Mark E. Ferguson
Mark Ferguson is one of the six partners who left Kirkland & Ellis in 1993 to found Bartlit Beck. Mark has extensive trial and appellate experience in federal and state courts throughout the U.S., and has taken more than 30 significant matters to judgment, including jury trials, bench trials, arbitration and other proceedings. His work has included a wide range of subjects, ranging from complex computer hardware, software and semiconductor patents to financial and securities matters to products liability, business torts, housing discrimination and employment matters.
In addition to his client work, Mark has served as an adjunct faculty member in Northwestern University Law School's trial advocacy program, as well as for programs sponsored by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), the ABA National Institute, the Corporate Counsel Institute, and the American Management Association. He is a member of the Advisory Board of NYU Law School’s Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy and The Board of Advisors of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. He serves as an officer and Trustee of the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, and is Past President and a member of the Board of Directors of the Springboard Foundation.
Mark's practice has included significant work in the following areas, including the trials and other matters set forth below:
Patent, Trademark and Other Technical Litigation
Patent litigation and trial representation of clients including Hewlett-Packard, 3Com, United Technologies/Hamilton Sundstrand, Infineon Technologies, BISSELL Inc., StorageApps, Inc., Siemens, Miles, Inc., CMI Corporation, Navteq and United Parcel Service, as both plaintiffs and defendants; Lanham Act, trademark and trade dress litigation for clients including BISSELL Inc. and W.R. Grace & Co.; other technical litigation, including representation of ABB and its affiliates in disputes relating to performance of nuclear and conventional power generation systems.
Defense of class action, mass action and individual products liability and other claims for clients including Bayer MaterialScience, Bayer CropScience and NL Industries, Inc.
Complex Business and Commercial Litigation
Representation of clients including ABB, Inc., Dun & Bradstreet, Bessemer Securities, Hewlett-Packard and W.R. Grace & Co. in disputes arising out of corporate mergers, acquisitions and commercial transactions.
Accounting and Financial
Representation of Big Four accounting firms in securities and professional liability matters.
Defamation, Privacy and Business Torts
Representation of corporations and other organizations in defamation/privacy actions, including in jury trials and appeals; representation of numerous clients in business interference, fraud and deceptive trade practices cases.
Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Clients have included Hewlett-Packard, NCR Corporation, Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., Dart & Kraft, Inc., FMC Corp. and other companies. Matters have included litigation and counseling under the Sherman, Clayton and FTC Acts and state antitrust statutes.
Securities and Shareholder Actions
Clients have included W.R. Grace & Co., Motorola, Inc., Price Waterhouse, Katy Industries, First Chicago Corp., Gerrity Oil & Gas Co., Securities Settlement Corporation, and other corporations and individuals named as defendants in class-action, derivative and other shareholder suits under state and federal securities laws and RICO
Insurance Coverage Litigation
Environmental coverage litigation on behalf of NL Industries, Inc.
Banking and Lender Liability
Representation of clients including Bankers Trust and GMAC in matters relating to lender liability, fraud and other matters.
Franchise, Dealer and Distributor Disputes
Numerous matters for several clients, including Atari, Inc., Dean Foods (as Baskin-Robbins area franchisor) and W.R. Grace & Co.
Cases tried or otherwise taken to judgment
Network-1 v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (2017)
Mark was co-lead counsel for defendant Hewlett Packard Enterprise in a week-long patent jury trial involving Power over Ethernet technology. The case resulted in a defense verdict, in which all asserted claims of the patent were found not to be infringed, and were also found to be invalid. Following post-trial motions, the District Court upheld the non-infringement verdict but vacated the verdict of invalidity. An appeal is pending. (E.D. Tex.; Judge Schroeder).
Hewlett-Packard v. Oracle (2011-2016)
Working with lawyers from several other firms, Mark led the Bartlit Beck team representing Hewlett-Packard in litigation relating to Oracle’s 2011 decision to no longer develop new Oracle software products for HP’s Itanium processor-based line of mission critical servers. The first phase, a bench trial in 2012, resulted in a declaratory judgment in favor of our client HP and against Oracle on all matters before the court, and established a contractual obligation to continue developing software products for the Itanium line of servers. In the second phase, tried in 2016, the jury returned a $3 billion verdict in favor of our client HP and rejected Oracle’s counterclaims. (Superior Court for Santa Clara County, California; Judges Kleinberg and Kirwan).
In Re Genetically Modified Rice Litigation (2006-2010)
Mark represented Bayer CropScience as national lead counsel in multi-district litigation concerning unintended release of experimental genetically modified rice. During 2009-2010, he tried four 3-4 week jury trials in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (Judge Perry). The litigation was settled following a series of bellwether trials in federal and state court.
Krippelz v. Ford Motor Co. (2008)
Mark represented inventor Jacob Krippelz, Sr. in a patent infringement action against Ford Motor Co. involving automotive exterior mirror lighting systems. The two-week jury trial took place in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Zagel). The jury returned a verdict in our client's favor in the amount of $23 million, later enhanced to approximately $56 million after a finding of willful infringement and after including pre- and post-judgment interest. The judgment was reversed on appeal and judgment of invalidity entered in favor of Ford.
EMC Corp. v. Hewlett-Packard Co. (2004)
Mark represented Hewlett-Packard as defendant in a patent infringement action relating to storage area network technology. The three-week jury trial took place in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge Gorton). The trial resulted in a verdict against HP, and the case settled as part of a larger set of claims and counterclaims while on appeal.
Grand Eagle Companies, Inc. v. ABB, Inc., et al. (2001-2002)
Mark represented ABB and ABB T&D in contract and trade secret litigation relating to the parties’ industrial circuit breaker servicing businesses. The preliminary injunction trial took place in the Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Judge Corrigan). Our client prevailed in that trial and the case settled thereafter.
Combustion Engineering, Inc. and ABB, Inc. v. Imetal (2001)
Mark represented Combustion Engineering and ABB, Inc. as plaintiffs in litigation arising out of the sale and purchase of a refractory business. The case was decided by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judges Martin and Marrero). Summary judgment was granted in favor of our clients CE and ABB on an affirmative $30 million-plus contract claim. The initial judgment was affirmed in part and remanded in part on appeal, and the remainder of case was won on remand.
Avery Dennison v. The FLEXcon Company (2000)
Mark represented FLEXcon as defendant in patent litigation relating to multilayer film facestocks for labels, tapes and signs. The case was decided by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judges Andersen and Rosenbaum). Summary judgment of non-infringement was entered in our client FLEXcon's favor. The judgment was affirmed on appeal.
BISSELL Homecare, Inc. v. Oreck Corporation (1999)
Mark represented BISSELL as declaratory plaintiff and counter-defendant in a design patent and trade dress infringement case involving lightweight upright vacuum cleaners. The week-long preliminary injunction trial took place in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan (Grand Rapids) (Judge Bell). The plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction against our client was denied, and this ruling was upheld on appeal. The case settled thereafter.
Etak, Inc. v. Zexel Corporation v. Navigation Technologies Corporation (1997)
Mark represented Navigation Technologies Corporation (now NavTeq) as third-party defendant in a patent action relating to computerized in-vehicle navigation system hardware, software and display technology. The case was decided by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco) (Judge Conti). Summary judgment of non-infringement and/or invalidity was granted in favor of our client on 91 of 92 patent claims asserted. Plaintiff and defendant settled thereafter, eliminating all claims against NavTeq.
Maeser v. United Parcel Service, Inc. et al. (1997)
Mark represented UPS as defendant in a patent action relating to computerized scanning and data entry devices. The case was decided by the United States District Court for the District of Arizona (Phoenix) (Judge Broomfield). Summary judgment of both non-infringement and invalidity was entered in our client's favor on all asserted claims.s.
Ortho Diagnostics, Inc. v. Miles, Inc. (1994)
Mark represented Miles as defendant in a patent action concerning laser-optical flow cytometers (blood testing devices). The four-week jury trial took place in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge Conner). The trial resulted in a verdict in our client's favor, including a judgment of both non-infringement and invalidity for all patents in suit. This case was identified by The National Law Journal as one of the Top Defense Verdicts of 1994.
Bourke, et al. v. The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation (1998)
Mark represented Dun & Bradstreet in a case challenging a company-wide determination of performance bonuses following a spin-off reorganization. The case was decided in favor of Dun & Bradstreet by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Gettleman) and the judgment was affirmed on appeal.
Bobrowicz v. Lee Hecht Harrison (1997)
Mark represented national outplacement consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison as defendant in an action alleging that LHH improperly "steered" outplaced employees away from competitors of its client. The case was decided by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Plunkett), and was won on a dispositive motion, without appeal.
Whirlpool Financial Corp. v. W.R. Grace & Co. (1995)
Mark represented W.R. Grace as defendant in a securities fraud action relating to an acquisition financing transaction. The case was decided in favor of W.R. Grace by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Shadur) and the judgment was affirmed on appeal.
Patton v. Ohr Properties Management (1993)
Mark represented plaintiffs in a pro bono housing discrimination case. The week-long jury trial took place in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Holderman). Mark's client, the Patton family, prevailed and were awarded both compensatory and punitive damages.
Holefca, et al. v. Price Waterhouse (1993)
Mark represented Price Waterhouse in a securities fraud class action arising out of the failure of US Mutual Savings & Loan Association. The case was decided in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Judge Duggan). Partial summary judgment was entered in favor of Price Waterhouse, and class certification was denied. The case settled thereafter without exchange of monetary compensation.
West Indies Automotive v. GMAC (1992)
Mark represented GMAC in a $40 million lender liability case. The three-week jury trial took place in the United States District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands (St. Thomas)(Judge Farnan). The case was won below and the judgment was affirmed on appeal.
In re DBA Systems, Inc. Securities Litigation (1992)
Mark represented an outside director of DBA Systems in a securities fraud class action. The case was decided by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Judges Fawcett and Young). Mark obtained summary judgment in his client's favor dismissing most claims and the case settled thereafter.
Young v. Connecticut Mutual (1990-91)
Mark represented Corporate Compensation Plans, Inc. in trial court and on appeal in a business interference and breach of contract case. The case was decided in favor of CCP by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Hart) and the judgment was affirmed on appeal.
Mendenhall v. Barber-Greene (1990)
Mark represented CMI Corp. and the individual licensor-inventor of an asphalt recycling process and apparatus as plaintiffs in a patent infringement case against Barber-Greene. The one-month jury trial took place in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Will). The jury found in favor of CMI and its licensor-inventor.
Amli Realty Co. v. The Koll Co. (1990)
Mark represented Koll in a dispute over an alleged oral contract for the sale of real estate. The preliminary injunction trial took place in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Shadur). A preliminary injunction was entered against Mark's client and the case settled thereafter.
Leventhal v. Katy Industries (1989-90)
Mark represented Katy Industries and several individual directors as defendants in a class action a private class action securities fraud case under SEC Rule 10b-5. The two-month jury trial took place in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (Judge Farnan). The case resulted in a verdict in favor of all defendants, and the judgement was affirmed on appeal.
HVAC Systems, Inc. v. Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. (1989)
Mark represented Dun & Bradstreet as defendant in a commercial libel case. The case was decided in favor of Dun & Bradstreet by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Kocoras), with all counts dismissed.
Capitol Steel Co. v. Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. (1987-88)
Mark represented Dun & Bradstreet as defendant in a commercial libel case. The three-month jury trial took place in Sacramento, California Superior Court (Judge Boskovitch). The trial resulted in a verdict in favor of Mark's client with no appeal.
Larese v. Dean Foods Co. (1987)
Mark represented an area franchisor of Baskin-Robbins stores in a franchisee termination case. The jury trial took place in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado (Denver) (Judge Kane). The case resulted in a verdict in favor of Dun & Bradstreet, with no appeal.
Atari, Inc. v. Continental Merchandisers, Inc. (1986)
Mark represented Atari in a fraud and contract case against a video game and computer distributor. The two-week arbitration took place before American Arbitration Association, San Francisco. The panel decided in favor of Atari.
Atari, Inc. v. Harris Trust & Savings Bank (1985)
Mark represented Atari in litigation over Harris Bank’s failure to pay a draft under an irrevocable letter of credit. The case was decided in favor of Atari by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Hart).
Other representative cases
Other Significant Matters
Klein v. International Game Technology (2014-2015)
Mark represented IGT and certain directors and officers in shareholder litigation arising out of IGT’s merger with GTECH. The matter settled without payment of cash consideration. (Eighth Judicial District, Clark County, NV; Judge Gonzales)
In re ODD Antitrust Litigation (2013-2015)
Mark represented Hewlett-Packard in antitrust litigation relating to claims of price fixing by suppliers of Optical Disc Drives. Major claims were settled and the remaining claims were consolidated with another pending case. (N.D. Cal., Judge Seeborg)
In Re Flat Panel LCD Antitrust Litigation (2011-2013)
Mark represented Hewlett-Packard in litigation relating to claims of price fixing by suppliers of flat-panel LCD displays. The cases settled. (N.D. Cal., Judge Illston)
Dyson v. BISSELL (2012-2013)
Mark represented BISSELL as defendant in a Lanham Act action brought by Dyson concerning vacuum cleaners. The case settled. (N.D. Ill., Judge Der-Yeghiayan).
Nicor, Inc. Shareholder Litigation (2010-2011)
Mark represented Nicor in shareholder derivative litigation arising out of Nicor's merger with AGL Resources, Inc. The matter settled without payment of cash consideration. (Circuit Court of Cook County, IL, Chancery Division, Judge Martin)
Tanner v. International Isocyanate Institute, et al. (2008-2011)
Mark represented Bayer MaterialScience as defendant in class action products liability litigation concerning Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI)-containing products used in underground coal mining applications. The case settled. (N.D. Ala.)
Tandberg v. Hewlett-Packard Company (2007-2008)
Mark represented Hewlett-Packard in defensive and offensive patent litigation involving data storage tape drive systems and related products. The case settled. (D. Colo., Judge Babcock).
Hewlett-Packard Company, et al. v. EMC Corporation (2003-2005)
Mark represented Hewlett-Packard in both offensive and defensive patent infringement litigation relating to networked storage systems, computer peripheral devices, printers, and other electronic data systems. The case settled as part of a settlement of multiple actions. (N.D. Cal., Judge Fogel).
3Com v. Cambia Networks, Inc. (2002-2003)
Mark represented 3Com in a trade secret case relating to 3G wireless data technology. The case settled. (Circuit Court of Cook County, Judge Jaffe).
NL Industries, Inc. v. Commercial Union, et al. (1995-2000)
Mark represented NL as plaintiff in an environmental insurance coverage litigation. As part of this litigation, Mark argued the seminal Third Circuit case concerning choice of law in multi-site environmental insurance coverage actions, obtaining a favorable decision for NL. The parties thereafter settled NL’s coverage claims. (D.N.J. and 3d Cir.)
Siemens, AG v. LG Semicon; Hyundai v. Infineon Technologies, et al. (2000)
Mark represented Siemens and Infineon in litigation relating to semiconductor device and manufacturing process patents. The case settled. (D. Del., Judge McKelvie and N.D. Ca., Judge Ware).
Siemens Canada, Ltd. v. Lectron (2000)
Mark represented Siemens Canada as plaintiff in a patent case concerning electronically controlled fuel vapor management valve technology. The case settled. (N.D. Ill., Judge Manning).
Board of Trustees of City Colleges v. Arthur Andersen (2000)
Mark represented Arthur Andersen as defendant in litigation relating to the firm’s audit of City Colleges' derivative securities trading practices. Partial summary judgment was entered in favor of Arthur Andersen as to most of plaintiff's damages claim, and the case settled thereafter. (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Judge Billik).
In re Asbestos IV (Kanawha County, West Virginia) (1995)
Mark represented NL Industries in a multi-plaintiff asbestos products liability case in West Virginia state court. The case settled during trial. (Charleston, W.V., Judge MacQueen).
Cline, et al. v. Gerrity Oil & Gas Company (1995)
Mark represented Gerrity and several individual officers and directors in a securities fraud class action arising out of alleged nondisclosure of information relating to reserves and production. The case settled. (S.D.N.Y., Judge Owen).
- Illinois Legal Times
- The National Law Journal
- Mark Ferguson, Mark Ouweleen, and Faye Paul win rare defense victory in EDTX patent infringement trial for Hewlett Packard EnterpriseNetwork-1 v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (2017)
- Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Oracle (2016)
- Jacob Krippelz, Sr. v. Ford Motor Company (2009)
- Bartlit Beck Wins $30 Million Summary Judgment for ABB, Inc. in Patent Indemnity Dispute Arising Out of the Sale and Purchase of a Refractory BusinessABB v. Imetal (2001)
- Etak v. Zexel and NavTech (1997)
- Ortho v. Miles (1994)