A Glimpse of the (Possible) Future

Submitted by patentadmin on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 13:06

A school of barracudas, having entered into a feeding frenzy, will turn on their own weakened or injured members, when the original prey has been consumed. Apparently, it is the same with land barracudas, i.e. lawyers.

Quickie LLC v. Greenberg Traurig LLP et al.

Quickie had sued Medtronic Inc., for patent infringement, claiming damages of $10M (does anyone wonder why damage claims are always nice round numbers like $10M?). The suit was thrown out because – oops – the patent in suit had expired for failure to pay the maintenance fee. Quickie, not seeing the humor in this, hired two new law firms to sue its old law firm, Greenberg Traurig (you can’t tell the players without a scorecard). Greenberg Traurig argued, inter alia, that the responsibility for payment of the patent maintenance fee lay not with it, but with Quickie’s predecessor law firm, Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP. Quickie had already settled with Thelen Reid, for an undisclosed sum, and has moved to prevent evidence of that fact from being disclosed to the jury. Quickie also seeks to bar any mention of the fact that its latest attorneys are working on a contingency fee basis, or that they have engaged jury consultants. They also seek to bar any mention of their motion.

Greenberg Traurig has retained a law firm to represent it in this matter, thus providing employment for even more attorneys. Perhaps we are reaching the point where the lawyers don’t need clients, but can merely sue each other. Only time will tell. In any event, we find this case highly entertaining.

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