Brian E. Ferguson is Co-Head of Weil’s nationwide Patent Litigation practice and is recognized among the leading patent lawyers in the United States. Brian has more than 25 years of experience representing innovator companies, such as BASF, General Electric, Nuance Communications, and Under Armour, before all of the major patent law venues in high-stakes IP disputes involving an array of technologies.
Brian represents clients in all phases of patent infringement and validity disputes before U.S. district courts, Section 337 investigations before the International Trade Commission (ITC), and adversarial matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Appeal Board (PTAB), which includes successfully representing clients in more than 70 inter partes review proceedings. He also has substantial experience litigating patent-related appellate proceedings, including dozens of appeals before the Federal Circuit. Additionally, Brian has a broad range of first-chair trial and pre-trial experience in both U.S. district courts and at the ITC. In addition to his patent work, Brian has experience handling other intellectual property disputes, including trade secret, trademark, and copyright litigations.
Brian has a degree in electrical engineering and is regularly called upon to litigate cases involving sophisticated technologies, including analog and digital integrated circuit designs, computer source code and software design, wearable fitness technology, semiconductor processes, medical technology such as heart valve and annuloplasty devices and surgical stapler systems, airplane engine design, Internet technology, the Internet of Things, telecommunications hardware and software, digital printing technology, digital cameras, predictive text, and speech recognition technology. He also has handled numerous matters in the chemical space, including batteries and herbicides.
Brian is regularly recognized by international business and industry publications as a leader in patent law. In 2008, he was named one of the “Top 50 Under 45” IP practitioners in the U.S. by IP Law & Business. Since 2013, he has been recognized as both a "Patent Star" in Washington, D.C. by Managing Intellectual Property's IP Stars, and as a recommended lawyer nationwide by Legal 500, including in the areas of patent litigation and ITC proceedings. Since 2012, he has been named among the World’s Leading Patent Practitioners by the IAM Patent 1000, which recently called him a “veteran enforcer and protector for some of the world’s major technology companies,” and noted that he is a “master tactician” who “calls the right play at every stage of a case, whatever the forum.” In 2012, he was recognized as a “BTI Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting Group. He also has been repeatedly recognized by The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.
Some of his recent experience includes:
- Serving as lead counsel to one of the world’s top technology companies in connection with important patent disputes in courts around the United States, including:
- District court litigation, inter partes review proceedings before the PTAB, and a Federal Circuit appeal in a dispute relating to remote display technology. The PTAB invalidated the challenged claims after oral argument, and the Federal Circuit later affirmed the Board’s invalidity finding.
- An ITC Section 337 investigation, district court litigation, and a Federal Circuit appeal in a series of disputes relating to certain Internet of Things (IOT) devices.
- An ITC Section 337 investigation and district court litigation involving radio frequency chipsets.
- District court litigation in a dispute relating to error-protection coding used in cellular service protocols.
- District court litigation involving five patents relating to battery monitoring technology.
- District court litigation involving a patent directed to radio frequency brought by Motorola involving claims of infringement of more than 40 patents and including cutting-edge issues such as FRAND licensing rates, injunctive relief, and the role of experts in calculating damages.
- Multiple district court and ITC actions brought by Eastman Kodak Company regarding digital camera technology.
- Defending American International Group, Inc. in a trademark infringement lawsuit asserting damages worth in excess of $1 billion.
- Representing BASF in a declaratory judgment district court proceeding brought by a competitor involving herbicide technology.
- Representing Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson’s medical device division, in co-pending inter partes review and ITC proceedings adverse to a competitor relating to surgical stapling technology.
- Representing FLIR Systems and its subsidiary, Raymarine, in district court and inter partes review proceedings brought by Garmin involving navigation systems for recreational boating.
- Serving as lead counsel to General Electric and a number of its principal divisions in significant patent disputes, including:
- Representing General Electric Aviation in dozens of inter partes review proceedings before the PTAB involving turbine engines used in airliners, as well as numerous appeals before the Federal Circuit, as part of GE’s competition with Pratt & Whitney to deliver next-generation jet engines. GE has successfully challenged claims in over 20 patents as part of its IPR filings, and the Federal Circuit has found in GE’s favor in several appeals commenced by Pratt & Whitney.
- Representing GE Renewables as co-lead counsel in district court litigation and inter partes review proceedings adverse to a competitor, Vestas Wind Systems, relating to wind turbine technology.
- Defending General Electric Healthcare against a preliminary injunction action brought by Hill-Rom over hand-hygiene monitoring systems for hospitals. The court denied the preliminary injunction motion.
- Representing Nuance Communications in multi-front district court litigation and inter partes review proceedings adverse to a competitor, M*Modal, related to speech recognition, computer-assisted physician documentation and transcription technology.
- Representing Under Armour in a district court litigation brought by adidas AG accusing Under Armour and its subsidiary of infringing 13 patents related to wearable technology and mobile fitness applications.
Some of Brian’s other notable experience includes:
- Successfully arguing before an en banc panel of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in which the Federal Circuit changed the standard for proving willful infringement and clarified the scope of attorney-client privilege waiver in patent cases.
- Successfully arguing an appeal before the Federal Circuit in a case of first impression concerning the statutory construction of 35 U.S.C. § 119.
- Serving as lead counsel for National Semiconductor Corporation in an ITC Section 337 investigation involving semiconductor processing technology.
- Serving as lead counsel for American International Group, Inc. and 17 subsidiaries in a patent case involving interactive voice processing technology.
- Serving as lead counsel for Nuance Communications in an ITC Section 337 investigation involving soft keyboard input technology. The investigation was terminated after the respondent agreed to redesign the keyboards accused of infringement.
Brian is a respected thought-leader in the technology sector and in academia. For several years, he taught a course on patent litigation as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law. He also regularly authors articles on patent litigation and technology topics, including the “Discovery and Privilege” chapter in the book Patent Litigation (PLI Press). Brian is a member of the Federal Circuit Bar Association and the PTAB Bar Association. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Give an Hour, a non-profit organization devoted to providing mental health services to U.S. veterans and their families.