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Michael O. Sutton
Principal

Mike Sutton is a nationally-recognized IP litigator with over 41 years of extensive experience covering a wide range of technologies and industries, from high technology oilfield services to “sippy” cups.  Among Mr. Sutton’s professional recognitions are twenty three consecutive years of listing, from 1993 to 2016, in Best Lawyers® in America (by Woodward White) and recognition in Chambers USA from 2007 to 2015. In 2010, Texas Lawyer named two of the verdicts he helped clients secure (Baker Hughes, Inc. v. Varel Holdings Inc. and Input/Output Inc. v. Sercel Inc.) to their Top Texas Verdicts of 2010.

Contact Card  |  (713) 800-5701  |  msutton@smd-ipaw.com

 
He is praised by sources as a ‘very strategic thinker’ and a ‘very effective trial lawyer.’
— Chambers USA
 

Detailed background

Mike Sutton’s experience includes all facets of IP litigation preliminary injunction hearings, Markman hearings, bench trials, arbitrations, jury trials, and arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal and Fifth Circuits.

Mike’s representative cases cover a wide range of technologies and industries. In Baker Hughes v. Varel Holdings Inc., Mike represented Baker Hughes in a trade secret case that resulted in a jury verdict with Baker Hughes being awarded $25.2 million in both actual and punitive damages. The case then settled.

In ION Geophysical Corp. v. Sercel, Mike represented ION Geophysical in a patent infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.  The jury in that case found that ION's competitor was an infringer, and awarded ION all requested compensatory damages.

Mike defended Gerber in a patent infringement suit Haberman v. Gerber. The jury found both patents not infringed and one invalid. Mike also represented Gerber in the appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where the verdict of no liability was upheld. Mike also defended Gerber when it was accused of infringing a single patent in Freeman v. Gerber. The jury found the patent not infringed and the plaintiff did not appeal.

In Baker Hughes v. Pathfinder et al., Mike obtained for Baker Hughes a preliminary injunction against Pathfinder and some of Baker Hughes's former employees, preventing further use of Baker Hughes's trade secrets and preventing a former employee from working in a technology area for a year, even though the employee did not have a non-compete agreement with Baker Hughes.

In iSymphony v. Steverson, Mike represented the declaratory judgment plaintiff in a trade mark infringement suit, defeated a motion for preliminary injunction and then obtained a jury verdict of no trademark infringement, no dilution and no unfair competition.

Mike defended CaseTech against allegations of patent infringement in Weatherford v. CaseTech. The case settled after Mr. Sutton defeated Weatherford's motion for a preliminary injunction.

Mike represented Baker Hughes against Schlumberger Technology Corp. in a multi-patent dispute relating to downhole formation testing equipment; patents for both parties were asserted against each other. After Baker Hughes prevailed on all issues in a "Mini-Trial," the dispute settled in the ensuing mediation.

Mike represented Compaq in Compaq Computer Corporation v. Ergonome and Stephanie L. Brown, In this declaratory judgment action, the defendants asserted claims for hundreds of millions of dollars for fraud and copyright infringement. The district court granted Compaq's motion to dismiss the fraud claim on summary judgment. After an eight-day trial, the jury found that Compaq had actually copied from the copyrighted work at issue, but found in favor of Compaq on two affirmative defenses, de minimis and fair use. The Court entered judgment that the defendants take nothing, holding that Compaq is entitled to the laches and equitable estoppel defenses, awarding $2,760,000 in attorney's fees to Compaq against the defendants (the largest award ever of attorney's fees in a copyright case), and awarding $101,000 in attorney's fees against the defendants' former counsel for unnecessarily multiplying the proceedings. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the case, including the award of attorney's fees.

Mike is admitted to practice before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Federal Circuits, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Mike received a J.D., with honors, from George Washington University in 1973, and a B.S., cum laude, in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama in 1969. Prior to forming Sutton McAughan Deaver PLLC in 2012, Mike was a partner at Locke Lord LLP from 2001–2012, where he was the firm-wide head of the Intellectual Property Department. Prior to his tenure at Locke Lord, Mike was a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, was a shareholder and the firm-wide head of the Litigation Section at Fish & Richardson P.C., was a shareholder at Arnold White & Durkee P.C., and was a partner at Cullen Settle Sloman & Cantor. While attending law school, Mike was a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Education

J.D., with honors, George Washington, 1973

B.S., cum laude, Alabama, 1969, Aerospace Engineering

Bar Admissions

Texas, 1977

Michigan, 1973

United States Patent & Trademark Office, 1973

Professional Recognition

The Honorable Nancy F. Atlas Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, Master of the Bench

Chambers USA, Leading Intellectual Property Lawyer in Texas (2007-'17)

Top 5 IP Lawyers in Texas (Texas Lawyer Magazine) (2002)

Texas Super Lawyers® (Thompson Reuters) (2003-'16)

Best Lawyers® in America (Woodward/White) Patent Law, Litigation - Patent, Litigation - Intellectual Property, Copyright Law (1993 - '17)

Intellectual Property Litigation Star (Benchmark Litigation) (2013)

Texas' Top Rated Lawyers® (ALM Media) (2012-'16)

Fellow, Trial Lawyer Honor Society of the Litigation Counsel of America

Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

Texas Bar Association, Life Fellow

Houston Bar Association, Sustaining Life Fellow

American Intellectual Property Law Association

Houston Intellectual Property Law Association, Former President


  * "Super Lawyers®" is a publication of Thompson Reuters and has included Mr. Sutton each year from 2003 to 2016; "Best Lawyers®" is a publication of Woodward/White and has included Mr. Sutton each year from 1993 to 2016; "Texas' Top Rated Lawyers®" is a publication of ALM Media and The American Lawyer magazine, and has included Mr. Sutton each year from 2012 to 2016.

 

* "Super Lawyers®" is a publication of Thompson Reuters and has included Mr. Sutton each year from 2003 to 2016; "Best Lawyers®" is a publication of Woodward/White and has included Mr. Sutton each year from 1993 to 2016; "Texas' Top Rated Lawyers®" is a publication of ALM Media and The American Lawyer magazine, and has included Mr. Sutton each year from 2012 to 2016.