Knobbe Partner Joseph Re Featured in Of Counsel Report

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Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear partner Joseph (“Joe”) Re is featured in the March 2015 edition of Of Counsel: The Legal Practice and Management Report.  The monthly report is a must-read for legal practitioners to stay competitive in the American legal market.  The latest edition includes an interview of Mr. Re in a feature titled “Litigating for the Greater Good: Knobbe Martens Lawyer Scores Big Wins.”

Indeed, wins in high-stake patent cases have made Mr. Re a nationally recognized trial and appellate attorney.  As an appellate specialist, Mr. Re has argued dozens of appeals in patent cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Some of Mr. Re’s recent “big wins” include leading trial and appellate teams to help longstanding client Masimo protect its ground-breaking patient-monitoring technology.  In the Of Counsel interview, Mr. Re discusses one such big win in which Masimo’s ground-breaking patents were successfully asserted against patient-monitoring giant Philips Electronics.  “[W]hat’s most important about this technology,” Mr. Re said, “is that the health benefits have been enormous.  It saves lives, eliminates premature blindness in babies, and reduces health care costs. It’s really been remarkable.”  In 2014, a jury awarded Masimo over $466 million against Philips for infringing two Masimo patents.  The jury also rejected Philips’ claim of patent infringement and its plea for $169 million.  The case was featured in The National Law Journal’s “Top Verdicts of 2014” as the #1 IP verdict and #5 overall.  Law360 also listed the verdict as the “Top IP Award of 2014.”

For helping client Access Closure with a win before the Federal Circuit that saved the company, Mr. Re recently received a “game changer” award from The Recorder.  The medical-device maker lost at trial and faced a pending permanent injunction.  Mr. Re took over on appeal and obtained a reversal, allowing his client to survive and later be acquired by Cardinal Health for $320 million.

In the Of Counsel interview, we get a glimpse of the mind behind these and other big wins.  Mr. Re expounds on a wide range of topics including, among others, the following:

  • His upbringing: “My parents met in law school and were both lawyers…I have seen trials since I was nine years old.”
  • Early career milestones: “I worked with [Knobbe founding partner] Don Martens on a patent case” which paved the way for Markman, the 7th Amendment right of trial by jury on claim construction in patent cases.
  • Challenges in attorney recruiting and management: “The problem areas are the lawyers who’ve been told by their mothers that they are the greatest person ever…”
  • Growing the firm from an IP boutique with only 30 attorneys to an AmLaw 200 giant with over 250 attorneys: “I really get a charge out of seeing somebody who’s a little rough around the edges but has great brainpower and has some charisma and I say this person is outgoing and has a great career ahead of him or her and doesn’t even know it.”

Before he embarked on his own great career, Mr. Re grew up in New York as the son of a federal judge and as the eighth child of twelve.  He clerked for two years for the Honorable Howard T. Markey, the very first Chief Judge for the Federal Circuit.  Mr. Re then joined Knobbe Martens in 1987 and made partner in 1990.  He has been there ever since.

Read the full interview below.

Tom Cowan
Tom is a Partner in the San Diego office and serves clients worldwide in aerospace, mechanical, and medical technologies. He counsels clients on overall IP strategy, performs IP audits, prosecutes patents and trademarks, conducts pre-litigation enforcement of IP rights, negotiates licenses, and conducts offensive and defensive diligence such as patentability and infringement studies. As a former aerospace engineer with experience at NASA and Northrop Grumman, and holding a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, Tom’s legal services are supplemented with his advanced technical abilities in a wide range of inventive domains. Tom has particular experience with assisting startups from the conceptual design phase through acquisition. One recent example is Millipede, Inc., developer of a heart valve annuloplasty device. Tom prosecuted their patent portfolio and provided defensive patent diligence, resulting in investments and an acquisition by Boston Scientific totaling $540,000,000. Other example particular technologies in Tom’s patent experience include cardiac devices, intracranial sensors, prosthetics, aircraft and rockets, robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), semiconductors, imaging and biosensors, high altitude balloons, control systems, thermal management systems, software, and more. Additional highlights include: Keynote Speaker, “Patent Basics for the Aerospace Industry,” at the 2019 Space Foundation Space Commerce Workshop Former Mechanical engineer at Northrop Grumman, where he designed and tested complex structures and mechanisms for various spacecraft programs Interned at NASA Armstrong Space Center, Aerodynamics Branch, where he analyzed data for the Quiet Supersonic Platform Inventor of the “Inflate-A-Brake,” a system for de-orbiting small satellites to reduce space debris Publications Coordinator for the firm’s medical device practice group, which leads the nation in medical device patent prosecution having obtained over 4,800 medical device patents since 1976 and 2,700 medical device patents since 2010 Member of the firm’s pro bono committee and coordinates with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s regional patent pro bono program to assist indigent individuals and non-profit organizations Co-Chair of the Licensing Executives Society (LES) for the San Diego Chapter Holds a minor in Chinese and studied Chinese language and history at Shaanxi Normal University in Xian, China
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