Irwin IP concentrates on mission-critical, high-profile intellectual property and technology-related litigation, as well as arts-related litigation. We defend clients in such matters, and we help select clients enforce and monetize their own intellectual property. Our clients range from individuals to Fortune 500 companies. We routinely successfully litigate against the largest, most prestigious law firms representing the largest companies in the world on matters valued in the tens and hundreds of millions. Some of the litigation matters we have handled, organized by matter type, can be reviewed by selecting the IP Litigation or Customs Disputes tabs.
Some of Irwin IP’s patent litigation victories include: trial counsel in a multi-patent offensive matter for a mid-sized software company resulting in an eight-figure jury verdict after three-week jury trial; lead counsel for a medical products company where we defeated a Fortune 50 company’s effort to enjoin sales of our client’s medical product for allegedly infringing patents that had survived numerous prior invalidity challenges by others and that protected a $1 billion/year market; lead counsel for a small, disruptive media streaming company against a large, multi-national company in two related multi-patent matters where we prevailed on summary judgment; and lead counsel for an industrial product supplier against its main competitor where we prevailed on summary judgment and obtained an award of attorney fees.
As examples of some of the high-profile trademark matters Irwin IP has handled, Irwin IP was lead counsel for a small start-up in a case brought against it by a large, multi-national company that settled shortly after the trial court indicated its intention to grant Irwin IP’s summary judgment motion on the plaintiff’s false advertising and unfair competition claims; was lead counsel for a large Pizza Hut franchisee in litigation brought against it by Little Caesars that resulted in a co-existence agreement; and is lead counsel for nation’s largest provider of legal funding services in a trademark infringement matter wherein the court granted Irwin IP’s motion for summary judgment that the trademark rights defendant asserted it owned were transferred to our client. Currently, we are lead counsel for a Fortune 500 company seeking a declaration that our client’s sales of aftermarket repair vehicle grilles allegedly embodying trademarks of a Global 500 original equipment manufacturer do not constitute trademark infringement under the doctrines of functionality and the right to repair, and that such claims are barred by laches, acquiescence, and estoppel, which resulted in an early preliminary victory with the magistrate judge recommending denying the OEM’s motion to dismiss on all grounds.
Irwin IP’s copyright litigation practice has included numerous successful matters, including several where Irwin IP obtained recovery of reasonable attorneys’ fees against the infringer. For example, Irwin IP has handled copyright matters for several recording artists for the unlawful distribution and sampling of their work; numerous photographers for the unlawful copying and distribution of their work; and sculptors for the unlawful copying and distribution of their work, including the unlawful removal of copyright management infringement. Perhaps the best evidence of Irwin IP’s expertise in copyright infringement matters is the fact that when a premier intellectual property law firm was sued for copyright infringement, it reached out to Irwin IP founder Barry Irwin to handle its defense.
Irwin IP also routinely litigates matters (both offensively and defensively) involving claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of confidentiality agreements, and violation of restrictive covenants; as well as claims for violation of the antitrust laws based upon the knowing, wrongful enforcement of intellectual property. Irwin IP litigated one such matter for a start-up against an established on-line retailer (that received extensive confidential disclosures and then proceeded to introduce its own competitive system) and achieved several critical pre-trial victories prior to the case being settled. And, Irwin IP is currently pursuing antitrust claims against a Global 500 company based upon the vexatious enforcement of its intellectual property.
Irwin IP also assists clients when their goods have been detained or seized by Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”). We are one of the few law firms with both intellectual property expertise and actual experience contesting CBP’s assertion that goods are counterfeit. In one such matter, after an extensive, expedited evidentiary hearing, we obtained a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction precluding CBP from imposing a bonding requirement against an importer that would have caused the importer to cease operations and cost hundreds of employees their jobs. We have also obtained a rare order requiring CBP to immediately move forward with seizure actions it had been intentionally delaying; and we have forced CBP to reverse course on scores of seizures that were previously alleged to constitute counterfeit goods. We are currently litigating against CBP to prove that dozens of other seizures of allegedly counterfeit goods are actually goods authorized by law, and, in a separate litigation, seeking to overturn several unlawful exclusions from entry.
Irwin IP also handles Patent Office patent validity challenges (reexaminations, IPRs, and PGRs). As one example, the PTAB instituted IPR proceedings based upon a petition prepared by Irwin IP attorneys against a patent that was not only touted by its Fortune 50 owner to be the foundation of a billion-dollar-per-year business, but had survived invalidity challenges in two prior litigations and in an IPR action. Despite this substantial body of adverse history, the PTAB instituted IPR upon Irwin IP’s client’s petition, determining that there was at least a “reasonable likelihood that [Irwin IP’s client] would prevail.” Currently, Irwin IP is seeking to invalidate dozens of design patents purporting to cover aftermarket repair parts through IPR and PGR petitions.
Additionally, Irwin IP’s IP counseling and transactions practice includes clearance opinions, negotiating intellectual property related assignment and license agreements, supporting merger and acquisition due diligence, providing general intellectual property counseling, and expert witness services.
Finally, Irwin IP has a robust arts and entertainment law practice where it represents actors, artists, modeling studios, musicians, photographers, and record companies on their contract and contentious matters.
Additional achievements of Irwin IP are highlighted on the other pages of Our Practice.