Practice Contact(s)


Print PDF

Irell & Manella has a long history of successful appellate advocacy in both federal and state appellate courts. We handle appeals and writs nationwide with frequent appearances in the Federal Circuit, the Ninth Circuit, and California appellate courts.  

Representative Federal Circuit matters:

MAG Aerospace Industries v. B/E Aerospace Inc. 816 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2016). The Federal Circuit affirmed a district court Summary Judgment ruling that B/E's patented lightweight Ecosystems aircraft vacuum toilet does not infringe any of the three patents asserted by MAG, which pertain to certain vacuum toilet assemblies and methods for repairing such toilets.

Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University v. Ariosa Diagnostics Inc. 636 F. App'x 801 (Fed. Cir. 2016). The Federal Circuit affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision that all asserted claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,296,076, a patent directed to a non-invasive prenatal test for chromosomal abnormalities, are invalid because they are anticipated, handing a victory to Ariosa Diagnostics Inc. Ariosa has been sued for infringement of this patent in district court by patent owner Stanford University and its exclusive licensee Verinata Health. The Federal Circuit’s decision gave Ariosa a complete victory on this patent.

Openwave Systems Inc. v. Apple Inc. 808 F.3d 509 (Fed. Cir. 2015). The Federal Circuit upheld a win for Irell client BlackBerry (formerly RIM) and Apple in a case against patent licensing firm Unwired Planet Inc., ruling that the district court correctly held that since the patents at issue disparage phones with computer modules, they cannot cover smartphones. Openwave Systems Inc., which now operates as Unwired Planet, sued BlackBerry, as well as Apple, in 2011 in Delaware and the ITC, alleging infringement of five patents related to mobile Internet technology and seeking to block importation of certain smartphones and tablets. The district court case was stayed pending the ITC case. After Unwired Planet received an unfavorable claim construction, it dismissed the ITC case. The case resumed in Delaware and Judge Andrews issued the same claim construction as the ITC. Unwired Planet appealed the claim construction to the Federal Circuit.

Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc. 788 F.3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2015). Irell & Manella secured an appellate victory in favor of Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc., a San Jose-based molecular diagnostics company. In a major precedential opinion, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment ruling invalidating, for failure to recite patent-eligible subject matter, the patent that Sequenom, Inc. had asserted against Ariosa in early 2012. The Federal Circuit’s ruling affirms Ariosa’s complete victory in the case. The Federal Circuit denied Sequenom's petition for a rehearing en banc. Thereafter, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Sequenom’s petition for certiorari. 

Realtime Data LLC v. Interactive Data Corp. et al. 600 F. App'x 771 (Fed. Cir. 2015). Irell & Manella represented Interactive Data, a developer and supplier of electronic trading applications, analytical tools for investment managers and customized web-based financial information systems, as a defendant in this patent infringement suit filed in 2009. In 2011, Irell succeeded in obtaining a writ of mandamus from the Federal Circuit ordering the transfer of the litigation to the Southern District of New York. In 2012, Irell succeeded in obtaining summary judgment rulings disposing of the case on five independent bases. Realtime appealed those rulings to the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the trial court's rulings.

Santarus Inc. v. Par Pharmaceutical Inc. 694 F.3d 1344 (Fed. Cir. 2012). Irell & Manella represented Santarus, Inc. in this case involving Santarus’ drug Zegerid. The district court found all of the asserted claims in the patents covering Zegerid to be obvious over the prior art. On appeal, the Federal Circuit held that eleven asserted claims in two patents were not obvious and reversed the district court on those claims. Because Par’s generic was found to infringe the claims that were held to be valid, the decision cleared the way for a trial on damages. As a result of the victory, two days following the decision, Par announced that it had voluntarily ceased further distribution of the infringing product. In September 2014, Par agreed to pay $100 million to settle the dispute.

Crea v. City of Hope 466 F. App'x 903 (Fed. Cir. 2012). Irell & Manella represented City of Hope in this action – originally filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court and subsequently removed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California – in which Roberto Crea alleged that he should have received millions of dollars in royalties from City of Hope based on contributions he made to patents and other intellectual property while working as a post-doctoral research associate at City of Hope in 1977-78. Crea’s work was related to a research collaboration between City of Hope and Genentech that resulted in substantial royalty payments to City of Hope. After being removed to federal court, the case was dismissed by summary judgment on statute of limitations and contractual grounds. Crea appealed, arguing, among other things, that the federal courts lacked jurisdiction over his claims because they raised state law, rather than patent, issues. In March 2012, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal, concluding that federal jurisdiction existed, affirmed the judgment in favor of City of Hope in full.

DirecTV Group Inc. v. U.S. 670 F.3d 1370 (Fed. Cir. 2012). After more than a decade of litigation, the Federal Circuit affirmed a ruling that freed Irell & Manella client DirectTV from a U.S. claim that it owed $80 million from pension surpluses it kept when it sold off its government contract units and associated employee pensions to The Boeing Co. and defense contractor Raytheon Co.

TiVo Inc. v. EchoStar Communications, et al. 646 F.3d 869 (Fed. Cir. 2011). Irell & Manella was co-counsel in an en banc proceeding involving the standard for injunction enforcement proceedings. In 2008, the Federal Circuit affirmed our trial victory for TiVo, including injunctive relief and an award of damages exceeding $90 million, in a patent infringement case regarding digital video recorders. The Federal Circuit also instructed the district court to consider awarding additional damages incurred during appeal. In June 2009, the district court once again found for TiVo and held EchoStar in contempt of the 2006 injunction and entered an order requiring EchoStar to pay additional damages and sanctions totaling approximately $200 million, bringing the total amount of money awarded to TiVo to more than $400 million. In March 2010, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s contempt findings against EchoStar. The Federal Circuit then granted en banc review, and in April 2011, ruled that DISH Network and EchoStar must disable certain DVRs that were found to infringe TiVo's "Time Warp" patent. Shortly after, a settlement was reached. DISH Network and EchoStar paid TiVo over $600 million, including more than $100 million that had already been paid.

Spansion, Inc. v. ITC. 629 F.3d 1331 (Fed. Cir. 2010). Irell & Manella was co-counsel for Tessera in an appeal from a patent enforcement investigation before the United States International Trade Commission in which the Commission found Tessera's patents valid and infringed by several major players in the semiconductor industry. Irell successfully defeated motions for an emergency stay of the ITC’s exclusion orders, a normal stay pending appeal, and for reconsideration and en banc review of the same. The Court of Appeals for the Federal affirmed the ITC's decision.

Peer Communications Corp. v. Skype, Inc., et al. 333 F. App'x 570 (Fed. Cir. 2009). The Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Irell & Manella’s client, Skype. Irell & Manella successfully defended Skype against a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Peer Communications Corp., a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corp.

Netcraft v. eBay 549 F.3d 1394. (Fed. Cir. 2008). The Federal Circuit affirmed a summary judgment of non-infringement in a patent lawsuit filed against our clients, eBay and PayPal, relating to on-line payment systems. We also handled this matter in the district court.

Microprocessor Enhancement Corporation v. Texas Instruments, Inc. 520 F.3d 1367. (Fed. Cir. 2008). The Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of our client, Texas Instruments. MEC had sought over $94 million in damages and a permanent injunction against TI's line of C6000 processors. The Federal Circuit ruled that Texas Instrument's processors did not infringe any claim of the asserted patent.

IpVenture v. ProStar Computer 503 F.3d 1324. (Fed. Cir. 2007). Irell & Manella represented the appellant IpVenture. The District Court dismissed IpVenture's patent infringement suit without prejudice ruling that IpVenture was not the sole owner of the patent-in-suit and hence lacked standing. The Federal Circuit vacated the dismissal and reinstated the case. In a published opinion, the Court ruled that the former employer of one of the inventors had no assignment of the invention and that IpVenture owned the entire interest in the patent.

Ultratech Stepper, Inc. v. ASM Lithography, Inc. 224 F. App'x 974 (Fed. Cir. 2007). Irell & Manella represented ASML in a patent suit relating to optical photolithography. Following a jury verdict invalidating the patent asserted against our client on numerous bases, the Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment on all grounds.

In re Echostar Communications  448 F.3d 1294. (Fed. Cir. 2006). Irell & Manella represented TiVo in connection with a writ of mandamus regarding discovery of information claimed to be work product or attorney-client privileged when the defendant asserts an advice-of-counsel defense to a charge of willful patent infringement. The Federal Circuit ruled in our favor on virtually all of the discovery issues raised in the case.

Grayzel v. St. Jude Medical, Inc. 162 F. App'x 954 (Fed. Cir. 2005). Irell & Manella represented St. Jude Medical in a patent infringement suit related to vascular closure devices. The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling on summary judgment, invalidating all of the asserted claims and dismissing the case in St. Jude's favor.

Representative California Appellate Court matters:

Gerawan Farming, Inc. v. Agricultural Labor Relations Board 236 Cal. App. 4th 1024 (2015). The Fifth District of the California Court of Appeal unanimously held that the “Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation” (MMC) provisions of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) violate the equal protection clause of the state and federal constitutions, and unconstitutionally delegate legislative power to an administrative agency of the state. The ruling set aside the California Agricultural Labor Relation Board’s order which imposed on Gerawan and its employees a Board-drafted collective bargaining agreement. The case is now before the California Supreme Court.

Gerawan Farming, Inc. v. Agricultural Labor Relations Board 247 Cal. App. 4th 284 (2016).  A precedent-setting decision holding that the jurisdiction stripping provisions of the California Labor Code violate separation of powers under the California Constitution, and establishing that farm workers may challenge Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) policies and orders in Superior Court. This case arises out of a First Amendment challenge to an ALRB policy excluding workers, the press, and the public from attending on-the-record hearings of the ALRB’s so-called “Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation” procedures.

Amkor Technology Inc. v. Tessera Inc. No. A139596, 2014 WL 6677363 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov 25, 2014). A California appeals court rejected Amkor’s attempts to overturn a $128.3 million arbitration judgment in favor of Tessera Inc. over a patent licensing agreement, ruling the arbitrators were allowed to award Tessera royalties for Amkor’s use of the technology after the deal was terminated.

Clayworth et al v. Pfizer, Inc. et al. No. A131804, 2012 WL 3596452 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug 22, 2012). The California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in an antitrust case brought against Irell & Manella client GlaxoSmithKline and several other pharmaceutical companies. Fifteen retail pharmacies sued GSK and 19 other defendants, alleging they conspired to fix prices on their pharmaceuticals sold in the U.S. at prices higher than those of the same drugs in Canada in violation of California's Cartwright Act.

Linear Technology Corp. v. Tokyo Electron Ltd. et al. 200 Cal. App. 4th 1527 (2011). After a decade-long legal battle, the California Court of Appeal upheld a 2010 defense verdict and award of attorneys’ fees in favor of Irell & Manella client, semiconductor manufacturer Novellus Systems Inc., in a breach of warranty suit relating to a patent infringement dispute. Irell then defeated Linear's petition to have the California Supreme Court take up the matter for further review.

City of Hope National Medical Center v. Genentech, Inc. 43 Cal. 4th 375 (2008). The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld a $300 million jury verdict for breach of contract in favor of City of Hope National Medical Center, the largest damage award ever affirmed on appeal by California courts in any area of law. More than $565 million was paid by the defendant to City of Hope. The case concerned City of Hope's right to receive royalties from Genentech relating to a fundamental invention by City of Hope scientists in the 1970's at the dawn of the biotechnology industry. The Supreme Court's opinion explored the role that a jury may play in interpreting contract language and affirmed the trial court's decision to allow the jury to interpret the contract between City of Hope and Genentech.

Monrovia Nursery Company, Inc. v. Rosedale Nos. B197739, B199444, 2000 WL 4335263 (Cal. Ct. App. Sept. 24, 2008). The California Court of Appeal affirmed the declaratory judgment in favor of Irell's client in a dispute with its majority shareholder over the interpretation of a corporate agreement. It also affirmed the lower court's award of more than $750,000 in Irell's attorneys' fees.

Jakks Pacific, Inc. v. Superior Court; THQ Inc., Real Party in Interest 160 Cal. App. 4th 596 (2008). The California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's ruling -- and our client's position -- that arbitrators need not disclose potential conflicts until they are actually selected, as opposed to when they are first nominated by the parties or by the court. This was the first time that the Court of Appeal had interpreted the arbitrator disclosure rules under the California Code of Civil Procedure.

Ortiz v. Lyon Management Group, Inc. 157 Cal. App. 4th 604 (2007). In a case of first impression, our summary judgment victory was affirmed by the California Court of Appeal, the court holding that California's Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act was unconstitutionally vague as applied to tenant screening reports containing unlawful detainer information. We also handled the matter in the trial court.

Hollywood Screentest of America v. NBC Universal 151 Cal. App. 4th 631 (2007). In the first published decision in more than twenty years concerning the "independent creation" defense to idea submission claims, our summary judgment victory was affirmed by the California Court of Appeal – the first time a California court has ever affirmed summary judgment in an idea theft case on independent creation grounds.

Armenta v. Mueller Co. 142 Cal. App. 4th 636 (2006). Irell & Manella successfully represented the appellant and persuaded the California Court of Appeal to reinstate state qui tam claims, which the trial court had dismissed. The case involves claims by California cities against water pipe manufacturers.

Sander/Moses Productions v. NBC Studios 142 Cal. App. 4th 1086 (2006). Irell & Manella  successfully represented the appellee before the California Court of Appeal and obtained an affirmance of a defense verdict in one of the few television profit participation cases tried in the California courts. We also handled this matter in the trial court.

HLC Properties, Ltd. v. MCA Records, Inc. 35 Cal. 4th 54 (2005). This landmark case involved the scope of the attorney-client privilege in California and whether the privilege survives the death of the client.

Representative Federal Appellate matters:

SmithKline Beecham Corp. d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline v. Abbott Laboratories 740 F.3d 471 (9th Cir. 2014). The Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Irell & Manella client GlaxoSmithKlein that the Constitution prohibits jury strikes based on sexual orientation, extending a protection once reserved for race and gender to sexual orientation and granted a new trial for GSK in a case against Abbott Labs, because a gay potential juror was improperly excluded based on his sexual orientation. In reaching that conclusion, the Ninth Circuit held that discrimination based on sexual orientation was subject to a heightened level of scrutiny under the equal protection clause.

SRM Global Fund Ltd. Partnership v. Countrywide Financial Corp. 448 F. App'x 116 (2d Cir. 2011). The Second Circuit issued a unanimous opinion affirming in every respect the dismissal of claims brought by SRM Global, a hedge fund, against Irell & Manella client Angelo Mozilo, the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Countrywide Financial Corporation. SRM claimed losses of more than $400 million on investments in Countrywide stock and sued Mozilo, Countrywide and others in the Southern District of New York, alleging violations under federal securities laws.

Primate Freedom Project, Inc. v. The Regents of the University of California, et al. 331 Fed. Appx. 716 (11th Cir. 2009). The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a dismissal in favor of Irell & Manella’s client, The Regents of the University of California. Irell represented the University in an action in which the Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief for claims brought under the First Amendment and the free speech provisions of the Georgia Constitution.

NRDC v. Winter 543 F.3d 1152 (9th Cir. 2008). The Ninth Circuit affirmed plaintiffs' entitlement to attorneys' fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act and declined to reduce the fee award on the basis of purportedly limited success. The Ninth Circuit found that plaintiffs had achieved "excellent results" under EAJA by obtaining a TRO and forcing a settlement that included measures designed to protect the environment that had not previously been implemented in certain naval training exercises.

Tucker, et al. v. Interscope Records, et al. 515 F.3d 1019 (9th Cir. 2008). The Ninth Circuit affirmed our summary judgment victory in a malicious prosecution action filed against our clients, a record company and a law firm. The Ninth Circuit agreed that there was no evidence from which a jury could find malice, a necessary element of the malicious prosecution claim.

Huynh v. Chase Manhattan 465 F.3d 992 (9th Cir. 2006). Irell & Manella successfully represented the appellee in a case before the Ninth Circuit that involved "heretofore unaddressed choice of law and statutes of limitations issues." The case involved claims against a bank relating to deposits that were lost during the Vietnam War.

Representative amicus briefs:

Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee U.S. S. Ct. No. 15-446, 2016 WL 837071 (2016). Irell & Manella filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Federal Circuit Bar Association. Irell’s amicus brief asks that the Supreme Court to require the Patent and Trademark Office to apply the same rules for patent claim interpretation that currently apply in district courts to the inter partes review procedure for challenging patent validity, created by Congress in 2012. 

Friedrichs, et al. v. California Teachers Association, et al. U.S. S. Ct. No. 14-915, 2015 WL 5450505 (2015). Irell & Manella filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Friedman Foundation in this First Amendment challenge to compulsory public employee union "agency fees," brought by a number of public school teachers in Southern California.

Fry et al. v. City of Los Angeles B259791, Cal. App. 2d. (2015). Irell & Manella filed an amicus brief in the Second District Court of Appeal on behalf of the League of California Cities concerning a fundamental question under state constitutional law – whether the Los Angeles City Council irrevocably delegated to its Fire and Police Pension Board the power to adjust retiree health care subsidiaries paid by the City.

Hollingsworth v. Perry U.S. S. Ct. No. 12-144, 2013 WL 795539 (2013). Irell & Manella filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Equality California supporting a challenge to California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage. In June 2013, the Supreme Court issued a decision striking down Prop. 8. Chief Justice Roberts' opinion followed exactly the position advanced by Irell that the petitioners did not have Article III standing to challenge the district court decision that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional.

Golinski v. United States Office of Personnel Management, et. al. Nos. 12-15388 & 12-15409 (9th Cir. 2012). Irell & Manella filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions. Irell argued that Section 3 is unconstitutional because it discriminates on the basis of gender and is rooted in sex stereotypes. Irell filed the brief at the request of Lambda Legal and on behalf of Legal Momentum, Legal Voice and the California Women's Law Center.

In re Sergio C. Garcia on Admission Cal. Super. Ct. No. S202512, 2012 WL 3526012 (2012). On behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and 15 other California lawyer groups, Irell & Manella filed an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court urging the Court to admit Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant who passed the bar exam, to the State Bar of California. The Bar Association of San Francisco and the bar associations for Alameda, Kern, Marin, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego and Santa Clara Counties all joined the LACBA on the brief.

Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association U.S. S. Ct. No. 08-1448, 2010 WL 3697192 (2010). Irell & Manella filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Rhode Island, Arkansas, Georgia, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Utah and Washington supporting a challenge to the constitutionality of California’s law seeking to criminalize the sale of violent video games to minors. The brief argued that the law violated the First Amendment and would hinder, rather than help, law enforcement efforts. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Irell’s position and declared the statute in question unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court majority cited Irell’s amicus brief in footnote 9 of its opinion.

Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Limited Partnership et al. U.S. S. Ct. No. 10-290, 2011 WL 1059621 (2011). Irell & Manella filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Tessera, Inc., Luminex Corporation, and the National Small Business Association, opposing a change to the legal requirement that a litigant must prove patent invalidity by "clear and convincing" evidence. The brief argued that the innovation and licensing industries have thrived in reliance on the more predictable patent enforceability enabled by the "clear and convincing" standard, and lowering the standard would upset settled expectations and negatively affect the economy.

eBay v. MercExchange U.S. S. Ct. No. 05-130, 2006 WL 639168 (2006). Irell & Manella filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the American Association of Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges in this case addressing the standard for issuance of injunctions in patent infringement cases.