William Woodford is an innovative trial lawyer who specializes in high-stakes patent cases. He has led numerous trials, hearings, and appeals in cases involving a broad range of cutting-edge technologies in the physical, engineering, and life sciences. Mr. Woodford is known for his ability to break down complex legal theories and technologies in a clear, compelling way for judges and juries.
Most recently, Mr. Woodford obtained a $31.2 million jury verdict as lead trial counsel in a patent infringement case involving tire pressure monitoring systems. He was also a member of the trial team that obtained a $235 million jury verdict for infringement of a patent involving methods of treating heart failure patients. Mr. Woodford has also been recognized for his appellate work on behalf of his client, Halo Electronics. After obtaining a willful infringement verdict and a permanent injunction, he led Halo’s appeal to the Supreme Court and set a new standard for enhanced damages in patent cases.
In addition to his courtroom success, Mr. Woodford is a leader in creative fee arrangements and strategies that minimize the overall cost of litigation. He co-founded Fish’s alternative fee group and has been a trusted leader in this practice for over 15 years. Mr. Woodford is known for quickly identifying the core issues in a case and then building a strategy focused on resolving those issues favorably and efficiently. His client-centric approach maximizes resources and often generates positive outcomes short of trial.
Mr. Woodford has clients around the world, including academic and research institutions throughout the United States and Europe. In addition to litigation, he also advises clients on inter partes reviews (IPRs), patent licensing, patent portfolio management, and effective patenting strategies for commercialization.
Mr. Woodford has been named Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer and received the “Case of the Year” award from Managing Intellectual Property. He has also served as an elected member of the Fish’s finance committee for nearly a decade.
Patent Litigation (Representing Plaintiffs)
Wasica Finance GMBH v. Schrader Int’l et al. (D. Del.) – Lead trial counsel for Wasica in a patent case involving tire pressure monitoring systems. A jury found Schrader liable for both induced and contributory infringement, and awarded Wasica $31.2 million in damages. Successfully obtained summary judgment of IPR estoppel on invalidity grounds based on a physical product, which was the first ruling of its kind.
GlaxoSmithKline v. Teva Pharmaceuticals (D. Del.) – Trial counsel for GlaxoSmithKline in a patent case involving methods of treating heart failure patients with carvedilol. In June 2017, a jury found Teva liable for willful infringement, found GSK’s patent valid, and awarded $235 million in damages.
Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics (D. Nev.) – Co-lead trial counsel for Halo Electronics, a small family business, in a long-running patent case involving packages for surface-mount transformers. A jury found Pulse liable for willful infringement on three Halo patents, confirmed the patents’ validity, and awarded damages. The court later awarded Halo a permanent injunction against Pulse. Lead appellate counsel for Halo at the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the jury verdict of liability but set aside the willful infringement finding, reported at 769 F.3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2014). Subsequently convinced the Supreme Court to vacate the Federal Circuit’s treatment of willfulness and set a new standard for enhanced damages in patent cases, reported at 136 S. Ct. 1923 (2016).
University of Minnesota v. AT&T Mobility et al. (D. Minn.) — Representing the University of Minnesota against Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile for the alleged infringement of five patents that cover systems and methods that improve the reliability and speed of cellular communications.
MIT & Repligen Corp. v. ImClone Systems (D. Mass.) – Counsel for plaintiffs against ImClone Systems in patent case relating to the use of cellular enhancers to increase protein expression in cells. Obtained a $65 million settlement for MIT on the eve of trial.
Netcraft Corp. v. AT&T Mobility et al. (D. Del.) – Co-lead counsel for Netcraft in a patent case involving third-party payment systems. Successfully settled the case with all defendants after arguing and obtaining favorable claim construction and pre-trial rulings. The resulting licenses totaled nearly $40 million.
NUtech Ventures (University of Nebraska) v. Syngenta Seeds et al. (D. Neb., J. Smith Camp) – Lead counsel for NUtech in a patent case involving bio-engineered corn used in the production of ethanol. Obtained favorable claim construction rulings on all disputed terms and successfully settled the case.
Patent Litigation (Representing Defendants)
Bel Fuse, Inc. v. Halo Electronics, Inc. (D. N.J.) – Lead trial counsel for defendant Halo Electronics in a patent case involving Ethernet connectors. After an invalidity trial that resulted in a hung jury, Halo obtained a favorable cross-license for its patents in a co-pending case.
Hyperphrase Technologies v. Google, Inc. (W.D. Wis.) – Counsel for Google in a patent case involving multiple patents relating to data storage and retrieval systems. Obtained a summary judgment of non-infringement that was later affirmed by the Federal Circuit.
Amazin’ Raisins Int’l v. Ocean Spray Cranberries (D. Mass.) – Co-lead counsel for defendant Ocean Spray in a patent infringement action involving a method of making food products. Obtained summary judgment of non-infringement that was later affirmed by the Federal Circuit.
Tektronix v. LeCroy Corp. (D. Oregon) – Counsel for LeCroy in a multiple patent case involving hardware and software for digital oscilloscopes. Responsible for summary judgment of non-infringement on Tektronix’s key patent that resulted in a favorable settlement for LeCroy.
Bruno Independent Living Aids v. Acorn Mobility and Acorn Stairlifts (W.D. Wis.) – Counsel for Acorn Mobility in a patent infringement case involving mobility equipment. Obtained summary judgment of invalidity and inequitable conduct. The court also declared the case “exceptional,” and awarded $400,000 in attorney fees to Acorn. The Federal Circuit later affirmed the inequitable conduct finding and fee award.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Obtained numerous licenses to patent portfolios covering nucleic acids, proteins, polypeptides, and antibodies used to develop ALK and JAK inhibitors.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Obtained more than a dozen licenses on a patent portfolio covering PGC-1 nucleic acid, protein and antibody compositions, as well as methods for detecting PGC-1 in biological samples.
Named to “The Best Lawyers in America” list by The Best Lawyers in America© (2021)
Named in Law360, “Law360‘s Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs” (February 20, 2020)
Case of the Year, Managing Intellectual Property (2017)
Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer (2016)
Minnesota Super Lawyer (2014-2015)
Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2012-2013)
Minnesota Lawyer “Up & Coming Lawyer” (2012)
- IP Licensing, Transactions, and Agreements
- Patent Portfolio Management
- Patent Litigation
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School (2002)
B.S., Electrical Engineering, Marquette University (1998)
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- Supreme Court of the United States
February 18, 2020
Fish & Richardson Wins Over $31 Million for Wasica and BlueArc in Long-Running Patent Dispute
July 29th, 2019
AUTM 2019 Central Region Meeting
July 9th, 2018 | 8:00 am CDT
Association of University Technology Managers 2018 Central Region Meeting
July 10th, 2017 | 7:30 am CDT
Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) 2017 Central Region Meeting
March 29, 2017
Fish & Richardson Wins “Case of the Year” Award and “U.S. Specialty IP Firm of the Year” Award by Managing Intellectual Property
February 16th, 2017 | 5:00 pm CST
Minnesota Lawyer Attorneys of the Year
June 14, 2016
Enhanced Damages in Patent Cases to Depend on All Relevant Circumstances for "Egregious" Behavior
Authors: William R. Woodford, John A. Dragseth
June 13, 2016
Fish & Richardson Wins Major U.S. Supreme Court Victory for Halo Electronics in Patent Suit Over Enhanced Damages
July 20th, 2015 | 8:00 am CDT
AUTM 2015 Central Region Meeting
March 24, 2015
Five Ways Your Lawyers Can Save You Money in Litigation
Author: William R. Woodford
March 3, 2015
An Overview of the STRONG Patents Act Recently Introduced in the Senate
Author: William R. Woodford
February 23, 2015
The Innovation Act's Joinder Provision Will Impact Universities and Start-Ups Far More than Companies that Back "Troll" Suits
Author: William R. Woodford