With clients across a broad range of sectors and industries, Shearman & Sterling’s trial-tested patent and trade secret litigators have extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants through all phases of patent litigation.

Patent and Other IP Trial Experience

The firm’s intellectual property group routinely litigates patent and trade secret cases at both the trial and appellate levels in federal court and at the International Trade Commission (ITC).  We have a “trial-ready” approach to litigation. Our partners have been lead counsel in patent infringement cases across the country, including in such frequent patent courts as the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, the Eastern District of Michigan, the District of Delaware, the Northern and Central Districts of California, and the Southern District of New York.

Technical Experience

Shearman & Sterling’s intellectual property litigation group has the technical expertise to explain complex scientific concepts to judges and juries. The team includes attorneys with degrees in electrical engineering, physics (including one Ph.D.), computer science, chemical engineering, and industrial engineering. We have litigated cases relating to semiconductors, telecommunications equipment, automotive components, cell phones (including wireless communication standards), battery chemistry, medical devices and instruments, power tools and aerospace equipment.

Success Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

The group also has extensive experience representing both patent owners and patent challengers in post-issuance proceedings before the PTAB at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), including inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), ex parte re-examinations, and the recently sunsetted covered business method review (CBM). Our attorneys have a very strong track record across the spectrum of PTAB proceedings, and have been at the forefront of many cutting-edge IPR tactics, such as successfully challenging a patent’s priority date to make it PGR eligible, leading to the invalidation of all claims on Section 112 grounds, forcing patent owner to take positions that admit non-infringement, and defeating arguments that the one-year IPR time bar applies to International Trade Commission complaints.

Advertising Litigation

A competitor’s false advertising can do more than rob a company of business; it can damage or even destroy a company’s brand. Shearman & Sterling’s advertising litigation team has vast experience helping clients protect their reputations and businesses against false advertising and unfair competition. We represent global and domestic clients from diverse industries in litigation under the Lanham Act and state law to stop false advertising and recover damages and unjust enrichment for the harm caused by unfair competition. Our life sciences clients include biopharmaceutical companies offering branded prescription drugs and biologics, medical device companies offering advanced diagnostic tools and personal protective equipment, and nutraceuticals companies offering medical foods, functional foods, and supplements, to name just a few. We also represent companies in the consumer product, food and beverage, agricultural, and financial services industries, as well as the manufacturing and high-tech sectors, among others. We have litigated and tried cases in federal courts throughout the United States, as well as in arbitrations and in proceedings before the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division.

We also defend clients accused of false advertising, deceptive trade practices, as well as False Claims Act and Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations in class actions, qui tam litigation and government investigations. In addition to litigation, Shearman & Sterling’s attorneys work alongside our clients’ internal teams, to identify and avoid marketing pitfalls and reduce potential exposure. Our counseling includes:

  • Advertising and marketing advice including review of ad copy and labeling
  • Reviewing company websites and social media accounts for compliance
  • Contest and sweepstakes advice
  • Consumer survey design and interpretation
  • Evaluation and substantiation of technical advertising claims

Whether addressing a competitors’ false advertising and unfair competition, responding to claims or investigations, or ensuring our clients’ compliance with regulatory and industry standards, Shearman & Sterling works closely with clients to develop strategies that anticipate dangers, respond to threats, and maximize opportunities in an increasingly complex competitive landscape.