Alan Heinrich is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Irell & Manella LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s litigation, intellectual property litigation and appellate groups. He has previously served on the firm's Executive Committee and as Chair of the firm's Hiring Committee.

Mr. Heinrich’s practice focuses on complex business and intellectual property litigation at both the trial court and appellate court levels. Mr. Heinrich has been recognized by Chambers & Partners as "Up and Coming" in the area of intellectual property law in the 2008 Chambers USA Leading Lawyers for Business Guide and as a "rising star in intellectual property litigation" in the 2009 edition of the Legal 500 United States.From 2006-2011, Mr. Heinrich was selected for inclusion in Los Angeles Magazine'sSouthern California "Rising Stars" in intellectual property litigation. In 2013-2016, he has been selected for inclusion in Los Angeles Magazine's Southern California "Super Lawyers."

Mr. Heinrich earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from Loyola Law School in 2000, where he was valedictorian of his class and chief articles editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review. In 2000–2001, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Heinrich received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Washington and Lee University and a Ph.D. in Classics from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Mr. Heinrich is a member of UCLA's Adjunct Faculty, where he teaches an advanced patent law seminar. He has also taught Patent Law and Federal Courts at Loyola Law School.

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Representative Matters

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, et al. v. Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, et al. (D. Mass.)
Represented Alnylam and the Max Planck Institute in a complex patent dispute concerning rights to fundamental technology covered in two families of patent applications in the field of RNA interference (gene silencing). The case was successfully resolved on favorable terms through a creative settlement that used co-ownership rights and other cooperative mechanisms to overcome PTO rejections in both patent application families, leading to a robust estate of issued patents.

University of Utah v. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, et al. (D. Mass.)
Representing Alnylam, Max Planck Institute, Whitehead, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a dispute over inventorship rights to fundamental patents in the RNA interference (gene silencing) field co-owned by the defendants. In this case, Irell & Manella represents all of the parties involved in the lawsuit listed above, including parties who were adverse to Alnylam and Max Planck Institute in that lawsuit. The district court granted summary judgment against University of Utah and in favor of the defendants on all claims. University of Utah did not appeal the district court's ruling.

University of Pennsylvania, et al. vs. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, et al. (E.D. Pa.)
Represented Juno Therapeutics in a lawsuit against the University of Pennsylvania and Novartis Corporation. The lawsuit involved patent and contract claims concerning a novel cancer immunotherapy treatment developed by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and exclusively licensed to Juno. The treatment uses a “chimeric antigen receptor” that re-programs a patient’s own immune cells to identify and destroy cancerous B cells to treat diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma. The case settled favorably after several years of litigation, with Juno receiving upfront and milestone payments from Novartis, as well as ongoing royalties.

St. Jude Medical v. Access Closure, Inc. (W.D. Ark.)
Represented St. Jude Medical in a patent case alleging infringement of St. Jude's patents relating to vascular closure devices. In December 2010, the jury returned a verdict of willful patent infringement and awarded St. Jude $27.1 million in damages, reportedly the largest jury verdict in any area of law in the Western District of Arkansas. The Federal Circuit affirmed the damages judgment on appeal.

Unwired Planet (f/k/a Openwave Systems) v. BlackBerry (ITC and D. Del.)
Representing BlackBerry in patent litigation regarding mobile internet technology. Unwired Planet initially instituted proceedings in the International Trade Commission against Blackberry. Unwired Planet stipulated to non-infringement and withdrew its complaint on the eve of trial, after the ITC issued a claim construction order under which Unwired Planet admitted that there was no infringement. In subsequent proceedings in the District of Delaware, the district court entered the identical claim construction, and Unwired Planet again stipulated to judgment of non-infringement. The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment of non-infringement.

Nortel Networks Patent Acquisition
Represented BlackBerry on intellectual property issues in connection with its $777 million investment in a consortium that acquired a substantial majority of the former Nortel Networks patent portfolio for $4.5 billion. The portfolio consisted of approximately 4,000 patent assets related to a broad array of networking, communications and internet technologies. The deal was one of the largest public sales of intellectual property assets in history and was the recipient of the 2012 International Financial Law Review M&A Deal of the Year Award.

WARF v. Apple (W.D. Wis.)
Representing the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation ("WARF"), the patent management and licensing entity for the University of Wisconsin, in a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple alleging that Apple’s A7 and A8 chips infringe a WARF patent on computer microarchitecture. In October 2015, the jury returned a verdict in favor of WARF, finding all asserted claims valid and infringed and awarding WARF $234.2 million in damages. Also representing WARF in a follow-up case concerning Apple’s newly-released products.   

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Intel Corp. (W.D. Wis.)
Represented WARF in litigation against Intel. WARF alleged that Intel's flagship Core Microarchitecture infringed a patent that arose from research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Three days before trial, Intel and WARF settled the case for a $110 million payment to WARF.

Immersion Corp. v. Sony Computer Entertainment (N.D. Cal.)
Represented Immersion Corporation, a leading developer of "haptic" technologies that allow people to interact with computers using their sense of touch, in a patent infringement lawsuit alleging that various PlayStation game products infringe two Immersion patents relating to computer-controlled vibrotactile technologies. In September 2004, after a five-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Immersion, finding all asserted patent claims valid and infringed and awarding $82 million in damages. In February 2007, after Immersion prevailed in a series of post-trial proceedings, Sony paid Immersion more than $150 million, which included Sony's satisfaction in full of the judgment, as well as payment of interest, compulsory license fees, and future royalties. Mr. Heinrich also represented Immersion in patent litigation against Microsoft Corporation, which settled in July 2003.

Sony Computer Entertainment America v. Dudas (E.D. Va.)
Represented intervenor Immersion Corporation in a case of first impression involving the Patent and Trademark Office's discretion to suspend an inter partes reexamination under the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999. Sony brought suit after the PTO granted Immersion's petitions to suspend reexamination proceedings that Sony initiated following Immersion's successful patent infringement action in federal district court. The court upheld the PTO's suspension order, granting summary judgment in favor of Immersion and the PTO. The PTO continues to cite the district court's decision as authoritative precedent in reexamination orders and in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure.

Peer Communications v. eBay and Skype (E.D. Tex.)
Represented defendants eBay and Skype in a patent infringement suit related to internet communications, including what is known as VoIP (voice over internet protocol). The plaintiff was a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corp. After claim construction, the district court entered judgment for eBay and Skype based on patent invalidity and dismissed the case with prejudice. The judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Net2Phone v. eBay and Skype (D.N.J.); eBay v. IDT and Net2Phone (W.D. Ark.)
Represented eBay and Skype in several patent infringement lawsuits related to internet communications, including VoIP (voice over internet protocol) and calling card technology. Net2Phone first filed suit in New Jersey. eBay subsequently filed suit in Arkansas against Net2Phone and its parent IDT. Although filed two years later, eBay's case in Arkansas was scheduled for trial well before Net2Phone's case in New Jersey. Both cases settled successfully shortly before trial.

Avago Technologies Ltd. v. PixArt Imaging, Inc. (N.D. Cal.)
Represented Avago Technologies in a patent infringement case involving optical navigation technology for optical computer mouse applications. The accused products were PixArt's CMOS optical mouse sensors. The case settled successfully for Avago, with PixArt agreeing to take a worldwide license to certain Avago intellectual property.

Recent Publications

The Myriad Reasons to Hit "Reset" on Patent-Eligibility Jurisprudence, 47 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 117 (2013)

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Bar & Court Admissions

  • 2001, California
  • 2001, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • 2002, U.S. District Court, Central and Northern Districts of California
  • 2005, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit