Michael T. Pieja
Partner / Chicago

P: 312-881-5954
F: 312-380-7016

Download vcard for Michael T. Pieja mpieja@goldmanismail.com

Mike is a litigator focusing on cases involving complex technologies, with experience spanning a range of technical areas and jurisdictions. He has managed complex, multi-jurisdictional and multi-national intellectual-property actions and has significant experience litigating in the International Trade Commission as well as many district courts. Mike has also successfully argued several appeals before the Federal Circuit. His cases have spanned smartphone design, computer operating systems and software, user interfaces, wireless communications, touchscreen hardware, processor and memory design, polymer processing, radar, voice and speech coding, consumer electronics, and other technologies. In addition to his extensive intellectual-property experience, Mike has also litigated contract and tort claims arising out of technology-related disputes. In all of his cases, Mike specializes in analyzing complex legal and technical issues and presenting his clients’ arguments in a clear, understandable, and compelling way.

  • Audio Products Litigation
    • Mike served as co-lead trial counsel for a Fortune 10 American technology company in a multi-jurisdictional patent and contract dispute with a competitor relating to wireless headphones and smart speakers. In that role, Mike developed strategy for and oversaw all aspects of the case, including coordination with IPR and arbitration proceedings. During the litigation, Mike first-chaired a Markman hearing and dispositive motions and Daubert hearings before Judge Albright in the Western District of Texas. Mike and his team won a summary-judgment ruling on infringement and on the contract claims at issue and an order from the Court requiring the plaintiff to specifically perform the contractual obligations in dispute. These orders prompted the plaintiff to settle its surviving claims less than two days before trial.
    Consumer Electronics Litigation
    • Served as lead counsel for a Fortune 10 consumer electronics company in eight patent-infringement cases brought by Uniloc USA, a prolific non-practicing entity, relating to telecommunications, user-interface, computer security, and battery technologies. To date, Mike and his team have secured dismissal of three patents on their merits, and successfully secured the dismissal or stay of all remaining cases based on a defect in Uniloc’s constitutional standing issue—a win that forced Uniloc to dismiss dozens of cases nationwide. Mike also secured  transfer of the remaining cases from the Eastern District of Texas to the Northern District of California—the first convenience-based transfer ever granted against this plaintiff across hundreds of cases. Mike has also served as arguing counsel in multiple Federal Circuit appeals arising out of this series of litigations and led a multi-defendant effort that defeated Uniloc’s attempt to centralize its infringement cases in an MDL.
    • Mike also is serving or has served as lead counsel for the same client in multiple patent-infringement lawsuits in Delaware, Texas, Illinois, and the International Trade Commission relating to wireless communications, wearable computers, streaming media, user interface, and camera and lens-design technologies. He secured dismissals of all claims against his client in each case.
    Digital Mapping Litigation
    • Served as lead counsel for an American technology company in a patent-infringement dispute relating to digital mapping technologies. The matter resolved immediately after the Court issued its Markman order that provided Mike’s client with several new non-infringement arguments.
    Smartphone Patent Litigation

    Represented a California-based Fortune 10 consumer electronics company in enforcing its patent rights against foreign and domestic competitors.

    • Southern District of Florida Actions: Co-lead counsel in patent cases against Motorola, including arguing Markman hearing. Case settled after a favorable Markman ruling.
    • Multinational Actions: Coordinated actions in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia relating to design and user interface technologies. Client was awarded injunctive relief.
    • International Trade Commission Actions: Litigation and trial counsel in ITC action involving operating system software. Following trial, client was awarded an exclusion order barring importation of competitor’s smartphones.
    In re Certain Nitrile Gloves

    Defended a group of Malaysian polymer and rubber producers at trial in an ITC action alleging that their surgical and work gloves infringed a patent. Trial resulted in a defense verdict and invalidation of all claims of the asserted patent.

    Smartphone User Interface Litigation

    Defended a major California consumer electronics company against patent infringement claims on touch-based user interfaces, including arguing Markman hearing, and developed and litigated related tort and breach of contract claims. Case settled immediately after client received a favorable Markman ruling.

    Kid Stuff Marketing v. Creative Consumer Concepts, Inc.

    Lead counsel for Kid Stuff in inter partes review brought by client’s competitor challenging patent on client’s flagship products. After trial, secured a finding in the client’s favor upholding every challenged claim.

    Guada Technologies v. MLB Advanced Media, L.P.

    Counsel for MLB in patent-infringement case relating to web search technologies pending in the Eastern District of Texas.

    Avionica, Inc. v. Teledyne Controls, Inc.

    Counsel for Teledyne in declaratory judgment action alleging certain avionics patents were invalid and client’s products did not infringe. Formulated and pursued infringement counterclaims and managed all day-to-day aspects of case.

    • Partner, Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP
    • Partner, Bridges & Mavrakakis LLP
    • Associate, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
    • Yale Law School (J.D.)
    • Princeton University (B.S.E., chemical engineering, summa cum laude)
    • The Honorable John T. Noonan, Jr., U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Klepeis J.L., Pieja M.T. and Floudas C.A., A New Class of Hybrid Global Optimization Algorithms for Peptide Structure Prediction: Integrated Hybrids, Computer Phys. Comm. 151:121-140 (2003).

    Klepeis J.L., Pieja M.T. and Floudas C.A., Hybrid Global Optimization Algorithms for Protein Structure Prediction: Alternating Hybrids, Biophysical J. 84:869-882 (2003).

    • Selected by Super Lawyers as an Illinois Super Lawyer (2020-2023)
    • Selected by Lawdragon as among the “all-star litigators” “who excel at representing principally corporations and other organizations” in complex litigation, especially intellectual property, in the 500 Leading Litigators in America guide
    • Selected by Super Lawyers as an Illinois Rising Star (2014, 2018, 2019)
    • Ranked by Benchmark Litigation as a Top Litigator Under 40 (2018-2019)
    • State of California
    • State of New York
    • State of Illinois