Mike McKool, a Founder and Chairman of McKool Smith, has been recognized as an “Icon of IP” by Law360. The publication’s IP Icon series honors the top 25 lawyers in the country who have shaped today’s IP landscape and made an “indelible mark” in the area of intellectual property.
In an extensive profile on Mr. McKool and his rise in intellectual property litigation (available here), Law360 discussed how his entry into the IP field “came years after he co-founded McKool Smith as an 11-attorney litigation boutique in 1991. At the time, McKool observed that patent litigation, which had been a sleepy little corner of general business law, was coming into prominence, and the firm looked to take on some IP work.” Mr. McKool further explained, “it was just obvious to me that patent litigation was really on the rise and that the amount of the litigation and the importance of the litigation was going to increase exponentially, and it did."
Since that time, McKool Smith has become known as a trial powerhouse with an unparalleled recorded of success in high-stakes patent infringement disputes. The firm’s track record includes securing eight nine-figure patent infringement verdicts over the past ten years – more than any other law firm during this time - including wins on behalf of ParkerVision ($173M); VirnetX ($368M); Versata ($345M); i4i ($200M); Versata ($138M); VirnetX ($106M); Medtronic ($250M); and TGIP, Inc. ($156M).
Mike’s recent IP victories include his successful representation of Versata before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a patent infringement dispute against SAP America. Five months after hearing Mr. McKool’s oral argument, the Federal Circuit issued its decision to affirm a $391 judgment that McKool Smith secured for Versata against SAP – believed at the time to be the largest judgment ever affirmed by the Federal Circuit. Mike also represented longtime client, Ericsson as lead counsel in the company’s battle with Apple which settled in December 2015. The dispute involved hundreds of Ericsson’s standard essential and implementation patents covering technologies that enable smartphones and tablets to connect to mobile networks, and spanned eight federal court lawsuits filed against Apple in the Eastern District of Texas, one matter filed against Ericsson in the Northern District of California, and two matters filed against Apple before the International Trade Commission (ITC).
Frank Vecella, Associate General Counsel for Ericsson, spoke with Law360 and praised Mike’s role in quarterbacking the high-stakes litigation. “When Mike has been the lead counsel for us on cases ... it's a situation in which as a client you don't have to worry about whether things are going to be overlooked or not get done that need to get done," said Mr. Vecella, who has known McKool for 16 years "He is the most prepared attorney I've ever encountered in my 34 years of litigation practice."
Law360’s recent Icon recognition is the latest in a string of awards and honors that have been bestowed upon Mr. McKool as of late. Last year, he was profiled in Law360’s “Trial Aces” special feature, which recognized his “reputation as one of the country’s top trial lawyers.” The article noted that he is “one of the best closers in the business” and “clients bring him in when a trial appears inevitable and they can't afford to lose." He also received the Texas Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award for "Professional Excellence," along with the “Outstanding Alumnus Award” from the University of Texas Law Alumni Association for outstanding contributions to the legal profession. He was awarded the 2014 Texas Lawyer "Top Verdicts Hall of Fame" Lifetime Achievement Award and has been named the Dallas Bar Association “Trial Lawyer of the Year.”