The Firm is able provide representation to clients in complex intellectual property ("IP") litigation cases with special emphasis on patent, trademark (including trademark opposition proceedings), copyright, trade secret and unfair competition in high technology areas. Our clients consist primarily of small and medium size companies that have had their rights infringed by large corporations. Thus, we generally undertake David vs. Goliath litigation matters.
The Firm assists in litigation cases involving a full range of disputes that technology businesses experience: software copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trademark oppsotions, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of confidentiality or non-compete agreements, movement of key employees between companies, and tortious interference with business and contractual relationships. We represent clients in all phases of litigation - from evaluating the initial decision to initiate or respond to a lawsuit, through trial, post-trial appellate practice, and collections. We advise clients on all aspects of litigation strategy, not only with respect to issues such as choice of forum, jurisdiction, and other procedural matters, but also on cost-effective ways to achieve a business objective that can be accomplished only through litigation. For us, litigation is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.
We understand the underlying business issues inherent in litigation that our clients face and we partner with our clients to address those issues. This philosophy manifests itself specifically in our case management process, which focuses on early case evaluation and case management in accordance with the litigation objectives of our clients. To that end, we have the capacity to incorporate real-time, on-line collaborative case and fee management systems. We can also provide dedicated websites which allow us to share documents and communicate with our clients.
What distinguishes us from many other law firms is our businesslike approach to solving our clients' problems. We recognize that the most aggressive (and expensive) litigation strategy may not always be the best solution to a client's problem. We also recognize that most clients would prefer to spend less money to alleviate their problems than spend more. As a result, in every matter we handle, we seek to identify the client's primary business objective, design a solution to fit that objective, and then implement that solution in the most efficient manner possible. The result is an effective, solution focused approach that helps our clients to expand their businesses.
We understand our clients’ need for cost management. We are sensitive to the “cost curve” - expenses to settle, as well as to defend, rise over the lifetime of a case. As a result, we are open to discussing alternative fee approaches, recognizing that the goal is greater efficiency in producing legal work that meets our clients’ objectives. Our goal is to bring matters to conclusion quickly and efficiently - whether via trial or a settlement - and to do so in a cost-effective manner for our clients.
In certain circumstances we undertake to represent our clients on a contingent fee basis. We accept only meritorious cases on a contingent fee basis. That is, we take only those cases that are supported by strong facts and law. Our clients pay no lawyer’s fees until their case settles or damages are awarded. However, we require that our clients pay all litigation costs and expenses as they come due. This is done so that our clients have a vested interest in the outcome, and so that they appreciate the value of pursuing reasonable litigation strategies. Costs and expenses cannot be calculated in advance, but they are generally in the range of ten percent (10%) of lawyer’s fees.
The timing of a lawsuit is difficult to predict. It depends on many things, including actions the Defendant takes, court schedules, and decisions our client makes. A lawsuit can take up to two years or longer to settle or go to trial. However, most lawsuits go through the same basic steps, although not always in the same order. Some lawsuits skip some steps, and some steps are repeated many times over. The steps listed here are the main steps that occur in litigation. They will give a general idea of what to expect.
1. Gathering the Facts for Litigation
With our client’s help, we gather all the available facts concerning the claim, including interviewing and taking statements from witnesses.
2. Starting Litigation
We begin the lawsuit by preparing the necessary court documents and filing them in court. This means the court date-stamps all copies of the documents, keeping one copy for their official record. We then deliver filed copies to the Defendant’s lawyers.
3. Interim Motions
After we start litigation, but before trial, we or the Defendant’s lawyers sometimes need to ask the court to decide certain matters. Going to court to ask for an order is called an interim motion. These interim motions are usually about how the lawsuit should be handled. For example, we might ask the court to order that the Defendant show us a particular letter or document that the Defendant would rather not let us see.
4. Examination for Discovery
After gathering the facts, either the Defendant's lawyers, or we, arrange an examination for discovery. At the examination for discovery, we question the Defendant under oath about the facts of the case. We also ask the Defendant to show us what relevant documents the Defendant has, and to tell us about all relevant documents the Defendant has ever owned or had access to. In return, the Defendant’s lawyers also question our client about the facts of the case. We give the Defendant copies of the documents we have that relate to the lawsuit, and our client describes all relevant documents the client once had, or had access to.
5. Review of the Law
Once we have a good idea of all the facts, we review the law. We then give our client our legal opinion about what the likely outcome of a trial would be.
6. Negotiation and Settlement
When it is appropriate, we talk with the Defendant’s lawyers to see if they will settle the claim. A settlement is an agreement between the parties to litigation which sets out how they will resolve the claim. If the claim is settled, it does not go to trial.
7. Preparation for Trial
We prepare the case for trial, including getting all the necessary documents together, arranging for witnesses to attend, and preparing any legal opinions.
We act for our client at the trial. When the judge has decided the case, which could be a few days or weeks after the trial, we prepare the court order for the judge to sign, or approve how the other lawyers write up the judgment to make sure it is correct.