Renée Rothauge

Representative jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations

Renée’s clients comprise a “who’s who” of regional, national and global business organizations who trust her to protect and advance their interests when the consequences of litigation are often measured in terms of triumph or catastrophe.

Breach of Contract

Andritz, Inc. v. Prue, et al.

Represented Andritz against a competitor and a former employee in a lawsuit seeking damages for patent infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Obtained a favorable confidential settlement for the client.

Columbia Helicopters, Inc. et al. v. Boeing Company

Represented helicopter company against leading worldwide aircraft manufacturer in a breach of contract suit and obtained a favorable settlement for our client.

Columbia Helicopters, Inc. v. Carson Helicopters, Inc.

Represented Columbia Helicopters in a case to enforce a contractual indemnity obligation involving the tragic death and maiming of 14 men when a helicopter operated by Carson Helicopters crashed in the Shasta National Forest during firefighting operations. We obtained a summary judgment ruling that required Carson to indemnify Columbia for defense costs associated with lawsuits arising from the crash.  Carson appealed the ruling on its indemnity obligation and the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s opinion.

DG Cogen Partners, LLC et al. v. Large Regional Law Firm

Markowitz Herbold successfully defeated all legal malpractice claims against its client in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. Plaintiff alleged that it suffered $60 million in damages when an arbitrator enforced an oral, unsigned settlement agreement which led to the dismissal of Lanham Act, warranty, contract, and tort claims in California. Judge Hernandez dismissed the legal malpractice claim with prejudice on all counts, ruling that the claims had no merit because plaintiff could not prove causation as a matter of law.

Hanna LP v. Windmills Inns of America

Represented a commercial landlord in a two-week trial against a tenant arising out of a dispute over the meaning of provisions specifying methods for calculating rent for five-year lease terms. The jury returned a verdict in favor of  client and subsequently, the court entered an award of attorneys’ fees.

The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed 223 Or. App. 151, 194 P.3rd 874 (2008) and the case is cited often for principles of contract construction under Oregon law.

Harry & David Corporation v. IBM

Represented Harry & David against IBM in a dispute involving its website software. During motion practice, we convinced an Oregon federal judge that, under New York law, Harry & David had a viable claim for fraud against IBM arising from its contractual indemnity obligations.

HLHZ Investments, LLC v. Plaid Pantries, Inc., et al.

Defended Plaid Pantry convenience stores in a case stemming from a hostile takeover attempt where use of the Oregon Control Share Act, ORS 60.801, formed the basis of claims for breach of contract and breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Obtained a dismissal of all claims against the client on summary judgment.

Kids II, Inc. v. XRT, Inc.

Represented the inventor of the Oball baby toy in a multi-million dollar royalty dispute with Kids II, a large baby toy manufacturer and distributor. After a week-long jury trial in Federal District Court in Georgia, the inventor prevailed on his breach of contract claim. Also obtained directed verdict on certain disputed toys. 

Makad Energy, LLC v. PowerMand Corp.

Client licensed “smart grid” energy management technology from a company that had developed and patented the software. After client had expended significant time and resources improving the technology to make it marketable to energy managers, the company was served with a unilateral and unwarranted termination notice. The Markowitz Herbold team immediately prepared a strong defense and the case settled shortly before arbitration

Power Buying Dealers Western Region, Inc. v. Boyd Coffee Company

Represented Boyd Coffee Company in a jury trial defending a three million dollar claim for breach of contract, tortious interference and theft of trade secrets by a marketing company providing volume purchasing services to ExxonMobil dealers in the western United States. Representation resulted in a defense verdict in a bifurcated trial and a favorable settlement on the remaining claims after trial.

Sound Security, Inc. v. Sonitrol Corporation

Represented Sound Security, Inc., a large Pacific Northwest company and franchisee of The Stanley Work’s Sonitrol brand in a case for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violation of Washington State and Federal franchise laws. We led a multi-state team that conducted aggressive discovery and motion practice against Stanley which resulted in a settlement with Stanley on the eve of trial.

Unified Grocers, fka Unified Western Grocers v. C&K Market, Inc.

Successfully defended C&K Market in a bet-the-company matter involving the alleged breach of distribution agreement. Successfully defeated plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief and successfully settled case.

Business Torts

Beebe v. Central Point Properties

Defended a contractor during a two-week jury trial for negligence and nuisance arising from the construction of a drain system for a housing development.  The jury found no negligence and a small percentage of fault for nuisance awarding a fraction of the $3 million sought.

Executive Security Management, Inc. et al. v. Jack Dahl

Represented the plaintiff when shareholders and former employees disrupted the successful security credentialing business by suing them for breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with economic relationships and violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  Obtained a favorable settlement after summary judgment rulings.

Harry & David Corporation v. IBM

Represented Harry & David against IBM in a dispute involving its website software. During motion practice, we convinced an Oregon federal judge that, under New York law, Harry & David had a viable claim for fraud against IBM arising from its contractual indemnity obligations.

Sound Security, Inc. v. Sonitrol Corporation

Represented Sound Security, Inc., a large Pacific Northwest company and franchisee of The Stanley Work’s Sonitrol brand in a case for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violation of Washington State and Federal franchise laws. We led a multi-state team that conducted aggressive discovery and motion practice against Stanley which resulted in a settlement with Stanley on the eve of trial.

Shareholder Disputes

HLHZ Investments, LLC v. Plaid Pantries, Inc., et al.

Defended Plaid Pantry convenience stores in a case stemming from a hostile takeover attempt where use of the Oregon Control Share Act, ORS 60.801, formed the basis of claims for breach of contract and breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Obtained a dismissal of all claims against the client on summary judgment.

Hubbard, Tarlow, Caruso, Cascade Investors v. OBBIV, LLC, Shires, Bayly, Gillison

Defended the Management Committee members from breach of fiduciary duty claims arising out of a lending company's loans to real estate ventures. During discovery, obtained testimony from one of the plaintiffs that his claims against our clients were not well founded because the Managers had acted prudently in managing the LLC. Obtained a favorable settlement.

Lynn Meier, et al. v. John Taylor, et al.

Acted as trial counsel in a rare Oregon corporate valuation trial which pitted 50 percent shareholders against each other in a corporate takeover battle involving multiple wood remanufacturing companies valued at nearly $20 million before the dispute arose.  After a two-week trial, obtained a court ruling for our client that the companies were worth more than 10 times what the company president had offered to pay for client’s 50 percent share.

United Services Associated, Inc. v. Lupo

After a week-long trial, we obtained a non-dischargeability judgment for a construction company against a former executive who breached fiduciary duties and embezzled more than $250,000.

Copyright

Copyright infringement claims

Defended an advertising agency against copyright infringement claims that it had designed an infringing map. The case resolved with a favorable settlement for the agency.

Howard Schwartz v. Eric A. Kimmel

Defended the author of children’s books in a copyright infringement lawsuit and obtained a favorable settlement after obtaining an order transferring the case from an unfavorable forum to Oregon.

King Vision Cable v. Kruger’s Restaurant

Defended a claim of copyright infringement relating to a Holyfield/Tyson boxing match.

Tourmap Company, Inc. v. Portland Visitors Map, LLC

Defended an advertising agency against copyright infringement claims that it had designed an infringing map. Obtained a favorable settlement.

Patent

AcryMed, Inc., et al. v. ConvaTec, et al.

Represented AcryMed, a small, local biotech company, against ConvaTec and Bristol Myers in a case alleging patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets.  The case settled the day before trial for an eight figure cash settlement and other favorable remedies for AcryMed.

Andritz, Inc. v. Prue, et al.

Represented Andritz against a competitor and a former employee in a lawsuit seeking damages for patent infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Obtained a favorable confidential settlement for the client.

Cargill, Incorporated v. Canbra Foods, Ltd., et al.

Acted as local trial counsel for a seed developer in a patent infringement case over canola seeds and a competitor’s attempt to monopolize the $50 billion trans fat-free food processing marketing.  Patents were invalidated for inequitable conduct after a finding by the jury of material misrepresentation to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Columbia Sportswear North America, Inc. v. Seirus Innovative Accessories, Inc.

Renée Rothauge was hired on the eve of trial to defend Seirus Innovation Accessories in its ongoing, five-year battle with Columbia Sportswear. Columbia sued Seirus alleging it infringed its Omni-Heat Technology. After a 13-day jury trial, Seirus scored a significant victory when the jury invalidated Columbia’s asserted Omni-Heat patent claims and found no willful infringement by Seirus. Seirus was ordered to pay Columbia $3 million for infringing a minor design patent. 

ReliOn, Inc. v. Hydra Fuel Cell Corporation

Represented a fuel cell inventor from patent infringement claims by a competitor. During discovery, we obtained a ruling that the attorney-client privilege had been waived despite vigorous arguments by plaintiff. The opinion has since been cited frequently as an example of circumstances where privilege can be waived even when a stipulated protective order is in place. See The Legal Intelligencer “Federal Rule of Evidence 502: An Oft-Unopened Gift” www.Law.com, January 29, 2013.

Werner Paddles, Inc. v. Branches LLC dba Aqua-Bound Technologies

Represented plaintiff, a manufacturer of canoe, kayak and raft paddles, in a case against a competing manufacturer for patent infringement. Case successfully settled prior to trial.

Zing Toys, Inc. and Steven Walterscheid v. Zuru, LLC, et al.

Defended a toy manufacturer accused of patent infringement and trademark infringement stemming from its sale of a line of flying toys. Obtained a favorable settlement during pre-trial mediation.

Licensing Disputes

California Expanded Metals Company v. Clarkwestern Dietrich, et al.

Represented the inventor of an innovative fire-stopping technology used in the construction industry. The case involved multiple claims and counter-claims for breach of licensing agreements, patent infringement, and business torts.

Trademarks

Breach of license agreement, unfair competition, and trademark infringement

Defended a delivery company sued for breach of license agreement, unfair competition, and trademark infringement after an adverse preliminary injunction order had been entered. After aggressive discovery and motion practice, a favorable settlement was obtained prior to trial.

Herb Pharm, Inc. v. Motherland Herb Pharm, Inc.

Defended a manufacturer of herbal supplements by settling this trademark infringement case prior to a preliminary injunction without any payment by the client.

In re Carrot Bunch Companies, Inc. et al.

Defended an on-line printing supply company from a trademark infringement claim stemming from an alleged infringing domain name. Obtained a favorable settlement for our client.

Lanham Act case

Defended a coiled hose seller sued by a large hose company and obtained a favorable summary judgment ruling that the term “coil hose“ was descriptive and therefore our client was not liable for Lanham Act violations.

Software trademark and unfair competition claims

Represented national apparel and outdoor equipment retailer in a declaratory action wherein a national marketing software provider sought a judgment that its pop-up software program did not violate trademark and unfair competition laws.

Trademark infringement

Defended a pharmaceutical manufacturer by settling this trademark infringement dispute prior to a preliminary injunction without any payment by our client.

Trademark infringement for regional restaurant

Represented a northwest regional restaurant owner against an infringer for Lanham Act violations and, after discovery and a hearing, obtained a permanent injunction against the infringer prohibiting use of the confusingly similar restaurant name.

Yeti, Inc. v. NPK LLC, et al.

Defended startup company that manufactured and sold plant washes in bet-the-company claims for trademark infringement and prosecuted related counterclaims.  After extensive litigation on multiple fronts, negotiated resolution of the case in which the plaintiff discontinued all competitive operations and acknowledged NPK’s ownership of trademarks.

Zing Toys, Inc. and Steven Walterscheid v. Zuru, LLC, et al.

Defended a toy manufacturer accused of patent infringement and trademark infringement stemming from its sale of a line of flying toys. Obtained a favorable settlement during pre-trial mediation.

Trade secrets and unfair competition

Andritz, Inc. v. Prue, et al.

Represented Andritz against a competitor and a former employee in a lawsuit seeking damages for patent infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Obtained a favorable confidential settlement for the client.

Breach of license agreement, unfair competition, and trademark infringement

Defended a delivery company sued for breach of license agreement, unfair competition, and trademark infringement after an adverse preliminary injunction order had been entered. After aggressive discovery and motion practice, a favorable settlement was obtained prior to trial.

Lezak v. Expand Cellular, et al.

Defended an investment company accused of wrongfully assisting a software company's misappropriation of trade secrets valued at $24 million. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict.

PHL Associates v. Dale Wallis

Represented a co-defendant, biotechnology company executive, in a misappropriation of trade secrets claim which was settled 90 days after representation began with no payment made by the client.

Power Buying Dealers Western Region, Inc. v. Boyd Coffee Company

Represented Boyd Coffee Company in a jury trial defending a three million dollar claim for breach of contract, tortious interference and theft of trade secrets by a marketing company providing volume purchasing services to ExxonMobil dealers in the western United States. Representation resulted in a defense verdict in a bifurcated trial and a favorable settlement on the remaining claims after trial.

Software trademark and unfair competition claims

Represented national apparel and outdoor equipment retailer in a declaratory action wherein a national marketing software provider sought a judgment that its pop-up software program did not violate trademark and unfair competition laws.

Traeger Pellet Grills LLC v. The Pellet Grill Co.

Represented a national grill maker in a case against a former employee who started a competing business using Traeger’s trade secrets and trademarks.

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