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.

Sanchez Oil & Gas Corporation
On March 24, 2016, we filed a petition and request for injunctive relief in Harris County District Court, on behalf of Sanchez Oil & Gas (SOG) and two related public companies, Sanchez Energy Corporation (SN) and Sanchez Production Partners LP (SPP), against three former SOG employees and their new employer, Terra Energy Partners LLC.  Among other things, the petition asserts that the former employees misappropriated SPP’s, SN’s, and SOG’s trade secret, confidential, and proprietary information by copying and taking thousands of files with them when they left SOG.  The same day suit was filed, the court entered a temporary restraining order enjoining the defendants from using or disseminating any SPP, SN, or SOG information and requiring the defendants to return any taken information or storage devices back to SPP, SN, and SOG.  Following an expedited forensic investigation and the Defendants’ return of numerous storage devices containing Sanchez information, the parties entered into an agreed temporary injunction and began the discovery process.  Defendants filed a mandamus petition in the court of appeals, which was denied.  Defendants then filed a second mandamus petition in the Texas Supreme Court, which the court declined to accept.  The case returned to the trial court to proceed to trial.  But in September 2018, defendants filed a motion to dismiss under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, asserting that plaintiffs’ case related to defendants’ exercise of certain constitutional rights.  The trial court denied defendants’ motion and found that it had been brought solely for delay.  Defendants then filed an interlocutory appeal, which has been fully briefed and is pending in the First Court of Appeals. 

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.