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Nicholas W. Armington

Special Counsel

[email protected]



Nicholas is a trial lawyer focusing on trade secret litigation who combines practical advice with deep experience to deliver results for clients. Nicholas has long experience representing clients in federal and state court, and at the International Trade Commission, where his practice covers all aspects of IP litigation with a focus on cases concerning allegations of trade secret misappropriation. Nicholas has delivered results for clients in a variety of technology areas, including network devices, semiconductors, consumer electronics, medical devices, and manufacturing devices. Mindful of the business realities of litigation, Nicholas actively fights for clients toward successful results in bet-the-company litigation while working simultaneously to counsel clients toward efficient and effective business results in pre-suit dispute resolution efforts. Nicholas’ practice also encompasses advising on the proactive protection and management of trade secret assets – often amongst a company’s most valuable assets.

Nicholas brings robust courtroom experience to his trade secret litigation practice. Aside from his trial work at Mintz, while a Special Assistant District Attorney in the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, Nicholas prosecuted over 150 criminal matters, trying many in jury and bench trials. Nicholas also maintains an active pro bono practice where he has represented numerous asylum seekers, among other matters, and has appeared before both trial and appellate courts.

Prior to joining Mintz, Nick worked for Hon. Ralph D. Gants, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and Hon. Patti B. Saris, Chief Judge of the US District Court, District of Massachusetts. Nicholas also played soccer professionally before going to law school.


Recent Trade Secret Litigation and Related Matters

  • Successfully defended pharmaceutical start-up company facing claims of trade secret misappropriation related to glycol-immunology used to treat various human disorders associated with cancer and inflammation.
  • Successfully obtained injunctive relief against Chinese entities accused of misappropriating trade secrets related to medical X-ray devices on behalf of a multi-national medical devices company.
  • Successfully represented company in the business of producing hi-frequency and hi-power chips concerning allegations of trade secret misappropriation against former joint development partner.
  • Successfully defended start-up medical device company against claims of trade secret misappropriation by larger multi-national medical device company operating in same technology space.
  • Successfully obtained partial summary judgment on behalf of multi-national business intelligence company against defendants’ counterclaims in matter where client alleged trade secret misappropriation against former employees and a competing firm they established.
  • Represent business consulting firm in claims for unlawful use of proprietary and confidential information utilized improperly by former customer of client.
  • Successfully advised client in the microchip development space concerning allegations of trade secret misappropriation against a former employee toward a pre-suit resolution of the dispute that avoided the need for litigation.
  • Successfully advised client that provides human resources technology solutions concerning the misappropriation of trade secret information by a former employee toward a pre-suit resolution of the dispute that avoided the need for litigation.
  • Successfully advised client in the business of providing temporary staffing solutions toward a resolution of allegations of trade secret misappropriation by multiple former employees shortly following the filing of suit against former employees.
  • Successfully advised client in the business of cellular communications technology in the defense of allegations of trade secret misappropriation.
  • Successfully advised client in the business of waste management technology in responding to demand correspondence alleging trade secret misappropriation towards avoidance of litigation.
  • Advised life sciences client in the implementation of reasonable measures to protect trade secret assets.

Recent Patent Litigation

  • Successfully represent plaintiff in a case alleging infringement of patents on the synthesis of quantum dots, and the use of quantum dot film resins in televisions and other electronic display devices, obtaining a $150,000,000 million settlement.
  • Successfully represented defendant in patent litigation alleging infringement of patents concerning self-righting aeronautical vehicles.
  • Represented Complainant in an ITC investigation adverse to a number of consumer electronics companies alleging infringement of patents related to the operation of smartphones.
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Successful defense of trade secrets in litigation begins with evaluating valuable confidential information and steps taken to safeguard it before any disputes arise. Trade secret asset management allows companies to effectively frame misappropriation or theft claims and advance arguments at every stage of a trade secrets dispute.

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Federal courts remain split on whether the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) allows for trade secret misappropriation claims brought under a theory of inevitable disclosure. Given this current patchwork of treatment of inevitable disclosure claims across the nation, owners of trade secrets and litigators of trade secret claims should continue to stay up to date on the treatment of this issue in the jurisdictions in which they practice.

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Since the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), trade secret owners have been able to use allegations of trade secret misappropriation under the DTSA to support civil claims under the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Specifically, DTSA violations that qualify as predicate acts can be used to show a pattern of racketeering activity, which may allow a trade secret owner to state civil claims under RICO, and thus take advantage of the substantial remedies that the RICO statute provides, including the potential for treble damages and attorney’s fees. 

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Last year, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York addressed an issue of first impression concerning what constitutes “misappropriation” under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) in a decision potentially relevant to cases involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation under the DTSA against a former employee. This case is worthy of note for any trade secret practitioner and is an important reminder that when pleading alleged trade secret misappropriation, it is not only important to describe the trade secret with sufficient particularity, but also to sufficiently describe the alleged misappropriation so as to illustrate the alleged acquisition of the trade secret by improper means or disclosure of the trade secret without consent.
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Removing Barriers to Second Chances

January 24, 2022 | Article

Mintz initiated many pro bono projects to combat systemic racism after the murder of George Floyd, including organizing Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information sealing clinics with the Lawyers Clearinghouse and conducting research for a Boston-based nonprofit into how housing authorities around the country evaluate applicants with open criminal charges.
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Amid the continuing threat to U.S. intellectual property rights posed by foreign actors, the International Trade Commission (ITC) is poised to become the latest federal agency to bolster protections for U.S. IP owners. The ITC’s broad power to exclude the importation into the U.S. of products that infringe American intellectual property now has the potential to be made even more robust through a new bill introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) on June 15, 2021, that would provide expedited relief for trade secret theft victims.
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Innovations that are eligible for patent protection are often vital to a company’s revenue stream and profitability, but in some cases, opting for trade secret protection is a better strategic choice.
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An ethical corporate culture and clear expectations during the hiring process can help companies curtail trade secret disputes when hiring employees from rival companies.
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News & Press

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BOSTON –  Twenty-five Mintz attorneys have been named to Boston Magazine’s Top Lawyers list.

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Life sciences trade secret cases continue to climb, driven by evolving restrictions on certain types of patents and patent litigation, a spike in companies’ use of confidential data, and increased employee mobility — and changes linked to the 2016 Defend Trade Secrets Act. In an article for IAM, Member Tom Wintner and Associate Nick Armington explain how these trends are shaping IP protection in the sector.

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Intellectual Property Chair Michael T. Renaud, Member Jonathan J. Engler, and Associate Nicholas Armington co-authored an article published in the May/June 2023 issue of IP Litigator examining a recent trade secret case in California.

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Mintz Member Adam Samansky and Associates Nicholas Armington and Oliver Ennis co-authored an article re-published in Law360 exploring the split amongst federal courts on the Defend Trade Secrets Act.

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Law360 covered developments in a trade secret lawsuit involving X-ray tubes brought on by Mintz client Philips Medical Systems, Inc. against Chinese companies Kunshan GuoLi Electronic Technology Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary, Kunshan Yiyuan Medical Technology Co. Ltd.
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A front page story in Bloomberg Law included commentary from Mintz Associate Nicholas Armington on an increased threat of trade secret theft as the coronavirus pandemic necessitates telework and drives layoffs.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has announced it's launching an investigation into whether thermoplastic parts used in certain BMW, Honda, and Toyota vehicle models have infringed five patents owned by Intellectual Ventures LLC.
IP Division Head Michael Renaud and Associate Nick Armington authored this Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report column examining the protections and provisions brought about by the DTSA and how employers can fully leverage it to combat trade secret theft.
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IP Division Head Michael Renaud and Associate Nick Armington authored this Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report column that examines the DTSA and how employers can fully leverage it to combat trade secret theft.
This article notes that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) upheld claims in a Straight Path IP Group patent matter. The coverage notes that the decision follows a rare reversal by the Federal Circuit that found the PTAB used an incorrect claim construction previously.
This article notes that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has upheld the validity of two Straight Path patents in Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s review.
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Events & Speaking

Recognition & Awards

  • Listed in Boston Magazine’s Top Lawyers (2023)

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  • Member, Sedona Conference Working Group 12 for Trade Secrets
  • Board Member, U.S. Intellectual Property Alliance
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Nicholas W. Armington

Special Counsel