For starters, there was Apple v. Samsung.
Last year with the Valley watching, a trio of MoFo litigators—Michael Jacobs, Rachel Krevans, and Harold McElhinny—led the affirmative infringement case on behalf of Apple and scored a billion jury verdict.
Facing off against Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the MoFo lawyers showcased both tactical and narrative strengths. Its lawyers kept a close eye on the judge-imposed clock—and capitalized when attorneys for Samsung didn’t, calling witnesses Samsung wasn’t able to cross-examine. And they wove a story of invention that played well with the jury­. For that, they secured an impressive monetary prize—but not, at least so far, the kind of injunctive relief that could have reset the smartphone market.
Krevans credits the victory, in part, to her team’s democratic approach. “One of the things that distinguishes us is that we don’t have one famous lead trial counsel—we have a number of people who all have serious lead chair credentials,” Krevans said. When clients hire MoFo, they tap into a nucleus of star power—all of whom work closely with the IP group’s patent counseling practice to get close to the technologies they’re fighting over.While Apple-Samsung grabbed the spotlight, the firm’s IP litigators took nine cases to trial last year, of which, the firm says, they “won the majority.”
MoFo represents Sandoz, the generic subsidiary of Novartis, in more than a dozen disputes, and its recent defeat of Allergan opened up a $1.8 billion market to Sandoz more than a decade before Allergan’s patents had been set to expire.
At the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, it managed a reversal of a $60 million verdict in a trademark infringement case for its client, San Diego spine fusion company NuVasive.
MoFo displaced existing counsel for New York diamond-cutting company Lazare Kap­lan International in two appeals at the Federal Circuit. The court reversed and vacated a judgment of patent invalidity.
“We win wherever we can,” says Vincent Belusko, who’s heading up the defense of Qwest Communications in a long-running patent battle. “We’re not stuck on the idea that trial wins are the only ones that count.”
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