Stout Managing Director David Haas discusses his three decades of experience as an IP Expert, how COVID-19 will potentially impact IP and innovation, advice for professionals just starting out, and more.

April 06, 2021

David Haas is a nationally recognized intellectual property (IP) expert. With over three decades in the field, he has testified or offered opinions in hundreds of cases at the federal and local levels across 25 states. He also has been honored on the IAM Patent 1000: World Leading Patent Professionals list numerous times. We spoke to David about his career in the IP field, how his background in engineering assisted with his patent and trademark expertise, his advice for early-career professionals, and his admiration of The Boss.

David Haas 32 years of experience, 200+ cases where testimony or opinions were proffered, 25 states in which testimony was proffered

Role at Stout

 

Intellectual Property Expert
Chicago Intellectual Property Practice Leader

Education

 

M.B.A., Specialization in Accounting, Northwestern University
M.S., Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, University of Illinois
B.S., Engineering Mechanics, University of Wisconsin

Years of Experience

 

32 years

Areas of Expertise

 

Intellectual Property Damages and Valuation
- Patent Damages
- Trademark Damages
- Trade Secret Damages
- Copyright Damages
Commercial Damages

Focus Industries

 

Consumer products
Life sciences / Medical devices
Telecommunications
E-commerce

Venues Testified In

 

Federal District Court (numerous)
Delaware Court of Chancery
American Arbitration Association
International Chamber of Commerce

Certifications / Designations

 

Certified Licensing Professional (CLP)

Notable Cases

 

DePuy Acromed, Inc. and Biedermann Motech GMBH v. Medtronic Sofamor Danek
Dr. Greens, Inc. v. James Matthew Stephens and Spectrum Laboratories, LLC
Bodum USA, Inc. v. A Top New Casting Inc.
Timelines, Inc. v. Facebook, Inc.

 

 

What types of clients do you work with?

I especially like to work with litigators who incorporate damages issues into their discovery strategies and case narratives early in the case. We provide the greatest value when litigators coordinate with us to gather information and elicit deposition testimony that we can then use to integrate the damages story with the liability story at trial.

What makes you particularly qualified as an expert in IP dispute cases?

I’ve been specializing in IP damages for a long time – over 30 years. I’ve testified at trial many times and understand the tricks and traps that opposing counsel may use. Additionally, I have a technical background – two degrees in engineering and prior engineering work experience; this makes it a little easier for me to understand disputed technology and to identify economic benefits/advantages of patents or potential non-infringing alternatives.

In which areas of IP disputes do you have particular expertise?

Early in my career, I focused mostly on patent infringement matters. However, over the past 10 years, at least one-third of my work has involved either trademark infringement or trade secret misappropriation matters. I have also gained significant experience in using web and social media analytics in my trademark work.

What led you to focus your career in IP?

As I mentioned earlier, I have a background in engineering. While I was working in the computer business in the mid-1980s, I was assigned some product management responsibilities and, at the time, didn’t know the difference between a balance sheet and a balance beam. So I went to night school to earn an MBA. The computer company at which I worked went into bankruptcy proceedings and, frankly, I learned more about business being in bankruptcy for a year than I did at business school. When that company closed its doors, I was looking for a way to blend my technical background with my recently acquired business skills and found a unique opportunity to do so in IP damages/valuation. I’ve never looked back.

What was one of your more notable cases and why?

One of the more notable cases was DePuy Acromed v. Medtronic Sofamor Danek. In that case, the jury awarded the full amount of my lost profits opinion – $149 million – and the Federal Circuit agreed with my interpretation of the demand criterion of the Panduit test.

You have extensively written and spoken on the topics of web analytics, brands, and social media in the context of IP. How did that focus come about? How do you see that area of IP changing in the next 5-10 years?

That focus really came about as the result of some trademark work I was doing where we needed to come up with novel ways of measuring the extent of use of and consumer exposure to certain trademarks. In that process, my team and I became immersed in the wealth of data available through various types of web and social media analytics – data describing the actual actions of consumers that had not been available prior to the explosive growth of the e-commerce world. These sources of data will only become more important in the next 5-10 years, as better tools become available to more surgically analyze this information.

How do you believe the COVID-19 pandemic will impact IP litigation, as well as just IP and innovation in general?

I’m curious to see how courtrooms and jury trials will look once they come back on line. I think it’s likely that we will see more remote activity on a go-forward basis – people are becoming accustomed to video depositions and hearings. As for IP, specifically, and innovation in general, we have seen a number of collaboration and sharing efforts by IP owners to help find COVID-19 cures and to supply personal protective equipment. These efforts all help to fulfill the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of the IP owners. As CSR continues to grow in consumer importance in the marketplace, IP and innovation will likely be front and center in those initiatives. Furthermore, I believe that the pandemic will encourage increased innovation in technologies and products used for disinfecting, medical testing, vaccine development, or social distancing.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career?

The most rewarding parts of my career have been the opportunities to work with some great people – both colleagues and clients – on intellectually stimulating projects. I love the fact that every project is a learning experience – I’m always learning about new products and industries and have a much better appreciation as to why someone buys one product versus another. Is it because of price? Features? Brand name?

I’ve also really enjoyed the camaraderie of my project teams – sharp, motivated people working together to meet a common goal, often having to deal with incomplete information or other challenges. I enjoy coaching younger employees through some of the nuances of this business and to observe their successes in becoming testifiers themselves.

What guidance would you give to people early in their career that are pursuing a similar career path?

The three pieces of advice I would give to an IP damages analyst early in his or her career would be as follows. First, look critically at your own analyses and conclusions as an opposing expert would. The more you can identify weaknesses in your own work – and then identify and evaluate potential resolutions – the better off you and your supervisor will be. Don’t consider your supervisor to be your safety net; think of your supervisor as the client and come to him or her with well thought-out solutions to the problems you have identified.

Second, be creative in your thinking. Clients hire us to find solutions to problems. There will usually be obvious, tried-and-true answers available; however, to the extent that you can identify some novel way of solving the problem, it can make all the difference when pitching work.

Third, visualize your anticipated results. I’ve always found it useful to visualize potential trial demonstratives early in the case. Think about the final presentation as you are developing your work plan and prioritize those analyses or pieces of evidence that will have the greatest impact on a juror’s decision-making process.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am actively involved in the work of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center as a member of the museum’s Education Committee. This is particularly near and dear to my heart, as my father was a Holocaust survivor. Furthermore, the museum focuses as much attention on the present and future as the past, encouraging visitors and supporters to become upstanders, speaking up and acting when they see acts of discrimination or injustice.

I was recently asked to join the Leadership Council for Steven Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, which empowers teachers and engages students by using popular music to create interdisciplinary, culturally responsive education materials for all 21st-century classrooms. Over 170 TeachRock.org standards-aligned lesson plans have been created by the organization and are provided at no cost to educators. It’s the hook that a lot of kids need to stay in school.

I am also an avid bike rider and took up the bass guitar during the pandemic. You won’t have much trouble twisting my arm to join you in a cold craft beer either.

If you could choose one famous person to have dinner with, who would it be and why?

I’ve been a hardcore Bruce Springsteen fan since high school. I would love to have dinner with him since his music and social commentary have been such a big part of my own life’s journey (and now my kids’ journeys, as well).

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