In-person jury trials are back on tap in Houston. A Baker Botts team led by partners Danny David, Paul Morico and Elizabeth Flannery just completed what they believe to be the longest in-person IP jury trial of the pandemic era: a four-week trade secrets trial that began in the 10,000 seat NRG Arena and ended in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Harris County Courthouse.

At issue was FMC Technologies Inc.’s allegations that its former chief engineer, Richard Murphy, took trade secrets related to deep sea oil and gas drilling with him when hired by competitor Dril-Quip Inc. FMC had been seeking $35 million in actual damages and up to twice that in exemplary damages, plus an injunction. But the Baker Botts team, representing Dril-Quip, persuaded jurors on April 29 that none of the information was a protectible trade secret.

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