Morgan Chu, he of patent law superstardom, has lost a case.
The Irell & Manella partner tried his best last week to persuade a San Jose jury that Avago Technologies, his client, was a victim of patent infringement by Elan Microelectronics. But no such luck. The jury deliberated a day and half and delivered the verdict Friday that Elan wasn’t infringing at all. The technology at issue was Elan’s optical mouse sensor products (Turn over your mouse. See that light? That’s what we’re talking about.)
So who was able to best this giant of the IP bar? Two somewhat lesser known IP lawyers from Alston & Bird, Frank Smith and Ytai Hu. Smith flew in from Atlanta and did openings and closings. Hu, the Elan relationship partner, took several of the witnesses.
“Going in we knew we had a good case, but we also knew we were going up against Morgan,” Hu told Legal Pad.
Hu vs. Chu, after the jump.
Chu’s won more than his share of big IP verdicts: $82 million for Immersion against Sony, $74 million and an injunction for TiVo against Echostar. In this case, Chu was looking for an injunction and $5 million to $7 million in damages, lawyers on the case said. Chu didn’t return a call seeking comment
It was Hu’s first time going against Chu, someone whose career he’s watched from afar. “Morgan to me is like a role model being Chinese American and watching him succeed.”
But if going up against Chu wasn’t enough, Hu and another Alston partner, Sean DeBruine, will be facing off with another IP superstar, Matt Powers of Weil Gotshal, in a separate case for Elan. The Alston lawyers filed a patent infringement suit for Elan against Apple in that one over touchscreen technology used in the iPhone.
Other Irell News: A trio of top litigators open their own shop, with Viacom-sized clients in tow. Cal Law will have a story posted later this evening.
— Zusha Elinson