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Keith R. Hummel is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department. He has extensive experience litigating complex intellectual property matters and other legal disputes, both for plaintiffs and defendants.
Mr. Hummel handles cases for clients in diverse fields, including telecommunications, medical devices, computer hardware and software, food additives, luxury flooring products, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. He frequently advises clients on national and worldwide intellectual property strategy, and is frequently asked to lead efforts to identify IP assets that can be effectively used for offensive or defensive purposes.
Currently, Mr. Hummel is representing Qualcomm in a patent infringement action relating to downconversion of RF signals to baseband in wireless communication devices. Mr. Hummel coordinates and manages worldwide patent litigation for stent manufacturers OrbusNeich and Medinol Ltd., including cases currently active in Europe. Mr. Hummel is also representing IBM in cases in which South African nationals are attempting to hold IBM accountable for apartheid under the Alien Tort Statute. Recently, Mr. Hummel successfully resolved a patent and unfair competition case involving food additives on behalf of International Flavors & Fragrances and a patent case involving Qualcomm’s mobile fleet tracking systems. He also successfully represented INEOS as plaintiff in a trade secrets case concerning a revolutionary process for creating biofuels.
In the past, Mr. Hummel represented Medinol in a case alleging that Guidant Corporation was infringing Medinol’s stent design patents. Mr. Hummel obtained summary judgment that Guidant’s popular coronary stents infringed 10 claims. Mr. Hummel was lead counsel in the subsequent jury trial on validity. Just before the jury’s verdict was to be read, Guidant settled on monetary terms that are confidential.
Mr. Hummel tried a breach of contract case for Medinol against Boston Scientific Corporation. BSC settled after seven weeks of trial, paying Medinol $750 million and surrendering its 20% stake in Medinol. The settlement preserved Medinol’s right to arbitrate patent infringement claims against future BSC stents. Mr. Hummel has represented Medinol as lead counsel in those private arbitrations.
Mr. Hummel was lead counsel for IBM in an action brought by Compression Labs asserting that the JPEG still image compression standard infringed one of its patents. The case settled on favorable terms after the court ruled that the patent was limited to video compression.
Mr. Hummel has handled numerous other significant intellectual property and commercial matters, including:
• Successfully represented Qualcomm in a trade secret matter involving misappropriation of Qualcomm’s proprietary and confidential source code.
• Successfully represented IBM against claims that IBM’s methods of manufacturing integrated circuits infringed patents held by Plasma Physics Corporation.
• Successfully represented Metroflor Corp. in a suit alleging infringement of patents on a novel floor plank system.
• Successfully represented Qualcomm in patent infringement litigation against Broadcom involving wireless telecommunications technology.
• Successfully represented GlaxoSmithKline in its infringement case against Barr’s generic form of Avodart®.
• Obtained a summary judgment dismissing claims brought by Commercial Data Servers alleging that IBM had monopolized alleged markets for computer hardware, and granting IBM’s counterclaim for copyright infringement.
• Played a principal role in obtaining, on the eve of trial, summary judgment in a billion-dollar class action securities case against IBM.
• Successfully represented Morgan Guaranty against fraud claims brought by Korean institutions in connection with the structuring of total return swap transactions involving foreign currencies.
• Acted as a principal member of the team that successfully represented Salomon Brothers in connection with several class action cases related to the treasury bond market.
Mr. Hummel also has extensive experience in handling matters under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). He successfully represented IBM in connection with a joint DOJ/SEC probe into alleged bribery of Argentine government officials.
Mr. Hummel joined Cravath in 1990 and became a partner in 1998.
Mr. Hummel co-authored the Intellectual Property Law Answer Book 2011-12, published by the Practising Law Institute.
For the past five years, Mr. Hummel has been cited as one of the country’s leading practitioners in the intellectual property arena by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He was also recognized as a leading intellectual property lawyer by Chambers Global in 2013. Benchmark Litigation named him a “National Star” in general commercial litigation from 2010 through 2012 and in intellectual property litigation in 2010, 2012 and 2013. From 2010 through 2012, The Legal 500 recommended Mr. Hummel for his patent work, and in 2012, for his trade secrets work. Mr. Hummel has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and IAM Patent for his patent work. In 2011, he and his colleagues earned the Firm distinction as “Law Firm of the Year” in intellectual property litigation in the U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers survey of the best law firms in the United States. The publication also ranked Cravath in the highest tier for patent litigation and intellectual property litigation from 2011 through 2013.
Mr. Hummel received a B.A. in Economics and English from the University of Notre Dame in 1987. Mr. Hummel graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1990, where he was the Senior Notes and Comments Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal and elected to the Order of the Coif. He currently serves on the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University Law Center.