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M. Craig Tyler

M. Craig Tyler Partner, Intellectual Property

Craig has significant experience in complex intellectual property litigation involving complicated technology in a variety of industries. Craig focuses on litigating and trying trade secret and patent infringement/validity matters for clients in the LED, LCD, software, Internet, telecommunications, medical device, pharmaceutical, gaming, e-learning, semiconductor, VoIP, computer-associated hardware, and oil and gas industries. In his 20-year career, he has litigated more than 160 technical cases involving claims of trade secret misappropriation and/or patent infringement cases, including eleven trials, in state and federal courts in Texas, Delaware, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, Kansas, Utah, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oregon, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Nevada.

Craig also provides guidance, counseling, and coordination of IP (patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret) enforcement and defense efforts throughout the world. Specifically, he has assisted clients with patent-related issues in Japan, Taiwan, China, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, France, Australia, and Canada. Through this work, Craig has developed a global network of trusted patent prosecutors and IP litigators, and these relationships enable him to counsel clients regarding patent enforcement issues outside the United States.

Craig has extensive experience in related technical litigation matters, such as breach of contract, trademark infringement, Lanham Act, copyright infringement, enforceability of covenants not to compete, and unfair competition claims. He has in-depth experience and training in ex parte/emergency proceedings for temporary and preliminary injunctions involving trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, and patent infringement claims in both federal and state courts in Texas and other states.

An accomplished appellate lawyer, Craig has experience before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a member of the appellate bars of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

In addition to his courtroom litigation experience, Craig has significant experience in AAA and JAMS arbitration proceedings. He has prosecuted patent and trademark applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, negotiated complex software and patent license agreements, drafted employment agreements concerning ownership of intellectual property, and counseled clients regarding the ownership, development, and protection of their intellectual property.

Experience Highlights

Patent Litigation

  • (E.D. Tex.) — Defended Google in a patent case asserted by non-practicing entity (NPE) eContact; handled the claim construction hearing that resulted in the court ruling that the asserted patent was invalid for indefiniteness on several terms
  • (W.D. Tex.) — Defended Planview, which had been accused of infringing four software-related patents that were owned by Versata (f/k/a Trilogy); quickly identified Planview's own prior art software products and assembled working demonstrations of prior art that would be powerful at trial; based on this quickly assembled prior art, Planview secured a favorable settlement within months of the case being filed, saving Planview millions in attorneys' fees and costs necessary to take the case to trial
  • (ITC); (D.Del.) — Lead trial counsel in a multi-national patent litigation between Sharp and AU Optronics; after Sharp initiated the patent litigation by asserting seven patents against AU Optronics in the ITC and Delaware, identified over 12 patents for AU Optronics to counter-assert in the ITC, multiple United States district courts, China, and Taiwan; shortly after AU Optronics counter-asserted its patents in the United States, the parties settled the dispute with a global patent license agreement
  • (E.D. Tex.) — Lead trial counsel for Dell in a jury trial before Judge Davis in Marshall, Texas, involving multi-display systems for computers; identified a Dell patent to assert as an infringement counterclaim against plaintiff Mass Engineering, and won a trial verdict against the plaintiff for infringing Dell's patent while at the same time convincing the jury to reject the plaintiffs' $64 million damage claim in awarding the plaintiffs only $500,000 against Dell
  • (D. Del.) — Represented plaintiff AU Optronics in accusing defendant LG Philips LCD of infringing eight of AU Optronics' patents relating to LCDs; the case was tried before Judge Farnan, and AU Optronics won a complete victory—all of AU Optronics's asserted patents were found to be valid and infringed by LG Philips LCD
  • (E.D. Tex.) — Represented defendants Learn.Com, Certpoint Systems, Meridian Knowledge Solutions, NetDimensions Ltd, ND Services Inc., emTRAIN, HRsmart, and Perot Systems Corp. in this matter, and presented and negotiated a novel global settlement arrangement with the plaintiff that settled the case against all defendants very early in the litigation, before the defendants had spent any defense fees regarding the litigation itself
  • (E.D. Tex.) — Defended Sierra Monitor and ASI against infringement claims from patent-holding company Fluid Dynamics regarding its patents covering HVAC technology; after moving for dismissal on venue grounds and early negotiations involving prior art, the case was voluntarily dismissed against both defendants by Fluid Dynamics
  • (E.D. Tex.) — Represented defendant BenQ Corporation, which had been accused of infringing patents involving DVD/CD disc discrimination technology, after BenQ had been hit with multiple discovery sanctions; after taking over the representation, BenQ defeated additional motions for sanctions by the plaintiff, patent-holding company Laserdynamics; the case settled during jury trial before Judge Ward
  • (D. Del.) — Represented defendant Palm against infringement claims from patent-holding company Peer-to-Peer Systems regarding its patents covering wireless multiplayer gaming applications; after a successful Markman and partial summary judgment ruling, the case settled at trial

TRO/Preliminary Injunctions

  • (W.D. Tex.) — Defending Shipstation, which is accused by Endicia of misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and other related claims; Endicia sought a TRO, and upon only a few days' notice, we were able to defeat the application for TRO; after expedited discovery, Endicia sought a preliminary injunction through a two-day evidentiary hearing before Judge Yeakel; the court denied entirely the preliminary injunction sought by Endicia, ruling in favor of Shipstation on all four relevant PI factors (i.e., likelihood of success on the merits, irreparable harm, balance of harms, and public interest)

Trade Secrets

  • (W.D. Tex.) — Defending Mitek, which is accused by USAA of using and disclosing trade secrets by allegedly incorporating those trade secrets into Mitek's patent applications; secured an early victory from the court by requiring USAA to describe in detail their alleged trade secrets prior to discovery; while other states have adopted this preliminary disclosure requirement for trade secret claims, Texas had not required such detailed disclosure; this was the first court in Texas to do so, based on the briefing we provided
  • (Minn. Dist. – Hennepin Cnty) — Represented defendant Renew Data and individual employees accused of misappropriating trade secrets and applying for patents that allegedly were owned by Kroll Ontrack, which was the prior employer of the founders of Renew Data; the case settled at trial after a successful deposition of the plaintiff's experts and key admissions that alleged trade secrets were known in the public domain
  • (W.D. Tex.) — Represented individuals and their employer in trade secret claims by Veridian (the former employer of the individual defendants) that software was taken by the individual defendants and used at their current employer; the case settled after Veridian's motion for preliminary injunction was defeated
  • (E.D. Tex.) — Represented Cisco against trade secret claims involving optical cross connect technology for which Alcatel sought over $500 million in damages; defeated all claims on summary judgment just before trial, wherein the court ruled that Alcatel possessed no protectable trade secrets and also that it failed to set forth an appropriate damages claim

Commercial Litigation

  • (E.D. Tex.) — Represented Tekelec in a case in which Tekelec pursued breach of a license agreement; won summary judgment of breach of contract at the district court level; the case was appealed to the Fifth Circuit; which fully affirmed the Eastern District of Texas court's grant of summary judgment in Tekelec's favour; Tekelec was also awarded its attorneys' fees and costs for both the trial court and Fifth Circuit appeal
  • (Mich. Cir. – Wayne Cnty.) — Represented all defendants against claims of breach of fiduciary duties, constructive trust, and many other business tort claims made by former partners of the founder of Active Power; the case settled at trial
  • (Tex. Dist. – Hidalgo Cnty.) — Lead trial counsel for telecommunications-equipment-provider Navini Networks against RioPlex's claims of breach of contract, deceptive trade practices, fraud, and other claims regarding Navini's sale, installation, deployment, and provisioning of telecommunications equipment; after successful depositions of the owner and key witnesses of the plaintiffs, the case settled at trial

Arbitrations

  • (JAMS Arbitration) – Represented game developer Bungie against severance and employment claims.  Brought successful counterclaims for copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation leading to favorable split award
  • (AAA Arbitration) — Represented software developer Motive, Inc., in claims of breach of a software development agreement, as well as related business tort claims; the case settled during final arbitration hearing
  • (AAA Arbitration) — Represented telecommunications-equipment-provider Navini Networks in an international arbitration against Chinese telecommunications provider Beijing Xinwei; the case settled shortly before the arbitration hearing

Case Citations

  • Eidos v. AU Optronics, et al.
  • eContact v. Google, et al.
  • Versata v. Planview 
  • Sharp v. AU Optronics 
  • Mass Engineering v. Dell, Inc., et al.
  • AU Optronics v. LG Philips LCD
  • IpLearn, LLC v. Learn.Com, Certpoint Systems, Meridian Knowledge Solutions, NetDimensions Ltd, ND Services Inc., emTRAIN, HRsmart, and Perot Systems Corp. 
  • Fluid Dynamics v. Sierra Monitor, ASI, et al.
  • Laserdynamics v. BenQ Corporation 
  • Peer-to-Peer Systems v. Palm
  • Endicia v. Auctane d/b/a Shipstation
  • USAA v. Mitek
  • Kroll Ontrack v. Renew Data, et al.
  • Veridian Information Solutions, Inc. v. Joel R. Swartz, et al.
  • Alcatel v. Cisco
  • Tekelec v. Verint
  • Magnex Corp, et al. v. Active Power, et al.
  • Rioplex, et al., v. Navini Networks
  • UPS v. Motive, Inc.
  • Navini Networks v. Beijing Xinwei

Contact Details

Austin

T +1.512.542.8440
F +1.512.236.3256
ctyler@velaw.com
2801 Via Fortuna
Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746-7568
Local time: 3:03 PM
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Craig's Practices

  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1992
  • Admitted to practice: Texas; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers, 2008−2012, 2014−2017
  • Legal 500 U.S., Venture Capital and Emerging Companies, 2017
  • Member: Austin Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Member: American Intellectual Property Bar
  • Association Member: Federal Bar Association – Austin Chapter
  • Member: Travis County Bar Association