Gary M. Hnath is a Partner in Mayer Brown’s Washington DC office, where he focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation and counseling, including disputes involving patent, trademark and copyright infringement and trade secrets.
He has participated in numerous District Court cases, several Federal Circuit appeals, and over 40 investigations at the International Trade Commission under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, one of the principal forums for litigating intellectual property disputes involving imported articles.
A leading authority in the area of Section 337 litigation, Gary is a former president of the ITC Trial Lawyers Association and Chair of the ITC Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. He has lectured throughout the United States and Asia and written widely on the subject of Section 337 investigations.
While working at the ITC, Gary was lead counsel for the government in Certain Concealed Cabinet Hinges, which raised issues of first impression as to what constitutes a “domestic industry” under the 1988 amendments to Section 337.
His position on this issue was adopted by the Administrative Law Judge and the Commission in a decision which is still cited as one of the leading cases in the field.
Gary has successfully represented both patent holders and companies accused of infringement in cases involving a variety of technologies, including high-intensity sweeteners; coenzyme Q10; toner cartridges; sleep apnea products; laminated packaging; linear actuators; medical devices for vein harvesting; personal computers; acetic acid; wireless local area networks; ground fault circuit interrupters; agricultural vehicles; multiplexers used in space satellites; gear couplings used in industrial machinery; and neodymium-iron-boron magnets, to name just a few.
He was lead counsel for the first company in China to win a Section 337 case after trial at the ITC. His recent notable victories for clients at the ITC include the successful defense of two manufacturers in China accused of infringing four process patents for the manufacture of sucralose. In this high profile case, the Commission found all of the asserted patents not infringed, and one of the patents invalid, after a hotly contested trial.
Gary has also represented numerous clients on a pro bono basis. For example, in a case for a Washington DC public school bus aide fired from her job as a result of an erroneous drug test, Gary was successful in obtaining a ruling that his client’s constitutional rights had been violated and an order reinstating her with back pay. The court’s decision in that case was cited for several years as one of the leading decisions in the US discussing the constitutionality of random drug testing.
In addition to private practice, Gary has served as law clerk to the Honorable Walter E. Black Jr., US District Court for the District of Maryland and a senior trial attorney with the ITC’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations.
- Harvard Law School, JD, cum laude
- Michigan State University, BA, philosophy and psychology
- District of Columbia
- US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- US District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- US District Court for the District of Columbia
- Former member, Prince George’s Philharmonic Orchestra’s Board of Directors
- Former member, ACLU of Maryland’s Board of Directors
- Member and officer (including past president), ITC Trial Lawyers’ Association
- Former chairman, ITC Committee of the American Intellectual Property Association
- Lead counsel, Senior Resources v. Dep’t of Defense, et al. (pro bono representation of plaintiff through Litigation Assistance Partnership Project of the ABA; successfully obtained temporary exclusion order, preliminary injunction, and summary judgment on behalf of Senior Resources, a nonprofit organization attempting to obtain property at former military base in Texas for use in program to assist the homeless)
- IPO (Intellectual Property Owners), ITC Committee
- Sleep-Disordered Breathing Treatment Systems and Components Thereof – Represented BMC Medical Co., 3B Medical and 3B Products in a case involving devices used to treat sleep apnea. After review, the Commission overturned the ALJ’s initial determination and ruled in favor of BMC/3B, finding that the key patent in the case was invalid. BMC and 3B successfully designed around the remaining patents.
- Certain Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate and Products Containing Same – Represented proposed respondent in case involving alleged unlawful compounding of an orphan drug. As a result, in a rare instance, we were able to persuade the Commission not to institute a Section 337 investigation.
- Computer Forensic Devices and Products Containing Same – Successfully represented a respondent in a patent case involving computer forensic devices used by law enforcement agencies as co-counsel. Following trial, the ALJ found no domestic industry based on failure to satisfy economic prong; Complainant chose not to pursue Commission review, making ALJ’s decision final.
- Certain Linear Actuators – Represented Chinese respondent in case involving linear actuators used in furniture. After two months of active litigation, the complainant voluntarily withdrew the complaint and the investigation was terminated.
- Acesulfame Potassium – Lead counsel for Chinese respondent in patent case relating to acesulfame potassium brought by Nutrinova, a Hoechst subsidiary; one patent found invalid and not infringed, the other not infringed; decision successfully defended through Commission and Federal Circuit review.
- Agricultural Vehicles and Components Thereof – Lead counsel for Chinese respondents in case brought by Deere & Company alleging infringement of trademarks on the green and yellow colors used by Deere on its tractors.
- Concealed Cabinet Hinges and Mounting Plates – Lead counsel for government in patent-based case involving cabinet hinges; Commission adopted position on domestic industry requirement under Section 337.
- Electric Power Tools, Battery Cartridges and Battery Chargers – Lead counsel for government in trade dress case involving electric power tools.
- Hardware Logic Emulation Systems – Co-counsel for respondents in patent case involving emulation systems used to test and design semiconductor devices.
- Memory Devices with Increased Capacitance – Counsel for complainant in patent case alleging infringement by latest generation semiconductor chips.
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