National Law Journal Names Michael Allan, Charles Schill IP Trailblazers

(June 1, 2016, Washington, DC) — Steptoe partners Michael Allan and Charles Schill have been named to The National Law Journal’s list of Trailblazers in Intellectual Property.  The list of 50 lawyers was featured in a supplement in the May 30 issue of the legal publication.

Mr. Allan has a track record of blazing new trails in intellectual property litigation.  Most recently, he served as lead counsel in one of the largest music copyright cases in the last several years.  Mr. Allan represented music publishing house BMG Rights Management US in a case against Internet service provider (ISP) Cox Communications.  BMG, which holds copyrights to more than two million works, claimed that Cox contributed to massive illegal downloading and sharing of music by its users.  Following a two-week trial in December 2015, a jury returned a $25 million verdict, finding Cox willfully liable for contributory infringement.  The verdict was the first of its kind against an ISP, and is expected to have far-reaching implications for the entertainment and ISP sectors.

Mr. Allan also led the Steptoe team that, in 2012, handled the first Section 337 investigation at the International Trade Commission (ITC) initiated by a luxury goods company.  In a trademark infringement case brought by Louis Vuitton against counterfeiters, Mr. Allan and Steptoe won a rare general exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry of certain products infringing on its registered marks.

To many observers, Mr. Schill is the dean of the ITC bar.  With more than four decades of experience handling matters before the ITC, he has handled more than 130 unfair trade practice cases under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 at the ITC, and has won or favorably settled almost all of them.  Over the course of his career, which includes service as a senior staff attorney in the Office of Legal Services and the Office of General Counsel at the ITC, several of his Section 337 cases have had an impact beyond the case itself and the parties involved.

In one of his more memorable cases, Mr. Schill represented Cardinal Chemical Co. at trial and on appeal to the Federal Circuit (1991), and then the Supreme Court (1993) in a patent dispute filed by Morton International.  Mr. Schill and Cardinal prevailed with the high court ruling that the patents were invalid and not infringed.  Since then, the case has been cited more than 3,000 times.

In 2015, Mr. Schill received the Life Achievement Distinction from the Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA).  He was recognized for his 40+ year legal career and his extraordinary commitment to the Federal Circuit community, including the court’s advisory council, the FCBA, and the Federal Circuit Historical Society. 

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