Bob McAughan

713.632.8082 | Houston, Texas
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Professional Summary

Bob has nearly 25 years of experience in all facets of intellectual property litigation and counseling, including patents, trademarks, trade dress, and trade secrets involving a wide range of technologies, from computer software and integrated circuits to oil tools and polymer chemistry. As lead counsel in both patent and trade secret trials, Bob has won summary judgment for his clients in numerous patent litigations, and has represented his clients’ interests on appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and in Texas. Clients count on Bob for his practical approach resolving disputes and his tireless representation of their interests.

Strategic and tactical counseling is also a focus of Bob’s practice, in which he proves to be an invaluable resource helping clients to navigate the IP landscape for the advancement of their business objectives.

Bob is also well-versed in Patent Office procedure, having drafted many patent applications early in his legal career. As a trial lawyer, Bob uses that experience to understand how to both protect or attack patents. He also applies his deep experience in litigation and Patent Office procedure to his port-grant review practice, representing both patentees and accused infringers in inter partes review proceedings.

Active in the Houston legal community, Bob served as Chairman of the Houston Bar Foundation in 2012. He is also active as an officer and Master of the Bench in the Honorable Nancy F. Atlas Intellectual Property Inn of Court.

Prior to joining the firm, Bob practiced with Locke Lord, where he was the firm-wide head of the Intellectual Property Department and the IP Litigation Section, and with Arnold, White & Durkee. Most recently, Bob was a principal at the intellectual property boutique Sutton McAughan Deaver PLLC.

Representative Experience
  • National Oilwell DHT, L.P. v. Amega West Services Representing National Oilwell Varco, asserting patents relating to downhole flow pulsing apparatus and percussing tools. Defendant Amega West attacked the NOV patents at the patent office, filing petitions for inter partes review. NOV successfully defended the patents in the IPRs, retaining claims, and continuing to pursue the litigation.
  • Inhance Technologies, LLC v Paul Banks, David Molthen and TMRJ Holdings, Inc. Hired to replace the original counsel representing defendants in this misappropriation of trade secrets case involving plastics fluorination methods. The original counsel had allowed the entry of a preliminary injunction against defendants. The defense and theory of the case were re-built, and at trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict of no willful or malicious misappropriation of trade secrets and no breach of fiduciary duty by defendants Banks and Molthen, and no misappropriation of trade secrets by defendant TMRJ Holdings. However, the jury found that defendants Banks and Molthen had misappropriated trade secrets. A final judgment on the misappropriation count was entered against Banks and Molthen, wrongly awarding both forward-looking damages and a permanent injunction, as well as an improperly broad and vague injunction. On appeal, the injunction was reversed and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.
  • GE Lighting Solutions, LLC v. Agilight, Inc. Represented GE Lighting Solutions, asserting four GE patents relating to LED lighting technology against a competitor. Based on claim constructions, the district court granted summary judgment of no infringement on the four GE patents, in favor of the defendant. On review, the Federal Circuit rejected the district court's construction of one term, adopted GE's construction, and reversed the grant of summary judgment on two of the four asserted patents. On a second claim term, the Federal Circuit rejected the district court's application of a claim construction agreed by the parties and remanded the case for further proceedings on the genuine issue of fact that was created with regard to the third patent. The Federal Circuit affirmed the third claim construction, which only affected one patent. The case settled after remand to the trial court on terms favorable to GE.
  • Power-One, Inc. v. Artesyn Technologies, Inc. Represented Artesyn against allegations of patent infringement in the Eastern District of Texas, involving the use of digital communications with dc-dc power regulators. The plaintiff asserted four patents in the suit; infringement claims from two of the patents were dismissed with prejudice, and a jury found no infringement of a third. While the jury found infringement of the fourth patent, the plaintiff was awarded only $100 in damages. The case settled on confidential terms following appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the filing of a declaratory judgment action by the defendant against the patentee.
  • DP Wagner Mfg. Inc. v. Pro Patch Systems, Inc. Represented DP Wagner in a patent false marking, unfair competition, and anti-trust case, winning summary judgment on the false marking claims for his client. The 2006 summary judgment opinion has been widely-cited in patent false marking opinions since, and lead Bob to make a presentation to the Association of Corporate Counsel warning about an impeding rise in patent false marking claims on the horizon, years before the flood of such cases reached the courts.
  • Iron Grip Barbell Co. v. USA Sports, Inc. Represented USA Sports against allegations of infringement of one design and two utility patents. USA Sports won a dismissal with prejudice with respect to the design patent, summary judgment of invalidity with respect to one utility patent, and summary judgment of non-infringement with respect to the second utility patent.
Professional Honors & Affiliations
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers in Texas Intellectual Property, 2004–2018
  • IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Professionals, Patent Litigation, 2018
  • "Texas Super Lawyer" in Intellectual Property Litigation, 2003-2018; Top 100 Lawyers in Houston," Thomson Reuters, 2003-2006, 2009-2012
  • Best Lawyers in America® 2019 Lawyer of the Year, Patent Law; 2012 and 2016 Lawyer of the Year, Litigation-Intellectual Property; and 2014 Lawyer of the Year, Litigation-Patent
  • Best Lawyers in America® in Patent Law, Litigation-Patent, Litigation-Intellectual Property, and Trademark Law, 2005-2019
  • Leading Patent Law Expert, Euromoney, 2009
  • Texas' Top Rated Lawyers®, ALM Media, 2012-2016
  • Fellow: Trial Lawyer Honor Society of Litigation Counsel of America
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated
  • The Honorable Nancy F. Atlas Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, Barrister, 2013-2015; Master, 2015-present; Treasurer, 2017; Co-Chair of Programs Committee, 2016
  • Chairman: Houston Bar Foundation, 2012
Presentations & Publications
  • “Copyright and Creative Incentives: What We Know (And Don’t),” University of Houston Law Center IPIL 14th Annual Spring Lecture, Mar. 30, 2017 (commentator)
  • “Intellectual Property Considerations in the Oil Patch,” 3rd Oilfield Services Law Conference, Houston, TX, Oct. 7, 2013
  • “Criminal Trade Secret Prosecution, Panel Presentation,” HIPLA and University of Houston 29th Annual Institute on Intellectual Property Law, Galveston, TX, Sep. 27, 2013 (moderator)
  • “Recent Trends in Patent Infringement Litigation and Damages,” Utah Bar Association IP Summit, Salt Lake City, UT, Feb. 12, 2012 (panelist)
  • “Time to Justice: Seven Hours or Seven Days?” LANDSLIDE: A Publication of the ABA Section Intellectual Property Law, Vol. 4(3), Jan./Feb. 2012.
  • “Marking and Mismarking in IP,” HIPLA and University of Houston 26th Annual Institute on Intellectual Property Law, Galveston, TX, Sep. 30–Oct. 2, 2010
  • “Patent Law Primer—What is Patentable?” THE ADVOCATE, STATE BAR OF TEXAS LITIGATION SECTION REPORT, Winter 2008 (co-author)
Education & Professional Background
  • The University of Houston, J.D., summa cum laude, 1993 (Order of the Coif, Law Foundation Excellence Award, Houston Law Review)
  • Texas A&M University, B.S., Electrical Engineering, summa cum laude, 1989 (Tau Beta Pi)
  • Admitted to Practice: Texas, 1993; U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1993; U.S. Federal Circuit