It is a fact of life today that high stakes, international IP disputes almost invariably include one or more so-called Section 337 investigations at the ITC. As intellectual property disputes are becoming more technical, complex, and important, sophisticated companies have realized that the ITC’s accelerated time to hearing and resolution and potentially far-reaching remedies, including orders completely excluding products from importation into the United States, provide an effective alternative or supplement to U.S. District Court proceedings. The result is that growing numbers of domestic and foreign companies now choose to litigate their disputes at the ITC in unprecedented numbers.
Quinn Emanuel is one of a relatively small number of law firms that has a dedicated ITC team with extensive knowledge and experience in navigating the unique and complex procedural and technical issues that arise in Section 337 litigation, including the unwritten ways of getting business done. Our success litigating at the ITC is a result of our expertise in and understanding of the ITC’s unique procedural rules, body of law, evidentiary hearings, administrative law judges, and the ITC’s interaction with other agencies such as U. S. Customs. Our ITC group has received numerous accolades, including being named Managing IP’s “ITC Firm of the Year” in two consecutive years.
Our ITC group is led by nationally-ranked ITC expert Alex Lasher, who has practiced before the ITC for more than fifteen years, representing complainants, respondents and third parties in more than sixty Section 337 investigations. Mr. Lasher and our other similarly accomplished partners have successfully represented companies in all aspects of Section 337 investigations, including initiating counter-investigations or actions in other venues, working with engineers to develop design-arounds, formulating public interest and FRAND arguments, coordinating with U.S. Customs, and enforcing exclusion orders.
ITC proceedings are often just one front in large intellectual property disputes that involve related actions in many different jurisdictions. A huge advantage that our ITC team has over others is that it is supported by Quinn Emanuel’s IP group, which was named Law360’s IP Group of the Year in 2018, consisting of 300+ IP litigators in the U.S., EU and Asia. Quinn Emanuel has led as a firm for “bet the company” litigations on any intellectual property dispute no matter the size or the level of technical complexity, and nowhere does this statement ring truer than at the ITC.
Quinn Emanuel mourns the loss of one of its name partners, Bill Urquhart. Bill joined the firm 31 years ago when it was just a few lawyers in downtown Los Angeles. Bill was a visionary and helped lead a transformation of the firm from a small litigation boutique to the largest and most successful litigation firm in the world, with over 800 lawyers in 23 offices on four continents.
In his legal practice, Bill was a sage counselor and trusted advisor for both plaintiffs and defendants, and for numerous Fortune 100 companies in their most important disputes — matters that usually involved tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars. Over the years he advised IBM, Hughes, Johnson Controls, CNA, Nokia and Qualcomm, among many many others.
For the many people at the firm who were fortunate to know Bill, he was more than a visionary partner and excellent lawyer, he was also a friend, who lived and loved life. He was loved and will be missed.
He leaves behind his wife Mary and 6 children, and our thoughts are with them in this time of grief.