U.S. District Court Dismisses Business Tort and IP Claims Against Firm Client

On March 26, 2014, Judge Samuel Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed, with prejudice, all claims against Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati client Thomas G. Wiggans in a multi-defendant case.

In The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health v. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers et al., the Australian research institute asserted business tort and intellectual property claims against several technology investors and board members, including our client, based on a corporate acquisition. Specifically, the plaintiff argued that the defendants improperly structured an acquisition in order to deprive a technology licensor of payment rights and sought significant damages premised on payments by the acquirer to the acquired company's shareholders. In an important ruling with ramifications for both M&A and IP litigation regarding the effect of a reverse triangular merger on IP licenses held by an acquired subsidiary, Judge Conti dismissed all of the claims without leave to amend.

The Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati team that represented Mr. Wiggans in the matter included partners Steven Schatz, Charles Tait Graves, and Catherine Moreno, and associates Benjamin Crosson, Evan Seite, and Stephen Strain. The co-defendants were represented by Hogan Lovells.