Steven G. Spears

Partner

Houston
T +1 713.646.1344
F +1 713.751.1717

Overview

Steven Spears represents clients in intellectual property controversies, focusing on patent, trade secret and other technology-related litigation involving such diverse technologies as chemical, biotechnology, telecommunications and oilfield services. Steven has litigated such matters in numerous U.S. jurisdictions and arbitration proceedings, and has assisted in many parallel foreign actions. In addition to litigation matters, Steven counsels clients in inter partes reviews, intellectual property enforcement, freedom to operate and licensing issues.

Select Experience

  • Lead counsel in multiple inter partes reviews related to electronics and telecommunications technologies.
  • Lead counsel for a state university in a dispute involving tort and ownership claims related to intellectual property rights in a drug delivery system.
  • Lead counsel for a glasses manufacturer defending patent infringement claims related to internet advertisement. All claims were dismissed.
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Experience

  • Lead counsel in multiple inter partes reviews related to electronics and telecommunications technologies.
  • Lead counsel for a state university in a dispute involving tort and ownership claims related to intellectual property rights in a drug delivery system.
  • Lead counsel for a glasses manufacturer defending patent infringement claims related to internet advertisement. All claims were dismissed.
  • Lead counsel for a biotech company defending against false marking claims brought in North Carolina. Won judgment on the pleadings as to all claims.
  • Lead counsel for a Taiwanese web camera manufacturer defending against patent infringement claims. All claims were dismissed.
  • Lead counsel for a hard drive manufacturer in a patent infringement action brought in St. Louis. All claims were dismissed with prejudice.
  • Assisted with a patent infringement jury trial in Missouri related to herbicide-resistant crops where the client was awarded $1 billion in damages.
  • Participated in a patent infringement jury trial in Missouri where the plaintiff sought damages in excess of $1 billion from the client. The jury returned a verdict that the asserted patents were invalid and not infringed. The court subsequently found that the patents had been procured by inequitable conduct and awarded the client its attorneys’ fees. The judgments were affirmed on appeal.
  • Participated in a patent infringement jury trial in Delaware where his client was accused of infringing three patents related to insect resistant crops. Two patents were found not infringed and the third was found invalid. The judgment was affirmed on appeal.
  • Participated in a bench trial in Louisiana in a patent infringement case related to an oil field device where the court found that the asserted patent was unenforceable for inequitable conduct. The judgment was affirmed on appeal.
  • Participated in a patent infringement jury trial in Delaware where the client was accused of infringing two patents related to the design of insect-resistant genes for plants. The jury found that the patents were invalid in view of the client’s prior invention. The judgment was affirmed on appeal.
  • Won a Federal Circuit appeal affirming patent interference judgment in the client's favor, and rejecting contention that the client's claims were barred by a statute of repose.
  • Lead counsel for a biotech company in a Nebraska action contesting ownership and license rights to a family of patents related to herbicide resistant crops. The court granted summary judgment confirming the validity of the client’s exclusive patent license.
  • Won summary judgment in a Delaware action that licensor estoppel precluded a defendant from contesting the validity of asserted patents related to herbicide resistant crops.
  • Won summary judgment in a California action that an asserted patent related to the design of insect-resistant genes for plants was invalid in view of the client’s prior invention.
  • Defended a business software company in a trade secret dispute in the District Court of Harris County, Texas, 55th Judicial District in 2008. The alleged trade secrets related to the design and marketing of profitability software products, and the plaintiff sought damages in excess of $96 million.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • IAM Patent 1000 – World's Leading Patent Practitioners (2012 to 2017)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©
    • Houston: Litigation – Intellectual Property (2010 to 2018)
      • Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" (2017)
    • Houston: Litigation – Patent (2011 to 2018)
  • Corporate Counsel, AV Preeminent, Intellectual Property
  • Managing IP, IP Star (2016 to 2017)
  • Texas "Super Lawyer" (2012 to 2016)
    • Rising Star (2004 to 2007)

Memberships

  • Houston IP Inns of Court
    • President Elect (2017 to 2018)
    • Secretary (2015 to 2016)
  • Houston Intellectual Property Lawyers Association: Former Officer and Director
  • Sedona Conference Working Group (10), Patent Litigation
    • Chapter on the Management of Discovery in Patent Litigation: Co-Author
    • Project on Heightened Pleading Standards: Co-Lead

Community

  • Houston Eye Associates Foundation: Board Member
  • Houston Grand Opera: Patron

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Registration No. 43,926
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • Texas
  • Florida [Inactive]

Education

  • J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, 1991, cum laude, Order of the Coif
  • B.A., Chemistry, Rice University, 1988, cum laude