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Irell Leads Fortress to Victory Against Intel in Antitrust Litigation


On Sept. 28, 2021, Irell & Manella LLP scored a sweeping defense victory for Fortress Investment Group, Fortress Credit Company and VLSI in antitrust litigation against Intel, persuading the court to dismiss with prejudice the complaint, which alleged Fortress and its co-defendants engaged in an anti-competitive patent aggregation scheme.

Irell obtained a string of earlier wins in the litigation, which was originally filed by both Intel and Apple. The firm convinced the court to dismiss the plaintiffs’ initial complaint in July 2020, and then succeeded in persuading the judge to dismiss Intel and Apple’s amended complaint, in part with prejudice, in January 2021. Intel and Apple filed a second amended complaint (Apple dropped its claims in June 2021, leaving Intel as the only plaintiff), and Matt Ashley argued Fortress and its co-defendants’ motion to dismiss the second amended complaint on Sept. 16, 2021. The judge’s latest decision handed Irell’s clients a complete victory in the litigation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the win in November 2022. 

In addition to Matt, the Irell team also included Morgan Chu, Ben Hattenbach, Michael Harbour and Lucas Oxenford. 

The Daily Journal recognized the victory as one of California's top defense verdicts of 2021, and the publication also honored the team with a 2022 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) award for the win. 

Coverage in Law360, Bloomberg Law and IAM can be found here, here, here and here (subscriptions required).

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