Jeffrey T. Thomas, a partner in the Orange County office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, joined the firm in 1983. A member of the firm's Litigation Department, a co-chair of its firm-wide Litigation Practice Group and a member of the IP and Antitrust Practice Groups, Mr. Thomas has extensive experience in antitrust, patent, unfair competition and general commercial litigation. He is currently a member of the firm's Executive Committee.
Mr. Thomas has handled numerous significant intellectual property cases. He has represented major clients of the firm in patent and trade secret litigation, including trials that resulted in verdicts in favor of the firm's clients. He is a co-author of Ross, Intellectual Property Law, Damages and Remedies (Law Journal Press, 2000). Mr. Thomas has also successfully represented clients of the firm in antitrust, breach of contract and business tort cases.
Mr. Thomas received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of California at San Diego in 1979. He graduated magna cum laude in 1982 with a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, where he served as Comments Editor of the San Diego Law Review. Prior to joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Mr. Thomas served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gerald Brown, Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, from 1982 to 1983.
Mr. Thomas was the 2007-08 President of the University of San Diego School of Law Alumni Board of Directors and previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Business Council. He is a member of the California and Orange County Bar Associations, and is admitted to practice in several federal district courts and circuits, including the Federal Circuit.
Mr. Thomas was named to The Daily Journal’s 2010 75 Leading IP Litigators. He was selected by the southern California legal community for the 2009-2013 editions of The Best Lawyers in America® and was recently named one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County by Los Angeles Magazine.
The following is a representative sample of Mr. Thomas' cases.
- Allergan v Athena Cosmetics: In this action, Mr. Thomas represents a company asserting patent infringement and unfair competition claims against several companies who are competing with the plaintiff’s FDA approved product by selling products for which FDA approval has not been received and which allegedly infringe plaintiff’s patents. Following a Federal Circuit ruling establishing that Allergan does have standing to pursue its unfair competition claim against the defendants, the District Court entered summary judgment in Allergan’s favor against all defendants on that claim.
- Allergan v. Barr Laboratories: This was a Hatch-Waxman case in which the plaintiff (represented by Mr. Thomas) asserted that the defendant generic drug companies had infringed plaintiff’s patents by filing an abbreviated new drug application seeking FDA approval of a generic version of one of plaintiff’s pharmaceutical products. Following a one week trial in the District of Delaware, the Court ruled entirely in plaintiff’s favor, finding the patents at issue to be valid and infringed by defendants. As a result, the defendants will not be allowed to launch generic versions of the product in question until the pertinent patents expire.
- BHGV, LLC v. Inamed, Inc. and Allergan, Inc. Dispute over technology license agreement, including the amount of royalties due and whether the agreement had been terminated. Our client, the defendant, asserted the agreement had been terminated, while plaintiff asserted $30 million in royalties were due and payable. After a one-week arbitration, the arbitrator ruled in our client's favor, finding the client did have the right to terminate the agreement.
- Fleetwood Enterprises v. The Coleman Company. Dispute over whether our client, the plaintiff, had the right to preclude defendant from using certain trademarks licensed under an agreement between the parties. A one-week bench trial was held. While the matter was under submission following trial, a settlement was reached.
- McKesson Information Solutions, Inc. v. TriZetto, Inc. Patent infringement action in which our client was the accused infringer. Summary judgment of noninfringement was obtained for our client on 15 of the 17 asserted claims. A summary judgment motion based on invalidity was then filed as to the two remaining claims, at which point the plaintiff agreed to settle and grant our client a license.
- MacLeod v. Hewlett-Packard Co. Patent infringement action in which our client was the accused infringer. Action was settled on terms extremely favorable to the client.
- Allergan Medical Optics v. Staar Surgical Co. Patent infringement action in which the client was the patentee plaintiff. Successfully tried to a jury, which rendered a verdict in the client's favor.
- Callaway Golf Co. v. Dunlop Slazenger Group Americas, Inc., dba Maxfli. Trade secret misappropriation and false advertising case, successfully tried to a jury, which returned a verdict in the client's favor.
- Staar Surgical Company v. Microtech, Inc. Action involving ownership of a patent. Summary judgment granted in favor of the client and subsequently affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.
- American Bioscience v. Florida State University. Action involving infringement, validity and ownership of a patent. Following a bench trial, a judgment was entered in the client's favor, which was subsequently affirmed in part and reversed in part by the Federal Circuit.
- Allergan, Inc. v. Pharmacia. Patent infringement action in which the client was the plaintiff patentee. Action settled shortly before trial, pursuant to which defendant agreed to pay substantial royalties to the client.
- Allergan, Inc. v. Bausch & Lomb. Patent infringement action in which the client was the plaintiff patentee. Action was settled favorably for the client.
- Pharmacia v. Allergan, Inc. Patent infringement action in which the client was the defendant and alleged infringer. Action settled one day before trial, pursuant to which the client received a license to the patent-in-suit.
- OMNI Products, Inc. v. American Concrete Products Co. Patent infringement action in which the client was the plaintiff patentee. Settlement agreement reached, pursuant to which defendant agreed to pay royalties to the client.
- Lobob Laboratories, Inc. v. Allergan, Inc. Patent infringement action in which the client was the defendant and alleged infringer. Shortly before trial, plaintiff agreed to dismiss its claims.
- Perfect Putter Co. v. Callaway Golf Co. Patent and trade secrets action in which the client was the defendant. Action settled pursuant to an agreement under which the client acquired all rights to the patents-in-suit for a small fraction of the amount sought by plaintiff.
- In re LTL Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation: This was a multi-district antitrust action, in which plaintiffs asserted that defendants (one of whom was represented by Mr. Thomas) had conspired to fix certain charges in the cargo shipping industry. After extensive briefing and argument, the Court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss with prejudice, thus ending the litigation in favor of defendants.
- Northwest Airlines v. American Airlines. Monopolization case in which the plaintiff sought damages from our client in an amount in excess of $1 billion. The action was tried to a jury, which returned a defense verdict in the client's favor.
- Continental Airlines v. American Airlines. Predatory pricing case in which the plaintiff sought damages from the client in an amount in excess of $1 billion. Case was tried to a jury, which returned a defense verdict in favor of the client.
- Coatings Resources Corp. v. Akzo Coatings. Predatory pricing and unfair competition action in which the client was the defendant. The Court entered summary judgment in favor of the client, which was subsequently affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.
- In re Methionine Antitrust Litigation. Multidistrict class action and multiple "opt-out" direct purchaser actions involving alleged price-fixing and cartel behavior. Damages against the defendants sought in an amount in excess of $1 billion. Case was successfully mediated and settled.
- Clayworth, et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., et al. Cartwright Act case in which plaintiffs allege defendants, including the client, entered into anticompetitive agreements to maintain artificially high prices. Action is currently pending.
- Fairley v. Fleetwood Enterprises. Class action filed against the client, in which plaintiffs alleged that consumers were given misleading information about the client's products, including a claim under California Business & Professions Code Section 17200. Action was successfully mediated and settled.
- Coatings Resource Corp. v. Akzo Coatings. Action filed pursuant to California Business & Professions Code Section 17200, in which plaintiff alleged the client's pricing practices constituted unfair competition. Summary judgment was entered in the client's favor, and was subsequently affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.
- Bothwell, et al. v. Akorn, Inc., et al. Action filed under Business & Professions Code Section 17200, in which plaintiffs allege that the defendants' labeling was incomplete and inaccurate. Action is currently pending.
- Clayworth, et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., et al. Action filed under Business & Professions Code Section 17200, in which plaintiffs allege defendants engaged in unlawful and unfair trade practices by entering into agreements designed to artificially raise prices. Action is pending.
Other Business Litigation
- Hewlett Packard v. Oracle: HP, represented by Gibson Dunn, claimed that Oracle had breached a contract that required Oracle to continue offering its software to HP customers who are using HP servers and the Oracle software. Oracle claimed it had no such obligation, and publicly announced it would no longer make new versions of its software available to those HP customers. In addition to its breach of contract claim, HP also asserted that Oracle was obligated under the doctrine of promissory estoppel to continue to offer the software to the customers. After a three week bench trial, the California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara ruled entirely in HP’s favor, finding that the contract in question requires precisely what HP contended and ruling in HP’s favor on its promissory estoppel claim. Mr. Thomas served as first chair trial counsel for HP at the trial.
- Lewis Operating Co. v. Chino Valley Unified School District: This was a breach of contract case in which the plaintiff (represented by Mr. Thomas) asserted that the defendant had breached a contract by refusing to open a school that had been funded by plaintiff and which was intended to service plaintiff’s residential development. Following a two week arbitration trial, the arbitrator (the Hon. Lourdes Baird) ruled entirely in favor of plaintiff, granting all relief sought and awarding plaintiff 100% of the legal fees it incurred in connection with the action.
- Tracker Marine Co. v. Fleetwood Enterprises. Breach of contract and fraud action in which the client was defendant. Case was successfully tried, with judgment being entered in the client's favor.
- Security Trust Co. v. Union Federal Bank. Breach of contract action, in which plaintiff alleged the client had not honored the payment terms of the agreement. Case was successfully tried, with a judgment being entered in the client's favor.
- Marblehead v. City of San Clemente. Action in which the client challenged the constitutionality and legality of land use regulations adopted by the defendant City. Judgment was entered in the client's favor, which was subsequently affirmed by the California Court of Appeal in a published decision.
- Lloyd's of London v. American Sterling Co. Dispute involving coverage and premiums provided for by reinsurance agreements. Case was successfully tried, with a judgment being entered in the client's favor.
- Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Pro-Guard Int'l. Breach of contract and fraud action, which was tried to a jury. The jury returned a verdict that included partial judgment for both parties, and the action subsequently settled.
- Lewis Homes v. City of La Verne. Action in which the client challenged the legality of the defendant City's refusal to grant development entitlements. Action was successfully settled, pursuant to which the City granted the requested entitlements.
- Lewis Homes v. Fontana Unified School District. Action in which the client challenged the legality of certain school fees imposed by the defendant. Action was successfully settled when the defendant reduced the fees in question.
- Lockheed Martin Co. v. Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency. Action in which the client challenged the legality and constitutionality of actions taken by the defendant pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. Case was successfully settled pursuant to which the client's real property was purchased.
- John Laing Homes v. Donald T. Sterling. Breach of contract and fraud action. Case settled one day before trial, pursuant to which client received 100% of the amount demanded.