Intellectual Property

Employing a potent combination of high-stakes trial skills and technical expertise, Gibbs & Bruns lawyers have prosecuted and defended numerous trade secret, patent, and other intellectual property cases.  The underlying technology in these cases included bio-medical devices, pharmaceuticals, software, semiconductors, hi-tech electronics, semi-conductor manufacturing, and oil and gas technology.

Jury Trial Win in High-Dollar Trade Secrets Case – Upheld by First Court of Appeals
We represented Richard Murphy, a subsea tree engineer, in a misappropriation of trade secrets case brought by FMC Technologies, his former employer, against Mr. Murphy and Mr. Murphy’s new employer, Dril-Quip.  FMC Technologies sought almost $40 million in damages and an injunction against both Mr. Murphy and Dril-Quip.   After a three-week trial, the jury ruled entirely in favor of Mr. Murphy and Dril-Quip, finding that no trade secrets were misappropriated.  The First Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court victory, August 2023.

Plaintiff’s Trade Secret Case for Sanchez Oil & Gas Corporation
We represent the plaintiffs in a substantial trade secrets case pending in Harris County, Texas. The firm obtained a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction against the defendants. The firm successfully opposed the defendants’ motion to dismiss under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, where the trial court denied defendants’ motion and awarded attorneys’ fees to the plaintiffs. The matter is pending.

Jury Verdict for Farouk Systems in Lawsuit Brought Against Costco
We represented Farouk Systems, manufacturer of the popular CHI hair care products, in an action against Costco concerning the sale of counterfeit products.  After a seven day trial, the jury determined that Costco had sold a counterfeit CHI hair iron. The jury also awarded Farouk Systems the maximum statutory damages for non-willful trademark infringement under the Lanham Act.

Lonestar Inventions, L.P.
We represented Lonestar Inventions, the assignee of a patent that covers a novel capacitor structure on a semiconductor substrate.  The efforts of Gibbs & Bruns helped Lonestar achieve a favorable Markmanruling from the district court and confidential settlements or licensing agreements with a “who’s who” of the industry, including (among others) Texas Instruments, Toshiba, Broadcom, Marvell, Analog Devices, Sandisk, and AMD.

BMC Software, Inc. v. NetIQ Corporation
We represented NetIQ as Defendants in an arbitration in which BMC claimed two of NetIQ’s major products infringed two patents owned by BMC.  BMC sought $150 million in lost profits and royalties before trebling. The firm was hired by NetIQ to take over the defense of the case just six months before trial after the proceeding had been pending for more than eighteen months.  In those six months, we conducted almost all fact discovery for the case and produced all of the expert reports and discovery relating to the validity of the patents, the claimed infringement, and damages.  The case was resolved on satisfactory terms one week before the arbitration hearing.

Quantum Chemical Corp. v. The M.W. Kellogg Company
We represented Defendant/Counterclaimant The M.W. Kellogg Company in a suit in which our client was sued for $260 million in actual damages plus $400 million in exemplary damages for alleged defective plant and furnace designs.  Kellogg counterclaimed for misappropriation of Kellogg’s trade secrets.  The case resulted in a no fraud and zero damages verdict on Quantum’s claims against our client and an $11.5 million verdict for our client on its misappropriation damages claim.  The case settled favorably on the counterclaim.

Diagnostic Systems Corp. v. Symantec Corp., et al.
We represented NetIQ Corporation, a software company, in defense of a patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  The plaintiff alleged that NetIQ’s enterprise management software infringed two patents.  After two years of litigation, during which time we performed substantial work relating to non-infringement, invalidity, and other merits issues, the case was resolved in a manner beneficial to our client.

Momentive Specialty Chemicals, Inc. v. Robert R. McDaniel, et al.
We were retained just before trial as counsel to represent a frac sand manufacturer in defense of a complex multi-party suit alleging breach of non-disclosure agreement related to the chemistry behind phenolic resins, trade secret misappropriation and various tort claims.  Patent work was of major significance in this matter.  Following various pre-trial pleadings, the case was confidentially settled on the eve of trial on favorable terms.