Press Release
May 1, 2012

Good Wins Update

Goodwin Procter’s litigation attorneys have delivered key victories on a wide range of complex legal matters for clients including:

Teva Pharmaceuticals: Personal Jurisdiction in Louisiana Products Liability Action

In April, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted a motion to dismiss for Goodwin Procter client Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. in a products liability action involving the prescription drug metoclopramide. The court’s ruling, based on its lack of personal jurisdiction over Teva Ltd., came after the court considered a total of 11 briefs filed by the parties over the course of more than a year.

The plaintiff, Lindsey Whitener, alleged that she had developed pregnancy complications and that her child had developed various health problems as a result of Lindsey Whitener’s ingestion during pregnancy of metoclopramide tablets allegedly manufactured and sold by Teva Ltd. and other manufacturers. The plaintiff’s complaint asserted various causes of action, including negligence and strict liability for failure to warn, design defect and manufacturing defect. All claims against Teva Ltd. were dismissed by the court’s April ruling.

To read more on this case, please click here.

Epocal Patent Infringement Case

In May, a Huntsville, Alabama jury found that an innovative product developed by Goodwin Procter client Epocal does not infringe patents owned by Abbott Point of Care (“APOC”).

APOC claimed that Epocal infringed three patents for point-of-care blood tests, systems that allow a physician to complete diagnostic blood work at a patient's bedside rather than wait for a lab to process results. In addition to the patent claims, APOC had contended that Epocal’s employment of five former APOC employees tortiously interfered with Abbott’s non-compete agreements with those employees. After six-and-a-half days of trial, the nine-person jury returned a unanimous verdict in Epocal’s favor on all counts.

To read more on this case, please click here.

Dismissals in Eight Actions Against Countrywide Financial

Goodwin litigators achieved a string of wins for Countrywide Financial, obtaining the dismissal with prejudice of nearly all federal securities claims and most state law claims across eight separate suits involving a total of approximately $9.8 billion in mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) issued by Countrywide affiliates. The efforts of the Goodwin team resulted in the complete dismissal of three cases (one of them a putative class action), and slashed the size of the other five cases. 

A second round of motions to dismiss addressing mostly non-timeliness arguments for dismissal will occur over the next few months.

IBM IP Rights Case

Goodwin Procter attorneys obtained a significant victory for client IBM in Picture Patents v. Aeropostale in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit summarily affirmed a district court ruling that, under IBM’s employee agreement regarding intellectual property rights, IBM owns patents obtained by an employee after leaving IBM. More than one million current and former IBM employees have signed the IP rights agreement.

The district court determined that the IP rights agreement “clearly applie[d]” to the invention and the corresponding patents because the inventor, Michelle Baker, conceived of the invention while employed at IBM and “the Invention ‘relate[d] to the actual or anticipated business or research or development of IBM.’” The district court held that, under the IP rights agreement, ownership in the patents vested in IBM.

GMAC Mortgage and U.S. Bank: Denial of Class Certification of Foreclosure Claims in Massachusetts

In April, U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns of the District of Massachusetts, in Manson v. GMAC Mortgage, denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification against mortgage industry defendants, including Goodwin Procter clients GMAC Mortgage and U.S. Bank National Trust Association, in U.S. Bank’s capacity as trustee for securitized mortgage pools serviced by Goodwin Procter client Wells Fargo.

The plaintiffs alleged that GMAC, U.S. Bank and another defendant violated Massachusetts statutory requirements by foreclosing on properties before first obtaining valid assignments of the mortgages. The plaintiffs sought a putative class against GMAC and U.S. Bank, separately, that included all Massachusetts foreclosures commenced between 2004-2008, where there was a recorded mortgage assignment transferring the mortgage to the name of either GMAC or U.S. Bank after the date of publication of the notice of foreclosure sale. 

The District Court found that the plaintiffs’ circumstances varied too widely and thus, did not meet the Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a) commonality and typicality class certification requirements.  The District Court also found that the plaintiffs did not meet the Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) standard for a mandatory class and that the requirements for a Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3) class were not met because common issues do not predominate over individual ones.