In a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that press reports labeled “a major victory for Samsung in a yearslong, multicase patent dispute over smartphones,” Quinn Emanuel won an appellate victory that completely eliminated a $120 million judgment that Apple had obtained against Samsung in the Northern District of California. In the second of two trials in that court, Apple had sued Samsung for infringement of five patents, demanding more than $2 billion in damages. Quinn Emanuel succeeded at trial in limiting Apple’s damages to $120 million for supposed infringement of three patents. On Quinn Emanuel’s appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed as to all three, holding that Samsung did not infringe Apple’s ’647 (Quick Links) patent and that Apple’s ’721 (Slide to Unlock) and ’172 (Auto Correct) patents are invalid as obvious in light of the prior art. At the same time, the Federal Circuit affirmed all the rulings Quinn Emanuel won at trial, including the jury’s findings that Samsung did not infringe Apple’s ’959 (Remote and Local Search) patent or Apple’s ‘414 (synchronization) patent, and that Apple infringed Samsung’s ‘449 (compressing and organizing photos) patent. With this ruling, Samsung emerges as the net winner: the only remaining damages are $158,400 that Apple owes to Samsungfor infringement of Samsung’s ’449 patent.
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.