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, arbitrations 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 Boards of NYU Law School’s Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and the Medill Justice Project. He serves as a 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, including jury trials, for 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, 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 other commercial transactions.
Accounting and Financial
Representation of Big Four accounting firms in securities and alleged accountants' liability matters.
Defamation, Privacy and Business Torts
Represented corporations and other organizations in defamation/privacy actions, including in jury trials and appeals; represented numerous clients in business interference, fraud and deceptive trade practices cases.
Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Clients have included Hewlett-Packard Co., NCR Corporation, Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., Dart & Kraft, Inc., FMC Corp. and other companies. Matters include litigation and counseling under the Sherman, Clayton and FTC Acts and state antitrust statutes, as well as successful representation of several clients in merger proceedings before the FTC and Department of Justice, and in federal courts.
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, or as subjects of SEC investigation.
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 (E.D. Tex.; Judge Schroeder). The case resulted in a defense verdict, in which all asserted claims of the patent were found not to be infringed, and also found to be invalid.
Hewlett-Packard v. Oracle (2011-2016)
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 United States District Court, 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 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, Northern District of Illinois (Judge Zagel). The jury returned verdict in our client' s favor in the amount of $23 million, later enhanced to more than $60 million upon a finding of willful infringement and after accrual of prejudgment interest.
EMC Corp. v. Hewlett-Packard Co. (2004)
Mark represented Hewlett-Packard as defendant in patent infringement action relating to storage area network technology. The three week jury trial took place in the United States District Court in Worcester, Mass. (Judge Gorton). The trial resulted in a verdict against HP, and 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 nuclear power and industrial circuit breaker servicing business. 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 a sale and purchase of a refractory business by French corporation Imetal, SA. 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 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, 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 (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, 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, 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.
Ortho Diagnostics, Inc. v. Miles, Inc. (1994)
Mark represented Miles as defendant in patent action concerning laser-optical flow cytometer (blood testing device). The 4-week jury trial took place in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York (Judge Conner). The trial resulted in a verdict in our client's favor, including 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 case challenging a company-wide determination of performance bonuses following a spin-off reorganization. Northern District of Illinois (Judge Gettleman) and Seventh Circuit. Case won below and on appeal.
Bobrowicz v. Lee Hecht Harrison (1997)
Mark represented national outplacement consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison as defendant in action alleging that LHH improperly "steered" outplaced employees away from competitors of its client. The case was decided by the United States District Court, 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 acquisition financing transaction. The case was decided by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Judge Shadur) and the Seventh Circuit. Mark's client W.R. Grace won below and on appeal.
Patton v. Ohr Properties Management (1993)
Mark represented plaintiffs in pro bono housing discrimination case. The week-long jury trial took place in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Judge Holderman). Mark's client, the Patton family, won both compensatory and punitive damages.
Holefca, et al. v. Price Waterhouse (1993)
Mark represented Price Waterhouse in 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, Eastern District of Michigan (Judge Duggan). Partial summary judgment was entered in favor of Mark's client, and class certification was defeated. The case settled thereafter without exchange of monetary compensation.
West Indies Automotive v. GMAC (1992)
Mark represented GMAC in $40 million lender liability case. The three-week jury trial took place in the United States District Court, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. (Judge Farnan). This case was won below and affirmed on appeal.
In re DBA Systems, Inc. Securities Litigation (1992)
Mark represented an outside director of DBA Systems in securities fraud class action alleging fraud on the market and insider trading. The case was decided by the United States District Court, 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 business interference and contract case. The case was decided by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Judge Hart) and Seventh Circuit. Mark's client won below and 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, Northern District of Illinois (Judge Will). The jury found in favor of Mark's clients.
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, 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 and several individual directors as defendants in 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, District of Delaware (Judge Farnan). This case resulted in a verdict in favor of all defendants, and was affirmed on appeal.
HVAC Systems, Inc. v. Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. (1989)
Mark represented Dun & Bradstreet as defendant in a commercial libel action. The case was decided by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Judge Kocoras). Summary judgment was entered in favor of Mark's client on all counts; with no appeal.
Capitol Steel Co. v. Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. (1987-88)
Mark represented Dun & Bradstreet as defendant in a business 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, District of Colorado (Denver) (Judge Kane). The case resulted in a verdict in favor of Mark's client 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 Mark's client.
Atari, Inc. v. Harris Trust & Savings Bank (1985)
Mark represented Atari in litigation over a bank's failure to pay a draft under an irrevocable letter of credit. The case was decided in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Hart). Summary judgment was entered in favor of Mark's client requiring payment of the full draft amount plus interest.
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.)
In Re Flat Panel LCD Antitrust Litigation (2011-2013)
Mark represented Hewlett-Packard in litigation against several defendants relating to claims of price fixing by major foreign manufacturers of flat-panel LCD displays. (N.D. Cal., Judge Illston) The cases settled.
Dyson v. BISSELL (2012-2013)
Mark represented BISSELL as defendant in a Lanham Act action brought by Dyson concerning vacuum cleaners. (N.D. Ill., Judge Der-Yeghiayan). The case settled.
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 action concerning Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI)-containing products used in underground coal mining applications. (N.D. Ala.) The case settled.
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. (D. Colo., Judge Babcock). The case settled.
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. (N.D. Cal., Judge Fogel). The case settled as part of global settlement of multiple actions.
3Com v. Cambia Networks, Inc. (2002-2003)
Mark represented 3Com in a trade secret case relating to 3G wireless data technology. (Circuit Court of Cook County, Judge Jaffe). The case settled.
NL Industries, Inc. v. Commercial Union, et al. (1995-2000)
Mark represented NL as plaintiff in an environmental insurance coverage litigation. (D.N.J. and 3d Cir.) As part of this litigation, Mark argued the seminal Third Circuit case concerning choice of law in multi-site environmental insurance coverage action, obtaining a favorable decision for NL.
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. (D. Del., Judge McKelvie and N.D. Ca., Judge Ware). The case settled.
Siemens Canada, Ltd. v. Lectron (2000)
Mark represented Siemens Canada as plaintiff in a patent case concerning electronically controlled fuel vapor management valve technology. (N.D. Ill., Judge Manning). The case settled.
Board of Trustees of City Colleges v. Arthur Andersen (2000)
Mark represented Arthur Andersen as defendant in litigation relating to audit of City Colleges' derivative securities trading practices. (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Judge Billik). Partial summary judgment was entered in favor of Mark's client as to most of plaintiff's damages claim, and the case settled thereafter.
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 (Charleston, Judge MacQueen). The case settled during trial.
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. (S.D.N.Y., Judge Owen). The case settled.
- 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)