Although a $115 million verdict in April against Microsoft Corp. was a huge win for a small technology shop in Michigan, attorney Ernie L. Brooks seems downright bashful about the victory he secured for his client.
“I try to keep it simple,” said the president of Brooks Kushman, a 46-attorney intellectual property boutique in Southfield, Mich.
The verdict — which also included an $18 million award against Autodesk Inc. — is the second-largest infringement verdict against Microsoft and the biggest award ever in a patent case to come out of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Brooks attributes his success in the Microsoft case and others to a strategy of remaining highly selective in which issues he takes to trial. He also strives to make notoriously complicated patent issues simple for a jury, he said.
Such an approach apparently has put him in good stead during his 30-year history as a litigator, and is part of the reason he is among this year’s National Law Journal Winning attorneys.