Multi-Defendant Patent Litigation: Controlling Costs and Pooling Resources

Strategies for Joint Defense Groups, Joint Defense Agreements, and Privilege Issues

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, August 19, 2010

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide counsel to companies involved in multi-defendant patent litigation with guidance on evaluating and using joint defense groups and joint defense agreements. The panel will also review common privilege issues that pose potential risks for defendants.


Patent infringement litigation involving multiple defendants has increased over the past decade. Due to increased litigation and related costs and tighter budgets, corporate defendants in patent litigation are combining forces through joint defense groups to battle common opponents.

Defendants can save money and time by pooling resources, knowledge and costs through joint defense groups and agreements. However, these efforts can also create new challenges for defendants.

Counsel must anticipate and prepare for all of the hidden pitfalls of joint defense, such as disputes over which expert to use, conflicts of interest among defendants and their counsel, and concerns over confidentiality and privilege issues.

Listen as our authoritative panel of IP attorneys examines joint defense groups and joint defense agreements, their advantages and disadvantages, and the privilege issues involved. The panel will outline their strategies for navigating joint defense in patent litigation.



  1. Joint defense group
    1. Advantages and disadvantages
    2. Cost — cost savings or increased costs?
    3. What to share with group members
    4. Settlement issues
    5. Accidental representation
    6. Protective orders
    7. Strategies for navigating the joint defense group
    8. Timing
  2. Joint defense agreement
    1. Confidentiality
    2. Settlements
    3. Use of experts
    4. Vicarious disqualification
    5. Defection of a party from agreement
    6. Strategies for crafting the agreement
  3. Potential pitfalls and strategies to address them in joint defense
    1. Privilege
    2. Common interest privilege
    3. Conflicts
    4. Aligning with competition


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What critical safeguards should defendants put in place to protect the common interest privilege?
  • What are the key steps defendants working jointly can take to avoid problems relating to potential conflicts?
  • What preventative clauses should be incorporated into the joint defense agreement to minimize potential risks, such as sharing of joint defense materials and accidental representation?


David A. Segal
David A. Segal

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

He has substantial litigation and transactional experience in patent matters, and has worked extensively on several...  |  Read More

Eric R. Lamison
Eric R. Lamison

Kirkland & Ellis

His practice involves patent, trade secret, trademark, trade dress, antitrust, licensing, contract, and business tort...  |  Read More

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