Michael J. Valaik
Mike Valaik has tried cases to juries and judges throughout the United States, representing clients in some of Bartlit Beck’s biggest wins. Recently, Mike represented Hewlett-Packard against Oracle in a breach of contract case resulting in a $3.1 billion verdict for his client HP after a five-week jury trial in San Jose. Mike coordinated and orchestrated the successful patent and antitrust defense of Bayer’s leading drug Cipro, which was a 16-year battle in federal and state courts including appellate victories in both the Federal Circuit and Second Circuit. Mike led UTC’s patent litigation against Rolls-Royce regarding swept fan blade technology where ultimately Rolls-Royce sought billions of dollars in damages and lost on summary judgment. Mike was also trial counsel for UTC in a ten-week bench trial in 2004 based on a False Claims Act case relating to the “Great Engine War” between Pratt & Whitney and GE in the 1980s.
Mike has also tried numerous other cases to verdict, including pro bono representation of an Albanian woman seeking asylum in the United States after being a victim of human trafficking. His experience includes patent litigation in the aerospace, biotech, and computer fields, as well as general commercial litigation such as breach of contract, fraud, Lanham Act, and other issues.
In and out of the courtroom, Mike combines his trial skills with proven leadership ability. Mike majored in history at the United States Naval Academy (finishing in 3 ½ years) and received a Masters Degree in European history from the University of Maryland after graduation from Annapolis. Mike joined the firm in 2000, after spending four years practicing at Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis.
Mike is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Northwestern Law School teaching “High-Tech Trial Techniques.”
Cases tried or otherwise taken to judgment
GE v. UTC (2016-present)
Mike is trial counsel for United Technologies Corp. in defense of its patents covering Pratt & Whitney’s new Geared Turbofan engine (GTF) in both the U.S. and Europe. From 2016 to 2018, General Electric filed 25 Inter Partes Proceedings (IPRs) in the Patent Office challenging Pratt’s patents. The technology includes the architecture of geared jet engines, fan section innovations, composite casings and metallic coatings, and other technologies covering the GTF engine. Mike has argued many of the IPRs at the trial stage, retained and worked with experts worldwide, and provided overall strategic direction to UTC. While Patent Office statistics show that 80% of patents are invalidated after IPR institution, Mike has won the majority of the IPRs that he has argued at the trial stage.
Hewlett-Packard v. Oracle (2011-2016)
Represented 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.)
Rolls-Royce plc v. UTC (E.D. Va. 2005-2011)
Trial counsel for United Technologies Corporation in one-week patent trial regarding swept fan blade technology in Alexandria, Virginia in December 2005. The Court ruled that the parties' respective patents did not interfere and that ruling was affirmed by the Federal Circuit. Continued representation of UTC after the Federal Circuit ruling in 2010 when Rolls-Royce sued UTC for patent infringement in the Eastern District of Virginia. The technology at issue related to the jet engines (particularly the fan blades) used on the world’s largest airplane, the Airbus A380, as well as a host of other airplanes. Rolls-Royce sought almost $4 billion in damages and an injunction preventing further sales of the accused engines. The Court granted summary judgment in United Technologies' favor, finding that United Technologies' engines did not infringe the Rolls-Royce patent. The Court also struck Rolls-Royce's multi-billion dollar damages theory on the grounds that it was based on misstatements of the law, a lack of sound evidence, and unsupported economic assumptions. For more information see Bloomberg Report.
In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litigation (Eastern District of New York 2005; Federal Circuit 2008; Superior Court of California, San Diego 2009; Second Circuit 2010; 4th District California Court of Appeal 2011)
Counsel for Bayer AG and Bayer Corporation in nationwide class action antitrust litigation in connection with Bayer’s settlement of patent litigation against Barr Laboratories. Bayer owns the patent on Cipro, one of the world’s leading antibiotics. Barr sought approval from the FDA for a generic version of Cipro and, pursuant to the “Hatch-Waxman” statute, Bayer sued Barr in the Southern District of New York. On the eve of trial in January 1997, Bayer and Barr settled with Bayer making payments amounting to $398 million. Bayer defeated three later generic challenges.
The antitrust plaintiffs contend that it was an antitrust violation for Bayer to pay Barr to settle Hatch-Waxman litigation. The MDL proceeding was before Judge David G. Trager in the Eastern District of New York. Developed arguments and wrote Bayer’s brief in opposition to plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment that Bayer’s payment was a per se antitrust violation. Judge Trager ruled in Bayer’s favor and adopted Bayer’s analytical framework for analyzing Hatch-Waxman settlements (261 F. Supp. 2d 188). Thereafter, the Eleventh and Second Circuit adopted Judge Trager’s reasoning (402 F.3d 1056; 466 F.3d 187).
Following the per se ruling, Judge Trager invited Bayer to file a motion for summary judgment. Again, developed arguments and wrote Bayer’s briefs, and Judge Trager granted Bayer’s motion (363 F. Supp. 2d 514). Plaintiffs appealed to the Second Circuit, which transferred the Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs’ (the consumers’) appeal to the Federal Circuit due to an alleged state-law Walker Process-type claim based on fraud on the Patent Office. Wrote Bayer’s appellate briefs in the Second and Federal Circuits. Both Circuits affirmed Judge Trager’s decision and adopted his reasoning (544 F.3d 1323 (Fed Cir. 2008); 604 F.3d 98 (2d Cir. 2010)). The Supreme Court denied certiorari in both appeals, and the MDL federal litigation has concluded in Bayer's favor.
United States v. United Technologies Corp. (S.D. Ohio)
Represented UTC at trial and on appeal in the Department of Justice’s $600 million False Claims Act lawsuit. The government claimed that UTC division Pratt & Whitney inflated prices of F-15 and F-16 jet engines in the “Great Engine War” with GE, a multi-billion dollar competitive Air Force procurement in the 1980s.
After a ten-week bench trial, the trial court held that Pratt had made three false statements in a 1983 offer and imposed a $7.1 million statutory penalty, but the court rejected the government’s $600 million damages theory, and held that actual damages were zero. After two rounds of appeals, the Sixth Circuit held that the trial record established that the government failed to prove any damages and remanded the case.
On remand, the government abandoned its damages claims, and in June 2016 the trial court entered final judgment awarding a total of $11.1 million ($1.2 million in disgorgement, $2.8 million in interest, and the $7.1 million penalty). The government declined to appeal, ending the case.
Click here to read Law360 article.
Bayer Schering v. Barr (District of New Jersey 2007-2009)
Trial counsel for Bayer Schering in ANDA IV “Hatch Waxman” litigation involving a patent on Yasmin® against Barr Laboratories. On December 4, 2007, Judge Peter Sheridan, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, completed a two-week bench trial on Barr’s challenges based on obviousness, invalidating public use, and inequitable conduct. The Court found the patent invalid due to obviousness and ruled for Bayer Schering on the public use and inequitable conduct challenges.
Rago, et al. v. Federal Signal Corporation (Cook County, Illinois 2008)
Trial counsel for Federal Signal in five-week jury trial of product liability claims brought by 27 Chicago firefighters. Plaintiffs alleged that Federal Signal sirens caused permanent hearing loss. Jury verdict for Federal Signal on all claims of all plaintiffs.
Hyseni v. I.N.S. (2004)
Trial counsel for a young Albanian woman in pro bono asylum hearing before Immigration Judge. Client requested asylum in the United States to escape persecution based gender. Asylum granted.
Other representative cases
Carrier Class Action Litigation
Represented Carrier in four consumer class-action lawsuits relating to secondary heat exchangers in furnaces manufactured by Carrier. Won Wisconsin case on summary judgment. Other lawsuits settled.
Aventis Behring v. Bayer HealthCare and Bayer Corporation
Represented Bayer in breach of contract and patent litigation in Pennsylvania state and federal court relating to recombinant Factor VIII concentrates used in the treatment of hemophilia. Obtained bifurcation for an early trial of Bayer’s license defense to Aventis’s infringement action, after which the parties reached a settlement.
GenProbe v. Bayer HealthCare and Bayer Corporation
Represented Bayer HealthCare’s diagnostic division in patent infringement suits related to GenProbe patents on nucleic acid detection assays. The cases settled favorably to Bayer.
Pulliam v. NL Industries, Inc.
Represented NL Industries, Inc. in putative class action alleging lead poisoning from a smelter located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Class certification denied.
- U.S. v. United Technologies, 782 F.3d 718 (6th Cir. 2015); U.S. v. United Technologies, 2016 WL 3141569, __ F. Supp. 3d __ (S.D. Ohio 2016)
- Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Oracle (2016)
- Rolls Royce PLC v. United Technologies Corporation (d/b/a Pratt & Whitney) (2011)
- Bayer Cipro Antitrust (2005)
- United States v. United Technologies Corp. (2008)
- Fred Bartlit, Peter Bensinger and Mike Valaik Win Federal Circuit Appeal on Behalf of Bayer in Leading Patent-Antitrust Case, In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust LitigationBayer Cipro Antitrust (2005)
- Bartlit Beck Wins Complete Defense Verdict in Cook County Jury Trial of 27 Firefighters' Hearing Loss ClaimsRago v. Federal Signal (2008)
- Bayer Cipro Antitrust (2005)