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.