Our representations include:
Infringement and Licensing
We have litigated infringement cases against both competitors and non-practicing entities, including:
- Kite Pharma, Inc., a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, Inc., in invalidating plaintiff’s patents during infringement litigation over an innovative cancer therapy.
- Snap, Inc., against charges it misappropriated trade secrets and infringed the patents of social mapping application You Map by signing up for a beta test of its software.
- Google, in dismissing claims brought against it in a broad litigation campaign by a plaintiff against wireless phone networks, broadband internet providers, and network equipment suppliers.
- Abbott Laboratories in a long-running patent licensing dispute involving genetic amplification technology now used in COVID-19 testing, leading to a very favorable settlement for the client.
We have led companies through merger evaluations and investigations, and interacted with federal agencies to successfully address their concerns. Our work includes:
- AbbVie, Inc., and Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in a substantial private enforcement proceeding filed by major pharmaceutical wholesalers that challenges three patent settlements as illegal “pay for delay” arrangements and challenges four patent assertions as “sham.”
- AbbVie, Inc., as co-counsel in reversing a court-ordered disgorgement of $448 million against pharmaceutical manufacturers AbbVie and Besins Healthcare for allegedly delaying generic forms of the testosterone treatment AndroGel through “sham patent litigation.” We also convinced the Federal Trade Commission to voluntarily dismiss its monopolization claims with prejudice.
Trials and Appeals
We have won trials and summary judgement for our clients in matters involving hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and years of product development. Our work includes:
- Takeda Pharmaceuticals (and affiliates), in obtaining judgments of infringement and awards of injunctive relief against three companies in a bench trial involving generic versions of the acid reflux drug Dexilant.
- AbbVie, Inc., in prevailing at a jury trial, and again on appeal, in patent litigation against Novartis involving Abbott’s cyclosporine product, Gengraf.
- Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett-Packard in winning summary judgment, successfully defended on appeal, in a suit involving software multithreading.
- Rambus as both plaintiff and defendant against the world’s largest dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) manufacturers in a closely watched battle for rights to the fundamental design of memory chips used in nearly all major computing devices. We obtained a $306 million jury verdict in a patent trial against one party, and a successful verdict against monopolization and unfair competition claims brought by others. We also defeated a $400 million patent damages offset through breach of contract counterclaims after a bench trial.
Detailed examples of how Munger, Tolles & Olson guides its clients through complex matters follow:
- Defeating putative class actions by direct and indirect purchasers of the drug Niaspan
Client: AbbVie, Inc.
Munger, Tolles & Olson attorneys Stuart N. Senator and Blanca Fromm Young represented AbbVie, Inc., a research-based biopharmaceutical company, in connection with long-running putative class actions by direct and indirect purchasers of the dyslipidemia treatment drug Niaspan. Plaintiffs allege that patent settlement agreements between two predecessor companies, now owned by AbbVie and Teva Pharmaceuticals, were designed to prevent generic versions of Niaspan from hitting the market. We also represented AbbVie in a related case by the Orange County District Attorney on behalf of California drug purchasers.
On June 3, 2020, a Pennsylvania federal judge declined to certify a class of end-payor plaintiffs in their suit alleging improper pay-for-delay settlements between AbbVie and Teva aimed at barring generic forms of Niaspan. The judge found that plaintiffs failed to establish the ascertainability, predominance, or superiority requirements.
U.S. District Judge Jan DuBois gave numerous reasons for declining certification in the putative class action over the patent settlement, including the cost of identifying class members, a lack of common evidence of antitrust injury and variations in applicable state laws.
Purchasers responded with a renewed motion for a smaller class, but, on August 17, 2021, Judge DuBois again declined to certify a class of end-payors, finding that the amended filing did not include a plan for distinguishing proposed class members from intermediaries in drug transactions, such as fully insured health plans, which are excluded.
Press Coverage: End-Payors Again Denied Cert. In Niaspan Pay-For-Delay MDL
- Dismissing video compressing and streaming infringement claims against Google
We obtained a complete victory on behalf of Google in this case, which concerned six patents related to the use of tabbed interfaces in spreadsheets. The plaintiff, Data Engine Technologies (“DET”), filed suit in the District of Delaware, alleging that Google’s spreadsheet application, Google Sheets, infringed the patents.
Google initially obtained dismissal of the case on the basis that the patents were invalid because they were directed to an abstract idea. The Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit reversed that decision. On remand, Google retained Munger, Tolles & Olson to prepare the case for trial.
Prior to trial, the Munger, Tolles & Olson team, led by Gregory Stone and Zachary M. Briers, sought to reopen claim construction, and ultimately obtained an order granting a favorable construction of the disputed claim term. Following the favorable construction, the District Court granted Google summary judgment in September 2020, finding that Google Sheets does not infringe the asserted patents. The matter was appealed to the Federal Circuit and, in August 2021, the Federal Circuit affirmed our victory for Google in a summary judgement order.
Press Coverage: Del. Judge Clears Google Again In Spreadsheet IP Case