- University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 1991), magna cum laude
- University of California, Berkeley (B.S., Electrical Engineering/Computer Science, 1987)
Christopher A. Vanderlaan is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Irell & Manella LLP. He specializes in intellectual property, and his practice includes patent litigation, strategic planning, licensing, and patent/trademark prosecution (domestic and international).
Mr. Vanderlaan is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and has experience in all phases of patent prosecution, including specialized proceedings such as re-examinations and reissues. He has obtained issuance of a variety of patents in wide-ranging areas of technology, and his technical experience includes telecommunications, spread spectrum communication, feedback control systems, control networks, signal processing, medical devices, pacemakers, digital imaging, Internet computer systems, business methods, computer software, microprocessors, optical readers, LED-based lighting systems, amplifiers, disk drives, and power generators.
In litigation, Mr. Vanderlaan has represented clients primarily in large, complex patent cases and in challenging technical fields. Representative engagements include:
- Represented plaintiffs Polycom, Inc. and Polycom Israel Ltd., world leaders in the videoconferencing industry, against Codian Ltd. and Tandberg ASA in a case involving six patents covering videoconferencing technology and streaming. The case was filed in the Eastern District of Texas, and later involved satellite litigations in Arkansas and Virginia. The litigations all settled shortly before trial in Texas was to commence. Terms of the settlement remain confidential.
- Represented AmberWave Corporation, a small engineering and research firm founded by MIT professor and his students, against Intel Corporation in Delaware and Texas litigations over six patents involving strained silicon technology for use in semiconductor devices. The suit accused Intel’s most advanced Pentiums and dual-core microprocessors of infringement, with total estimated revenues in excess of $100 billion. The case concluded when Intel agreed to license AmberWave’s patent portfolio and make license payments over a 10-year term. As part of the settlement, the companies also agreed to continuing discussions and evaluation of AmberWave’s ongoing technology research and development efforts.
- Represented plaintiff Zone Labs in Zone Labs, Inc. v. Sygate Technologies, Inc., in the Northern District of California. The case involved a seminal software patent relating to network security, covering Zone Labs’ highly successful Integrity security product. In a consent decree (filed with the Court as part of a settlement agreement), Sygate agreed to an injunction preventing it from selling network security products without a valid license, and acknowledged the patent’s validity and enforceability.
- Successfully defended Zone Labs in subsequent post-trial proceedings in which, among other things, Sygate asserted that it had not breached the settlement agreement.
- Represented defendant Cisco Systems, Inc. in patent litigation involving 8 patents in the Northern District of California related to v.90 modem technology. The case eventually settled on confidential terms.
- Represented defendant Hewlett-Packard Company in a suit involving three patents in the Eastern District of Texas relating to computer architecture. The infringement allegations implicated the vast majority of PCs and servers that had been sold by HP and Compaq at the time, totaling tens of millions of units. The case settled prior to trial.
- Represented Quickturn Design Systems, Inc. ( acquired during suit by Cadence Design Systems, Inc.) in a multi-patent litigation against Mentor Graphics Corp. and Meta Systems Inc. in the District of Oregon. Quickturn prevailed in an initial bench trial in which the enforceability of the patents was challenged based on alleged inequitable conduct. The case eventually settled midway through the subsequent jury trial, with the defendants agreeing to a permanent injunction against the further sale of their products in the United States – thus protecting a market worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Represented Intermedics, Inc. against Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. ("CPI") in a 14-patent case in the District of Minnesota. The case settled on favorable terms with the acquisition of Intermedics by CPI’s parent company, Guidant Corporation, for over $775 million.
- Represented Intermedics, Inc. against Medtronic, Inc. in a 17-patent case in the District of Minnesota. After Intermedics prevailed on a key ruling of a license defense, the case rapidly settled on terms that have not been publicized.
- Represented Semtech Corporation in a non-patent matter involving semiconductor technology. The matter centered around a customer dispute over whether a Semtech integrated circuit caused failures in the customer’s product.
In 2005, Mr. Vanderlaan was named by Los Angeles Magazine to the Southern California "Rising Stars" list for intellectual property litigation.
Mr. Vanderlaan is co-author of an article on business method patents entitled "Method Madness," Los Angeles Lawyer, Vol. 23, No. 7 (October 2000), also reprinted in The Computer & Internet Lawyer, Vol. 18, No. 2 (February 2001).
Mr. Vanderlaan received his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, in 1991 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in San Francisco, California. In 1987, he received the degree of Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He also worked in private industry for several years, primarily in the aerospace field.
- American Intellectual Property Law Association
Bar & Court Admissions
- 1991, California
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit; U.S. Patent and Trademark Office