Michael J. Songer is a trial lawyer and partner in Crowell & Moring's Washington, D.C. office and is co-chair of the firm's Intellectual Property Group. Mike is also a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group, and previously served as its co-chair. His practice focuses on complex technology disputes in a wide variety of areas.
He has represented a broad range of clients and has tried numerous cases involving complex licensing arrangements, trade secrets, patents and copyrights, as well as commercial disputes. Recent significant representations include LifeNet Health (patent), DuPont (trade secrets and antitrust), General Electric (patent), CoStar Group (licensing and copyright), AT&T (patent), Canon Inc. (patent), and Sprint (software licenses).
Notably, Mike was the lead trial counsel in the case DuPont v. Kolon, a trade secrets case involving DuPont's Kevlar® product. After a seven-week trial, DuPont was awarded $919.9 million in damages, the largest contested jury trade secret verdict and the largest verdict ever awarded in the Commonwealth of Virginia. More recently, Mike was the lead trial counsel in the case LifeNet Health v. LifeCell, a patent case involving soft tissue grafts. Mike and his team obtained an infringement jury award for LifeNet Health of $34 million, a verdict that was ranked by the National Law Journal as one of the “Top 100 Verdicts of 2014,” and the largest jury verdict in the Commonwealth of Virginia for 2014. Mike also obtained a summary judgment in favor of AT&T Mobility II in a patent case by successfully asserting a laches defense.
Mike has received numerous accolades and awards for his trial work, has been featured in American Lawyer both as a "Litigator of the Week" and for his work on the DuPont v. Kolon case, and has been named an "IP MVP" by Law360. Mike has also been named a Washington, D.C. "Super Lawyer" for Intellectual Property by Thomson Reuters, and as one of the "Top 500 Attorneys in America" by LawDragon Magazine.
Mike also represents clients on emerging technology issues, especially those that involve commercial disputes and the Internet. He has litigated cases related to "cybersquatter" domain name infringements, "framing" violations, content right disputes, service provider liability, and First Amendment speech and defamation issues.
Mike has a B.S.M.E. (energy systems / nuclear power operations) and a B.A. (government) from the University of Notre Dame, and a J.D. from Duke University. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches the "Law of Cyberspace." Mike is admitted to practice in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a licensed patent attorney.
Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, California, Colorado (inactive), U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Speeches & Presentations
"E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Kolon Industries, Inc. case presentation," AIPLA Trade Secret Law Committee
(June 18, 2015).
Presenters: Mark A. Klapow, Michael J. Songer, and Stephen M. Byers.
"Trade Secret Protection and Recovery Strategies for Universities," Crowell & Moring Webinar
(April 23, 2015).
Presenters: Michael J. Songer, Mark A. Klapow, and Michael Appel.
"Hot Issues in Trade Secret Litigation," 2014 Trade Secret Law Summit, Santa Clara, CA
(December 5, 2014).
Speaker: Michael J. Songer.
"Protecting Intellectual Property in the Workplace," Intellectual Property Law Spring Seminar 2014
(March 24, 2014).
Presenter: Michael J. Songer.
"Litigation Forecast: Developments in Trade Secrets Law and Strategies for Pursuing International Theft," Crowell & Moring Webinar
(September 18, 2013).
Presenters: Mark A. Klapow, Mark A. Romeo, Michael J. Songer, and Lucy Grace D. Noyola.
"Managing the Cyber Threat Crisis: An Interactive Workshop on Cyber Threats and Cyber Security," Crowell & Moring, Washington, D.C.
(April 4, 2013).
Panelists: David Z. Bodenheimer, Bryan Brewer, Stephen M. Byers, Robin B. Campbell, Morris F. DeFeo Jr., Cheryl A. Falvey, Jeffrey L. Poston, Jeffrey L. Snyder, Michael J. Songer, and Scott L. Winkelman.
Client Alerts & Newsletters
"Announcing Trade Secrets Trends, Crowell & Moring's New Blog Covering Trade Secrets Law,"
Trade Secrets Alert
(May 5, 2015).
Contacts: Mark A. Klapow, Mark A. Romeo, Stephen M. Byers, Michael J. Songer.
"EU Lays Foundation For Harmonized Trade Secret Protection Across Member States,"
(November 28, 2013).
Contacts: Jan-Diederik Lindemans, Kristof Roox, Michael J. Songer, Mark A. Klapow.
"This Month in International Trade - February 2013,"
International Trade Bulletin
(February 28, 2013).
Contacts: John B. Brew, Alan W. H. Gourley, Mark A. Klapow, Michael J. Songer, Jini Koh, James (J.J.) Saulino, David (Dj) Wolff.
"The White House Shines a Spotlight on Trade Secret Theft,"
(February 21, 2013).
Contacts: Mark A. Klapow, Michael J. Songer.
"Second Circuit Holds That Employee's Misuse of Information on a Computer Server Alone Satisfies Minimum Contacts Test for Personal Jurisdiction in That State,"
(February 5, 2013).
Contacts: Elizabeth A. Figueira, Mark A. Klapow, Michael J. Songer.
"DOJ Prosecution of Chinese State-Owned Enterprise for Trade Secrets Theft Offers Lessons for U.S. Businesses,"
(March 14, 2012).
Contacts: Stephen M. Byers, Michael J. Songer.
"This Month In International Trade - January 2012,"
International Trade Bulletin
(February 8, 2012).
Contacts: Kristof Roox, Michael J. Songer, John B. Brew, Alexander H. Schaefer, Cari N. Stinebower, Jini Koh, David (Dj) Wolff.
"Recent Guidance For The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights at The EU Border,"
International Trade Bulletin
(January 20, 2012).
Contacts: Kristof Roox, Michael J. Songer, Alexander H. Schaefer.
"Crowell & Moring's Top Ten Copyright Cases of the Last Year,"
(February 4, 2011).
Contacts: Terence P. Ross, John I. Stewart Jr., Michael J. Songer.
"DOJ Appoints New Prosecutors and FBI Agents to Fight IP Crime,"
White Collar Alert
(April 27, 2010).
Contacts: Stephen M. Byers, Michael J. Songer, Douglas W. Sullivan, Janet Levine, Daniel L. Zelenko.
"Re: KSR International Co. v. Teleflex, Inc.,"
Antitrust Law Alert
(November 30, 2006).
Contacts: Jeffrey H. Howard, Wm. Randolph Smith, Michael J. Songer.
"International Trade Bulletin - Volume 1, Issue 8,"
International Trade Bulletin
(June 26, 2006).
Contacts: Jeffrey L. Snyder, Robert A. Lipstein, Alexander H. Schaefer, Michael J. Songer.
In the News
Trade Secrets Case Remanded to District Court, Defendant Settles
May 25, 2015 — Virginia Lawyers Weekly
Washington, D.C.-based partner and co-chair of Crowell & Moring's Intellectual Property Group, Michael J. Songer, was named and pictured in Virginia Lawyers Weekly for his role as one of three plaintiff attorneys representing DuPont in the trade secret misappropriation case involving DuPont's Kevlar synthetic fiber (E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company v. Kolon Industries, Inc.) The parties reached a settlement agreement on April 30. Kolon agreed to pay DuPont $275,000,000 in restitution, in addition to paying a fine of $85,000,000 to the U.S. Government.
LifeNet Wins $35M Verdict In Tissue Graft Patent Suit
November 18, 2014 — Law360
This article heralds an exciting win for the Washington-D.C. based members of Crowell & Moring's Intellectual Property Group. A Virginia federal jury awarded the firm's client, LifeNet, nearly $35 million in damages for LifeCell Corp.'s infringement of a patent improving the preservation of bone and soft-tissue grafts, rejecting LifeCell's invalidity defenses. News of this victory was also highlighted in "Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs," found here.
Washington Litigation Departments of the Year: Crowell & Moring General Civil Litigation
June 24, 2013 — National Law Journal
In the National Law Journal (NLJ) special report "Washington Litigation Departments of the Year," Crowell & Moring was named "Department of the Year" in the "General Civil Litigation" category. For this report, the NLJ editorial team evaluated litigation departments in the nation's capital based on several criteria including biggest wins, revenues, headcounts, and operations. As a result of their research and findings, the team selected six "excellent firms" in this first-ever, Washington, D.C.-based contest. When asked about the firm's key to success, firm chairman and Washington, D.C.-based partner, Kent Gardiner, remarked, "Clients bet on us because we bet on ourselves to win for them, and we collaborate to structure our fees around our ability to achieve success as they define it."
5 Tips For Surviving The 'Rocket Docket'
April 3, 2013 — Law360
Michael J. Songer, partner and co-chair of the firm's Litigation Group, discusses strategies for handling cases in district courts called "rocket dockets," who have gained a reputation for moving cases along quickly to trial.
IP MVP: Crowell & Moring's Michael Songer
December 20, 2011 — IP Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group partner and Trade Secrets team member Michael J. Songer was featured as one of IP Law360’s selected five “IP MVP” attorneys for his successful trial strategy in a trade secrets lawsuit that secured a $920 million jury verdict for client DuPont. In addition to his victory for DuPont, Songer also delivered CoStar Realty Information Inc. a win in its suit in Maryland federal court against individuals who used CoStar's subscription databases without authorization.
According to Songer, one of the major keys to his DuPont win was simply “letting the DuPont engineers tell their story…It's all about setting up the story you want to tell.”
Litigators in the Spotlight
November 2011 — American Lawyer
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group partner and Trade Secrets team member Michael J. Songer was photographed with McGuire Woods co-counsel in America Lawyer for their successful trial strategy in a trade secrets lawsuit that secured a $920 million jury verdict for client DuPont. The case against Kolon Industries Inc. was over DuPont’s Kevlar brand body armor product.
According the article, “Songer’s team uncovered a document suggesting that defendant Kolon Industries, Inc., was withholding evidence.”
How They Won It: McGuireWoods, Crowell Score For DuPont
October 18, 2011 — Intellectual Property Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group partner and Trade Secrets team member Michael J. Songer speaks to Intellectual Property Law360 about the successful trial strategy that secured a $920 million jury verdict for Crowell & Moring client DuPont in a heated trade secret case with rival Kolon Industries Inc. over DuPont's Kevlar brand body armor product. The joint efforts between McGuireWoods and Crowell & Moring resulted in one of the largest jury verdicts ever reached in the Eastern District of Virginia.
According to Songer, "We chose the unjust enrichment theory, that Kolon had avoided the expense of doing their own research and development. Then we had to demonstrate the amount of research that had gone into DuPont's technology over the years."
DuPont Win Shows Importance of Trade Secrets Strategy
September 20, 2011 — Managing Intellectual Property
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group partner and Trade Secrets team member Michael J. Songer speaks with Managing Intellectual Property about the importance of trade secrets protection in this new age of an information society. Songer highlights how companies must be committed to protecting their R&D by seeing litigation through and also take the necessary steps with departing employees.
According to Songer, “recent high-profile trade secrets cases in the US have created more awareness among the general public about the importance of trade secrets to companies.”
Three Lessons From DuPont Trade Secret Case: Digital mobility and globalization mean manufacturers need to be more vigilant regarding intellectual property
September 20, 2011 — Industry Week
On the heels of a trade secrets theft win for client DuPont Co. against Kolon Industries Inc., Crowell & Moring’s Trade Secrets team talks about the important steps manufacturers should take to reduce their vulnerability to information security leaks.
According to partner Michael J. Songer, manufacturers should take the following measures to protect their intellectual property: secure their computers but don't hinder employee productivity; protect sensitive information with technology that limits employee access to particular files; and make their expectations clear regarding private information upon an employee's exit.
Litigators of the Week: Brian Riopelle of McGuireWoods and Michael Songer of Crowell & Moring
September 15, 2011 — The AmLaw Litigation Daily
Washington, D.C.-based Litigation Group partner and Trade Secrets team member Michael J. Songer, and McGuireWoods co-counsel, are featured in The AmLaw Litigation Daily’s, "Litigators of the Week." On September 14, 2011, Songer and co-counsel obtained a successful $919.9 million verdict for DuPont in a trade secrets theft case involving the company’s Kevlar product. The jury awarded DuPont $919.9 million in this case.
Jury Awards DuPont $920M In Kevlar Trade Secrets Suit
September 14, 2011 — IP Law360
Crowell & Moring’s Trade Secrets Group is highlighted in IP Law360 as co-counsel for DuPont in their $919 million win against Kolon Industries.
According to DuPont Senior Vice President and general counsel Thomas L. Sager, “The size of this award is one of the largest in defense of business processes and technologies.”
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