Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


Intellectual Property Litigation Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Sutherland’s IP litigation team works with clients to spot critical issues early and reach strategically sound and cost-effective resolutions.

Sutherland attorneys understand that asserting IP and defending against allegations of infringement are a critical part of an overall competitive strategy—the stakes are high for both sides in a dispute. At Sutherland, our litigators and patent prosecutors work together to identify any potential invalidity or infringement scenarios efficiently and to advocate them effectively. A large number of our IP lawyers hold specialized and advanced degrees in electrical engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, molecular genetics, medicine and other scientific disciplines, providing invaluable background and insight into the technology and issues in dispute.

Sutherland regularly handles multi-patent, multidistrict disputes between industry competitors. We represent both plaintiffs and defendants in patent infringement, patent interference and patent-related antitrust suits; trademark and trade dress infringement suits; trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings; copyright infringement suits; trade secret claims; federal and state unfair competition controversies; and false advertising and other Lanham Act claims.

We represent clients in litigation around the world, including U.S. and overseas courts; arbitration and mediation inside and outside the United States; and administrative proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the USPTO and international patent offices. On behalf of our clients, we have won important rulings both affirming and reversing lower court decisions in state and federal appellate courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Why Sutherland
The majority of our attorneys hold specialized advanced degrees. When a dispute involves complex technology, our attorneys understand the subject matter and can explain it to judges, juries, arbitrators and mediators in easy-to-understand terms.

International experience. We work with foreign counsel to coordinate patent litigation strategy in proceedings pending concurrently in U.S. and foreign venues. We also oversee trademark and copyright litigation matters handled by foreign counsel that we engage all over the world on behalf of our clients.

Cost-effective approaches. We listen to our clients and understand their priorities and preferences for each specific matter. When appropriate, we staff our cases leanly, including using contract attorneys for certain tasks and appointing attorneys with lower rates to perform as much work as possible.

Committed, experienced litigators. While Sutherland is very conscious of costs, our lead trial attorneys take a hands-on approach throughout the case. We believe that lead trial counsel must be involved at every stage in order to have meaningful input into developing strategy and tactics that can best increase the chances of a positive result, through settlement or trial.

Teamwork. Unlike many of our competitors, our litigators work together with patent prosecutors who have relevant advanced technical training in order to spot issues and develop strategies for efficient resolution of contentious matters.

National recognition. Our IP litigation attorneys have been recognized by Chambers USA, Super Lawyers and other organizations.

Nuts and Bolts
Sutherland represents clients in the full range of IP litigation, including:

  • Patent infringement, patent interference and patent-related antitrust suits
  • Trademark and trade dress infringement suits
  • Trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings
  • Copyright infringement suits
  • Trade secret claims
  • Federal and state unfair competition controversies
  • False advertising and other Lanham Act claims

Sutherland attorneys have appeared in courts and administrative proceedings across the United States, including:

  • U.S. International Trade Commission
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • State and federal appellate courts

We represent clients in mediation and arbitration proceedings in the U.S. and around the world, including:

  • International Chamber of Commerce
  • London Court of International Arbitration
  • Zürich, Stockholm, Paris and Finland Chambers
  • World Intellectual Property Organization

Take Action
It takes a balanced team to advocate effectively for clients in a variety of industries. Sutherland’s Intellectual Property Litigation team adeptly handles all types of disputes involving widely varied technologies across the U.S. and around the world.

Selected Experience
Sutherland successfully appeals patent infringement case in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Sutherland represented General Protecht Group, an international electronics manufacturer, in its appeal of an ITC exclusion order, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed after concluding that the client’s products did not infringe the asserted patents. Sutherland also obtained a U.S. Customs ruling that the client’s new product did not infringe those patents, clearing the product for import while the appeal was pending and while the ITC finally rescinded the exclusion order post-appeal.

Sutherland represents University of Georgia Research Foundation in pharmaceutical patent litigation.
Sutherland represented this university technology transfer organization in a lawsuit involving a unique combination of disputes involving the ownership, monetization and licensing of pharmaceutical patents. The case settled after Sutherland defeated numerous claims by the patent inventor in summary judgment, including terminating an exclusive field of use license, and dismissing the inventor/licensee’s claims of ownership of the patent and breach of fiduciary duty.

Sutherland successfully defends IT firm against a non-practicing entity.
Sutherland presented invalidating prior art and pleaded in indemnitors as third party defendants, resulting in the voluntary dismissal with prejudice of a patent infringement suit. The non-practicing entity sought damages for alleged infringement of a portfolio of patents purported to cover networked use of optical scanners to convert paper documents to electronic files. Sutherland continues to advise dozens of targets of this patent assertion entity.

Past Seminar Materials
  6th Annual SpringPosium IP CLE Conference, May 7, 2010