Intellectual Property

CC&G litigates a wide variety of intellectual property disputes, both those arising in connection with statutory protections for patents, copyrights, and trademarks and those arising out of common law claims for the misuse of confidential or proprietary information, including trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, interference with contract, and unfair competition.  We also advise clients on drafting non-disclosure agreements, invention assignment clauses, and non-competition and non-solicitation restrictions in employment agreements and assist with technology licensing agreements.

Patent Litigation

CC&G has prosecuted and defended claims of patent infringement, patent invalidity, and associated antitrust issues on behalf of companies and individuals.  We also assist clients in assessing the feasibility of protracted, and often costly, patent litigation from a cost/benefit standpoint.  CC&G provides advice, counseling, and drafting of patent license and royalty agreements.

Representative Cases   

  • CC&G represented a manufacturer of semiconductor test equipment that was sued for patent infringement in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California.  CC&G’s client was a young company, and the lawsuit threatened the very existence of the company.  Through aggressive defense and facts discovered through exhaustive discovery, we were able to negotiate a very favorable settlement that had no monetary or business impact on the company.
  • CC&G represented a manufacturer of semiconductor test equipment in a lawsuit commenced against one of its competitors for patent infringement and defended its client in a separate retaliatory lawsuit which the defendant brought against it for infringement of its patents.  After discovery, the cases were resolved through negotiation on favorable terms.

Trademark and Unfair Competition 

CC&G is experienced in the prosecution and defense of actions alleging infringement of trademarks and trade dress; the sale of “gray market” goods; and false advertising and unfair competition under the Lanham Act and Massachusetts law.  We have handled claims of commercial disparagement and Internet domain name disputes and advise clients on trademark assignment and licensing issues.  

Representative Cases 

  • When a local savings bank learned that a regional bank had adopted a new trade name and logo after a merger, which it believed was confusingly similar to its own, CC&G brought suit in United States District Court, obtaining immediate injunctive relief, which was quickly followed by a very favorable settlement for our client.
  • CC&G’s defense of a New Orleans company raised issues of first impression concerning use of a trademark to solicit business on the Internet by a business with the right to use the mark in a restricted geographic area.  Sophisticated legal analysis and careful attention to facts assisted the firm’s client in obtaining a highly favorable resolution through court-annexed mediation.

CC&G is experienced in litigating claims of direct and vicarious copyright infringement, aiding and abetting, and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  We provide advice on the negotiation and content of publishing agreements, on-line services agreements, software license agreements, and royalty agreements.       

Representative Cases

  • A Massachusetts technology company retained CC&G to pursue a copyright infringement action in federal court in Missouri. The claim that the defendant’s screen displays infringed a valid copyright was settled on favorable terms, including a full revision by defendant of its offending screen displays.
  • A major manufacturer of data storage equipment brought claims against a number of related defendants involved in providing maintenance services for the equipment alleging both direct and indirect infringement of the manufacturer’s copyright on diagnostic microcode and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  Representing one of the co-defendants which developed software tools used to “circumvent” alleged protections for the diagnostic microcode, the firm won summary judgment on both the copyright and DMCA claims.
  • When a Massachusetts architect discovered that a New Hampshire architectural firm was using his drawings for a multi-unit, age-restricted condominium complex, CC&G filed a suit for copyright infringement against the architect and several real estate developers.  After mediation, the claims were settled on terms that included both significant compensation and a commitment not to use our client’s architectural drawings. 

Trade Secrets and Confidential Business Information

CC&G litigates trade secret disputes between competitive entities as well as those that arise in the employment context, pursuing and defending claims arising under state trade secret law, both common law and statutory; the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; and contract, tort, and fiduciary principles.  The firm advises clients regarding the implementation of appropriate internal procedures for trade secret protection and the use of non-disclosure and other contractual provisions. 

Representative Cases 

  • After a two-week jury trial, CC&G won judgment for a software development company on its claims against a former senior executive for breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of confidential information, and violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim was won with the use of computer forensic evidence showing the defendant’s access to the plaintiff’s computer system after his access rights were terminated. 
  • CC&G successfully defended a client in the computer hardware repair business against claims by a computer equipment manufacturer that, among other things, in developing software tools to diagnose equipment errors, the repair business misappropriated the manufacturer’s trade secrets.