The Legal 500, Global Competition Review, and IP Law 360 rank Robert Rowan among the top patent and antitrust litigators in the country.
Robert Rowan, a Nixon Vanderhye Shareholder and Senior Litigator, is known for his skill in the courtroom when trying complex – and often contentious – patent, trademark, copyright, and antitrust cases, as well as his active trademark prosecution practice. Over a career that spans more than 40 years, he has tried numerous cases involving patent, trademark, and copyright infringement, as well as sham patent infringement litigation / Walker Process fraud antitrust actions. Bob has also been selected to appear as an expert witness in arbitration and other adjudicative proceedings.
Notably, Bob and Nixon Vanderhye colleague Joseph Presta are the only two lawyers in the United States who have served as co-lead counsel in two successful sham patent infringement / Walker Process cases. In the most recent Shuffle Tech et al v. Scientific Games et al case, tried in 2018 before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the jury awarded the firm’s Shuffle Tech client and two other plaintiffs $105 million, which was trebled by the judge to $315 million. This victory was cited by The National Law Journal as one of the top 10 verdicts of 2018.
In addition to his significant experience in sham patent litigations, Bob has tried Section 1 and 2 cases involving polyvinyl chloride piping, air courier services, and insurance, the latter of which invoked both McCarran-Ferguson and Noerr-Pennington immunity issues. He has also represented clients from a diverse set of industries – ranging from poultry processors and plasma purification labs to heavy machinery manufacturers and nutritional supplement companies – in patent, trademark, and copyright infringement lawsuits.
For the first 12 years of his career, Bob worked as a commercial litigator for a Hawaii-based law firm where he handled cases involving banking, bankruptcy, real estate, construction defects, and taxation. In 1988, he joined Nixon Vanderhye and began concentrating solely on IP-related matters.
As a law student at the University of Michigan Law School, Bob assisted Professor James White in researching and writing White’s textbook on commercial transactions, which is still used in law schools around the country. He was also active in the school’s Campbell Moot Court competition as both a participant and a judge. Today, he continues to judge moot court competitions at the George Mason Law School and has authored articles on sham litigation, the patent law doctrine of equivalents, and other IP-related topics for a variety of legal publications. He was also recently selected to appear as a panelist to discuss sham litigation and Walker Process fraud antitrust cases at the Spring 2019 meeting of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section.
- Won a $315 million verdict on behalf of Shuffle Tech and two other plaintiffs in a sham patent infringement litigation / Walker Process fraud case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The case was predicated on the enforcement of two fraudulently obtained patents for automatic card shufflers for regulated casinos, resulting in a complete monopoly of the relevant market in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. As post-trial motions were pending, the case settled for $151.5 million.
- Secured a $39 million verdict on behalf of the firm’s client in a sham patent infringement / Walker Process fraud case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Also a Sherman Act action, the case was based on the attempted monopolization of the market for proprietary casino card games, and was similarly predicated on the enforcement of fraudulently obtained patents. The case settled for $25 million as post-trial motions were pending.
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – Patent Trial and Appeal Board
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- U.S. Tax Court
- U.S. District Courts in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington
- Supreme Courts of Hawaii and Virginia
- The District of Columbia Court of Appeals
- The Court of Appeals of Maryland
- J.D., cum laude, University of Michigan Law School, 1973
- A.B., with general honors, University of Missouri, 1970
- U.S. Military Academy at West Point
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rating
- Global Competition Review,“Litigator of the Week”
- IP Law 360
- The Legal 500
- Who’s Who in American Law
- American Bar Association, Antitrust Section
- Hawaii Bar Association
- Pauline Newman Intellectual Property Inn of Court
- Virginia Bar Association
- Panelist, “Sham Litigation after FTC v. AbbVie,” American Bar Association Antitrust Section, Spring 2019.
- Panelist, “Sham Litigation and Walker Process Fraud Antitrust Actions,” American Bar Association Antitrust Section telephone presentation, March 2019.
- Panelist, “Patent Eligibility Under Section 101,” Pauline Newman Intellectual Property Inn of Court.
- Author, Syllabus for American Bar Association Antitrust Section panel discussion on Sham Litigation and Walker-Process Fraud, Spring 2019.
- Author, “Bilski Decision Breathes New Life Into Non-Machine, Rules-Based Game Patents,” Casino Lawyer, Fall 2010.
- Author, “Festo VII: The Supreme Court Reinstates the ‘Flexible Bar’ But Wi