Intellectual property is crucial to the growth of our 21st century economy, and one of our many passions is helping our clients protect and defend their valuable intellectual property assets. We handle national and international intellectual property litigation, including patent litigation and (patent) opposition and post-grant proceedings, trademark and advertising litigation and (trademark) opposition and cancellation proceedings, copyright litigation, trade secret and unfair competition litigation and licensing disputes. Clients turn to our IP litigators to help them resolve challenging intellectual property disputes because of our thorough and substantive knowledge, our extensive trial experience, our creative problem solving and our practical, time-seasoned judgment.
Our attorneys have deep patent litigation experience covering a vast range of technologies from pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and software to building materials, electronics and business methods. Recently, we have represented clients in complex IP disputes concerning genetically-modified seed technology, emergency call response networking, breast cancer research, financial software, pipe coupling equipment, online ticketing, deposit placement services and construction materials.
We frequently handle trademark disputes, including proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Our copyright litigation experience includes disputes concerning online sales of posters and fine art, movies, software and video game artwork. We assist with advertising and marketing issues, and we have helped clients execute brand and trademark enforcement programs. Additionally, we regularly represent clients concerning claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and for unfair competition.
Because of our broad range of experience and our firm’s deep roots in the Research Triangle region, we are frequently engaged by national firms as co-counsel to provide strategic advice on significant North Carolina litigation matters. The group’s leaders each have more than 25 years of complex litigation experience and are consistently recognized by top legal ranking publications, including Chambers USA and The Best Lawyers in America ®.
- Representation of one of the world’s largest agricultural companies in litigation against a group of growers engaged in unlicensed and improper use of genetically-modified soybean seed technology. Shortly after filing suit, we obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting the growers from planting, selling or transferring the subject seed. As part of a confidential resolution of the dispute, we obtained a permanent injunction enjoining all unlicensed use of our client’s seed technologies.
- Counsel for an emerging developer of genome editing technology in patent infringement litigation against a competitor. Through a confidential negotiated resolution of disputes between the parties worldwide, we helped our client to accelerate development of its ground-breaking technology, which recently won the client an immuno-oncology partnership worth up to $1.6 billion.
- Representation of a group of companies against patent infringement claims asserted by a competitor concerning pipe coupling technology.
- Defense of a seller of ADA-compliant tactile warning systems against patent infringement claims by a competitor.
- Counsel for a specialty pharmaceutical company in several patent infringement actions arising from competitors’ attempted launches of generic versions of non-Orange Book products.
- Defended a manufacturer of industrial insulation products against patent infringement claims and trade secret misappropriation claims asserted by a competitor. Our work resulted in a negotiated resolution that terminated litigation between the parties in the United States and Europe.
- Representation of a developer of emergency response network systems in patent litigation initiated by a non-practicing entity.
- Co-counsel providing strategic advice in North Carolina patent litigation matters involving 4G LTE smartphone technology, online ticketing, computer hardware, telecommunications networking technology and textiles.
- Co-counsel providing strategic advice in Hatch-Waxman litigation in North Carolina.
Trademark and Advertising Litigation
- Lead counsel protecting the trademark portfolio for a world-renowned golf resort, a three-time winner of Travel + Golf Magazine’s Best Golf Resort in America award and three-time host of the U.S. Open golf tournament.
- Defense of a leading online retailer of fine art and posters in trademark and publicity rights matters.
- Defense of a national sports television network against trademark infringement claims relating to a made-for-television film.
- Defense of the operator of a university dining establishment against claims for trademark infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Representation of a major agricultural products company in a proceeding before the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division challenging the company’s advertising for a lawn care product.
- Defense of a leading online provider of real estate marketing services against trademark infringement claims by a magazine publisher.
- Representation of a large convenience store chain against claims in trade dress litigation concerning fast food décor.
- Representation of multiple clients in trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
- Defended a leading online retailer of fine art and posters against copyright infringement claims asserted by a major photography licensing company.
- Obtained a favorable settlement for two university researchers on copyright infringement claims against a university spin-out company formed to commercialize the researchers’ anti-stuttering technology
- Defended a developer of video game software against copyright infringement claims asserted by a former licensor.
- Defended a video game developer against copyright infringement claims concerning game artwork.
Trade Secrets Litigation
- Defended a business in the materials handling industry against claims by a Fortune 100 competitor alleging that the hiring of 19 of the competitor’s at-will employees over several months resulted in misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Defended leading manufacturer of specialty construction materials against competitor’s claim that the hiring of one of the competitor’s research scientists constituted misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Defended operator of university food service establishment against allegations that it misappropriated trade secret food recipes from the previous operator of the establishment.
- Defended insurance executives in North Carolina Business Court action brought by their former employer alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of non-competition agreements.
Other IP-Related Litigation
- Represented a major research institute in litigation concerning ownership of intellectual property created in connection with consulting services.
- Defended a leading developer of interactive voice response technology against customer action for indemnification against an intellectual property infringement claim.
- Represented a public pharmaceutical company in litigation arising from its acquisition of a pharmaceutical product line.
- Represented a leading pharmaceutical company in arbitrations arising from licensing disputes.
- Represented inventor and licensor of wood cutting technology in dispute with licensee.
- Licensing and technology transfer
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Patent opposition and post-grant proceedings, including ex parte reexamination and America Invents Act (AIA) proceedings such as inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), and covered business method (CBM) review
- Research, development and commercialization collaborations
- Partnering, strategic alliance and joint venture arrangements
- Trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings
- Product and intellectual property acquisitions and divestitures
- Information privacy and security matters, including policies and procedures, breach notice and incident response, investigations and corporate transactions
- Trademark and service mark matters, including strategic portfolio development, prosecution, maintenance, licensing and enforcement
- Strategic patent enforcement programs
- Patent, trademark, trade dress and copyright infringement litigation
- Trade secret disputes
- Advertising, unfair competition and social media disputes
News & Publications
- Smith Anderson Ranks Nationally and Regionally in Practice Areas by U.S. News and Best Lawyers® 2019 “Best Law Firms”U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, 11.07.2018
- Triangle Business Journal Consults with Trade Secrets Attorney Zeb Anderson on the Growing Upsurge in Trade Secrets Lawsuits in NCTriangle Business Journal, 07.23.2018
- Smith Anderson Recognized in 39 Practice Categories, Receives Two National Ratings in U.S. News and Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”11.02.2017