Publications & News

WilmerHale Wins Fifth Case in the Federal Circuit in Two Weeks

April 27, 2010

On Monday, April 26, WilmerHale secured a victory for its client, Medtronic Navigation, Inc, in the Federal Circuit. Medtronic, represented by another firm at the time, sued BrainLAB for patent infringement a decade ago. A jury found for Medtronic, but the district court granted judgment as a matter of law to BrainLAB in a decision the Federal Circuit subsequently upheld. BrainLAB then sought an award of attorney’s fees, which the district court granted, holding that Medtronic had pursued baseless claims and engaged in litigation misconduct. The court ordered Medtronic and its trial counsel to pay fees and costs—a total of almost $5 million. WilmerHale was engaged by Medtronic to appeal the award of attorney’s fees. We challenged the district court’s decision on the ground that the court improperly applied the standard for awarding fees, and further argued that Medtronic’s success at trial showed that its claims were not objectively baseless. The Federal Circuit agreed and reversed the fee award in full.

In the last two weeks, WilmerHale has been on the winning side of five cases in the Federal Circuit. In addition to the Medtronic case, WilmerHale secured victories in three other patent appeals and also won a veterans appeal for a pro bono client.

Seth P. Waxman argued the appeal for Medtronic. With him on the brief were William G. McElwain, Mark C. Fleming, Amy J. Nelson, and Felicia H. Ellsworth.