We know Manufacturing. From design to product distribution, we help clients recognize, minimize, and avoid the legal risks unique to each stage of the manufacturing process. We have partnered with our industry clients for decades, resolving everything from large-scale disasters to product recalls and retrofit—as well as intellectual property disputes, compliance, and regulatory concerns. Our proactive legal strategies help clients prevent potential problems and guide best practices if and when trouble occurs. Because industrial accidents, injuries, and property damage claims demand an urgent, real-time response, we have built an extraordinary network of experts we can call upon 24/7. Additionally, our attorneys excel at protecting manufacturing innovations and shielding manufacturers from unfair competition, especially in times of increased employee mobility. This all-in, boots-on-the-ground readiness helps our clients dismantle legal obstacles and keep their business in production.
Are manufacturers using large-packaged goods to work around the price discrimination provisions of the Robinson-Patman Act?
Trade secret IP and identifying, assessing, and protecting proprietary assets entitled to protection under intellectual property law.
Helping prevent, investigate, manage, and defend product liability litigation
An impressive track record of resolving complex legal and business challenges
Innovative and sophisticated antitrust counseling and litigation representation
Trial-proven tactics that enable an aggressive, rapid response to information privacy law and cyber security law challenges
Delivering the critical components needed to make compliance programs work
Helping clients anticipate, manage, and resolve water issues impacting business operations and objectives
Trial-born knowledge of patent infringement recovery, patent litigation defense, and key industry technologies
Significant experience solving semiconductor litigation disputes and monetizing semiconductor and industry-related IP investments
Combining extensive intellectual property counseling and litigation experience with the specific technical depth demanded by 3D printing legal issues
Safeguarding clients’ proprietary information and processes through all stages of litigation
Insulate SB, Inc. v. Advanced Finishing Systems, Inc., Lead counsel for fluid-handling equipment manufacturer Graco Inc. in putative nationwide antitrust class action alleging unlawful business acquisitions and boycott, exclusive-dealing, and monopolization conspiracies. We obtained the dismissal of all claims with prejudice, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31188 (D. Minn. Mar. 11, 2014), and we represented Graco in the appeal, where the judgment was affirmed. __ F.3d __, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14233 (8th Cir. Aug. 13, 2015).
In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation ―Partial Settlement: Over $845 million in partial settlements for an alleged global conspiracy to fix surcharges for air cargo shipping services.
In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Class Action: Involving alleged price-fixing conspiracies as to various automotive parts that are components of new motor vehicles. Partial settlement to date of more than $100 million.
In re Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation: $9 million in partial settlements regarding an alleged conspiracy to unlawfully fix the prices of polyurethane foam in the United States.
PSI Repair Service Inc v. Honeywell Inc.: Obtained summary judgment on behalf of manufacturer of industrial control systems against allegations of antitrust tying with regard to replacement parts and repair services.
Digital Sun v. The Toro Company: Obtained summary dismissal of complaint asserted against The Toro Company, alleging violations of the federal antitrust laws (Sherman and Clayton Acts), as well as California unfair business practices and common law fraud. The complaint involved smart sprinkler technology and arose out of Toro’s consideration of a potential business relationship with the named plaintiff regarding that technology, including the licensing of certain intellectual property related to that technology. The issues presented in the motion to dismiss included the plausibility of the allegations under the standard set forth in the Supreme Court’s decision in Twombly, as well as the intersection between the antitrust and patent laws. The dismissal briefing focused on key points in the related documentation and dealings that confirmed the business reality existing between the parties, thereby overcoming an otherwise complex set of allegations presented in the complaint. The matter settled shortly after the summary dismissal.
Aguilar v. Unocal: Appellate court dismissal of price-fixing class action against gasoline manufacturer.
Past results are reported to provide the reader with an indication of the type of litigation we practice. They do not and should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case, as all cases are dependent upon their own unique fact situation and applicable law.
Lead arbitration counsel for corporation in a dispute arising from fire at metal fabrication facility. Obtained complete defense decision from arbitration panel.
West Pharmaceutical Disaster: Defended a dust collector manufacturer in dozens of personal injury and six wrongful death cases arising from a dust explosion at West Pharmaceutical’s Kinston, N.C., plant. We also obtained dismissals, without payment, of more than $75 million in property damage and business interruption loss claims.
Hayes Lemmerz Explosion and Fire: Obtained summary judgment for a product manufacturer in personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage lawsuits arising from dust explosions and fire at cast aluminum wheel manufacturing plant. The explosion killed one worker, injured two others, and was the subject of a U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Board investigation.
Rouse Polymerics Explosion: Obtained summary judgment in Mississippi state court for a product manufacturer in personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from what has been described as the worst industrial explosion in Mississippi’s history.
ConAgra Explosion: Defended gas valve and burner manufacturer in litigation arising from an explosion that decimated a beef snack manufacturing plant. killing four and injuring dozens more.
Resolved $28 million lawsuit against manufacturer for less than cost of defense after end user’s employees admitted to bypassing safety control system to safe time.
Obtained dismissal of wrongful death case for process control manufacturer. Case involved the death of a 37-year-old man who died after inhaling hydrogen fluoride at a plant in Port Comfort, Texas.
Advanced Micro Devices v. Samsung: Brought to resolution patent litigation for Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) against Samsung in the Northern District of California. The case involved allegations that Samsung’s DRAM, SRAM, and NAND memory products; its system logic products; and its consumer products infringed seven AMD patents covering technologies in memory architecture, processor micro-architecture, MOS-transistor fabrication and design, and user interface design for consumer products. Samsung asserted six patents against AMD’s x86 processors and graphics processing units GPUs covering technologies in processor micro-architecture design, and semiconductor fabrication and process control. After three years of litigation and two mediations, the parties resolved the matter at the close of expert discovery and dispositive motion briefing shortly before trial. Reputed to be the 4th largest patent case settlement and/or verdict from January 2010 through June 2011.
Silicon Graphics, Inc. v. Advanced Micro Devices: Represented Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in patent litigation against Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) in the Western District of Wisconsin. The case involved three patents in the areas of graphics processing. The District Court granted summary judgment of non-infringement on all three patents. The summary judgment was also based on a license SGI granted to Microsoft. The case was appealed to the Federal Circuit. AMD sustained two-thirds of the non-infringement issues appealed. The case was remanded to the District Court for resolution of remaining issues as to five claims on one patent. The case resolved shortly before trial after 37 motions-in-limine were filed by AMD.
In re Certain GPS Navigation Products, Components Thereof, and Related Software: Represented Honeywell Inc. in the enforcement of a series of patents related to GPS and navigational systems for use in the recreational marine industry. Filed suit in 2009 in District Court. While the patents were waiting re- examination, initiated proceedings before the International Trade Commission against one named defendant, Furuno Electric Co., related to additional acts of infringement of additional patents. Negotiated a successful resolution of that matter, along with resolution of that portion of the original District Court action related to that defendant.
Black & Decker v. Robert Bosch Tool Corporation: Represented Black & Decker in multi-patent dispute regarding jobsite radio charger. Achieved favorable claim construction for the patents-in-suit and denial of defendant Bosch’s four summary judgment motions. Full jury trial on the merits conducted before the Honorable Amy J. St. Eve, Northern District of Illinois, resulted in a jury verdict finding both patents-in-suit valid and infringed, awarding $1.75 million in lost profit and reasonable royalty damages as well as determining that Bosch’s infringement was willful.
Andersen v. Pella Corp. et al: Represented plaintiff Andersen Corporation in overturning a District Court decision granting the defendants summary judgment and finding that claims of the asserted patent were invalid as obvious. The Federal Circuit's decision was one of the first post-KSR District Court findings of obviousness to be reversed by the Federal Circuit. The Supreme Court denied the defendants' petition for certiorari 2007-1536, 2008-WL4927431, (Fed. Cir. Nov. 19, 2008), cert. denied.
Honeywell International et al. v. Apple et al.: Representing Honeywell in patent litigation against the Liquid Crystal Display consumer electronics industry, venued in Delaware. Case was filed in 2004, and to date, approximately 85% of the manufacturing industry has taken a license.
St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, Inc. v. Canon, Inc. et al., No. 03-0241 (D. Del., filed February 28, 2003): Represented St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, Inc. in a patent infringement case in which a federal jury in Wilmington, Delaware, awarded $34.7 million after a finding that Canon infringed four patents relating to digital camera technology. The verdict was announced on October 8, 2004.
Honeywell Inc. v. Victor Company of Japan and U. S. JVC Corp.: Trial counsel on behalf of Honeywell Inc. in action for patent infringement of color filters in video cameras. The case was tried in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, Frank, Judge. Jury verdict in favor of Honeywell for $30 million, which reflects royalties of 2% of JVC’s sales of the accused camcorders to calculate past damages for the unlicensed use of the technology.
St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, Inc. v. Fuji Photo Film, Ltd. et al., No. 03-241 (D. Del., filed February 28, 2003): Trial counsel in a case in which a federal jury in Wilmington, Delaware awarded St. Clair, $3 million after a finding that Fuji infringed four patents relating to digital camera technology. The verdict was announced on October 25, 2004.
St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, Inc. v. Sony Corp. et al., No. 01-557 (D. Del., filed Aug. 14, 2001): Trial counsel in a case in which a federal jury in Wilmington, Delaware, awarded St. Clair $25 million after a finding that Sony infringed four patents relating to digital camera technology. The verdict was announced on February 25, 2003. The parties entered into a license agreement two days later, the terms of which are confidential.
Ride and Show v. MTS: Represented MTS, a manufacturer of amusement park rides, against allegations of patent infringement brought by patent holder Ride and Show. The patent at issue covers control of the seat movements of a typical amusement park ride. The rides involved in the case were called “Men in Black” and “Cat in the Hat.” After discovery and a Markman hearing, the Court issued its claim construction which directly tracked our arguments. Obtained a dismissal with prejudice from the action, with no money paid.
Intergraph v. Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway: Represented Intergraph Corp. in patent litigation involving microprocessor system design in a case venued in East Texas. Recovered a total of $500 million in settlements as follows:
Licensing campaign following litigation:
Ricoh Corp. v. Pitney Bowes Inc.: Defended Pitney Bowes in a patent infringement involving communications and control within Pitney Bowes’ mailing machines. The case was tried in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Trenton Division, with Judge Brown presiding. The jury returned a verdict of invalidity in favor of Pitney Bowes finding anticipation of all 18 asserted claims. In addition, during trial, the Court entered summary judgment of anticipation of four additional claims. Jury decision was affirmed in a post-trial memorandum by the District Court and summarily affirmed by the Federal Circuit.
Honeywell v. Minolta: Represented Honeywell in a patent infringement case against Minolta involving patents on autofocus cameras. After a five-month trial, the jury awarded Honeywell $96.3 million. The case subsequently settled for $127.5 million. Additional litigation against other autofocus camera manufacturers resulted in total settlements of approximately $500 million.
BMK: Represented the 10th largest full service distributor of general merchandise products and specialty items in the United States (BMK). After suffering several financial reversals, the company defaulted on approximately $96 million in debt. In cooperation with the secured lender, the company filed a chapter 11 in order to consummate a sale of substantially all of the company’s assets. We managed the sale process, which resulted in the consummation of the sale of the company’s assets for approximately $72 million.
Steel Horse Automotive Accessories: In the chapter 11 cases of several affiliated debtors that manufactured automobile accessories, our firm represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. This representation included litigation with the debtors’ secured creditor regarding the scope and operation of its security documents.
Industrial Parts Depot, Inc.: Assisted Industrial Parts Depot, Inc. (IPD) through a financial and business restructuring of its 60-year old family business. Since the 1950s, IPD operated a midsize manufacturing company specializing in replacement parts for diesel engines from its facilities in Torrance, California. The company sought our assistance to effectuate its plans to deleverage and outsource certain manufacturing operations. We supported the company’s attempts to negotiate consensual terms for a restructuring with IPD’s existing stakeholders, lenders, and vendors. When attempts at a consensual global restructuring were unsuccessful, we then guided the company through a chapter 11 process to achieve the same results.
Applause, Inc.: Assisted the leading manufacturer and distributor of children’s plush animals in maximizing value for creditors and stakeholders following a string of unsuccessful business ventures and the unfortunate death of its founder and CEO. Our attorneys assisted the company in seeking bankruptcy protection in chapter 11 to stay creditor claims and permit stabilization of the company’s business and an organized sale process.
LaserMaster Corporation v. Sentinel Imaging: Represented a manufacturer of large-format inkjet printers in a trade secret case. The firm was retained just five weeks before trial and won a jury verdict of $2.2 million, which is one of the largest trade secret verdicts in the jurisdiction.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will soon become a part of our everyday lives, raising numerous IP questions.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has amended the existing consolidated set of rules of practice for trial proceedings before Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
A recent Federal Circuit ruling calls into question the assumption that inter partes review necessarily narrows the issues for trial.
When can a company tout its products as "Made in the USA"? Different (sometimes conflicting) standards under federal and state law can make it difficult for manufacturers and retailers to know when it’s safe to label their products as American-made.
© Copyright 2017 Robins Kaplan LLP All Rights Reserved. Attorney Advertising. Prior Results Do Not Guarantee A Similar Outcome.