Closing the Door on Extreme Demands
One of Quarles & Brady’s clients was initially sued for $80 million because of alleged patent infringement—and on the face of the matter, the plaintiff thought it had a pretty good case. Quarles & Brady, however, had other ideas. First, the firm was able to show that the infringement claim was questionable, then the firm proceeded to “knock out” the plaintiff’s damage expert. Through those maneuvers and more, the requested damages went from $80 million to $40 million, then dropped to $20 million, then $15 million, then $12.5 million, and so on until the plaintiff's compensatory damages were at most $1 million, at which point the case promptly settled. Thus, the outcome represented a financial defeat for the plaintiff, as the legal fees it had incurred in pursuit of Quarles & Brady’s client far exceeded its maximum compensatory damages.
Making Sure the Rules Are Properly Applied
Quarles & Brady successfully argued Rexnord v. Kappos, an important 2013 Federal Circuit decision that has gained national attention for clarifying the procedural rules for Patent Office appeals and for the application of the obviousness defense. “Federal Circuit Finds Patent Obvious,” IP Law360, January 23, 2013; “Federal Circuit: Appeals Board Should Consider Any Argument Supported by Record,” The National Law Journal, January 24, 2013; “Federal Circuit: Appeals Board Should Consider Any Argument Supported by Record,” The American Lawyer, January 25, 2013.
Crushing Patent Claims
Quarles & Brady successfully defended Metso Minerals, which had been accused by a competitor, Astec Industries, of patent infringement. The Quarles team obtained a judgment that the Astec patent was invalid. “Astec Rock Crushers Patent Claims Invalid, Judge Rules,” IP Law360, December 6, 2012.
Keeping Secrets Safe
Quarles & Brady served as lead trial counsel for Metso Minerals in its trade secret theft, patent infringement, computer hacking, and Lanham Act case against FLSmidth-Excel. The case settled shortly before trial in June 2010 with a $25 million payment to Metso, the largest reported settlement or judgment in Wisconsin in 2010. “Patent Settlement Largest Reported Outcome,” Wisconsin Law Journal, January 18, 2011.
Practicing What He Practices
Dave has the unique experience of inventing his own patented consumer product, which he commercialized following his successful prosecution of trademark, copyright, and patent lawsuits concerning his and competing products. His personal experience as a party to intellectual property litigation helps him bring a unique passion and perspective to intellectual property disputes and litigation.
Defining the Law
Quarles & Brady successfully argued Valu Engineering, Inc. v. Rexnord Corporation, 278 F.3d 1268 (Fed. Cir.), an important Federal Circuit decision that clarified the functionality boundary between patent and trademark law.
Antitrust and IP Law
Occasionally, Quarles & Brady is called on to help with antitrust matters, especially as they pertain to intellectual properties and patents. Two significant examples of the firm's successes in these areas are American Medical Transport v. Curtis-Universal, Inc., 154 Wis. 2d 135, 1990-1 T.C. ¶ 68, 962 (Wis. 1990) and JPM, Inc. v. John Deere Indus. Equip. Co., 934 F.Supp. 1043, aff’d 94 F.3d 270 (7th Cir. 1996). These two cases created new law under the Wisconsin “Little Sherman Act” and Fair Dealership Law, respectively.
Protecting Client Trademarks on the Internet
When a nationally known non-profit organization discovered that third parties were using its trademarks in domain names for monetary gain, Quarles & Brady intellectual property litigators successfully represented the organization in numerous domain name matters. The organization was able to stop the misuse of its trademarks and prevailed in several Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceedings before the World Intellectual Property Organization. These successful domain takedowns helped to maintain the trustworthy reputation of the organization and to prevent bad actors from profiting off our client's intellectual property rights.
Quarles Protects SMART BALANCE trademark from Heinz Opposition
When our client, GFA Brands, wanted to expand use of its SMART BALANCE trademark to include frozen entrees, H.J. Heinz Co., which makes Weight Watchers "SMART ONES" frozen meals, opposed GFA Brands' registrations. After a full trial and oral arguments before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the Board agreed with arguments presented by Quarles and held that the trademarks were not confusingly similar and dismissed the opposition. This decision is a decisive win for our client and allows them to register the SMART BALANCE trademark in its expanded product offering into frozen entrees.