It can be used as a powerful tool to establish your patent over prior art or to put the brakes on an expensive infringement case. However, there are risks—including a finding of invalidity. Thus, only after carefully weighing the advantages and risks do we advise asking the Patent Office to reexamine a patent.
ADVANTAGES OF WORKING WITH VENABLE TRIAL LAWYERS
Our IP Litigation team is made up of seasoned trial lawyers who have the technical knowledge required to handle advertising issues and complex IP litigation. We litigate every kind of intellectual property dispute, including cases involving patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and unfair trade.
At any given time, we have trial teams in action across the country, often times as part of a global litigation strategy for a client.
1. We are trial lawyers, not just litigators.
There is a big difference—and it greatly affects the outcome in court. There’s really no substitute for years of standing up in court, convincing the judge or jury, and winning cases. It’s there that the value of our successful experience in court comes to the front.
2. Technical experience is just down the hall, not on the phone.
Venable has more than 60 patent and trademark practitioners, many with deep technical and industry knowledge. When we need a quick analysis on the science in a case, we need only to consult a nearby colleague. While we, of course, eventually hire an expert in nearly every case that is headed for trial, it’s the in-house depth of knowledge early in a litigation that truly adds value for our clients.
3. We’re close to the regulatory agencies that decide or influence IP decisions.
Our Washington, DC office is close to not only the Patent Office, but also the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and other influential agencies. In many cases, a Venable attorney has worked in a senior position in the agency before joining Venable.
4. You benefit from our experience in a broad array of industries.
Our practice is broad and deep, ranging from diverse types of consumer products to cutting-edge science and technology. Because we litigate patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret cases, we understand the big picture—what IP means to your business. We draw on our experiences in different industries for insight into what will benefit the business of each new client.
5. When the focus shifts, you’re covered.
Most intellectual property litigation, at some point, involves other issues. Patent cases morph into regulatory matters. An advertising case can spark an FTC investigation or one from a state attorney general. Antitrust can become a key issue. In complex litigation, participants and their counsel tend to use whatever is available to discomfort their opponents. Venable clients are especially well-prepared when other issues come into play.
The ITC agrees.
At the International Trade Commission, the Administrative Law Judge invalidated the patent held by a plaintiff who sought to use it to stop our client’s business. The ITC found the patent invalid on each of the bases of anticipation, obviousness, inventorship and lack of enablement and written description. It involved next-generation smallpox vaccines developed and sold pursuant to the U.S. Government’s BioShield anti-terrorism program.
SCOTUS plays along with our tune.
After many appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of our client, an international guitar manufacturing firm, in a trademark infringement suit seeking to block competition to another manufacturer’s principal brand.
Most important trade dress in a decade.
Venable attorneys successfully argued Wal-Mart v. Samara Brothers before the U.S. Supreme Court. It was named the most important trade dress case litigated since 1998 (Legal Times, October 2002).
Copyrights changed forever.
In another unanimous landmark decision, the Supreme Court changed the law of copyright, siding with a Venable attorney in CCNV v. Reid.
Stepping into – and calming – the fray.
Six weeks prior to trial, Venable attorneys took over defense of a patent infringement and Lanham Act matter. Prior counsel was prohibited from using key exhibits due to discovery abuses. A two-week trial resulted in a jury verdict in favor of our client in the multi-million dollar matter.
Millions for a mechanical patent.
In U.S. District Court in Chicago, Venable obtained a verdict of more than $12 million in a mechanical patent case. The jury made a finding of willful infringement.
How would you litigate your case if you could do it yourself?
We can explain your options. We can tell you in detail what to expect at each stage. We can describe our results in cases such as yours.
The most important point is this: make sure you tell us the outcome you are hoping for, and what it means to your business.