Intellectual Property Litigation

Duane Morris is one of the most-active law firms in the United States in all aspects of intellectual property litigation. National publications like U.S. News and World Report, IP Law360 and others have recognized Duane Morris' intellectual property work, with the firm being ranked among the nation's leading firms for patent, copyright and trademark cases. Corporate Counsel magazine's 2011 review of "Who Represents America's Biggest Companies" listed Duane Morris among the top ten "litigation kings" for intellectual property needs of Fortune 100 companies.

Our intellectual property litigators have been involved in many of the cases that have defined the scope of intellectual property rights. These cases resulted in decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States or of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the special appeals court for patent cases. Representative lawsuits include College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Educ. Expense Bd., a case that resulted in two Supreme Court decisions defining the limits of applicability of federal patent and trademark laws to state entities; Nobelpharma AB v. Implant Innovations, Inc., a Federal Circuit decision affirming a major award of damages to our client for the plaintiff's antitrust violation in attempting to enforce a patent procured through fraud; and Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., which resulted in decisions of the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court establishing that interpretation of patent claims is a question of law to be decided by a judge rather than by a jury, in what have become known as "Markman" hearings.

In today's legal environment, however, only a small percentage of cases go to trial. Thus, it is crucial that you have counsel who is focused on your business objectives and the most cost-effective means of achieving those objectives. If a creative business resolution is in order, we will litigate the case in a manner that will drive the case toward such a resolution. We also have extensive experience in the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. From the outset of each case, we explore with our clients the potential risks, opportunities and costs associated with various strategies for dispute resolution, including litigation, mediation, arbitration, and negotiated settlements.

With Duane Morris, your legal representation is being provided by attorneys who have handled intellectual property cases of all kinds, including patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights. Our clients include businesses large and small, universities and individuals. We can litigate cases in a cost-effective manner in any venue, whether it be state court, federal district court, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or the International Trade Commission.

Patent Litigation

Duane Morris patent litigators have handled disputes in fields such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals (including ANDA-related litigation), medical devices, semiconductor manufacturing, television set-top boxes, Internet and e-mail related technologies, factory automation, oil drilling, water treatment and purification, electrical components and fiberglass boat manufacturing. Our patent litigators combine mastery in trial advocacy, an in-depth knowledge of patent law, an aptitude for science and technology and a focus on our clients' business objectives. We represent clients in enforcing their patents, defending against claims of patent infringement, and disputes concerning inventorship and ownership of patents, and patent licenses. Duane Morris lawyers provide counsel regarding government contract disputes and procurement claims. The firm's litigators have played a leading role in some of the most important cases in the field of patent law, as well as some of the most complex (including one of the largest patent cases ever tried before the International Trade Commission).

In every patent case, our litigators either have the necessary technical knowledge or work closely with patent specialists who have such technical knowledge. Dozens of our attorneys practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Our attorneys hold technical or scientific degrees in fields such as computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, nuclear engineering, microbiology, molecular biophysics and biochemistry. We have experience in all aspects of patent law, including patent preparation and prosecution, clearance opinions and interference proceedings, and portfolio management. Our approach to patent litigation makes it easier for our clients to transfer complex technical information to our attorneys and enables us to present that information to judges and juries in a simple and persuasive way.

Duane Morris attorneys' combination of extensive trial experience as lead counsel in litigation before state and federal courts, as well as unique trial experience within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, can help clients take advantage of, and respond to, inter partes review (IPR). Duane Morris attorneys advise clients on the merits and desirability of instituting parallel proceedings before the USPTO as well as with regard to defending their patents during these proceedings. Duane Morris has represented clients in a wide range of technology and life sciences areas, including Hatch Waxman matters, as IPR remains a viable option for generic drug companies to challenge asserted patent claims.

Trademark, Trade Dress and Unfair Competition Litigation

In trademark litigation, we focus on protecting the goodwill and brand value that our clients have worked to develop through their trademarks and trade dress. Our attorneys handle an array of trademark, trade dress and unfair competition disputes, including those concerning Internet domain names, consumer product trademarks, business names, trademark dilution, trademark counterfeiting, false advertising, and clothing and accessory designs and other forms of trade dress.

Our litigators counsel clients on the most effective strategies for protecting their trademarks, whether registered or protected under common law. We prosecute and defend trademark and unfair competition lawsuits in state and federal courts throughout the country as well as internationally, and we have extensive experience in seeking and defending against preliminary injunctions. We handle proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, including oppositions to pending trademark applications and petitions to cancel existing registrations. Our attorneys also represent clients in disputes concerning Internet domain names under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy of ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). We also have designed and implemented international brand protection programs, including on behalf of major automobile manufacturers.

Trade Secret Litigation

Our attorneys have handled trade secret litigation concerning a range of diverse technologies. Duane Morris litigators prosecute and defend claims of trade secret misappropriation in both state and federal courts across the country. As in patent litigation, we assemble teams of attorneys with both trial experience and technical knowledge to present complex issues in a comprehensible, persuasive manner.

Copyright Litigation

We assist clients in enforcing copyright claims and defending claims of infringement in a wide variety of areas, including computer software, as well as literary, musical, pictorial, audiovisual, sound recording and other works. Our lawyers have obtained ex parte orders to seize counterfeit goods under both the copyright and trademark laws.

Duane Morris IP Portal

Understanding the constant cost pressures clients face, Duane Morris leverages its significant knowledge of how to cost-effectively manage global IP portfolios by offering its patent and trademark clients Web access to our firmwide case management system, the Duane Morris IP Portal. Duane Morris has implemented the Patricia® system to automate and streamline the many thousands of United States and foreign patent and trademark portfolios owned by our clients. Through the Duane Morris IP Portal, clients can access – at no cost – a wealth of information about their patent and trademark portfolios, useful in litigation preparation as well as renewals and other management activity.

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"In my discussions with Duane Morris leaders, they frequently speak about how diversity within their firm has enabled them to better serve their diverse clients. They understand that investing in diversity is a wise business decision that positions them for the marketplace of the future."

Don Liu
Senior VP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Xerox Corporation

At Duane Morris, achieving diversity is paradoxical. By supporting and celebrating the differences of our attorneys - and the individual strengths that they bring - our firm culture expands, fostering creative solutions for our clients. But diversity at Duane Morris does not mean that we have a certain number of diverse attorneys; true diversity means that it is no longer noteworthy to see diverse lawyers leading our practice groups or managing client relationships. Ascending to positions of leadership and greater responsibility and providing the highest levels of client service is simply what is expected of all our lawyers. Diversity is another strong asset that adds to our collective abilities to meet the needs of our clients.

Our vision of diversity at Duane Morris is to realize an environment in which our lawyers' outstanding qualities are not just measured by ethnicity, race, gender and sexual orientation, but more importantly, that our lawyers are remarkable as excellent attorneys above all else. Only then can we celebrate our differences while focusing on the common pursuit of legal excellence which everyone shares at Duane Morris.

To reach this goal, Duane Morris understands that the familiar diversity strategies and policies that most law firms have are needed. Without demanding results from such policies, most law firms are bound to fail in even achieving numerical hiring and retention goals. Duane Morris has been proactive and ambitious in its efforts to improve diversity at the firm, and has set deadlines for reaching the milestones which mark our progress. To create a more diverse law firm, Duane Morris is:

  • Committed to strategically increasing our diversity levels, which is currently at 10 percent.
  • Bringing together our Diversity Committee and our Hiring and Retention Committee to raise diversity as an important factor in our hiring decisions.
  • Dedicated to improving retention by building upon our monitoring and mentoring program for all diverse associates.

Combining new initiatives with our longstanding diversity efforts, Duane Morris has seen increasingly positive results. In the Minority Law Journal's annual diversity survey of the nation's largest 260 firms, Duane Morris continued to improve its regional and national ranking, rising to number 136 of all firms surveyed. Our strides in Philadelphia are encouraging; in a city known for both the racial diversity of its population and the lack thereof in its law firms, Duane Morris is one of only two law firms to exceed the national average of minority partners at all law firms. Additionally, Duane Morris leads all national law firms based in Philadelphia in the number of Latino partners. Nearly 30 percent of all of our attorneys are women, and more than 20 percent of our partners are women.

In our approach to diversity, progress in racial, gender and cultural diversity cannot be measured in numbers alone. Duane Morris has focused our diversity initiatives on both increasing the number of diverse associates and addressing the challenges diverse attorneys face in building lasting careers and rising to senior and leadership positions. While several of our key practice groups are led by diverse partners and female partners, Duane Morris endeavors to create a culture which will foster a deep pool of such attorneys who can then develop into the firm's future leaders. Duane Morris understands that simply hiring diverse associates will not change the diversity of the firm; Duane Morris is working to mentor and retain diverse associates so that our progress in racial, gender and cultural diversity is also reflected at the highest levels of leadership within the firm.

Our progress on gender diversity has been profound. We have no glass ceilings: women hold positions of leadership at all levels of management at the firm. Women lead a number of our key practice groups, including our Energy, Immigration and International practices, and serve on the firm's Executive Committee. The success of our female attorneys at Duane Morris has not gone unnoticed. Barbara Adams was chair of the firm's Finance Practice until her appointment by Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell to serve as General Counsel of the Commonwealth. In 2004, our longtime General Counsel, Gene E.K. Pratter, was approved by the United States Senate and is now a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Our efforts to improve diversity extend beyond our firm's walls. The chair of our Diversity Committee, Nolan N. Atkinson, Jr., recognized the lack of diversity in Philadelphia's legal community and formed the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group. Nolan now serves as the chair of the organization, a consortium of 25 law firms and corporations that commits to employing at least one diverse first-year law student each as a summer associate. From this program, law students of diverse backgrounds gain access to what was once an exclusive legal community, and now have the opportunity to learn and develop their legal careers with experience at Philadelphia's top law firms.

In addition to our involvement in the Philadelphia area, Duane Morris has increased our presence at national conferences and events focused on diversity. We sponsor the Hispanic National Bar Association and its job fair. Duane Morris is also a longtime supporter and sponsor of the Equality Forum, a national gay and lesbian rights organization. Duane Morris continues to sponsor the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and is active in other associations of diverse attorneys including: the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley; the Charles Houston Bar Association; Cuban Bar Association; Korean American Lawyers Association; National American Indian Housing Counsel and the National Bar Association.

The challenge of improving gender, ethnic and cultural diversity at Duane Morris is an ongoing effort that has the support of the entire firm. Duane Morris has been at the vanguard in supporting gender diversity throughout the firm beginning a generation ago. Our diversity programs are leading to similar success in improving racial and national origin diversity at Duane Morris. But even as we share these examples of Duane Morris attorneys and our involvement in numerous legal events, associations and programs for diversity, our hope is that such examples will no longer be necessary to mention in the future. We hope that through our efforts, and the efforts of other law firms, these stories become so common that they are no longer the remarkable accomplishments they are today, but simply routine aspects of the legal world tomorrow.