Lead counsel representing grocery retailer SuperValu Inc. against claims for antitrust violations, RICO, abuse of process, consumer fraud, and tortious interference in a dispute with land developers in the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs planned to build retail developments with Wal-Mart stores as anchors. The plaintiffs alleged that SuperValu Inc. improperly tried to keep Wal-Mart out of the developments. The plaintiffs initially requested $30 million to settle. We won a motion to dismiss every claim but the tortious-interference claim. Shortly after we won the motion to dismiss, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the remaining claim with prejudice for no money exchanged in April 2013.
In re Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litig., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4584 (D. Minn. Jan. 13, 2013): Lead counsel representing grocery wholesaler SuperValu Inc. in consolidated federal antitrust actions on behalf of putative multi-state class of grocery retailers challenging 2003 asset exchange transaction. Obtained dismissal of several class representatives in favor of arbitration in 2011 (appeal pending), denial of class certification in 2012, and summary judgment dismissing all remaining claims in 2013.
In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Litigation, 05-MD-1720 (JG)(JO): Reached a $7.25 billion antitrust settlement on behalf of a class of approximately seven million U.S. merchants who accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards and debit cards for the purchase of goods and services. The defendants included Visa and MasterCard, and major card-issuing banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Capital One. The settlement, which would have resolved the lawsuit, is believed to be the largest settlement of a private antitrust case in the 120-year history of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. §1 et seq.) and also included important reforms of the payment card industry. The settlement was granted final approval in the District Court on December 13, 2013 over the objections of several class members. Some of those objectors appealed from the final approval order, and on June 30, 2016 a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed and vacated the District Court’s order, and remanded the case to the District Court “for further proceedings not inconsistent with” the Court of Appeals’ opinion.
Omnicare Inc. v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc., et al.: Lead counsel for trial team that obtained summary judgment for UnitedHealth Group, Inc. and PacifiCare, Inc. in defense of an antitrust lawsuit brought by Omnicare that claimed more than $1 billion in damages based on allegations of price-fixing and fraud related to prescription drug reimbursement.
Obtained a landmark settlement in favor of a number of Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans and other health insurers for overpayments made for the prescription drugs Paxil and Paxil CR. Settlement was obtained after lengthy discovery, numerous pretrial motions, and allegations of antitrust violations arising from manufacturers' use of patents to keep generic drugs out of the market.
In the matter of Union Oil Company of California: Defended UNOCAL in an action brought against it by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Venued in the FTC's own administrative court in Washington, D.C., the case involved the complex intersection of antitrust and patent laws. The FTC claimed that UNOCAL's enforcement of its patents was anticompetitive conduct under § 5 of the FTC Act. Mr. Lueck served as trial counsel in all proceedings before out-of-court agreements ended the FTC's claims.
Patent Infringement Representations
Medtronic Inc. v. Boston Scientific Corp. et al.: Represented Medtronic, Inc. in a dispute with Mirowksi Family Ventures assertion that Medtronic’s cardiac resynchronization devices infringed certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. RE38,119 and RE39,897. After a bench trial, a Delaware district court held that Mirowski Family Ventures, as the patentee, bore the burden of proving infringement and failed to meet that burden, entering a judgment of non-infringement on behalf of Medtronic. On appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed the district court on the burden of proof issue and held that Medtronic, as the licensee, bore the burden of proving non-infringement. Medtronic filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted the petition and reversed the Federal Circuit, holding that the patentee always bears the burden of proof, even where the licensor cannot counterclaim for infringement because of the existence of a license agreement. On remand from the Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding of non-infringement for Medtronic, awarding Medtronic a complete victory in the case.
Promega Corporation v. Applied Biosystems, LLC, Life Technologies Corporation, and California Institute of Technology: Judge Richard A. Posner ruled in favor of our client, Promega Corporation, in a suit that it initiated against one of its competitors. In an opinion dated June 12, 2013 from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Posner ruled that certain claims of U.S. Patent No. RE43,096, asserted against Promega, are invalid. Promega prevailed in its arguments that the claims of the ’096 patent were invalid due to the breadth of the claim constructions that Defendants sought and obtained. Certain asserted claims were invalid for lack of written description support. While the patent describes an improvement to DNA sequencing, the breadth of the claims encompassed technologies that Caltech did not invent, including the PCR-based methods on which Promega’s accused products are based. The asserted claims were additionally invalid as anticipated or obvious in view of the prior art, including a prior art patent to Caltech, which expired years ago. Judge Posner also found certain claims invalid for obviousness type double patenting. Defendants appealed various aspects of Judge Posner’s decision and the judgment. Six days after oral argument, the Federal Circuit summarily affirmed the judgment, awarding Promega a complete victory in the case.
Represented ObjectVideo, Inc. in the enforcement of a group of patents related to video analytics against Robert Bosch GmbH, Samsung Techwin Co. Ltd., and Sony Electronics, Inc. Filed suit in the Eastern District of Virginia in 2011, followed by the initiation of proceedings before the International Trade Commission. Resolved the dispute with Samsung Techwin Co. Ltd. and Sony Electronics, Inc. before trial. Conducted trial at the ITC against Robert Bosch GmbH before ALJ Shaw in July 2012. Resolved the matter against Robert Bosch GmbH just prior to the Initial Determination.
Eolas Technologies, Inc. and The Regents of the University of California v. Microsoft Corporation: Won a $520 million verdict on behalf of Eolas Technologies, Inc. and The Regents of the University of California against Microsoft over validity and use of a patent for web browser technology, representing one of the largest jury awards ever in a patent-infringement lawsuit.
Successfully represented Honeywell Inc. in numerous patent litigation matters, including a case filed in Delaware against the Liquid Crystal Display consumer electronics industry, which led to approximately 85 percent of the manufacturing industry taking a license.
Medtronic Inc. v. Boston Scientific, et al.: Tried and won a declaratory judgment action on behalf of Medtronic, obtaining a ruling for Medtronic that it did not infringe two valid implantable cardiac defibrillator patents.
Electromotive Division of General Motors Corporation v. Transportation Systems Division of General Electric Co., et al.: Obtained summary judgment for General Electric in a patent infringement and trade secrets action brought by General Motors involving diesel locomotives. Summary judgment was later upheld by the Federal Circuit in Electromotive Div. of General Motors Corp. v. Transportation Systems Div. of General Elec. Co., 417 F.3d 1203, 75 U.S.P.Q.2d 1650 (Fed. Cir. 2005).
Honeywell Inc. v. Victor Company of Japan and U.S. JVC Corp.: Secured a multi-million dollar verdict for Honeywell Inc. in patent infringement litigation against JVC regarding color filters in video cameras.
Successfully represented Carlson Marketing Group, Inc. in multiple suits involving patents for filtered and non-filtered processing of data on stored value cards and gift cards.
UNOCAL Corp. v. ARCO, Chevron, Exxon, Mobil, Shell and Texaco: Secured a $91 million judgment after a jury verdict for Union Oil Company of California (UNOCAL) in a patent infringement action regarding UNOCAL's patent on gasoline fuel. The verdict was affirmed by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
Fonar v. General Electric Co.: Secured an $110,575,000 jury verdict on behalf of Fonar Corp. in a patent infringement action. The verdict was affirmed on appeal to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the amount of $128.5 million.
Represented SuperValu and Cub Foods against Fleming and Rainbow Foods in an action for theft of trade secrets. On behalf of SuperValu and Cub, we alleged that Rainbow surreptitiously misappropriated Cub's confidential store specials before publication in local newspapers, and then used that ill gained information to lure shoppers to its stores with lower advertised prices on the same special items. The case settled favorably on a confidential basis.
Defended ev3, Inc. in an action brought by Boston Scientific Corporation and Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc. for misappropriation of trade secrets and infringement of patents related to medical devices known as embolic protection filters. This case is notable in that we defended allegations that several senior members of Boston Scientific management misappropriated the subject trade secrets when they left Boston Scientific and went to ev3. The claim for misappropriation of trade secrets was dismissed; the patent case was settled before trial on a confidential basis.
Complex Commercial and Business Litigation Representations
Mirant Corp. v. NRG Energy Inc.: Defended NRG Energy Inc. in a highly-publicized lawsuit filed by Mirant Corp. in Delaware Chancery Court involving NRG's rejection of Mirant's $8 billion unsolicited takeover bid. The case was dismissed upon defendant's motion.
Represented a high-profile minority-shareholder group in a lawsuit against Timothy Blixseth, the then-billionaire majority owner of the elite Yellowstone Club located near Big Sky, Montana. The suit was ultimately settled for $39.5 million.
Successfully defended Carlson Companies against a competitor's tortious interference with contract action and obtained judgment on the pleadings. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice.
Successfully represented Carlson Companies in an insurance coverage dispute against Royal Indemnity Company and National Union Fire Insurance Company to recover the cost of defending two high-stakes patent infringement suits.