Intellectual Property Litigation

The intellectual property litigation practice combines Robinson+Cole's historic strengths:
  • a fundamental understanding of our clients' businesses and their goals
  • a team of trial lawyers with unsurpassed litigation experience
  • a regional firm capable of providing national service at efficient rates
For many businesses, intellectual property can represent both their most significant assets and their greatest vulnerabilities. The soaring expense associated with complex intellectual property litigation has the potential to cripple thriving businesses and can dissuade companies from aggressively protecting their investments in research and new product development.

At Robinson+Cole, the intellectual property litigation practice team works closely with the intellectual property and technology practice team to understand the science and technology behind our clients' business operations, enabling us to develop a litigation strategy rooted in our clients' business goals.

Our experience with representing clients in a wide variety of matters allows us to reduce uncertainty by objectively evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a client's case early in the process. That experience includes representing major corporations in intellectual property litigation hotbeds, including the Eastern District of Texas, the District of Delaware, and the Northern District of California, as well as in local matters in the state and federal courts. The group's core team of litigation lawyers also closely monitor national trends in intellectual property litigation and are frequent authors on the subject.

Among other intellectual property matters, we represent clients in diverse industries with respect to the following:

  • patent infringement
  • trademark infringement
  • copyright infringement
  • trade secret misappropriation
  • technology litigation
  • e-commerce and privacy
  • computer fraud and abuse
  • licensing, royalty, and development
  • unfair trade practice cases in both federal and state courts nationwide
Recent engagements include the following:
  • Represented a company at trial in a trademark ownership dispute. The plaintiff, a former business partner, brought an action based on a novel "first use" trademark ownership theory to claim an interest in a company trademark that he had previously sold. We prevailed at trial and on appeal.
  • Served as co-counsel for United Technologies Corporation in $6 billion patent infringement action relating to jet engine fan blade technology. Our client prevailed on summary judgment.
    • Experience
      • Patent Litigation

      • Served as co-counsel for United Technologies Corporation in $6 billion patent infringement action relating to jet engine fan blade technology. Our client prevailed on summary judgment.

      • Defense of a patent infringement action involving microwave circuit board laminates.
      • Defense of a patent infringement action brought in the Northern District of Texas involving global positioning systems used to locate pin positions on golf courses.
      • Representation of the plaintiff in a patent infringement suit involving a method for ordering products online.
      • Defense of a patent infringement action involving septic system technology.
      • Successful trial of a patent infringement case in Boston; at issue was a patent for a method of securing masonry walls using steel helical ties.
      • Defense of a patent infringement action involving butane-powered hair care appliances and butane cartridges.
      • Successfully tried to a jury a fraud and conspiracy case based on a claim that our clients had defrauded the Patent Office and obtained a patent for a device the plaintiff had actually invented.
      • Prosecution of a patent infringement action for a major wholesaler/integrated supplier in relation to our client's Internet procurement method patent.
      • Prosecution and defense of patent infringement action in the Eastern District of Texas for a worldwide supplier of gas generation systems regarding multiple patents in the coal mine firefighting industry.

      • Representation as lead counsel for a provider of large liquid storage capacity systems accused of infringing on a patent for a filtering system in the sewage disposal industry. Obtained summary judgment in favor of our client.

      • Defense against infringement claims in federal court in Texas in connection with coal mine fire suppression technology.
      • Copyright Infringement

      • Obtained summary judgment in the Southern District of New York in a copyright infringement case brought against our client by a competing publisher of an embryology textbook.
      • Representation of a Web designer in connection with a claim that a competitor had unlawfully copied portions of the layout and content of the client’s Web site.
      • Prosecution of an action seeking relief for copyright infringement and false advertising against a former co-venturer of the client.
      • Obtained indemnification of online research company from provider of material in copyright infringement action.
      • Regional representation of recording industry in hundreds of copyright infringement cases seeking to stem illegal online downloading of music.
      • Trademark Infringement

      • Represented a company at trial in a trademark ownership dispute. The plaintiff, a former business partner, brought an action based on a novel "first use" trademark ownership theory to claim an interest in a company trademark that he had previously sold. We prevailed at trial and on appeal.

      • Prosecution of a trademark infringement claim on behalf of an aircraft distributor against an aircraft manufacturer for misuse of our client’s trademark in the aviation field.
      • Prosecution of Lanham Act claim on behalf of a client that developed a method to clot major trauma injuries. The client’s revolutionary technology has been credited with saving lives in wars in the Middle East and in trauma accidents throughout the world.
      • Representation of a manufacturer of vertical panel saws and panel routers in a trademark infringement and false advertising action brought against a competitor that made use of the client’s model and product numbers.
      • Defense of a full-spectrum lighting company accused of unlawful trademark infringement based on the use of certain key online search words and the display of banner advertisements.
      • Defense of a trademark and trade dress infringement and dilution action, in the District of New Hampshire, brought against a client by a competing fire hydrant manufacturer
      • Trade Secret Misappropriation

      • Defense of former employee in lawsuit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of noncompetition agreement. Plaintiff dismissed claims on eve of trial.

      • Obtained preliminary injunction precluding former employee from competing with our client and using our client's trade secrets.

      • Represented defendant employer in a frequently-cited noncompetition case. Successfully shielded our client from repeated motions seeking to prevent defendant from working for our client.

      • Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a management consulting and research company in a trade secret misappropriation action brought against former employees who left to start a competing business.
      • Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a provider of financial data and analytics in an action brought to enforce the confidentiality provisions in a stock option agreement and clawback monies realized from the exercise of such options after an employee left to join a competitor.
      • Obtained a settlement in a trade secret misappropriation case brought by the successful bidder for intellectual property sold at a bankruptcy auction against the buyer of the debtor’s assets at said auction.
      • Prosecution of an action on behalf of a digital media company against an ex-employee accused of violating a noncompete and confidentiality agreement.
      • Representation of client in a fraud, trade secret misappropriation, and breach of contract case in federal court that involved parallel processing computer technology used for speech recognition applications.

      • Software Development – License Disputes

      • Representation of software development companies and value-added resellers, as well as litigation of a number of breach of contract disputes, on behalf of both software developers and corporate users, arising from software development projects.
      • Obtained arbitration award following a five-day arbitration on behalf of a software developer in connection with development of an enterprise software system.
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    • News
      • March 9, 2021

        John Cordani Authors IPWatchdog Article on Obviousness in the Area of Mechanical Inventions

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      • November 6, 2020

        Robinson+Cole Receives 36 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Four National Rankings in Latest U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

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      • October 8, 2020

        Robinson+Cole Recognized in Benchmark Litigation

      • March 6, 2020

        John Cordani and Brian Moran Author Article on Obviousness Published in Law360

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      • October 23, 2019

        John Cordani Authors Connecticut Law Tribune Article on State Court Patent Law Disputes

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      • November 1, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Receives 37 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and 3 National Rankings in Latest U.S. News – Best Law Firms Survey

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      • November 1, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives 34 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Three National Rankings in U.S. News – Best Lawyers Survey

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      • October 21, 2013

        Super Lawyers® Names 61 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2013 List

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      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • June 22, 2010

        William J. Kelleher III Receives “40 Under 40” Award

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      • May 19, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorney Presents to Massachusetts Association of Personnel Services on Proposed Noncompetition Agreement Act

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      • May 10, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorney Quoted on Massachusetts Bill Aimed to Change State's Noncompete Landscape

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      • April 6, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorney Lectures on Noncompetition Agreements at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management

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      • March 2, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorney Publishes Articles on Trade Secrets Audits and Assignability of Noncompetition Agreements

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      • January 4, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Partner Quoted on International Agreement to Bolster Intellectual Property Enforcement

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    • Publications + Presentations
    • "U.S. Supreme Court Relaxes Rules on Awarding Enhanced Damages in Patent Infringement Cases" (6/16/2016)

      "Supreme Court Starts 2015 with Focus on Facts" authored by Nuala E. Droney (1/22/2015)

      "Federal Circuit Extends Patent Term in Certain Cases" (02/18/2014)

      "Patent Reform Becomes Law: Highlights of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act," published in Connecticut Lawyer, co-authored by Nuala E. Droney and Andrea Donovan Napp (October/November 2012)

      "Drawing the Line Between Descriptive and Suggestive Trademarks," published in Commercial & Business Litigation, co-authored by Edward J. Heath and John M. Tanski, a newsletter of the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation (Fall 2010)

      "Can You Keep a Secret? Why Now Is the Time for a Trade Secrets Audit," published in Connections: Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Newsletter (2/2010)

      "States divided over asset purchases and non-competes," published in New England In-House, more details (1/2010)

      "The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: An Overview and Discussion of a Recent First Circuit Case," at Boston Bar Assocation (3/11/2008)

      "Is an Employer Liable When Its Sales Employee Breaches a Noncompetition or Nonsolicitation Agreement with a Former Employer?" published in Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (2007)

Our Team