Desmarais LLP Recognized as Technology Group of the Year by Law360
Law360 named Desmarais LLP 2019 Technology Group of the Year, recognizing the firm’s string of high-profile courtroom victories, including successfully defending Cisco Systems against $475 million in combined patent infringement claims and securing a $57 million settlement for IBM following an $82.5 million jury verdict.
The publication selected Desmarais LLP from nearly 800 submissions that Law360 received for its annual Practice Group of the Year awards. Law360 recognizes firms for their litigation victories and general excellence during the past 12 months.
Desmarais LLP’s wins in 2019 were noteworthy because several were led by up-and-coming partners. The firm focuses intently on attorney training and providing opportunities for next-generation lawyers to succeed at trial, said partner John Desmarais.
“Clients come to us when they have a problem that is likely to be tried because they know that not just the partners, but the associates as well have a lot of trial experience — either from actual cases going to trial, or because we’ve put everybody though this trial training,” Desmarais said.
In January 2019, Desmarais LLP represented Cisco in a three-day bench trial against software company Egenera. The firm successfully defeated $400 million in patent infringement claims, showing that Egenera’s decision to remove one of the patent’s inventors invalidated the patent. The firm’s trial team included partners Tamir Packin, Jonas McDavit, and Peter Magic.
“The inventors on the other side were being intellectually dishonest with how the technology worked,” Packin said. “They were trying to change who contributed what and how the technology worked, and in doing so, there were inconsistencies with their testimony and documents that we exposed to the judge at trial.”
In a separate case, Desmarais LLP also knocked out $75 million in patent infringement claims against Cisco brought by Straight Path IP Group over voice-over-IP technology. In January 2019, the Federal Circuit upheld a district court ruling, which eliminated the claims. The case was led by partners John Desmarais and Justin Wilcox.
Law360 also highlighted Desmarais LLP’s jury trial win for IBM in October 2018, where Groupon was ordered to pay $82.5 million for infringing IBM’s e-commerce patents, which quickly led to a $57 million post-trial settlement. Partners on the litigation team included John Desmarais, Karim Oussayef, and Laurie Stempler.
In a separate action before the Federal Circuit in April 2019, Desmarais LLP also secured two inter partes review (IPR) victories that preserved IBM’s patents from the trial. The team included partners John Desmarais, Karim Oussayef, and Kevin McNish.
Desmarais told Law360 that the firm’s success is partly driven by attorneys’ extensive educational backgrounds – nearly everyone attorney at the firm holds a science or engineering degree and many hold post-graduate degrees.
“We’re a unique combination of trial lawyers with technical backgrounds,” Desmarais said. “When we specialize in doing technology cases, we bring a real understanding to both the science and legal part of the matter. It helps the client get the result they’re looking for.”
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