Munger Tolles Litigators Win Key Patent Ruling for Applied Materials

Rohit Singla led a Munger, Tolles & Olson team of attorneys to victory when U.S. District Court judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled that a patent asserted against Munger Tolles client Applied Materials Inc. was unenforceable because of inequitable conduct before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Applied Materials, a semiconductor manufacturing company, sued MultiMetrixs, a Santa Clara-based technology firm, for declaratory judgment, claiming that Applied Materials had invented technology later patented by MultiMetrixs. After learning that MultiMetrixs had submitted documents to the patent office bearing forged signatures of an inventor who had died years before, Applied Materials obtained a ruling that MultiMetrixs had committed fraud on the patent office, rendering the disputed patent unenforceable. Munger Tolles went on to secure a $1.4 million attorney-fee judgment against MultiMetrixs and three of its individual principals, successfully defending the unenforceability ruling and fee award in an appeal to the Federal Circuit.