Mike McKool, founder of Dallas-based law firm McKool Smith
Mike McKool, founder of Dallas-based law firm McKool Smith (Mei-Chun Jau for The Wall Street Journal)

For McKool Smith, securing judgments in excess of $100 million are all part of a year’s work.

The Dallas firm in 2013 racked up two such victories: $391 million for software company Versata Software Inc. and $173 million for radio-frequency technology business ParkerVision Inc. Name principal Mike McKool said the wins “mean a lot” to his firm. “I really don’t think there is another firm on the enforcement side that has the reputation we do,” he said.

In the Versata case, McKool and principal Scott Cole in 2013 convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to uphold the patent infringement judgment against SAP America Inc. that the firm won in the Eastern District of Texas in 2011. The patent involved pricing technology. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up SAP’s appeal.

As for the ParkerVision case, principal Douglas Cawley helped secure the $173 million patent infringement judgment against Qualcomm Inc. from a jury in the Middle District of Florida. The patents concerned electromagnetic signals and radio-frequency receivers. “Overall, this is a significant win for ParkerVision, proving that our technologies have a meaningful place in the wireless market,” Jeffrey Parker, the company’s chief executive officer, said last year.

McKool Smith made law in the Federal Circuit on behalf of Internet advertising company Ultramercial LLC in a patent infringement case against WildTangent Inc., an online video game distributor. The case involved patented software for distributing movies, songs and other copyrighted content on the Internet for free with ads as long as the advertiser pays for the material.

At issue was whether Ultramercial’s patent covered only an abstract idea, making it unpatentable. The Federal Circuit reversed a trial court ruling that the software wasn’t patentable. WildTangent has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.


Year founded: 1991
Headquarters: Dallas
Total attorneys: 185
IP principals: 52
IP associates: 61
Patent agents: 2