Robins Kaplan is equipped with a team of trial lawyers who have the resiliency to take on high-stakes cases. The firm’s reputation has mostly been rooted in its intellectual property and antitrust capabilities; however, in recent years its recognition has expanded to becoming well-known in commercial litigation and securities class actions. Although the firm is often seen representing plaintiffs in litigation, its securities practice is defense-oriented. The firm’s Minneapolis and New York offices are the primary forces behind the firm’s recognition in litigation.
Several of the firm’s intellectual property litigators practice out of the Minneapolis office and are recognized nationally in the practice area. Chris Larus is the chair of the intellectual property and technology group. He recently obtained a complete dismissal with prejudice on behalf of KVP International and Caerus Corporation in a patent infringement matter. The case involved alleged infringement of patents related to pulsed electro-magnetic field (PEMF) medical and veterinary devices. In addition to patent cases, Larus also has copyright and trademark infringement matters that are pending. He is representing FurnitureDealer.net in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Amazon after the client’s product descriptions were being used on Amazon’s website. The lawsuit also alleges a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and breach of contract claims. Larus represents Hubbard Media Group and ReelzChannel in a trademark infringement case against Facebook and Instagram challenging Instagram’s use of Reels on its platform. Jake Holdreith represented Collegium Pharmaceutical in its Hatch-Waxman lawsuit against Teva. The lawsuit arose following Teva’s announcement that it sought to market a generic version of the client’s XTAMPZA, a brand-name abuse deterrent of oxycondone. Originally, Holdreith alleged 12 Orange-book patents were infringed which increased to thirteen in the case. Last September, Holdreith obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of Collegium, which included a consent judgment confirming that Teva’s generic products infringed the asserted patents and that the client would grant Teva a license to market its generic Xtampza ER in September 2033. Ronald Schutz has been representing Chloe Coscarelli, known as the first vegan chef to win the Food Network’s top prize in “Cupcake Wars”. The lawsuit erupted after former business partners ESquared Hospitality and its restaurant group BC Hospitality Group obtained a favorable arbitration decision in 2017 that removed Coscarelli as the namesake and identity for the business which include 10 restaurants. The lawsuit Schutz filed in 2018 alleged several claims, both commercial and intellectual property based, mainly asserting that the defendants exploited the client’s name, fame and image for their own benefit. On behalf of Coscarelli, Schutz sought compensatory damages, punitive and exemplary damages and disgorgement of profits, as well as a judgment that ESquared infringed her company’s trademark. The matter was litigated in the Southern District of New York in addition to the arbitration proceeding which granted a complete and final victory for Coscarelli. The client was reinstated as a 50% owner and the restaurant group BC Hospitality was enjoined from selling retail products using the “By Chloe” trademark. In addition, the client received a $2.2 million award in attorneys’ fees. The award was affirmed in district court in January 2021. Schutz also represented Coscarelli in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding investors of BC Hospitality Group filed. The matter additionally ended favorably with an order preventing the group from selling products with the “By Chloe” trademark without her consent.
The firm has been active in LIBOR-related litigation recently. Stacey Slaughter and Craig Wildfang represent the principal entities as direct-action plaintiffs in the BBA LIBOR rigging scandal against the rate-setting panel banks. On behalf of their clients, Slaughter and Wildfang have resolved cases against two of the banks, and other cases were transferred to Multi-District Litigation, including the “other-the-counter” class case, the “exchange-based” class case, and numerous other DAP cases. Thomas Undlin is lead partner as co-lead counsel representing plaintiffs in civil actions against bank defendants, including major financial institutions like Bank of America, Citibank, JP Morgan and Barclays. The suit alleges that the defendants conspired to suppress one- and three-month US dollar-denominated ICE LIBOR rates and returns. The matter is on appeal at the Second Circuit.
Wildfang and New York-based partner Kellie Lerner serve as co-chairs of the antitrust and trade regulation group. Lerner is the lead partner serving as court appointed co-lead counsel on behalf of a proposed class of direct purchasers of Merck’s mumps vaccine. The class alleges that the defendant monopolized the US market in a scheme to exclude competitors, in part by alleging an efficacy rate of 95% or higher. Merck filed a motion for summary judgment, which Lerner filed a sur-reply in opposition. The parties completed their briefings on the motion in May 2020 and the court granted Lerner leave to file a second sur-reply to further oppose the motion.