Michael T. Pieja
Partner / Chicago

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

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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
    • Served as co-lead trial counsel for a Fortune 10 American technology company in a multi-jurisdictional patent and contract dispute relating to wireless headphones and smart speakers. 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 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.
    Camera Optics Litigation
    • Serving as lead counsel for a major American technology company in a case involving breach of contract, patent, and trade secret claims relating to technology for the design of wide-angle camera lenses and related software. Mike’s team secured an early win on a motion to dismiss certain claims; the remaining portions of the case are pending in the District of Delaware and are at the claim construction phase.
    AML IP v. Stripe
    • Serving as lead counsel for Stripe, Inc. in a case involving patent-infringement claims relating to automated payment technology. This case is pending in the Western District of Texas and is at the pleadings stage.
    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. Mike and his team secured dismissal of multiple patents on their merits, and 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 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, and user interface 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.

    Served as 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.

    Served as 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.

    Served as 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