McKool Smith has been named the 2020 “Litigation Department of the Year - Intellectual Property” by Texas Lawyer. The firm was selected for this prestigious honor based on its success in a string of high-profile IP cases over the past year.
McKool Smith’s courtroom victories include winning a significant defense verdict on behalf of Ericsson in a suit brought by HTC Corporation and HTC America, Inc. HTC claimed Ericsson violated its contractual obligation to license its essential cellular patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, alleging Ericsson requested HTC agree to pay excessive royalty rates in violation of its FRAND commitment. Following a five-day trial, the jury returned a verdict finding Ericsson’s requested royalty rates were not in excess of FRAND.
McKool Smith, along with MoloLamken LLP, also secured a significant appellate victory for Ericsson in a long-running patent-licensing dispute against TCL. After the district court denied Ericsson’s request for a jury trial in 2017, Ericsson appealed to the Federal Circuit and argued that the district court had violated Ericsson’s Seventh Amendment rights. In a precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit unanimously agreed with Ericsson and remanded the case for a jury trial.
In January, the firm secured an $85.2 million patent damages verdict on behalf of WiLAN Inc. against Apple, Inc. following a high-profile jury trial on damages in California. In an earlier trial, Apple was found by a separate jury to have infringed two WiLAN patents covering voice over LTE ("VoLTE") wireless communication technology used in Apple iPhones. Upon entering the verdict, the Court also ordered Apple to pay $23.7 million in pre-judgment interest.
Two months later, the firm secured a “take nothing” trial defense victory for Halliburton in a case brought by a former supplier asserting trade secret, contract, fraud, and patent infringement claims. After a week of deliberations that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic, the jury provided a partial verdict of non-infringement, but remained hung on two claims. The verdict resulted in no liability against Halliburton. A retrial is pending to determine the outstanding claims.
McKool Smith’s also secured major victories in three separate International Trade Commission (ITC) Investigations on behalf of Rovi/TiVo in its long running dispute with Comcast, including a Federal Circuit win affirming the ITC’s decision that Comcast violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act by importing set-top boxes that infringe two Rovi patents. The Federal Circuit’s ruling left intact the ban on Comcast’s importation of infringing set-top boxes. The Supreme Court later denied Comcast’s cert petition. On April 23, 2020, in a second Investigation, the ITC upheld an Initial Determination (ID) by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) holding Comcast set-top boxes also infringe an additional Rovi patent. Finally, in an ID issued on July 28, in a third Investigation, the ALJ found that Comcast infringed two more Rovi patents and again recommended that Comcast be barred from importing set-top boxes that infringe these patents.
Most recently, McKool Smith, along with Irell & Manella LLP, secured a $506,200,000 patent infringement verdict on behalf of PanOptis against Apple, Inc. The verdict was announced on August 11, 2020, following a six-day jury trial where jurors found Apple willfully infringed five PanOptis patents covering wireless communication technology essential to the 4G LTE wireless standard.
With 150 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, and Washington, D.C., McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. Since 2006, the firm has secured 12 nine-figure jury verdicts and 14 eight-figure jury verdicts. The firm has also won more VerdictSearch and The National Law Journal “Top 100 Verdicts” over the last 10 years than any other law firm in the country. Courtroom successes like these have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” McKool Smith represents clients in complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, insurance recovery bankruptcy, and white collar defense matters.