Nicole L. Little
“I've always enjoyed working with others to solve complex problems, so the culture of collaboration at Fitch Even makes it a great fit.”

Nicole L. LittlePartner

Chicago
120 South LaSalle Street
Suite 2100
Chicago, IL 60603VCard
312.577.7000 
312.577.7007 fax
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Education

J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2008
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2005, cum laude

Services

Technical Areas

Bar & Court Admissions

IllinoisU.S. District Court, Northern District of IllinoisU.S. District Court, Eastern District of TexasU.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

Recognition

Selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers – Rising Stars for Intellectual Property Litigation, Intellectual Property Law, and Media and Advertising Law (2015–18)
Selected as an Emerging Lawyer in Intellectual Property Law, Leading Lawyers Network (2017 and 2018)
Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Intellectual Property

Nicole L. Little is primarily a patent litigator with a solid record of effectiveness. Among other successful matters she has been involved in, Nikki played a key role as a member of the trial teams that secured successful jury verdicts in both the Eastern District of Texas and in Texas state court in Austin. Product applications involved in Nikki’s IP litigation work are extremely diverse and include lighting fixtures and circuitry, garage door systems, industrial equipment, tools, stored-value card systems, and computer software applications.

In the IP transactions area, Nikki is involved in patent prosecution as well as clearance and opinion work related to food processing, irrigation systems, building products, and computer software.

Nikki also has experience in IP-related aspects of advertising, marketing, and promotions. In these areas, she assists clients in negotiating various advertising agreements, such as ad agency, PR agency, sponsorship, joint promotion, partnership, software as a service, work-for-hire, and non-disclosure agreements. Nikki has also counseled clients regarding substantiation, approval, and defense of advertising and labeling claims, as well as legal compliance with federal and state requirements, including with respect to email, social media, mobile, sweepstakes, and other marketing activities. 



United States Gypsum Co. v. National Gypsum Corp. (D. Del. 2017–18). Currently representing patent owner USG in pursuing claims of infringement against National Gypsum under numerous patents directed to gypsum wallboard manufacturing technology. In response to the litigation, defendant National Gypsum filed seven petitions with the PTAB requesting inter partes review of the asserted patents, discussed below. Serving in the second-chair role, currently managing all discovery and pretrial matters and assisting with claim construction proceedings.

National Gypsum Corp. v. United States Gypsum Co. (PTAB 2017). Represented patent owner USG in defense of seven petitions and supporting expert declarations filed by National Gypsum in response to district court litigation. Prepared preliminary responses and expert declarations in response to each of the petitions. After considering the petitions, preliminary responses and expert declarations, PTAB denied institution of trial in all proceedings.

Industrial Print Technologies v. Hewlett-Packard Company et al. (N.D. Tex. 2015–18)
Industrial Print Technologies v. Canon, Inc. et al. (S.D.N.Y. 2014–16)
Currently representing patent owner enforcing a portfolio of patents directed to variable content digital printing presses. Serving in the second-chair role, assisting with claim construction proceedings and managing all discovery and pretrial matters. Numerous lawsuits against the manufacturers and users of the accused printing systems were filed in different federal courts. Three cases involving Canon were favorably settled in January 2016. Seven cases involving HP equipment are consolidated for pre-trial discovery and claim construction.

The Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Techtronic Industries Co. (N.D. Ill. 2016–18). Serving as local counsel for patent owner Chamberlain in its enforcement of a series of patents directed to various novel aspects of their garage door openers. Has advised lead counsel continually on various aspects of the case, including in connection with a motion for preliminary injunction and other procedural issues. Also handled discovery disputes and defended several depositions in connection with the case. The case went to trial in August 2017 with a successful outcome for Chamberlain. Post-trial briefing is still in progress.

Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC v. Micron Technology, Inc. et al. (N.D. Cal. 2016–18). Currently representing plaintiff in several patent infringement actions for multiple semiconductor process patents that relate to memory and other large-scale integrated semiconductor devices.

Vaxcel International Co., Ltd. and North Tech International Co., Ltd. v. HeathCo LLC, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., and Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC (N.D. Ill. 2015–16). Represented defendants HeathCo and Lowe’s in second-chair role in a patent infringement action regarding a patent that allegedly covered use of LED bulbs in dimmable light fixtures. Also represented Lowe’s in a related claim for breach of contract and other state law claims brought by North Tech. The case was settled after being partially stayed pending institution of an inter partes review, discussed below.

HeathCo LLC v. Vaxcel International Co. Ltd. (PTAB 2016). Prepared a petition and expert declaration challenging validity of the sole independent claim asserted against HeathCo in the corresponding district court action. PTAB issued an institution decision on the challenged claim, leading to the parties’ settlement shortly thereafter.

Google Inc. and Apple Inc. v. ContentGuard Holdings, Inc. (PTAB 2015–16). Assisted in preparing preliminary responses in 35 IPR and CBM proceedings filed against ContentGuard’s digital rights management patent portfolio. Five proceedings dismissed voluntarily. After submission of patent owner preliminary responses, obtained PTAB decisions denying institution of trial in all but one remaining proceeding.

Rain Bird Corporation v. Baseline, Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2014). Represented plaintiff Rain Bird in a patent infringement lawsuit related to irrigation controls. Settlement was reached.

Outside the Box Innovations, LLC v. Travel Caddy, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2012). Represented Travel Caddy in appeal from district court judgment of partial infringement, invalidity, and unenforceability of patents directed to tool-carrying bags. After assuming representation from another firm, our appellate trial team obtained reversal of both grounds of inequitable conduct, vacator of invalidity ruling, and affirmance of infringement ruling as to one product.

Alexsam, Inc. v. NetSpend Corp. (Travis County Dist. Ct., Tex. 2007–12). Represented plaintiff in a breach of license action involving stored-value cards. Reached successful jury verdict of $18 million in state court case involving breach of license agreement; prevailed in subsequent bench trial addressing a most-favored licensee defense, resulting in $24 million settlement.

Alexsam, Inc. v. IDT Corp. (E.D. Tex. 2007–11). Secured successful jury verdict representing plaintiff in a patent infringement action related to systems and methods for conducting transactions and managing accounts associated with stored-value cards. The jury verdict was named a Top 25 Texas Verdict and the seventh-largest IP verdict in Texas for 2011.

The Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Overhead Door Corp. (N.D. Ill. 2011). Settlement was reached.

Software Restore Solutions, LLC v. Apple et al. (N.D. Ill. 2010–11). Represented plaintiff in patent infringement lawsuit related to software fault detection and repair technology that enables software applications to automatically diagnose and fix problems with their set-up configuration for more stable and reliable operation. Settlement was reached.

SmartSignal Corporation v. Xu Xiao (N.D. Ill. 2010). Represented plaintiff in a patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and breach of contract action for technology related to industrial equipment health conditioning and monitoring. Settlement was reached.

WMH Tool Group, Inc. v. Woodstock International, Inc. and Grizzly Industrial, Inc. (N.D. Ill. 2007). Represented plaintiff in a trade dress infringement action related to woodworking and metal working tools. Settlement was reached.

RPA International Pty Ltd. v. Compact International, Inc. et al. (S.D. Cal. 2006). Represented plaintiff patentee in successful patent infringement action in which a judgment of over $3 million and permanent injunction were entered.

Presentations

  • “Is Your Data Safe? Cybersecurity and Protection of Trade Secrets Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act,” Federal Circuit Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Symposium, Chicago, March 15, 2017.
  • “The Impact of IPRs and CBMs on Patent Litigation,” American Intellectual Property Law Association, Minneapolis, Minn., May 18, 2016.
  • “Advertising and Promotions: Basic Legal Principles in Today's Fast-Paced Digital World,” Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery Webinar, with Sherri N. Blount, January 23, 2014.

Publications

  • “Gambling on Patentable Subject Matter: The Intersection of Daily Fantasy Sports and Patent Litigation,” Landslide, Vol. 9, No. 2, November/December 2016.
  • "Mentors, Sponsors, and Dismissing the 'Mean Girl' Mentality: Finding Success as a Woman in IP," Law Practice Today, American Bar Association, March 2016.
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Brand Activation Association
  • Chicago Women in IP
    • Cofounder
    • Chair-Elect
    • Co-Chair, Marketing & Communications Committee
  • University of Michigan Club of Greater Chicago
    • Secretary
    • Member, Board of Directors

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