For big-ticket IP litigation, the copyright infringement fight Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges took on for client Mattel Inc., and its Barbie brand is hard to top. The $100 million damages award that partners John Quinn, William Price and Michael Zeller won at trial against Mattel rival MGA Entertainment Inc., in August 2008 grabbed headlines (though probably not as many as it would have if they had gotten the nearly $2 billion they sought), but Quinn Emanuel IP litigation chair Claude Stern prefers to tout something else. To Stern, helping Mattel seize control of the Bratz copyrights, design and name is the kind of “practical lawyering” the firm’s IP lawyers pride themselves on delivering to clients. “Mattel/Bratz is the new road map for what can happen, if you make a misappropriation,” he says. (The road map may be revised: At press time the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed all equitable relief Mattel had won and told the parties to try to settle the case via mediation. Munger Tolles & Olson represented Mattel on the appeal.)
The Barbie win is just one reason Quinn Emanuel was able to rise above the competition in this year’s IP Litigation Department of the Year contest. Yes, the other finalists boasted solid results in big cases for major clients. But none posted as many huge victories. The wins ranged across venues — from the International Trade Commission to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, from the Eastern District of Texas to the Northern District of California — and subject matter — from cell phone and drug patents to football trademarks and, of course, doll copyrights. On top of all that, no other firm enjoyed so many wins from so many different partners.
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