Scott Stevens, Alston & Bird partner and co-chair of the firm’s intellectual property ITC Section 337 Practice, has been named “Litigator of the Week” by The American Lawyer for successfully defending Garmin over patent infringement claims brought by Philips North America and Koninklijke Philips NV at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).
The patent claims covered nearly all of Garmin’s wearables and smartwatches, which Philips sought to bar Garmin from importing and selling in the U.S. In a February 4, 2021, notice, ITC Administrative Law Judge Dee Lord rejected the claims and also found that the claims asserted by Philips were ineligible for patenting and that one of the claims was invalid as anticipated by prior art.
Recounting some of the details behind the win in an interview published by The American Lawyer’s “Litigation Daily,” Stevens said: “Kirk Bradley and I led our team at Alston & Bird, working closely with two stellar associates, Ravi Fernando and Karlee Wroblewski, and Garmin’s in-house team, Dave Ayres, Sam Korte, and Mo Ali. We intentionally kept our team small and focused. Because the pandemic inhibited our usual in-person collaboration, it was important to have a small team of deeply involved lawyers.”
Asked about the challenges and opportunities of litigating the case during the pandemic, Stevens added: “We viewed litigating during the pandemic as more of an opportunity to innovate than as a complication. We held multiple video-conference meetings each week, allowing everyone to coordinate and to know exactly what was required of them. We did not want the physical distance between us to create a knowledge barrier. And Garmin made its engineers and other personnel readily available to us, which, in certain ways, gave us more access to them than we might otherwise have had.”
Stevens concluded by saying: “Being selected as counsel for Garmin was one of the highest compliments of my and Kirk’s professional careers. We both had experience being adverse to Garmin in prior litigations, and they thought highly enough of our work to entrust us with this very important case. The Alston & Bird team could not be prouder or more excited to deliver the fine folks at Garmin this victory!”
The case is In the Matter of Certain Wearable Monitoring Devices, Systems, and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-1190, before the U.S. International Trade Commission.