Intellectual Property and Entertainment Litigation Experience
Patrick is a sought-after trial lawyer for inventors, screenwriters, and artists across patent, copyright, trade secret, and rights of publicity disputes. In 2022, he served as lead trial counsel for two Hollywood screenwriters in their high-profile copyright case against Disney over the multi-billion-dollar blockbuster movie franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Patrick defeated Disney’s motion for summary judgment and cross-examined some of Hollywood’s biggest names, like famed-producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
Patrick also represented celebrity chef Chloe Coscarelli, winning an arbitration that restored her 50% ownership in the “by Chloe” fast-casual vegan restaurant company she founded and valued at over $60 million, enjoined the company from selling retail products using Chloe’s name, and awarded over $2.2 million in attorneys’ fees and costs (affirmed in full by the Southern District of New York). When the investors, led by Bain Capital, tried to circumvent that award in bankruptcy, Patrick won a trial that precluded the sale of the “by Chloe” trademark—the company’s “crown jewel asset”—without Chloe’s consent.
Patrick has also represented patent owners across a wide range of technologies and industries. Representing patent owners like Personal Audio, Affinity Labs, TV Interactive, and Puget BioVentures, he has secured more than $75 million in license agreements for his clients. He has also handled high-stakes competitor-v-competitor patent litigation, like Medtronic’s offensive patent litigation against Edwards Lifesciences, and his current representation of Willis Electric against its largest competitor, Polygroup, in its multi-million-dollar patent case over artificial Christmas trees. IAM has included Patrick in the IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals list for years.
Plaintiffs’ High-Stakes Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Experience
Patrick has held companies that caused catastrophic injuries and death accountable in court. In 2021, he won a $27.8 million jury verdict, including $10 million in punitive damages, against an air evacuation company that the jury found caused an above-the-knee amputation. Patrick has also represented family members who have lost loved ones to suicide based on negligent mental health treatment. And he won a $950,000 jury verdict against a man who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl in Laos. Patrick is currently representing a rape survivor against her abuser as well. Minnesota Lawyer named him to its Power 30 list for the best personal injury lawyers in Minnesota.
Business Litigation Experience
Patrick has handled a diverse set of business disputes, like breach of contract, defamation, and business torts, for both plaintiffs and defendants. Patrick recently won a jury verdict for Covidien against a former employee, who the jury found misappropriated confidential information and led to a final judgment over $2 million. In 2016, Patrick was trial counsel for a closely held business in a contract dispute with La-Z-Boy, which resulted in a $5.7 million verdict and which later settled for $13.5 million on appeal.
Patrick has also won significant cases for defendants before trial. In 2023, for instance, he won summary judgment for his client against an international oil and gas company, which had sued a former employee for breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, and various business torts for over $6 million. He also won a complete dismissal for restaurant entrepreneur David Pisor in a case for breach of contract, business torts, and fraud.
Patrick has argued significant appeals at the Federal Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Eighth Circuit, and Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court. In 2022, he won the landmark ruling at the Minnesota Supreme Court in Smits v. Park Nicollet, which found that mental healthcare providers owe a duty to provide reasonable medical care to their patients, even if the patient dies by suicide on an outpatient basis. Patrick also secured a reversal from the Eighth Circuit that allowed another client’s defamation claim to proceed.
Pro Bono Experience
Patrick is passionate about ensuring access to justice for all, not just those who can afford it. From 2015 through 2018, he chaired Robins Kaplan’s Pro Bono Committee. Under his leadership, The American Lawyer ranked the firm as having the fourth-best pro bono program in the country. Law360 and The National Law Journal, among other national publications, also recognized the firm’s program during his tenure. As chair, Patrick led by example. In 2017, he obtained what is reported to be the first-ever verdict in a civil sex tourism case; the jury awarded $950,000 to his client after finding that she had been sexually assaulted in Laos at the age of 14 by a 43-year-old U.S. citizen.
Patrick also serves as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois in the state’s suit against the City of Chicago for police misconduct and civil rights violations. The ABA recognized Patrick’s dedication to pro bono work by awarding him its prestigious Pro Bono Publico Award in 2018, and Public Justice named him one of four finalists for Trial Lawyer of the Year.
Selected Trial Results
Lead trial counsel for Dr. Richard Tholen, a top Twin Cities plastic surgeon who endured an amputated leg after Assist America refused to evacuate him for proper medical care, in Tholen v. Assist America (D. Minn.), wherein a federal jury awarded Dr. Tholen a $27.8 million verdict, including $10 million in punitive damages.
Lead trial counsel for ionLake LLC, Derrick Girard, and Wade Girard in CellTrust v. ionLake (D. Minn.), wherein the jury rejected the patent owner’s multi-million dollar claims in a competitor-v-competitor dispute through its verdict finding the asserted patents both not infringed and invalid as obvious.
Trial counsel for celebrity chef Chloe Coscarelli v. ESquared Hospitality and BCHG, an AAA arbitration in which the Honorable Faith S. Hochberg (ret.) restored Chloe’s business entity as a 50% owner in the “by Chloe” fast-casual vegan restaurant company she founded, enjoined the company from selling retail products using Chloe’s name, and awarded over $2.2 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.
Lead trial counsel for celebrity chef Chloe Coscarelli in In re BCHG, a bankruptcy case in which the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware rejected the investors of the “by Chloe” company, like Bain Capital and Kitchen Fund, attempt to purchase the “by Chloe” trademark—the company’s “crown jewel asset”—in a Chapter 11 proceeding without Chloe’s consent.
Trial counsel in Covidien v. Esch (D. Mass.) in which a federal jury held the defendant, a former Covidien employee, liable for breaching his contracts with Covidien by disclosing and using confidential information to start his own company. Final judgment exceeded $2 million.
Trial counsel in Megdal Associates LLC v. La-Z-Boy, Inc, (S.D. Fla. 2016), a case in which a federal jury in Fort Lauderdale awarded our client, Megdal Associates, $5.7 million for breach of a technology license agreement. The award was increased to $6 million with the award of prejudgment interest. While the case was pending on appeal, it settled with La-Z-Boy, paying Megdal Associates $13.5 million.
Lead trial counsel in Twin Cities Angels v. Once (AAA Arbitration 2020), following a remote Zoom Final Hearing, the arbitrator granted a six-figure award to an investor in a dispute over calculating an internal rate of return on an investment.
Trial counsel in Personal Audio LLC v. Apple Inc. (E.D. Tex.), a patent infringement case in which a federal jury awarded our client, Personal Audio LLC, $8 million in damages for infringing a patent for an audio player that can download or receive navigable playlists. The jury found that Apple's iPods infringed the patent. The district court then denied Apple's equitable defenses of laches and inequitable conduct following a bench trial, which Mr. Arenz tried as second-chair counsel. The verdict was announced on July 8, 2011, and the district court issued a final judgment in excess of $12 million on August 30, 2011.
Lead trial counsel in Vang v. Prataya (D. Minn. 2017), in which a federal jury found that the defendant had sexually assaulted our client when she was 14 years old in Laos, and awarded $950,000 in damages. This verdict is reported to be the first of its kind in a civil “sex tourism” case—in which an American citizen travels overseas for illicit sexual conduct—brought under the PROTECT Act.
Lead trial counsel in J.H. v. A.I. (D. Minn.), an international Hague convention case venued in federal court. After a multi-day bench trial, the Court denied the father’s request to make a 5-year-old girl living in the United States with her mother leave the country and live with him in Juarez, Mexico.
Lead trial counsel in State v. Martin, a pro bono criminal defense matter in Minnesota state court (Ramsey County). The jury issued a split verdict on two felonies.
Lead trial counsel in U.S. v. Indres, a pro bono trial in immigration court. After a contested trial with the federal government, the immigration court denied the government’s request for removal and granted Ms. Indres asylum based on a finding of the political persecution she experienced in Ethiopia.
Selected Appellate Results
Lead appellate counsel in Smits v. Park Nicollet at the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, which remanded the trustee’s wrongful death claim over mental health patient’s wrongful death by suicide.
Lead appellate counsel for Dr. and Mrs. Tholen in Tholen v. Assist America at the Eighth Circuit, which led to a reversal and remand to the district court for the Tholens’ defamation claim.
Lead appellate counsel in Daniels v. Walt Disney Company at the Ninth Circuit in a copyright case over the characters in the blockbuster film Inside Out.
Selected Cases that Settled or Resolved Before Trial
Lead trial counsel for two Hollywood screenwriters in their high-profile copyright case against Disney (Alfred v. Walt Disney Pictures, (C.D. Cal.)) over the multi-billion-dollar blockbuster movie franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Argued and defeated Walt Disney Pictures’ motion for summary judgment and motion to certify to the Ninth Circuit. Case settled confidentially before trial.
Lead trial counsel in Jacam v. Shepard (D.N.D.) in a case for breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, and business torts against a former employee with over $6 million at stake. Won summary judgment on all claims.
Lead trial counsel in ESG Inc. v. Seven Mile Food & Beverage LLC (D. Nev.) in a case for breach of contract, business torts, and fraud. Won motion to dismiss on all claims.
Lead trial counsel in Assurance Drug Testing Labs v. O’Boyle (Wisconsin state court), a breach-of-contract/non-compete enforcement action following a multi-million-dollar purchase agreement. Case settled confidentially before trial.
Lead trial counsel in Mehlhaff v. Miller (Washington state court), a wrongful death case against a psychologist over a patient’s suicide. Case settled confidentially before trial.
Lead trial counsel for heir to celebrity estate against a financial advisor for breach of fiduciary duty and other business torts. Dispute resolved through a confidential pre-suit agreement.
Trial counsel for Medtronic v. Edwards Lifesciences (D. Minn.) in a patent infringement case over artificial heart valves. Case settled confidentially before trial.
Trial counsel for defendant Draeger Safety Inc. in Sperian Respiratory Protection USA LLC v. Draeger Safety Inc., a patent infringement suit brought by Sperian Respiratory Protection U.S.A. in the Central District of California involving Self Contained Breathing Apparatus for the fire service industry. Following discovery and a Markman hearing, case settled confidentially with no changes made to Draeger Safety’s product.
- Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Board Member
- Compatible Technologies International, Board Member
- FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association
- "Protecting Your Creative IP: Patrick Arenz Of Robins Kaplan On How to Successfully Protect Your IP in the Entertainment Industry," Medium (October 23, 2023)
- "Plaintiffs Firms Up the Ante on Trial Prep, Mock Juries," The National Law Journal (June 23, 2023)
- "Tech Co. Pushes For New Trial After Text-Tracking Patent Loss," Law360 (June 13, 2023)
- "How Two Advisor Tech Companies Battled It out in Patent Court," InvestmentNews (June 5, 2023)
- "Minnesota Jury Finds CellTrust Text-Tracking Patents Are Obvious," Law360 (May 5, 2023)
- "2022 Attorneys of the Year: Patrick Arenz," Minnesota Lawyer (February 16, 2023)
- "Disney Settles ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Suit After Remand (2)," Bloomberg Law (September 28, 2022)
- "Justices remand wrongful-death action in murder-suicide," Minnesota Lawyer (September 15, 2022)
- "Disney Can't Sink Writers' Claim 'Pirates' Franchise Looted IP," Law360 (December 17, 2021)
- "How Robins Kaplan Secured $28M In Zip Lining Injury Verdict," Law360 (December 8, 2021)
- "Medical Service Co. Hit With $27M Verdict Over Amputated Leg," Law360 (November 22, 2021)
- "Jury awards $24.8M to Twin Cities doctor who had leg amputated after zipline injury in Mexico," Star Tribune (November 22, 2021)
- "Jurors Award Man Nearly $25 Million in Amputation Lawsuit," U.S. News & World Report (November 22, 2021)
- "Disney Says It Didn't Plunder 'Pirates' Franchise From Writers," Law360 (October 19, 2021)
- “Teen artist wins round against Target,” Minnesota Lawyer (April 13, 2021)
- “Investors agree to acquire By Chloe vegan restaurant chain from bankruptcy,” Nation’s Restaurant News (March 12, 2021)
- “By Chloe Will Continue Operations, but Under a Different Name,” QSR (March 11, 2021)
- “By Chloe Restaurant Investors Win Bankruptcy Auction, but Not the Brand Name,” The Wall Street Journal (March 10, 2021)
- “Appeals court reverses ruling in murder-suicide,” Minnesota Lawyer (February 23, 2021)
- “ ‘Inside Out’ Case Shows Gray Area Between Inspired, Swiped (1),” Bloomberg Law (February 16, 2021)
- “Court of Appeals: Lake Minnetonka murder-suicide liability case against Park Nicollet should be tried before a jury,” Star Tribune (February 16, 2021)
- “By Chloe Co-Founder Fights Over Trademark for Bankrupt Vegan Chain,” The Wall Street Journal (February 3, 2021)
- “Bankrupt Vegan Chain By Chloe’s Co-Founder Chef Wins Another Legal Battle,” WSJ Pro Bankruptcy (January 29, 2021)
- “Celeb Chef Wins Ruling In Battle Over ‘By Chloe’ Brand,” Law360 (January 29, 2021)
- "The Next Generation of IP and Technology Trial Lawyers," Attorney at Law (October 5, 2020)
- "Atty Group Urges Justices To Take 'Inside Out' Copyright Case," Law360 (September 10, 2020)
- "Godzilla, Bond, Batmobile: Moodsters ask SCOTUS to review character copyrights in Disney scrap," Westlaw News (August 5, 2020)
- “Physician’s Amputation Defamation Suit Reinstated,” Business Insurance (August 3, 2020)
- “8th Circ. Revives Surgeon's Suit Over Travel Magazine Story,” Law360 (July 31, 2020)
- “Breaking the Ice: Competitive spirit fuels range of trial work,” Minnesota Lawyer (June 24, 2020)
- “Why Gilstrap Is Getting Ready for Trial — And Not On Zoom,” Law360 (May 15, 2020)
- “Cisco’s ‘Unprecedented’ Patent Trial to Test Video Capabilities,” Bloomberg Law (April 30, 2020)
- "A Pro at Pro Bono," Mitchell Hamline Alumni Magazine (Winter 2019)
- "Discovery Violations Prompt Adverse Inference Order," Minnesota Lawyer (June 13, 2019)
- '' 'Lawsuit for Chloe' is for High Stakes," Minnesota Lawyer (April 11, 2019)
- "The 2018 Recipients of The ABA Pro Bono Publico Award," American Bar Association (August 27, 2018)
- "Pro Bono Publico Award Winners: Patrick Arenz, Robins Kaplan LLP," Center for Pro Bono (August 15, 2018)
- “Punitive Damage Count Added to Zip-Lining Doctor’s Breach-of-Duty Claim,” Minnesota Lawyer (August 17, 2018)
- “2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist – Vang v. Prataya,” Public Justice (July 11, 2018)
- "Bar Buzz: Pro Bono Publico Award Goes to Patrick Arenz," Minnesota Lawyer (May 31, 2018)
- "Public Justice Announces Finalists for 2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award," Public Justice (May 29, 2018)
- "40 Under 40: Patrick Arenz," Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (March 23, 2018)
- "First Round of 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2018 Revealed," Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (January 23, 2018)
- "Covidien Nears OK For Stay Of California IP Suit," Law360 (January 5, 2018)
- "Did the Walt Disney Company and Pixar Steal the Movie Inside Out?" IPWatchdog, (October 2, 2017)
- "Amended Suit Alleging Misappropriation of Blockbuster Inside Out Filed Against Disney," Animation Digital Digest (September 21, 2017)
- "Jury Awards $950K to Former 'Child Bride,'" Minnesota Lawyer (May 18, 2017)
- "Robins Kaplan LLP Secures Landmark Civil Jury Verdict in Sex Tourism Case," Lawdragon (May 16, 2017)
- "Nearly $1 Million Verdict in Sexual Assault of Girl in Laos," The New York Times/Associated Press (May 12, 2017)
- "Minnesota woman wins $1 million in lawsuit against married man who 'raped and impregnated her when she was 14 then trafficked her from Laos'," The Daily Mail (May 12, 2017)
- "Sex tourism victim wins unprecedented civil judgment of nearly $1M," The Star Tribune (May 11, 2017)
- "Pro Bono Happy Hour Podcast," Pro Bono Institute (March 23, 2017)
- "La-Z-Boy Can't Duck $5.8M Royalty Verdict, Fla. Court Says," Law360 (January 6, 2017)
- "La-Z-Boy Failed to Pay Royalties for Electronic Footrest," VerdictSearch National Vol. 15 (November 2016)
- "High Court Won't Rehear Commil's $74M Patent Win Reversal," Law360 (November 28, 2016)
- "Halo – Is it Clarity You’re Looking For?" Managing Intellectual Property (August 17, 2016)
- "Patent Jury Trials At Risk, High Court Told In Cisco Case," Law360 (July 20, 2016)
- "Jury Slaps La-Z-Boy With $5.8M Verdict In Royalty Suit," Law360 (March 16, 2016)
- "Pro Bono Firm of 2015: Robins Kaplan," Law360 (September 17, 2015)
- "Make Sure Your License Agreements Don't Unwittingly Jeopardize Your Standing in Court," Tech Transfer eNews Blog (November 19, 2014)
- "Federal Summary Judgment Practice Changes," Minnesota Lawyer (November 15, 2010)
- "Little Known Rule 502 a Safe Haven for Attorneys," Minnesota Lawyer (August 23, 2010)
- "A New Era of Copyright Litigation in Hollywood: Revisiting Pirates of the Caribbean One Year Later," IPWatchdog (November 27, 2023)
- "Disney Settles Screenwriters' Claim It Stole 'Pirates' IP," Law360 (September 1, 2022)
- “Stepping into the Shoes of the Department of Justice: The Unusual, Necessary, and Hopeful Path the Illinois Attorney General Took to Require Police Reform in Chicago,” Northwestern Law Journal of Law and Social Policy (Winter 2020)
If you are interested in having us represent you, you should call us so we can determine whether the matter is one for which we are willing or able to accept professional responsibility. We will not make this determination by e-mail communication. The telephone numbers and addresses for our offices are listed on this page. We reserve the right to decline any representation. We may be required to decline representation if it would create a conflict of interest with our other clients.
By accepting these terms, you are confirming that you have read and understood this important notice.