Adam Pivovar

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Jury Trial Win for HyperBranch Medical Technologies

July 30, 2019

In June 2018, Cooley won a two-week jury trial for client HyperBranch Medical Technology, Inc. in a competitor patent litigation suit in the District of Delaware. HyperBranch was a 22-person medical device startup that launched its innovative surgical sealant product in the US in mid-2015. Almost immediately after HyperBranch’s entry into the US market, Integra LifeSciences, a $1 billion medical device competitor, filed a patent infringement lawsuit. Integra sought to bury HyperBranch in litigation by asserting 109 claims across six different patents and seeking a preliminary injunction.

Cooley’s lawyers defeated the preliminary injunction motion and scored further victories at claim construction, where the Cooley team invalidated all asserted claims of one of the patents-in-suit and other asserted patent claims. At summary judgement, the team secured a non-infringement ruling on all claims of another asserted patent. Weeks before trial, Cooley received a finding of obviousness from the PTAB, further narrowing and changing the complexion of trial in our client’s favor. In a resounding defense verdict across the board at trial, the jury found both non-infringement and invalidity on multiple ground for all asserted claims. On the heels of the jury verdict, HyperBranch was acquired by a multi-national medical device company for $220 million.

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Jon Graves
Senior Counsel, Reston
Adam Pivovar
Partner, Washington, DC

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Global cross-license achieved for Gevo in long-running biofuels patent case

August 27, 2015

Few patent cases make it all the way to the Supreme Court. Even fewer involve a dispute in which a company's very survival is at stake. Since 2011, our client Gevo, a pioneer in the biofuels industry, and Butamax, a joint venture of giants BP and DuPont, had been trading blows, filing close to a dozen patent suits against each other. Butamax initially brought suit in the District of Delaware in an attempt to knock Gevo out of the emerging market for isobutanol alternative energy. In that case, the court granted summary judgment of noninfringement in favor of Gevo, prompting Butamax to appeal. On appeal, the Federal Circuit rejected the district court's claim construction and issued a new claim construction that vacated the noninfringement ruling.

In response, Cooley took the case to the US Supreme Court and, in January 2015, the high court granted our petition for writ of certiorari, vacating the judgment against Gevo and remanding the case back to the Federal Circuit for further consideration. This decision, and numerous other victories including key summary judgment victories, paved the path for Gevo to reach a favorable global patent cross-license and settlement agreement with Butamax. The agreement forms a partnership between the two biofuel companies aimed at leveraging one another's technology.

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Dr. Michelle Rhyu
Partner, Palo Alto
Stephen Neal
Chairman Emeritus, Palo Alto
Bonnie Weiss McLeod
Of Counsel, Washington, DC
Daniel Knauss
Partner, Palo Alto
Adam Pivovar
Partner, Washington, DC
Andrew Keith
Special Counsel, Washington, DC

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Pretrial Win for Gevo in Patent Suit

March 27, 2013

Palo Alto, Calif. – Cooley achieved a major victory when it secured a judgment of no infringement on behalf of leading renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels client Gevo in a patent suit brought by Butamax Advanced Biofuels, a joint venture between BP and DuPont.

On March 19, 2013, a Delaware federal judge issued a favorable claim construction ruling for Gevo, granting Gevo partial summary judgment of no infringement under the doctrine of equivalents, and ruling that two key claims of the Butamax patents were invalid. Although the Court did not grant summary judgment of no literal infringement, Butamax acknowledged that it could not prove literal infringement under the court's claim construction and agreed to stipulate to a judgment of no literal infringement.

In January 2011, Butamax filed a patent infringement suit against Gevo asserting two patents relating to the production of isobutanol, a four-carbon alcohol, in microorganisms. Gevo produces its isobutanol using proprietary recombinant yeast that is genetically engineered to produce it at a high yield. In June 2012, the court denied Butamax's request for a preliminary injunction against Gevo, a decision that was upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in December 2012. A trial date was set for early April 2013.

"This judgment marks yet another great step forward for Gevo," said Jim Brogan, partner and chair of the intellectual property group."The ruling enables this highly innovative company to continue to focus on its growth and the development of innovative biofuels products."

A separate patent re-examination team has obtained rejections of all challenged claims of the two asserted Butamax patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Related contacts

Matthew Brigham
Of Counsel, Palo Alto
Andrew Keith
Special Counsel, Washington, DC
Daniel Knauss
Partner, Palo Alto
Bonnie Weiss McLeod
Of Counsel, Washington, DC
Stephen Neal
Chairman Emeritus, Palo Alto
Adam Pivovar
Partner, Washington, DC
Dr. Michelle Rhyu
Partner, Palo Alto

Rankings & accolades

Legal 500: Intellectual Property: Patents - Litigation

Memberships & affiliations

American Bar Association

Federal Circuit Bar Association

American Intellectual Property Law Association

Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court