Steve is an experienced and skilled IP litigator. He has been involved in more than 100 IP cases, and has served as lead counsel before both trial and appellate courts. He has appeared frequently before the Northern District of Georgia, and has appeared in District and Appellate Courts in the Fourth Circuit, the Fifth Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit. Steve has appeared in the Eastern District of Texas, the Eastern District of Virginia and other jurisdictions recognized for IP cases. He has obtained and defended temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, presented Markman hearings, and briefed and argued summary judgment motions. Steve has also represented clients before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, having been involved in dozens of oppositions. Steve served as lead counsel for the Applicant in the largest contested registration proceeding ever litigated before the TTAB and the Federal Circuit. Steve has also appeared repeatedly before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.
Steve has most recently represented the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in a copyright case involving issues of electronic reserves and fair use in the non-profit educational context in the Northern District of Georgia (Cambridge University Press et al v Patton et al). Among his other notable cases are:
- ChemFree Corporation v. J Walter, Inc - represented Defendant J. Walter in patent infringement action involving bioremediating parts washers, successfully invalidated all claims of four asserted patents (case under appeal);
- Millennium Media Productions v. Aaron Rents, Inc. - represented Defendant Aaron Rents in copyright infringement action involving copyright in music used in commercial advertisements;
- Bayer Health Care LLC v. Merial LLC - represented Defendant Merial in false advertising case and successfully defeated motion for temporary restraining order;
- Glock v. Smith & Wesson – awarded a permanent injunction and negotiated a multi-million dollar settlement for patent and trade dress infringement;
- BellSouth v. Supra – awarded a preliminary and permanent injunction against trademark infringement and false advertising;
- BellSouth v. Access Integrated – awarded a permanent injunction and achieved a multi-million dollar settlement for false advertising and unfair business practices;
- Tommy Hilfiger v. Goody's – awarded a permanent injunction, damages ($9,000,000) and attorneys fees in a counterfeiting case;
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center v. Scidera, Inc. – represented defendant in patent infringement case that settled after extensive discovery and Markman hearing; and
- 1-800-Adept, Inc. v. Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company, et al. – represented logistics/delivery company in Eastern District of Texas in patent infringement case.
Steve has also partnered with clients to manage significant intellectual property portfolios on a national and international basis. This aspect of his practice includes setting and achieving both strategic and practical goals for asserting and defending IP rights as they apply to individual matters, a series of related actions or an overall IP ownership position. Steve has helped manage the trademark portfolios of a Fortune 100 transportation and delivery services company and a Fortune 100 telecommunications company. He also has helped manage the patent portfolio of a major supplier of heat exchange equipment.
Steve has been repeatedly named to The Best Lawyers in America (2004- , Intellectual Property Law) and as a Georgia "Super Lawyer" (2004- , Intellectual Property Litigation), most recently in 2014. In addition, he is ranked by Chambers USA (Intellectual Property, Georgia, 2009- ) and was recommended in the Legal 500 (for strategic portfolio work).
Steve previously served as adjunct faculty at the University of Georgia School of Law, where he taught patent law for more than 12 years. He currently serves as adjunct faculty at Emory University School of Law. He has been involved in various civic organizations, including the Northside Youth Organization ("NYO"), Georgia Tech Athletic Association, Bobby Dodd Institute, American Junior Golf Association, EverybodyWins Atlanta, VOX Teen Communications and Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.
Positions, Memberships and Affiliations
- International Trademark Association (INTA), Enforcement Committee
- Adjunct Faculty, University of Georgia Law School (1989-2001)
- Adjunct Faculty, Emory University Law School (2010-Present )
- Honorable Joseph Gaines, Superior Court Judge for Clarke County, Georgia.
- King & Spalding
- Kilpatrick Stockton, former Chair, Trademark & Copyright Team
- Jones & Askew