Robert Cote is the managing principal of McKool Smith's New York office. Robert is a nationally recognized patent litigator and trial lawyer and is ranked #2 among the “Top 50 Best Performing Attorneys representing Patent Owners” by Patexia, a patent research platform. His practice is focused on litigation and trials involving patents, trade secrets, and IP-related unfair competition and antitrust matters. His practice includes jury and bench trials, Markman hearings, Inter partes reviews (IPRs) before the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), and appellate practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. His clients span the spectrum from Fortune 500 companies to emerging companies, both U.S. and international.
Robert’s successful representations in patent litigation have helped the firm secure rankings as “Patent Plaintiff Firm of the Year” and “Intellectual Property Firm of the Year” from leading legal publications such as Managing IP and Benchmark Litigation. Courtroom successes like Robert's have also 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.”
Robert has practiced in federal courts throughout the United States, including in the Eastern District of Texas, Southern District of Texas, Western District of Texas, District of Delaware, Eastern District of Virginia, Central District of California, Southern District of California, Northern District of California, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Georgia, Southern District of Ohio, Northern District of Ohio, District of Utah, District of Connecticut, Eastern District of New York, and Southern District of New York.
- BMC Software. Lead counsel for BMC Software Inc., a Texas company, and the leader in IT service management (ITSM) systems, in a patent infringement suit against ServiceNow Inc. (the number two player) involving seven patents directed to IT discovery, database management, and visualization technologies used in the delivery of ITSM services to an enterprise—both on-premise and cloud-based SaaS solutions: BMC Software, Inc. v. ServiceNow, Inc., Eastern District of Texas.
- Wi-LAN. Lead counsel for Wi-LAN Inc., a Canadian company, in numerous patent infringement litigations against leaders in the smartphone, computer, router, and semiconductor industries involving use of Wi-LAN's pioneering OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) communication technology and related broadband technologies that make possible the Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G LTE high-speed wireless data capability in such devices: Wi-LAN, Inc. v. Acer, Inc., et al., Eastern District of Texas; Wi-LAN, Inc. v. Research in Motion Corporation, et al., Eastern District of Texas; Wi-LAN, Inc. v. Westell Technologies, Inc., et al., Eastern District of Texas; Acer America Corp., et al. v. Wi-LAN, Inc., Northern District of California; Broadcom Corporation, et al. v. Wi-LAN, Inc., Northern District of California; Intel Corporation v. Wi-LAN, Inc., Northern District of California; Marvell Semiconductor, Inc., et al. v. WI-LAN, Inc., Northern District of California; Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc., et al. v. Wi-LAN, Inc., Northern District of California; WiLAN v. Apple, Southern District of California.
- Finmeccanica. Lead counsel for Finmeccanica and Ansaldo Ricerche, Italian companies, in trade secret litigations pending against General Motors in the Eastern District of Virginia and Central District of California involving “axial flux permanent magnet motors” developed for “in-wheel” use in powering the next generation of hybrid and electric vehicles, including planes, trains, and automobiles: Finmeccanica S.p.A and Ansaldo Ricerche, S.p.A. v. General Motors Corporation, Eastern District of Virginia; General Motors Corporation v. University of Rome “La Sapienza,” et al., Central District of California; Finmecannica, S.p.A. v. General Motors Corporation, Central District of California.
- Applera. Lead counsel for Applera, a California company, in Applera v. MJ Research et al., a patent infringement, unfair competition, and antitrust suit filed in the District of Connecticut involving the enforcement of six patents directed to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (for which the inventor, Kary Mullis, won the Nobel Prize) and to thermal cycling instruments for automating the PCR process for gene amplification and DNA sequencing. PCR laid the foundation for the biotechnology industry.
- Gemalto. Lead counsel for Gemalto, a French company, in Gemalto v. Google et al., a multi-defendant patent infringement suit pending in the Eastern District of Texas involving three patents to technologies needed to run Java applications in resource-constrained computing environments, such as smartcards and smartphones. Gemalto is the developer of the smartcard and the world’s leader in digital security, and its Java technologies serve as a foundation for the smartcard industry.
- Optical Recording Corp. In Optical Recording Corporation v. Time Warner, Robert was trial counsel for plaintiff Optical Recording Corporation (ORC), a Canadian company, in a patent infringement suit pending in the District of Delaware involving technologies developed at Battelle Laboratories (and sold to ORC) for the laser recording, playback, and manufacture of the world’s first optical discs for digital music. These technologies were invented by James Russell, a Battelle scientist, and serve as the foundation for the CD, CD-ROM, and DVD industries. Robert was also counsel for plaintiff ORC in the District of Delaware in four additional patent infringement suits: (i) Optical Recording Corp. v. Denon Digital, Denon America and Nippon Columbia; (ii) Optical Recording Corp. v. Disc Manufacturing Inc.; (iii) Optical Recording Corp. v. Laser Magnetic Systems, Inc.; and (iv) Optical Recording Corp. v. Nimbus Records.
- Realtime Data. Lead counsel for Realtime Data, a New York company, in patent infringement litigations involving six patents to data compression technology used in the realtime delivery of market data, including in the Fix Adapted for Streaming (FAST) industry standard: Realtime Data v. CME et al., Realtime Data v. Morgan Stanley et al., Realtime Data v. Thomson Reuters et al., Eastern District of Texas; CME v. Realtime Data, Northern District of Illinois, Thomson Reuters v. Realtime Data, Southern District of New York.
- Semiconductor Energy Labs. In Semiconductor Energy Laboratories (SEL) v. Samsung, Robert was trial counsel for SEL, a Japanese company, in a patent infringement suit pending in the Eastern District of Virginia involving three patents to amorphous silicon technologies used in the manufacturing of thin-film transistors for LCD displays.
- Charles Schwab. Lead counsel for defendant Charles Schwab, a California company, in William Reid and net P&L v. General Motors, Charles Schwab et al. pending in the Eastern District of Texas, a patent infringement suit involving Active Directory and other identity management systems. Robert was also lead counsel for Charles Schwab in Datamize v. Charles Schwab et al., a patent suit pending against major online broker-dealers in the Eastern District of Texas.
- Protus. Lead counsel for defendant Protus IP Solutions, a Canadian company, in Catch Curve, Inc. v. Protus, pending in the Central District of California alleging that Protus' virtual fax and other internet messaging services infringe five patents.
- TCL Mobile Phones. Lead counsel for defendant TCL, a Chinese company, in The University of Texas v. Alcatel et al., a multi-defendant patent infringement suit pending in the Western District of Texas. The suit alleged that TCL/Alcatel's mobile phones infringed a patent that the University of Texas asserted covers predictive text software tools in mobile phones, PDAs, and smartphones.
- Universal. Lead counsel for defendant Universal Instruments, a New York company, in Aguayo v. Universal Instruments, a patent suit filed in the Southern District of Texas. This litigation involved a patent directed to robotic assembly machines and software for the manufacture of printed circuit boards used in cell phones, computers, networking equipment, and other electronic devices.
- Compal Electronics. Lead counsel for defendants Compal Electronics, Acer, and BenQ, Taiwanese companies, in a multi-defendant patent infringement suit filed in the District of Delaware against the computer industry involving power management and the VESA display standard for notebook and desktop computers, video adapters, Windows operating systems, and CRT and LCD displays.
- Unisys. Robert was trial counsel for defendant Unisys, a Pennsylvania company, in Valutron v. Unisys and IBM, a multi-defendant suit filed in the District of Connecticut involving technology for automatic teller machines (ATMs), point of sale (POS) terminals, and bank teller equipment for the financial industry.
- York International. Robert was trial counsel for defendant York International, a Pennsylvania company, in Wanlass v. York International et al., a multi-defendant patent infringement suit filed in the District of Utah involving air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration equipment and motor technology.
- NCR. Robert was trial counsel for defendant NCR, an Ohio company, in Monarch v. NCR, a patent and trademark infringement suit filed in the Southern District of Ohio involving three patents directed to bar code printing equipment. In Hemstreet v. NCR, Robert was trial counsel for defendant NCR in a multi-defendant patent infringement suit directed at bank check processing equipment for the financial industry and postal mail sorting equipment involving magnetic ink (MICR) and optical character recognition (OCR) technologies. Robert was also trial counsel for NCR in NCR v. Microbilt, a patent infringement suit involving signature capture devices.
- Maytag. In Tridelta Industries and Pitco Frialator v. Frymaster, Robert was trial counsel representing plaintiffs Tridelta Industries and Pitco Frialator (a Maytag business), Ohio and New Hampshire companies, respectively, in a patent infringement suit filed in the Northern District of Ohio involving five patents directed to hardware and software technologies used in commercial cooking equipment.
- Hospital Specialty Co. In James River v. Hospital Specialty Co., Robert was trial counsel for defendant HSC, an Ohio company, in a trade secret litigation filed in California involving equipment for manufacturing paper products.
Rankings & Honors
- “World’s Leading IP Strategist,” Intellectual Asset Magazine (IAM 300)
- "IP Star" by Managing IP and Benchmark Litigation
- Named a "Leading Lawyer in America" by Lawdragon 500
- Listed as a Super Lawyer every year for the past decade
Media & Events
- McKool Smith Recognized as a 2017 Leading U.S. Firm for Insurance and Patent Litigation by The Legal 50006.01.2017
- Speaker and Developer; The New IP Economy Conference; Paris, France; January 2007
“Bull Market Growth in Bear Market Times – That’s McKool Smith,” Above the Law, May 5, 2009.
"Survival Strategies for the New IP Economy," Managing Intellectual Property, June 2006.
"Asia Licensing Fever," Managing Intellectual Property, March 2006.
"Patent Trolls Be Warned," New York Law Journal, April 15, 2005.
"Strategies for Defending Against The Patent Litigation Gold Rush in the United States," Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, 78th Annual Meeting, Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada. October 14, 2004.
J.D., St. John's University School of Law
B.S., Electrical Engineering, Syracuse University
- State of New York
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- The U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, the Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas, and the Northern District of Illinois
- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- American Bar Association, Litigation and Intellectual Property Sections
- New York Intellectual Property Law Association
- New York State Bar Association