2016 Highlights: Litigation


In 2016, WSGR represented some of the most innovative and prominent companies doing business in the U.S. and around the world in critical and often cutting-edge litigation matters. Although we are unable to share specific details of more than a handful of select matters here, we believe those we’re highlighting demonstrate the firm’s established strengths in representing clients in significant disputes.

Select Litigation Matters

Chinese Companies Hebei Welcome and NCPG Prevail in Closely Watched Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation

On September 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decision in a closely watched dispute that may be the largest-ever antitrust case involving Chinese companies. In In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, the plaintiffs alleged that two Chinese companies, Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. and North China Pharmaceutical Group (NCPG), along with several alleged co-conspirators, had engaged in price fixing in violation of U.S. antitrust laws in connection with vitamin C exported from China. WSGR represented Hebei Welcome and NCPG before the Second Circuit. For more information, click here.

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Securities Class Action Against Netflix

On April 11, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a securities class action complaint against Netflix, its co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings, and its current and former CFOs. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati represented the defendants in the matter. Click here for more information.

Fourth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Live Nation in Antitrust Case

In an important decision released on February 4, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Live Nation in a case brought by a rival concert promoter and venue operator. WSGR represented Live Nation in the matter. For more information, click here.

ITC Issues First Early Initial Determination of Patent-Ineligibility Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

On August 19, 2016, Administrative Law Judge David P. Shaw of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued the ITC’s first early Initial Determination of patent-ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101, pursuant to the ITC’s new 100-day program. The ITC’s 100-day program began as “a pilot program to test whether earlier rulings on certain dispositive issues in some section 337 investigations could limit unnecessary litigation, saving time and costs for all parties involved,” according to the ITC. WSGR represented Google Inc., BlackBerry Ltd., BlackBerry Corp., Lenovo Group Ltd., Lenovo (United States) Inc., and Motorola Mobility LLC in the matter. Click here for more information.

Federal Jury Decides in Favor of Aerohive in Patent Infringement Dispute

On January 6, 2017, following a week-long trial, a federal jury returned a verdict that Aerohive Networks did not infringe any asserted claims of patent holder Chrimar Systems. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati represented Aerohive at trial and throughout the litigation.

Chrimar sued Aerohive in July 2015 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. At trial, Chrimar alleged that Aerohive’s wireless access points and other networking equipment infringed numerous claims from four asserted patents. The jury cleared Aerohive of all claims. Click here for more information.

Dropbox Wins Summary Judgment in Trademark Dispute

On November 15, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted a motion by Dropbox for summary judgment in a trademark dispute over the Dropbox name. The court rejected trademark infringement claims asserted against Dropbox by a company called Thru Inc. that claimed to have been using the term "dropbox" as the name for a function in its file-transfer software since 2004. WSGR represented Dropbox in the matter. Click here for more information.

PTAB Confirms Patentability of Paragon’s Claims in Post-Grant Review

On November 14, 2016, WSGR secured a final written decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in a post-grant review (PGR) confirming the patentability of all claims of client Paragon BioTeck’s U.S. Patent No. 8,859,623. This is the first final written decision in a PGR determining that the challenged claims are patentable. WSGR represented Paragon in the matter. Click here for more information.

Bloomberg and Charles Schwab Obtain Summary Judgment of Noninfringement

On January 19, 2017, WSGR obtained a summary judgment of noninfringement on behalf of clients Bloomberg and Charles Schwab in a case brought by Quest Licensing after Judge Gregory M. Sleet of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware heard oral argument on the motion sua sponte at a pretrial conference on December 19, 2016. Quest had brought patent infringement lawsuits against several defendants, including Bloomberg, Charles Schwab, and Interactive Data, in the District of Delaware, asserting that the defendants' mobile applications infringe on its patent. According to reports, Judge Sleet has only allowed five summary judgment motions to be filed over the past 15 years, and has granted none of them on the issue of infringement. Click here for more information.

District Court Rules That NuVasive Did Not Infringe Medtronic Patent

On February 17, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California ruled that NuVasive did not infringe Medtronic unit Warsaw Orthopedic’s patent for a trackable body implant used to heal bones, finding that Warsaw asserted claim limitations that NuVasive’s competing product does not meet. U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo granted NuVasive’s motion for summary judgment of noninfringement, ruling that Warsaw relied on contradictory expert testimony. WSGR represented NuVasive in the matter.

Select Awards & Rankings

WSGR Honored as a Law360 “Competition Group of the Year”

On January 26, 2017, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was featured among the top competition practices in the nation as part of Law360’s annual “Practice Groups of the Year“ series. According to Law360, WSGR was chosen for “obtaining key wins in antitrust litigation,” including an international comity case before the Second Circuit, and seeing major mergers to completion, including Altera’s $16.7 billion purchase by Intel. Click here to read the complete Law360 profile of the firm’s competition practice.

WSGR Ranked in 2016 Patent Litigation Survey

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati ranked No. 19 (tie) in Corporate Counsel’s 2016 Patent Litigation Survey, which ranked law firms according to the total number of federal district court patent suits they handled in 2015. In addition, the firm ranked No. 14 for the number of cases handled for the defense. (Corporate Counsel, October 2016)

Firm Named Among Global Competition Review’s “Global Elite”

Global Competition Review recently released the 2017 edition of the GCR 100, a comprehensive listing of the world’s top antitrust and competition practices. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was ranked No. 10 among the "global elite" law firms and is noted for growing “its reputation as a powerful antitrust shop in both the U.S. and Europe in the past year, and perhaps is the best firm anywhere for advising clients saddled with issues at the intersections of antitrust and dynamic, high-tech industries.” In addition, the firm is recognized as an outstanding firm in the Washington, D.C., category and is mentioned as a highly recommended firm in the Brussels and New York categories. (Global Competition Review, January 2017)


WSGR Recognized for Securities Litigation in Corporate Counsel Report

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was recognized in the securities litigation category of Corporate Counsel’s annual “Who Represents America’s Biggest Companies” report, which looks at court filings and other publicly available documents to see which law firms are representing Fortune 50 companies. (Corporate Counsel, November 2016)

Firm Recognized in GCR’s Annual Review of New York and Brussels Competition Bars

WSGR was recognized as a Highly Recommended firm in a review of New York’s antitrust bar by Global Competition Review. “The antitrust practice in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s New York office is small but highly esteemed,” said the publication, which also noted the firm’s work for Hebei and North China Pharmaceutical, Live Nation, Netflix, and Mylan. (Global Competition Review, April 2016)

In addition, WSGR was recognized as a Highly Recommended firm in GCR’s review of the Brussels competition bar. The article notes the firm’s expert work on merger control matters for Mylan, as well as its work for ÖBB and subsidiary Rail Cargo Austria during the DG Comp rail cargo investigation. (Global Competition Review, March 2016)

Thought Leadership

WSGR Publishes Litigation Year in Review Reports

Between late 2016 and early 2017, WSGR published a series of reports reviewing the most meaningful developments in several litigation areas, including: