In the News

Kyle Musgrove in Bloomberg BNA IP Law: Is Altering Patent Construction Review ‘Worth the Candle'? Stakeholders Weigh In

Oral arguments at the Supreme Court over whether the Federal Circuit should give more deference to district court's patent claim construction judgments, saw Justice Samuel A. Alito question what “practical significance” would be achieved by a change in the standard of review (200 PTD, 10/16/14). >>

Recent Publications

FDA Throws the (Purple) Book at Biosimilars - Purple v. Orange

On September 9, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the inaugural “Purple Book,” a list of approved or “licensed” biological products, including all biosimilar and interchangeable biological products. >>

Corporate Disputes Guest Article: Corporate Disputes: Inter Partes Review in Patent Disputes

Haynes and Boone, LLP Partners David McCombs and Andy Ehmke participate in Corporate Dispute's mini roundtable, "Inter Partes Review in Patent Disputes." >>

The IP Beacon, June 2014

The IP Beacon is a Haynes and Boone Newsletter highlighting current issues in Intellectual Property Law. >>

After 22 Years of Litigation, the U.S. Trademark Office Again Cancels the Washington Redskins’ Trademarks as Disparaging to Native Americans

On June 18, 2014, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a petition to cancel six trademarks owned by the Washington Redskins football team. In Amanda Blackhorse, et al. v. Pro-Football, Inc., the TTAB, by a 2-1 vote, held cancellation of the trademarks was warranted “because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.” >>

Winning a High-Stakes Patent Infringement Case

The Client
A medical technology company focused on the diagnosis and treatment of congestive heart failure

The Challenge
In 2004, our client secured two patents for a unique method of surgically repairing human hearts after a severe heart attack, using a device to resize, reshape and reorient the heart’s left ventricle.  However, two California-based firms introduced their own product that infringed on our client’s patents, claiming that their product was justified by prior art.  Haynes and Boone sued the infringers in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

The Haynes and Boone Solution
We faced a major challenge showing to a jury the complex technical issues involved, and relied on a variety of physical exhibits – from videos and complex models of the human heart, to simple demonstrations involving a water balloon. 

Our basic contention was that the prior art involved only size, while our client’s patent involved both size and shape.  The trial team conveyed the importance of shape in dealing with the structure of the heart, the key attribute of our client’s product. 

The Outcome
Following a three-week trial the jury unanimously agreed that the defendants had improperly and willfully infringed our client’s product and should pay lost profits and damages that totaled more than $2.3 million.  The jury found willful infringement on every claim that we asserted for the two patents, and in addition to the monetary award issued a permanent injunction against making or selling the infringing product and ordered all testing of that product to cease immediately. 

This ruling was crucial because our client’s product is still in its infancy, and the defendants had hundreds of infringing products undergoing clinical trials at the time of the decision.  The court’s ruling provided a solid foundation for significant future demand for our client’s product rather than the infringing one. 

By affirming the validity of our client’s patent, the future protection and position that we secured in a highly competitive market of approximately 200 cardiothoracic surgeons ultimately should prove more important than the immediate infringement damages.