Consumer & Class Actions,
Contract & Commercial,
Brian Ferrall represents technology and biomedical clients primarily in high-stakes trade secret, patent and other intellectual property disputes, and has broad experience in contract, unfair business practices and antitrust litigation. He also advises clients on IP protection, licensing and competitive strategy. Mr. Ferrall has expertise guiding international clients through the challenges of litigating in the United States.
By developing a successful strategy with the client at the outset of a dispute, he is able to achieve efficient and effective resolutions before trial, or victories at trial. Mr. Ferrall has tried cases to verdict in California federal and state courts, and federal courts in Delaware and Texas, and has served as lead counsel on numerous cases.
We defended Arista Networks in this groundbreaking case which raised the important question of whether and to what extent functional computer commands merit copyright protection. Cisco accused Arista, run by a former Cisco vice president, of copyright infringement for the use of more than 500 commands used to configure network switches. Cisco also accused Arista of infringing two patents, one of which it dismissed before trial. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in our client’s favor on both the copyright and patent claims.
We won summary judgment of non-infringement for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. and its subsidiary TSMC, North America in a long-running patent lawsuit brought by North Carolina semiconductor company, Ziptronix, Inc. Ziptronix had asserted nine patents and more than 500 patent claims directed to TSMC’s manufacturing of semiconductors for use in backside-illumination image sensors used predominantly in smartphone cameras. On behalf of TSMC, we defeated Ziptronix’s claims by arguing that the territorial limits of U.S. patent law prohibited reaching TSMC’s business transactions and manufacturing operations in Taiwan.
We served as lead counsel for Comcast in an eight-patent case brought by British Telecom in Delaware federal court. The case targeted Comcast's high speed data and telephony services and video encryption. We also asserted Comcast patents against British Telecom in Texas federal court. In Delaware, we prevailed on six of the eight patents by way of summary judgment and stipulated dismissals, and thereafter reached a very favorable resolution of both litigations.
We defended Medtronic, Inc. and its subsidiary, CoreValve, in a multi-patent case brought by Edwards Lifesciences in the District of Delaware. The patents at stake concerned CoreValve’s lifesaving transcatheter artificial heart valve. Although an injunction was initially ordered, we convinced the court to stay that injunction, and then later resolved all of the pending patent litigation with a successful settlement.
We represented Comcast in a patent infringement case brought by C-Cation Technologies in the Eastern District of Texas, and a related breach of contract claim Comcast brought in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff targeted our clients' high speed data and telephony services and sought damages well into nine figures. We were selected as lead trial counsel for all defendants, which included three other cable companies. After several pre-trial victories, we reached a favorable settlement for all defendants.
We served as lead counsel for TSMC in this investigation before the International Trade Commission. We secured a very favorable settlement and then dismissal, safeguarding TSMC’s freedom to operate certain advanced semiconductor patterning techniques patented by the University of New Mexico.
We represented TSMC against China's then-leading semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, in the largest trade secret misuse case tried to date. SMIC owed its very existence to technology stolen from our client. Following a jury verdict on liability in favor of TSMC, SMIC agreed to pay $200 million in cash and approximately $130 million of its company stock. The case serves as precedent for the strong protection afforded by California's trade secret statute, even where the actual theft occurred in Asia.
We served as lead counsel for network storage newcomer BlueArc Corporation. We obtained summary judgment for BlueArc in this multi-patent case in the Northern District of California. The plaintiff, industry stalwart Network Appliance, asserted more than 50 patent claims concerning fileserver hardware and software, and sought an injunction which would have ended our client's business. The victory on summary judgment was upheld on appeal.
We served as lead counsel for Comcast in a patent infringement case involving high-speed Internet and digital TV services. Rembrandt Technologies, Inc. originally filed the case in the Eastern District of Texas, but in conjunction with other co-defendants, we obtained multi-district consolidation and transfer to the District of Delaware. Based upon claim construction, Rembrandt conceded non-infringement of all patents, preserving only its right to appeal the claim construction as to the ninth. The Federal Circuit then upheld the claim construction on that last patent that resulted in non-infringement. We also helped Comcast secure an exceptional-case determination and a resulting award of over $10 million in fees and costs.
We prosecuted Harris Corporation's patent claims relating to closed-captioning technology against several major television manufacturers, all of whom took licenses but for Sanyo. We won a jury verdict of $7 million against Sanyo after a one week trial in Dallas federal court, which was affirmed on appeal.
We represented Xilinx in this patent case between these two market segment leaders involving the fundamental patent behind field programmable gate arrays, now a multi-billion dollar industry. The San Jose jury returned a verdict of infringement and validity, which the court overturned on post-trial motions. While the appeal was pending, Altera agreed to enter into a cross license for $20 million.
We successfully defended Cordis Endovascular Systems, Inc., allowing its microcatheter product for treating vascular disorders in the brain to remain on the market by obtaining an emergency stay of a preliminary injunction. Ultimately, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals adopted our argument that the patent was not infringed.
The Daily Journal has named Keker, Van Nest & Peters partners Christa Anderson, Brian Ferrall, Ashok Ramani and Robert Van Nest among the top intellectual property lawyers in California. Read more
Eleven lawyers from two Keker, Van Nest & Peters trial teams representing Google and Arista received California Lawyer of the Year awards from the Daily Journal for intellectual property trial wins. Read more
Bob Van Nest led two Keker, Van Nest & Peters trial teams on behalf of clients Google and Arista, respectively, that were recognized as top defense verdicts in California. Read more
The defense verdict KVP obtained at trial for Arista against Cisco’s copyright and patent claims earned the firm second place as the Top Defense Verdict of 2016 Read more
Trial wins for Google and Arista in high stakes patent and copyright cases led to Keker & Van Nest being named IP Group of the Year by Law360. Read more
After a two-week trial, a San Jose jury has cleared Arista Networks of allegations that it infringed copyrights and patents belonging to Cisco Systems. Read more
Brian Ferrall and Christa Anderson will present "Critical Strategic Considerations at the Outset of Patent Litigation Defense." Read more
Ziptronix had asserted nine patents and more than 500 claims over TSMC’s manufacturing of semiconductors. Read more
The Federal Circuit declined to review a ruling in a semiconductor patent dispute that found infringement suits must be thrown out when the co-owner of a patent decides not to participate. Read more
The Federal Circuit day affirmed a district court's dismissal of a suit brought by the University of New Mexico's patent arm alleging Intel Corp. infringed a patent for lithographic methods used in semiconductor manufacturing Read more
The Supreme Court ruled the Federal Circuit's long-standing precedent for proving a patent indefinite allowed for too much ambiguity. Mr. Ferrall explains why the decision in Nautilus Inc. v. Biosig Instruments Inc. is significant. Read more
The settlement wipes out two large jury awards that had raised the threat of an injunction against potentially lifesaving heart valve technology. Read more
A Delaware federal judge dealt a blow to British Telecommunications PLC in a pair of suits claiming infringement of several of data networking patents it has licensed, tossing the corporation's contracts counterclaims against Cox Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. Read more
Brian Ferrall and Ashok Ramani speak to Law360 about the President's legislative and executive proposals aimed at curbing frivolous lawsuits. Read more
Keker & Van Nest wins a complete victory in patent infringement case. Read more
The firm receives top rankings for bet-the-company, intellectual property, criminal defense, securities, commercial, legal malpractice, and appellate litigation. Read more
The firm defends the scion of a legendary California agribusiness family from accusations of racketeering, price-fixing, honest services fraud and obstruction of justice. Read more
The twelfth annual Sedona Conference on Patent Litigation features a stellar faculty, including nationally renowned trial attorneys and patent counsel from coast to coast, the Director of the USPTO, judges, and in-house counsel from Google and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Read more
Keker & Van Nest partners were recognized in more than ten categories, including bet-the-company litigation, criminal defense, and intellectual property litigation. Read more
Keker & Van Nest represented Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) Read more
An Alameda County jury handed Keker & Van Nest a clear victory in a hard-fought trade secrets trial. Read more