Courtland Reichman is the Managing Principal of McKool Smith’s Silicon Valley office. Courtland is a broadly-gauged trial lawyer with over 20 years of experience in high-exposure intellectual property and commercial litigation. He is known for delivering results through comprehensive case strategy, boiling down even the most complex cases into understandable themes, and communicating simply and effectively with judges and juries.
Courtland’s intellectual property practice focuses on patent, false advertising, copyright and trademark litigation. His complex commercial practice includes issues of constitutional law, energy, antitrust, breach of contract, trade secrets, franchise/distribution, and unfair competition. Courtland’s appellate practice comprises more than 30 federal appellate arguments, including arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit. He was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the top 40 under 40 lawyers in the U.S. and by Chambers USA as a leading intellectual property lawyer.
Prior to joining McKool Smith, Courtland served as Global Chair of an AmLaw 30 law firm’s 150- lawyer intellectual property group and as Managing Partner of the firm’s San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices.
Courtland graduated, with honors, from Swarthmore College, with a degree in economics, after which he worked as an associate economist at the RAND Corporation, publishing a number of articles and a book involving labor economics. He later graduated Order of the Coif from Emory University School of Law, where he was managing editor of the Emory Law Journal. Courtland served as a law clerk to the Honorable R. Lanier Anderson III on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Intellectual Property Trial Practice:
Courtland has represented clients in over 100 patent cases. The subject matter of these cases involve a wide variety of technologies, including electrical engineering, software, medical devices, computer science, semiconductors, mechanical engineering, optics, digital television, life sciences, chemistry, health supplements, design patents, fluid dynamics, and polyurethane bags. He has litigated patent cases in federal courts across the country, and before the International Trade Commission (ITC), where his representation includes one of the largest-ever ITC patent infringement actions.
Courtland also has a leading practice in trademark and false advertising litigation, having represented companies owning the world’s most valuable trademarks. He has extensive experience litigating false advertising cases related to a wide variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, chemical engineering, consumer products, media, electronics, health, fitness, food, and beverages. Courtland has successfully handled dozens of temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction hearings.
Commercial Trial Practice:
Courtland has similarly extensive expertise in complex commercial litigation. He has represented plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of high-exposure cases, including trade secrets, antitrust, constitutional law, energy disputes, franchise and distribution, whistleblower actions, breach of restrictive covenants, unfair competition, breach of contract, licensing, automotive dealer laws, and partnership disputes. Courtland’s clients praise his ability to quickly master complex facts and laws with an eye toward effective communication to juries.
Behind The Trial Podcast
Courtland is host of a popular podcast called “Behind The Trial.” The episodes feature Courtland’s interviews with the most celebrated trial lawyers in the U.S. about the art of persuasion. The podcast goes behind the scenes for intimate, in-depth discussions about persuasion techniques that are passed on by oral tradition. It strives to capture the unique voice and style of each trial star by covering their best practices for presenting to judges and juries, pitfalls to avoid, and their secrets for convincing juries. It also examines the role of juries and trial lawyers in society. The podcast is available on most platforms, such as iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and GooglePlay.
Courtland has represented such clients as Arconic, Alcoa, Sempra Energy, Ericsson, The Coca-Cola Company, 3M, Gulfstream, Kemira, Merial, The Home Depot, Wendy’s, The Atlanta Falcons, Waffle House franchisees, Les Mills International (BodyPump®), and the city of Atlanta, as well as leading U.S. and Japanese motor vehicle manufacturers. He also regularly represents innovators and early-stage companies.
The following is a representative sample of his cases:
- Lead counsel for Alcoa Inc. in multiple disputes involving energy generation facilities. Courtland tried a several hundred million-dollar case for Alcoa against the state of North Carolina involving ownership of four hydroelectric dams on the Yadkin River before a North Carolina federal court. The State alleged that it owned these dams under a constitutional navigability doctrine. Alcoa prevailed at trial and the State’s allegations of ownership were extinguished. Courtland also represented Alcoa in an energy dispute with Luminant involving a claimed breach of a several hundred million dollar energy services agreement. The case was successfully resolved. Courtland represents Alcoa in a dispute over an energy services agreement involving against GPP and involving the bankruptcy of Sherwin Alumina, pending in Houston federal court.
- Lead counsel for Arconic Inc. (f/k/a Alcoa) in multi-hundred million dollar trade secret dispute with strategic rival Universal Alloy Corporation. The case is pending in the Northern District of Atlanta, and involves allegations that the defendant stole trade secrets used for the manufacture of critical Aircraft wing components in order to divert over $200 million in sales previously made by Arconic. The representation includes defense of antitrust counterclaims. The case is pending in Atlanta federal court. Courtland also represents Arconic in patent infringement case in the Southern District of New York.
- Lead counsel for FleetCor, a global provider of specialized payment products and services including fleet cards, food cards, corporate lodging cards, and other specialized payment services for businesses. Case involved contract claims related to wind down of a significant client. Defeated motion for temporary restraining order in Texas state court, then began arbitration trial, during which the case was successfully resolved.
- Lead counsel for Immersion Corp. in patent litigation against Fitbit involving haptics technology; lead global counsel involving actions in China and the U.S. The cases involve the use of tactile feedback in electronic devices, and area Immersion pioneered. The cases are pending in the Northern District of California and in Shanghai, China.
- Lead counsel for Ericsson in an Eastern District of Texas patent case involving telecommunications patents, as well as representation of Ericsson in a related case in the Northern District of California and in relation to parallel International Trade Commission proceedings. The seven patent case centered on complex technology such as transceiver components, transceiver architecture, and transceiver echo cancellation. The case was successfully resolved after claim construction arguments.
- Represented San Diego Gas and Electric as co-lead counsel in a contract dispute involving a $300 million-dollar wind farm in Montana and compliance with federal laws relating to preservation of wildlife habitat. The case involved a complex energy and investment contracts, and centered on the question of whether the wind farm required eagle take permits from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The case involved parallel actions before Montana and California state courts. The case also involved appeals to the New York appeals court regarding common interest doctrine privilege issues. The case ultimately was successfully resolved at the conclusion of discovery.
- Lead counsel for Allure Energy in multiple patent cases involving smart thermostats. The first case, against Nest, involved claims relating to Nest’s use of Allure’s technology to build a popular smart thermostat platform that quickly captured market share. The case went to trial in the Eastern District of Texas, during which it was successfully resolved. Also lead counsel in case against Honeywell relating smart thermostat patents in Austin federal court. Case successfully resolved prior to claim construction.
- Represented The Coca-Cola Company for over a decade on a wide range of intellectual property matters, including patents, trademarks, false advertising, and copyrights. This includes representation of the Company as lead counsel in jury trial of patent claims involving design and function of a vending machine in Atlanta federal court. After a week-long trial and a hung jury, the Coca-Cola Company prevailed on post-trial motions to dismiss. After Courtland argued the Federal Circuit appeal, the case was affirmed. Also served as lead counsel in patent litigation against Pepsi-Cola Company involving bag-in-box technology. The case was successfully resolved after discovery. Finally, Courtland represented the Company in a $100 million misappropriation of ideas, trade secrets, and fraud case. Obtained summary judgment on all counts, which was affirmed on appeal. In addition to these cases, Courtland handled over a dozen other cases involving intellectual property, trade secrets, and contract claims.
- Lead counsel for Wilsonart in defending against parallel patent cases before the International Trade Commission and the district of Minnesota. Involved novel patent theories related to engineered quartz technology. On the eve of trial, obtained a dismissal of all claims. Also represent Wilsonart in patent cases pending in Western District of Washington and Middle District of Florida.
- Lead counsel for International Tool Works in defending a patent infringement case involving aerosol adhesives in a canister-based system. The case is pending in the Western District of Washington.
- Lead counsel to physician in arbitration of medical partnership dispute. Claims involved expulsion from a partnership and termination of the partnership agreement on allegations that the physician was providing incompetent care. Courtland prevailed in a lengthy arbitration trial resulting in a substantial verdict.
- Lead trial counsel for Merial in numerous false advertising and unfair competition for over 15 years. Merial is a leading global animal healthcare company owned by Boehringer Ingelheim. These engagements include, among others, cases against Wyeth, Bayer Healthcare, Zoetis, and Eli Lilly, and litigation involving Merial’s billion-dollar Frontline Plus® treatments for dogs and cats. Cases litigated in district court, before the NAD, and in connection with the Federal Trade Commission. The cases involve multiple TRO, preliminary injunction, and bench trials.
- Lead counsel Rockwood Industries and Viance in false advertising and unfair competition litigation involving “greenwashing” claims. Argued appeal before the Eleventh Circuit on cutting edge Lanham Act claims.
- Lead counsel for GMAC companies in false advertising and unfair competition litigation before the Middle District of Georgia. Obtained summary judgment on all counts and full dismissal of claims.
- Lead counsel for Les Mills International (whose popular programs include BodyPump®) in several cases and arbitrations over fifteen years in courts across the country. Cases involved trademark, false advertising, unfair competition, and contract claims, and successful motions for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Also served as lead counsel for Les Mills in counterfeiting case in the North Carolina federal court.
- Lead counsel to 3M Company in a variety of patent cases, including litigation involving projection technology, medical devices, and optics. Courtland also served as lead counsel in multiple trademark, false advertising, and unfair competition cases and claims relating to “greenwashing” and before the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau.
- Represented a wide variety of companies as plaintiff and defendant in patent cases across the country on diverse technology, including:
- Kemira relating to paper processing technology and complex chemistry in Atlanta federal court.
- Droplets Inc. in patent litigation in the Northern District of California and the Southern District of N.Y.
- Rockstar Consortium in the Northern District of California.
- Good Technologies in the Northern District of California.
- Rambus in various matters.
- Rovi/Tivo in various matters.
- General Motors and OnStar in the District of Delaware.
- Gulfstream in the District of Delaware.
- Scientific-Atlanta in multidistrict patent litigation involving dozens of patents on digital set top boxes.
- Graywire in Atlanta federal court involving optics technology.
- And many others such as General Dynamics, Chattem, Hilex Poly, and manufacturers of drug eluting stents.
- Represented dozens of companies in trademark, false advertising, franchise/distribution and other commercial cases in venues throughout the U.S., including:
- Fortune 100 transportation company in numerous trademark and false advertising matters.
- Well-known law firm in state and federal court in connection with claims of false advertising in television commercials.
- Wendy’s in copyright and trademark case.
- Japanese motor vehicle manufacturer in multiple state dealer protest actions.
- Japanese motor vehicle manufacturer in multidistrict litigation involving its dealership network.
- U.S. and Austrian heavy equipment manufacturer in multiple cases involving breach of contract, trademark, false advertising claims and unfair competition.
- JCB in multiple dealer termination cases.
- Red Lion franchisees in franchise litigation.
- Largest Waffle House franchisee in franchise and trademark litigation against franchisor.
- Lead counsel in dozens of cases against state and federal authorities arising out of civil rights abuses, including historic judgments relating to prison abuse.
- Lead counsel for Robert Johnson Jr. in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court involving habeas corpus statute of limitations.
- Lead counsel for the City of Atlanta in connection with its aggressive panhandling ordinance, including defending against constitutional challenges.
Rankings & Honors
- Recognized for "applying legal tools to resolve commercial issues” and for "analyzing issues from a broad perspective and developing pragmatic strategies” by The Legal 500, 2015
- Named Attorney of the Year in San Jose Metro Area (Silicon Valley) by Best Lawyers Magazine
- Named “Best Attorneys” in California by Peer Recognition
- Named "IP Star" by Managing IP
- Ranked in Best Lawyers in America for Intellectual Property Litigation (2016, 2019)
- Recommended for the second consecutive year as a leading U.S. patent litigator by Legal 500: "gives sound pragmatic advice"
- Named one of world’s leading trademark lawyers by World Trademark Review
- The National Law Journal, Top 40 Under 40 lawyers in the U.S.
- Ranked in Chambers USA as a leading intellectual property lawyer
- “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend Magazine
- One of 10 Georgia lawyers predicted to make a mark on the profession by the Fulton County Daily Report
- Super Lawyer by Georgia SuperLawyers magazine
- “Rising Star” by Georgia SuperLawyers magazine, including profile of practice
- Inaugural Distinguished Young Alumnus Award by Emory University School of Law
- Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Young Lawyers Award for commitment to securing justice and fair treatment for all people
Community & Professional Activities
Courtland devotes a substantial portion of his practice to public interest matters. He has represented clients in pro bono litigation involving civil rights, indigent defense, and special appeals. Courtland founded the Indigent Defense Project, through which lawyers represented impoverished felony defendants in rural counties. He has handled numerous successful civil rights lawsuits addressing mistreatment in jails and prisons, including the beating death of a young inmate in South Georgia.
Courtland’s pro bono efforts include representing the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness. He also represented the city of Atlanta in connection with its panhandling ordinance. In 2001, Courtland received the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Young Lawyers Award for his commitment to securing justice and fair treatment for all people. Courtland’s pro bono work has been profiled by major media outlets, including CNN, and several newspapers and magazines. He was previously awarded Emory University School of Law’s first Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.
Courtland serves on the Board of Silicon Valley Campaign for Legal Services. He previously served on the Bench & Bar Conference Planning Committee for the Federal Circuit Bar Association, on the Eleventh Circuit advisory committee in connection with its annual conference, and as chair of the Veteran’s Committee for the Federal Circuit Bar Association. He served as president of the Board of Directors of the Living Room (a nonprofit providing housing support and services for the HIV positive homeless population), on the board of directors of the Southern Center for Human Rights, and as an elder at Morningside Presbyterian Church.
Media & Events
- McKool Smith Recognized as a 2017 Leading U.S. Firm for Insurance and Patent Litigation by The Legal 50006.01.2017
- Law360, 05.03.2012
- Daily Journal, 05.03.2012
- Panelist, Northern District of California Patent Practice Symposium on Patent Trials; (2018)
- Speaker, “A Midsummer’s Night Dialogue” in Beijing, China, the first event held at the Notre Dame Beijing Global Gateway regarding U.S. patent law (2017).
- Speaker, “The First U.S.-China Intellectual Property Forum: Patent Litigation and Commercialization” in Nanjing, China, sponsored by Nanjing University regarding U.S. Supreme Court intellectual property cases (2017).
- Speaker, “Trade Secret Litigation,” Managing IP U.S. Patent Forum, Washington, D.C. (2016)
- Courtland Reichman to Discuss Modern Patent Law at the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Litigation Forum02.27.2013
- Chair and speaker, LexisNexis Corporate Intellectual Property Conference in Guangzhou, China (2012)
- Courtland Reichman to Discuss the Impact of the America Invents Act at the National Law Journal's Upcoming IP Litigation Event10.11.2012
- Speaker, “Sidestepping the Litigious Consumer: Preparing for the Explosion of Class Action Lawsuits,” ACI Third Annual Conference on Litigating & Resolving Advertising Disputes, New York, NY (2012)
- New York, NY, 06.20.2012
- “China Is A Player: Trends In Patent Litigation In China,” American Law Media (2018, forthcoming).
- “Samsung v. Apple: Impacts Beyond Damages,” IPLaw360 (December 11, 2016).
- "Best Practices for Enforcing United States Trademark Rights," The Corporate Lawyer, Illinois State Bar Association (July 2009)
- "Trademark Enforcement in the United States," World Trademark Review (June/July 2009)
- “The ITC or District Court: Where to Protect Your International Intellectual Property,” monograph, National Legal Center for the
- Public Interest (2006)
- “The Reality of Virtual Advertising: Legal Issues Abound as Technology Advances,” Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (February
- “Franchising and Distribution Currents,” Franchise Law Journal (Spring 2005)
- “Use and Abuse of Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions,” Complex Civil Procedures ICLE in Georgia (2005)
- “Seeking Favorable Law, Franchisors Add Increasingly Complex Provisions,” National Law Journal (2004)
- “Intellectual Property Enforcement in a Franchised System,” Franchising and Distribution Disputes ICLE in Georgia (2004) “Franchising and Distribution Currents,” Franchise Law Journal (Summer 2004)
- “The Supreme Court Dilutes the Federal Dilution Statute,” Franchise Law Journal (Summer 2003) “False Advertising Under the Lanham Act,” Franchise Law Journal (Spring 2002)
- “Intellectual Property Enforcement,” Franchise And Distribution Disputes ICLE in Georgia (2002)
- “Franchising and Distribution Disputes: State Statutory Law and Industry Specific Statutes,” Franchise and Distribution Disputes
- ICLE in Georgia (2001)
- “Understanding the Value of Integration Clauses,” Franchise Law Journal (Spring 1999)
- “Opposition Proceedings Are Alternative to Court: Actions In Foreign Patent Offices Allow For Cheaper and Faster Resolution of
- Validity Issues,” National Law Journal (1998)
- “State and Federal Trademark Dilution,” Franchise Law Journal (Spring 1998)
- “Franchising and Distribution Disputes: State Statutory Law and Industry Specific Statutes,” Franchise and Distribution Disputes
- ICLE in Georgia (1997)
- “State and Federal Remedies for Abortion Protest: Discordance of First Principles,” Emory Law Journal (Spring 1995)
In addition, Courtland served as editor of the Franchise Law Journal and chaired seminars on trial practice, complex civil procedure, patent litigation, Hatch-Waxman litigation, false advertising, greenwashing, and franchising and distribution litigation.
J.D., with honors, Emory University (1995)
B.A., with honors, Swarthmore College (1990)