Darin Snyder of O'Melveny & Myers
Darin Snyder of O’Melveny & Myers ()

O’Melveny & Myers convinced courts that its opponents didn’t play well with others last year, scoring a historic sanction and a verdict invalidating two patents.

For client SK Hynix Inc., a team led by O’Melveny convinced Northern District of California Judge Ronald Whyte to slap a $250 million sanction on Rambus Inc. for destroying evidence in a memory-chip patent infringement case. Whyte called the sanction a “credit” against a 2009 judgment for SK Hynix for $349 million — plus prejudgment interest and royalties.

O’Melveny used the sanction as leverage to secure a five-year, $240 million deal to license Rambus technology, ending a case launched in 2000.

The client was pleased “because it recognized that Rambus has an extensive IP portfolio,” Darin Snyder, a San Francisco partner and chairman of O’Melveny’s intellectual property and technology practice.

“They’re very good and very accomplished,” said Ted Brown, a Menlo Park, Calif., intellectual property partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, whose firm played a major role in the client’s case. Brown said his firm focused on technical issues and the O’Melveny team brought a more “general viewpoint” to the case.

O’Melveny also scored a defense jury verdict for Top Victory Electronics Co. Ltd. in a Texas federal patent case filed by Hitachi Consumer Electronics Co. Ltd. The jury found that Top Victory hadn’t infringed four Hitachi patents related to digital television technology. It also agreed with Top Victory that two of the patents were invalid.

Top Victory, unlike other Hitachi targets, refused to take a license, said Los Angeles partner Mark Samuels, who led the case. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld assisted along with local counsel The Dacus Firm of Tyler, Texas. “The theme for our jury was, ‘There’s a bully on the playground and we were the brave ones who decided to stand up to the bully,’ ” Samuels said.

FIRM FACTS:

Year founded: 1885
Largest office: Los Angeles
Total attorneys: 780
IP partners: 34
IP associates: 52
Patent agents: 0