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Background

Michael T. Zoppo focuses his practice on the IP needs of financial services companies nationwide, whether that means taking a case to trial, developing an IP portfolio, or strategic counseling.

As a trial lawyer with first-chair experience and versed in a broad range of technologies, Michael frequently serves as lead counsel in high profile cases with millions of dollars at stake. Because cases between competitors often give rise to more than just patent claims, Michael has also litigated trade secret, Lanham Act, breach of contract, defamation, and fraud claims.

Michael has scored big wins for major financial institutions, including insurance companies, banks, and national exchanges. Some of his successes include:

  • Michael represented an options exchange facing over a billion dollars in alleged damages and led pre-trial proceedings that forced the patentee to consent to adverse judgment moments before opening statements. The Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment and the District Court awarded over six million dollars in attorneys’ fees to Michael’s client. The National Law Journal profiled this win in its selection of Fish & Richardson to its 2015 Intellectual Property Hot List.
  • In a case where an insurance company faced both patent and non-patent claims leading to a nine-figure damages model, Michael obtained complete summary judgment of non-infringement leading to an extremely favorable settlement of all claims against his client. When that same insurance company faced another allegation of patent infringement—this time with an eight-figure damages model—Michael was called on again to lead the defense, obtaining the invalidation of the asserted patent and affirmance by the Federal Circuit.

In addition to being a Principal in the litigation practice group, Michael is a registered patent lawyer and counsels startup companies to Fortune 100 companies regarding their intellectual property portfolios. He has been brought in to oversee the prosecution of key patent applications as well as to guide portfolio development and monetization. Utilizing his litigation and prosecution background, Michael has an active post-grant practice and has first-chaired multiple AIA trials.

Before focusing his practice on litigation and counseling, Michael spent several years prosecuting patent applications in technical disciplines such as power systems, chemistry, aircraft propulsion, and semiconductors. Prior to entering the legal field, Michael founded a startup that offered web-based auction services.

Michael lives in Cedar Grove, New Jersey with his wife and their twin sons.

Education

Rutgers School of Law - Newark 2004
J.D.
​Managing Editor, ​Rutgers Law Review


Stevens Institute of Technology 2001
Materials Engineering, B.E.
with honors (First in major)


Stevens Institute of Technology 2001
Philosophy, B.A.
with honors

Admissions

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Other Distinctions

Quoted in, “Patent Holders Tear Devices Down to Build Infringement Cases Up,” Bloomberg Law, April 3, 2018.

Quoted in, “Swelling Docket Pushing Delaware Judges to Transfer Patent Cases,” Bloomberg Law, September 20, 2017.

Quoted in, “Wall Street is Trying to Beat Silicon Valley at Its Own Game,” Bloomberg Businessweek, February 11, 2016.

Quoted in, “7 Ways To Survive an Alice Patent Challenge,” IP Law360, December 15, 2015.

Quoted in, “IP Boutiques Adjust to Client Use of Patent Office Reviews,” New York Law Journal, October 5, 2015

Interviewee, “Protecting IP Innovation in the Financial Services Sector,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Vol. 23 No. 3., March 2015.

Quoted in, “How They Won It: Fish Torpedoes $400M Patent Suit,” April 24, 2013.

Interviewee, “Fish & Richardson Scores Patent Victory with Motions in Limine,” IPWatchdog, April 8, 2013.

Selected presentations

Moderator, “PTAB Developments: Intersection of Post Grant and Litigation,” Summit on Protecting Innovations in the Financial Services Industry, July 24, 2019.

Moderator, “Embracing Change at the PTAB,” Summit on Protecting Innovations in the Financial Services Industry, July 25, 2018.

Moderator, “Apply Best Practices in Oral Arguments Before the PTAB,” Patents for Financial Services Summit, July 19, 2017.

Moderator, “Strategies that Effectively Prepare Your Case for a District Court Trial,” Patents for Financial Services Summit, July 20, 2016.

Selected publications

INSIGHT: Financial Services Patents Surviving Roller Coaster From 2014 High Court Decision, Bloomberg Law (June 6, 2019).

INSIGHT: Patents as Weapons in the Financial Services Industry—A New Era, Bloomberg Law (March 22, 2019).

Series: Defend Trade Secrets Act | Stopping Further Leaks: Protecting Trade Secrets While Litigating Misappropriation, Fish Litigation Blog (August 23, 2017).

What Patents Can Be Challenged in the Patent Office as “Covered Business Methods”?, Fish Litigation Blog (February 24, 2017).

Technological innovation in financial services,” Fish Litigation Blog (March 10, 2014).

eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C.: New Standard for Permanent Injunctions in Patent Cases,” with C. Sandhu, Bright Ideas, 15, 2 (Fall 2006).

Awards

Recognized in “The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners” by IAM Patent 1000 (2017-2019).

Selected by his peers as a Super Lawyers New York Rising Star from 2013-2018 for IP litigation, a recognition that less than three percent of the attorneys in New York receive.

Selected as a 2017 “Rising Star” by the New York Law Journal.

Experience

view all

“For a litigator in New York, look to Michael Zoppo, an experienced first-chair trial lawyer with a glittering track record representing insurance companies, banks and exchanges in commercially consequential patent duels.”
— 2019 IAM Patent 1000

“Michael Zoppo has been firing on all cylinders advocating for rights holders in the financial sector. He really understands how sophisticated and innovative financial services companies do business, which gives him an edge in many ways…”
— 2018 IAM Patent 1000

Fish’s “New York office is a vital resource pool in terms of staffing trial teams, but in Michael Zoppo it also has someone to fill a lead role.”
— 2017 IAM Patent 1000

What's trending with Michael

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News
June 20, 2019
Fish & Richardson Receives Top “Gold” Ranking from IAM Patent 1000 for National Patent Litigation Practice
Press Release
News
September 13, 2017
Fish & Richardson Principal Michael Zoppo Named a 2017 “Rising Star” by New York Law Journal
Press Release
Event
July 24th, 2019
Protecting Innovations in the Financial Services Industry
Speaking Engagement
Sponsorship
News
June 6, 2019
Michael Zoppo Authors Article in Bloomberg Law, “INSIGHT: Financial Services Patents Surviving Roller Coaster From 2014 High Court Decision”
Articles
News
October 4, 2018
Fish & Richardson Wins Federal Circuit Affirmance for USAA
Press Release
News
June 14, 2018
Fish Receives Top “Gold” Ranking from IAM Patent 1000 for National Patent Litigation Practice
Press Release
Event
July 25th, 2018
World Congress' 15th Annual Summit on Protecting Innovations in the Financial Services Industry
Speaking Engagement
Sponsorship
Fish Litigation Blog
February 24, 2017
What Patents Can Be Challenged in the Patent Office as “Covered Business Methods”?
Authors: Michael T. Zoppo, Thomas Rozylowicz
IP Litigation
News
February 17, 2017
Fish Files Amicus Brief in Support of Challenge to Immigration Executive Order
Press Release
Event
December 14th, 2016 | 10:00 am EST
Webinar | IP Perspectives - Comparative Review: US and China's Trade Secret Laws
Webinar
News
July 14, 2016
Fish & Richardson Wins Dismissal of Patent Infringement Case Against USAA Over Patent for Verifying Online Transactions
Press Release
News
April 4, 2016
Fish & Richardson Wins Over $6 Million in Attorneys’ Fees for Chicago Board Options Exchange in Multi-Year Patent Dispute With ISE
Press Release
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