Technology, Media and Telecommunications
Kasowitz has extensive experience handling litigation for our clients in the technology, media and telecommunications industries. We handle a broad range of litigation for our clients in these industries, and work across practice areas to resolve our clients’ disputes as successfully as possible.
Our clients in these industries include Google, LG, Adobe, Verizon and Comcast, as well as leading private equity firms and hedge funds with investments in the technology, media and telecommunications industries. We also regularly represent companies in litigation against leading consulting firms and software companies, where that litigation involves complex technology issues.
Commercial, Bankruptcy, Securities and Antitrust Litigation
Verizon Wireless in a deceptive trade practices lawsuit by the Florida Attorney General against Alltel Communications, which Verizon Wireless had acquired. The Florida AG sought more than $20 million in damages and billions of dollars in penalties for alleged unfair trade practices violations in connection with Alltel’s marketing of its roadside assistance feature for mobile customers. After a three-week bench trial, the Circuit Court Judge entered judgment in favor of Alltel on all counts.
MLW Media in prosecuting antitrust claims against World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). MLW’s lawsuit alleges that WWE has undermined competition and monopolized the professional wrestling market in the United States, and interfered with MLW’s contracts and business prospects. As alleged, WWE’s unfair and anticompetitive business practices include poaching talent, misappropriating confidential information, interfering with competitors’ contracts and cutting off competitors’ access to their viewing audiences.
Comcast in the defense of a class action involving effectively three sub-classes – each consisting of approximately two million cable subscribers – alleging that Comcast violated antitrust monopolization laws through cable system “clustering” in the Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston areas. We represented Comcast in a four-day class certification hearing for the Philadelphia area, resulting in a decision by the federal district court significantly limiting the issues for trial. The court further limited issues on summary judgment. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Comcast in a landmark 5-4 decision that overturned the certification of the Philadelphia class.
Harbinger Capital in restructuring its $2 billion investment in LightSquared, including related litigation by Harbinger against Dish Network and the FCC.
Freescale Semiconductor in defending against injunctive and damages litigation by senior lenders who claimed that a material adverse change had occurred, and that their interests were diluted, when the company issued incremental debt of $750 million. This case involved expedited discovery and a number of appellate proceedings.
Level 3 Communications in its action against Switch & Data Management to prevent S&D from shutting down large portions of Level 3’s international network as a result of a contract dispute. The firm obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction precluding S&D from taking action. The parties then reached a confidential settlement.
Special Entertainment Counsel for the Chapter 11 Trustee for Trans Continental Television Productions in a three-year heavily contested litigation against MTV Networks, Viacom, Viacom International, Bad Boy Films and Bad Boy Records. The lawsuit centered around MTV’s scheme to misappropriate Trans Continental’s ownership interest in Making the Band, which later featured hip-hop star Sean Combs (p/k/a Diddy). The case raised novel issues of copyright and contract law. On the eve of the three-week jury trial, the Viacom and Bad Boy defendants agreed to settle the case.
Trustee for 18% of the outstanding senior notes issued by Tribune, in the chapter 11 cases of Tribune. We focused on “state of the art” state-law fraudulent conveyance claims related to the $11 billion leveraged buyout for Tribune orchestrated by Sam Zell. We brought claims to enhance the recovery to unsecured creditors, including Tribune’s bondholders. We continue to prosecute claims against recipients, including CalPERs, of fraudulently conveyed assets, against which we successfully defeated sovereign immunity defenses.
Anderson News in an antitrust suit against leading magazine publishers and distributors, alleging that these companies conspired to boycott Anderson, a magazine wholesaler, and forced it out of business.
Official Creditors Committee of Adelphia Communications in designing Adelphia Communications’ chapter 11 plan, advising on a $11 billion asset sale and numerous actions against, among others, commercial banks and their investment bank affiliates, resulting in hundreds of millions in recoveries.
Global A&T Electronics (GATE), a Singapore-based semiconductor company, in securing a complete dismissal of a challenge brought by noteholders concerning a $500+ million debt exchange transaction. The noteholders, claiming that the transaction violated obligations under the governing credit and intercreditor agreements, filed suit against GATE for breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud and tortious interference with contract. The New York Supreme Court dismissed the dismissed the suit in its entirety.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Google in a critical and rarely achieved victory for patent action defendants involving a motion to transfer venue of Ryujin Fujinomaki vs. Google, et al. from the Eastern District of Texas to the Northern District of California. The decision also permitted Kasowitz clients Motorola, LG and ASUS to join in the motion. The complaint in the action alleges that certain lock features, including Google’s Smart Lock feature, in defendants’ Android-based smartphones and wearables infringed Fujinomaki’s patent.
Google in successfully securing a complete dismissal in a patent infringement challenge brought by Data Engine Technologies in the District of Delaware. Data Engine alleged that Google Sheets infringed patents which purportedly covered the Quattro Pro for Windows® spreadsheet program sold by Borland Software Corporation in the 1990s. Chief Judge Leonard P. Stark found that the asserted claims were directed to patent-ineligible subject matter and thus invalid, and granted Google’s motion to dismiss. This matter originally began as a six-patent case against Google, which Kasowitz successfully reduced to three patents.
- Google in a patent infringement case in California federal court in which Google seeks a declaration that it has not infringed Eolas Technologies’ patent covering interactive web browser functions. This is the third case involving Google and Eolas in which Kasowitz has served as trial counsel for Google.
In the first case, Kasowitz served as trial counsel for Google and YouTube in the Eastern District of Texas in a patent infringement action brought by Eolas and the University of California. Kasowitz achieved a jury verdict of patent invalidity on behalf of Google, YouTube, and the joint defense group, defeating claims for hundreds of millions in damages as well as injunctive relief against interactive web pages. This verdict has been hailed in headlines worldwide, including “Texas Jury Strikes Down Patent Troll’s Claim to Own the Interactive Web,” by Wired.com and “Eolas patent trial: Relax! The Internet is saved,” by the Toronto Star.
In the second case, Kasowitz represented Google in a patent infringement case brought in California federal court in which Google and J.C. Penney sought declarations that they have not infringed two Eolas Technologies patents covering interactive web browser functions. Eolas moved to dismiss Google’s complaint, alleging a lack of personal jurisdiction. Eolas’s motions were denied, ruling California’s long-arm statute establishes the court’s personal jurisdiction over Eolas because its exclusive licensing agreement for the patents-in-suit created continuing patent-related obligations with the patents’ California-based owners. The case ultimate was dismissed and resolved favorably.
LG in a four-patent infringement case involving USB chargers in the Eastern District of Texas. Plaintiff Fundamental Innovation Systems licensed the patents-in-suit from Blackberry, and assert infringement against several high-profile companies, including Samsung, Huawei and ZTE.
Verizon in numerous patent infringement matters involving cellular communication hand-offs, cellular phone hotspot technology, data transmission protocols, network extender products, audio communication systems for computer networks and interactive media guides.
Adobe Systems in a patent infringement matter alleging numerous high-profile companies, including technology giants Apple and Hewlett Packard, violated PanTaurus’ patent describing a secure computer system.
RolleSolutions in a trade secret and unfair competition breach of contract case alleging various business torts against a former employee.
Coda Development in a trade secret misappropriation, false inventorship and fraud matter involving a self-inflating automobile tire.
JadeLiquid Software in a multi-jurisdiction patent litigation against Novell regarding allegations of patent infringement relating to cloud computing.
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies in successfully obtaining summary judgment for Hitachi and against M.I.T. and MagSil in the District of Delaware by invalidating M.I.T.’s patent, after all of the other major players in the disk drive industry had paid tens of millions of dollars for licenses. Kasowitz also represented Hitachi in the appeal to the Federal Circuit and again prevailed, preserving the district court’s summary judgment.
Yahoo! in two matters in the District of Delaware against Walker Digital concerning internet advertising and game technologies.
Oracle in in a patent infringement action relating to its social networking software, and in a nine-patent case relating to cloud technologies.
Adelphia Communications in a multi-district patent infringement litigation over the provision of high-speed internet services via cable modems. After discovery and the submission of expert reports, the plaintiff Rembrandt dismissed its case against Adelphia, resulting in no liability for Adelphia.