The firm recently obtained an important trial victory for client AngioScore, Inc. in the Northern District of California. The Court awarded AngioScore approximately $20M in damages plus additional relief. AngioScore manufactures and sells specialized angioplasty balloon catheters. A member of the company’s Board of Directors—while on the Board— developed a competing angioplasty balloon catheter. He resigned from the Board when his development work was discovered. Angioscore sued the director’s companies for patent infringement when the new product was released. During discovery, Angioscore learned that the work on the competing product had begun while the director was still on the board and added claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty. At that point, Quinn Emanuel was retained.
The firm completed discovery on the fiduciary duty claims. Summary judgment practice established key elements of Angioscore’s case. Trial was conducted over six days. The Court’s 110 page Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law will likely be regarded as a landmark explanation of the duties of members of boards of directors. In particular, the opinion reinforced the law that a person’s right to innovate may not interfere with the fiduciary duties of a director. Because the case was decided under Delaware law, it will be particularly influential.