Intellectual property and trade secrets
We have significant experience in intellectual property litigation. Our attorneys have prosecuted and defended trade secret infringement, patent infringement, and trademark infringement claims in state and federal courts across the nation. We are particularly experienced in obtaining preliminary injunctions against those seeking to raid a company's employees, steal its trade secrets or other intellectual property, or otherwise harm its business. Our attorneys have used the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Wiretap Act and the Lanham Act, as well as expedited discovery procedures, in obtaining treble-damage awards against such corporate malefactors. Representative matters include:
- Prosecution of trade secrets claim against Ph.D. chemist and Chinese businesses who stole secret cancer treatment formula from a Research Triangle Park drug-development firm. Our $57.5 million verdict (including treble damages and attorneys' fees) was North Carolina's largest verdict for 2008.
- Prosecution of trade secrets claims in Mecklenburg Superior Court against employees who left a manufacturer and set up competing business. Obtained temporary restraining order, expedited discovery, and preliminary injunction, followed by trial resulting in judgment for treble damages and attorneys' fees totaling $1.2 million.
- Defense of individuals accused by their former employers of misappropriating trade secrets and/or violating non-compete agreements, resulting in dismissals of claims.
- Prosecution of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, trade secrets and unfair trade practices claims in federal court against employees who left a pharmaceutical company and set up competing business. Obtained temporary restraining order, followed by North Carolina's first preliminary injunction issued under the CFAA.
- Defense of studios and hip-hop group in federal court copyright action based on allegedly infringing song lyrics and music. Case settled after plaintiff's deposition showed his work was influenced by same sources that led to defendants' independent work.
- Served as local counsel in federal court patent action over interventions claimed by major manufacturers. Case was resolved after Markman hearing.
- Prosecution of trade secrets claims in federal court against international consulting group for filing a patent application based upon client's confidential information shared under confidentiality agreement. Obtained temporary restraining order, followed by preliminary injunction.
- Prosecution of numerous claims for satellite signal piracy, including claims under the federal Cable Communications Policy Act, the federal Wiretap Act, and the corresponding North Carolina statutes on behalf of a satellite programming provider.