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Matthew C. Hurley

Member / Chair, Intellectual Property Litigation Practice

[email protected]

+1.617.348.4939

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Matt is a Boston-based litigator who represents primarily life sciences and technology companies in complex business disputes. He is particularly known for representing clients in domestic and international arbitrations, including an ICC arbitration in which Matt and his team obtained an award of over $100 million for a biotechnology company in a contract dispute. Serving as lead counsel in numerous arbitrations under all of the major arbitration rules and in litigations in federal and state courts throughout the United States, Matt has successfully represented clients in disputes involving collaboration agreements, patent licenses, supplier agreements, and distribution contracts. In addition, Matt represents clients in patent, trademark, copyright, and other intellectual property disputes, and over his 27 years of practice he has also handled litigation over real property, employment-related disputes, and bankruptcy court litigation. 

Matt is the Chair of Mintz’s IP Litigation Practice, managing more than 50 attorneys and Technical Specialists in six offices across the US. 

Earlier in his career, Matt served as a special assistant district attorney in the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office. During his time in the DA’s office, Matt prosecuted over 100 criminal matters, tried 12 jury cases to verdict, and handled numerous bench trials.

Before attending law school, Matt was a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal for exemplary performance of his duties while serving on a guided-missile cruiser during Operation Desert Storm.

Experience

  • Lead counsel for synthetic biology company in fast-track JAMS arbitration involving contractual counterparty’s claim for $42 million arising from our client’s alleged breach of collaboration agreement; following discovery, briefing and an evidentiary hearing, three-member panel issued a final award in June 2023 that unanimously found in favor of our client and denied all claims asserted by counterparty.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of General Electric Company in patent dispute involving fluorescent light bulbs and application of the Kessler doctrine. CFL Technologies LLC v. General Electric Company and GE Lighting, LLC, Civil Action No. 18-1444-RGA (D. Del. 2022).
  • Obtained nine-figure award for biopharmaceutical company in contract dispute with international pharmaceutical company involving milestone payments under a license and development agreement. Following extensive discovery, briefing, and an evidentiary hearing, the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce awarded our client all requested relief, including attorneys’ fees and expenses, and rejected the respondents’ nine-figure counterclaims in their entirety.  
  • Earned complete victory for an international life sciences company in arbitration filed by former shareholders of company acquired by our client. Seeking over $40 million in damages, the former shareholders alleged that our client had failed to use commercially reasonable efforts to achieve post-closing sales that would have entitled the plaintiffs to additional earn-out payments under a stock purchase agreement. Following discovery, briefing, and evidentiary hearing, the arbitrator rejected the former shareholders’ claims and entered judgment for our client.
  • Obtained defense verdict as lead trial counsel in federal court jury trial involving allegations of fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. Azco Biotech, Inc. v. Intelligent Bio-Systems, Inc., 12-cv-2599-BEN, U.S. Dist. Ct. (S.D. Cal.). Plaintiff, a former distributor of our client’s next generation sequencing (NGS) machines, filed an 18-count, $100 million complaint against our client. The jury rejected all of plaintiff’s claims and returned a unanimous verdict in our client’s favor.
  • Achieved complete victory as lead trial counsel for an international life sciences company in an arbitration initiated by one of the company’s top suppliers. Following extensive discovery and a two-week evidentiary hearing, a panel of three arbitrators unanimously rejected the supplier’s $12 million breach of contract claim and entered judgment for our client on its counterclaim in a total amount exceeding $2 million, including recovery of our client’s attorneys’ fees and costs. 
  • Earned victory for a biotechnology company in an arbitration involving a multibillion-dollar drug development collaboration. A panel of three retired federal judges ruled in our client’s favor following a two-week hearing, a victory that established our client’s right to co-develop one of the world’s largest-selling cancer drugs.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of a molecular diagnostics company in a dispute with one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies over the right to distribute a companion diagnostic kit for use in the oncology market.
  • Successfully represented institutional holders of over $400 million in airport revenue bonds in litigation within the Delta Airlines bankruptcy. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals and US Supreme Court upheld the bankruptcy court’s decision in our clients’ favor. 
  • Obtained summary judgment for our bondholder clients in a dispute with United Airlines, which sought to avoid paying over $260 million in special facility airport revenue bonds as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the bankruptcy court’s decision in our clients’ favor. 
  • Persuaded a Massachusetts state court to deny a plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction in a software licensing dispute involving a popular computer game. 
  • Convinced federal court to grant summary judgment to a national textbook publisher in a copyright infringement action. 
  • Successfully defended a national printing company against a competitor’s lawsuit seeking to enforce a noncompetition agreement. 
  • Achieved trial and appellate victories for a national hotel chain in a contract dispute with a real estate developer. 
  • Obtained settlement at mediation on behalf of a state university in an environmental cleanup action.
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viewpoints

To stay or to go (from the docket)? For decades, federal courts of appeal have disagreed on a fundamental procedural question: when a dispute filed in federal district court is subject to arbitration, should the court dismiss the action or stay it pending the outcome of the arbitration? 

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Online retailers routinely include arbitration clauses in the terms of service for their website, seeking to send any consumer claims to arbitration and to eliminate a consumer’s right to file a class action lawsuit. 

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Speed and efficiency have long been Amazon’s hallmarks, and its dispute resolution system for patent infringement claims is no exception.  Amazon’s Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation (“UPNE”) proceeding is quickly emerging as an efficient and powerful dispute resolution tool, especially in the consumer goods industry, where sellers rely on Amazon for a significant portion of their sales.  So efficient, in fact, that sellers who have either ignored or not taken a UPNE seriously have found their products suddenly banned from Amazon’s website, leaving them with no recourse other than to file a declaratory judgment action in federal court and request relief that is typically far from quick or certain.

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In what appears to be an effort to standardize and professionalize its mediation practices and procedures, China recently enacted new rules governing the mediation of intellectual property disputes. Issued by the Mediation Center of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, a national foreign trade body, the new rules create a framework that can guide IP dispute mediation nationwide. It appears that China is hoping that these steps will make it a more popular mediation forum among foreign parties.
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In "ROHM Semiconductor USA, LLC v. MaxPower Semiconductor, Inc.", th Federal Circuit held that an arbitrator, not a federal district court, should decide whether a dispute arising from a technology license is subject to mandatory arbitration. Agreeing with a long line of decisions from other circuits, the Federal Circuit found that where an agreement incorporates by reference rules allowing an arbitrator to determine arbitrability, those rules should be given effect and an arbitrator, not a court, should decide whether the dispute is subject to arbitration.
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On April 5, 2021, the United States Supreme Court issued a significant fair use decision, holding six to two that Google’s copying of 11,500 lines of code from Oracle’s Java SE API in Google’s Android platform was a fair and transformative use. 
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Last week, the Federal Circuit invoked the Kessler doctrine in ruling that a district court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s patent infringement suit against Amazon barred the plaintiff’s subsequent lawsuits against Amazon and its customers in In Re PersonalWeb Technologies, Inc.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused individuals and companies alike to face the reality of a rapid economic downturn followed by a potentially slow recovery characterized by continued economic challenges.
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News & Press

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Intellectual Property Litigation Chair Matthew Hurley spoke to Managing IP on how intellectual property arbitration lawyers are scouting new leads both internally and externally as they prepare for a possible spike in alternative dispute resolution. Matt observed a rise in arbitration matters and how he and his transactional colleagues are noticing clients draft arbitration provisions in their agreements.

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Mintz is pleased to announce that 32 attorneys have been named Massachusetts Super Lawyers and 27 attorneys have been named Massachusetts Rising Stars for 2023.

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35 Mintz attorneys have been named Massachusetts Super Lawyers and 25 Mintz attorneys have been named Massachusetts Rising Stars for 2022.

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Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Matthew Hurley, Member and Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Division Michael Renaud, and Associate Oliver Ennis co-authored an article published in the November/December 2021 issue of IP Litigator exploring why arbitration has become an increasingly attractive alternative for resolving IP disputes. The authors wrote that while arbitration isn’t the right fit (or even available) in all situations, IP rights holders should consider adding it to their enforcement strategies.
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Law360 reported that Mintz client American video codec company DivX, an early innovator in the digital streaming video and digital rights management scene, has reached confidential settlements with LG and Samsung, resolving international litigation claiming they infringe DivX’s streaming patents with their smart televisions. The Mintz team representing DivX is led by Member and Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Division Michael Renaud and Member Adam Rizk and includes Member and Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Matthew Hurley, Members Keith Carroll, Marguerite McConihe, Michael McNamara, Samuel Davenport, and Daniel Weinger, and Associates Matthew Karambelas, Jessica Perry, and Nana Liu.
Fifty-three Mintz attorneys have been named Massachusetts Super Lawyers for 2016 and thirty-one have been named Massachusetts Rising Stars. The findings will be published in the November 2016 issue of Boston Magazine and in a stand-alone magazine, New England Super Lawyers. 
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Events & Speaking

Speaker
Feb
17
2016

G2: Beyond "Alternative Dispute Resolution"

Association of University Technology Managers

San Diego, CA

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Recognition & Awards

  • Included on the Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Intellectual Property, Business Litigation lists (2014 – 2017, 2019 – 2023)

  • Navy Achievement Medal for exemplary performance during the Persian Gulf War

  • Navy Commendation Medal for superior performance of duty during a three-year tour on the USS Biddle (CG-34)

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Involvement

  • Member, Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, and American Bar Association
  • Member, Southborough (Mass.) Zoning Board of Appeals (2007 – 2013), (Chairman, 2011 – 2013)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Veteran Legal Services (2012 – 2014)
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Matthew C. Hurley

Member / Chair, Intellectual Property Litigation Practice

Boston