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Intellectual property litigation is all the rage among law firm hiring partners, but who knew it could be so exciting for the lawyers in the field? Daniel Johnson Jr., a Fenwick & West partner, had an adrenaline-pumping moment recently in Boston traffic. Of course, the push to put pedal to metal was simply to enable Johnson and associate Rajiv Patel to grab their luggage from a curbside and make a plane. But nevertheless, “It was a harrowing experience for big-time litigators,” Johnson joked. And that was just the trip to the airport. The actual case — a web of patent infringement claims that Akamai Technologies Inc. has raised against two of its chief competitors — is even more intriguing. One of those competitors, Speedera Networks Inc., is Johnson’s client. Speedera has since sued Akamai over a host of trade secrets and other claims. The Fenwick lawyers had booked a 5:25 p.m. flight out of Boston, expecting the 2 p.m. hearing to wrap up fast. They ended up having to race to a local attorney’s office, where their bags were waiting curbside, and then to the airport. Fortunately for them, they made the flight. But more important, they won their argument in Akamai Technologies Inc. v. Digital Island, 02-10188. In the hearing, Akamai was seeking a preliminary injunction against a content delivery service provided by Santa Clara-based Speedera. Johnson fought off the bid for an injunction. And that was no small feat given that Akamai had already won an injunction against another competitor before the same judge. “We had to go in and say, ‘no matter what you did, don’t grant the injunction here,’” Johnson said. His argument apparently worked, despite his getting the short end of the hearing. Johnson was surprised by what he expected to be a 30-minute hearing that the presiding judge allowed to drag on for 90 minutes — despite demanding brevity from the lawyers. Griped Johnson: “They got an hour and I ended up with half an hour.”

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