Rob Baron
Rob Baron

Robert R. Baron, Jr.

Partner

baron@ballardspahr.com
Tel 215.864.8335
Fax 215.864.8999
Philadelphia

Robert Baron is the Vice Chair of the Intellectual Property Department and a partner in the Litigation Department. He prosecutes and defends cases at the trial and appellate levels involving patent, copyright, trademark, and trade dress infringement; the theft of trade secrets; breaches of contract; licensing disputes; the breakdown of commercial acquisitions and related investments; unfair competition; partnership disputes; and business terminations. 

Mr. Baron has litigated and tried cases, including injunction actions, before state and federal courts and arbitration panels throughout the country. He has represented pharmaceutical companies, software developers, financial institutions, manufacturers, real estate funds and partnerships, aerospace companies, universities, retailers, franchise systems and distributors, accounting and law firms, and charitable organizations. 

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, a directory built primarily on client and peer interviews, named Mr. Baron a leader in the field of intellectual property law for 2012, 2013, and 2014. Chambers notes that clients praise Mr. Baron as a "brilliant strategist who anticipates future issues and navigates around them." IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Professionals, one of the world's most extensive guides to leading private practice patent professionals, ranks him as a leading patent litigator for both 2013 and 2014, citing him as an "extraordinarily successful litigator."

In addition, Managing Intellectual Property magazine recognizes him as one of the “IP Stars” in Pennsylvania for 2013 and 2014. He also has been named a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” from 2004 through 2014.

Representative Matters

  • Lead trial counsel for Kenexa and IBM and its customers in numerous patent infringement cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas related to career locator technology
  • Lead trial lawyer for a DNA sequencing company in litigation in the District of Delaware relating to next generation "sequencing by synthesis" DNA sequencing technology, and in various inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in which we are challenging the validity of various patents asserted against our client in the Delaware litigation
  • Defended CSL Behring, a global biopharmaceutical company, in patent infringement litigation brought in the Eastern District of Texas by Novartis Vaccine and Diagnostics and Novo Nordisk for alleged infringement of a patent alleged to be directed to certain recombinant protein technology
  • Represented a major research university and its research foundation in bringing suit against one of the world's largest biotech companies for infringement of patents directed to a CMV promotor/enhancer, a fundamental tool used in the biotech industry
  • Represented Auxilium Pharmaceuticals in litigation in courts in Pennsylvania and New York regarding Auxilium's right to control development of a pharmaceutical licensed from another, as well as regarding Auxilium's related IP rights
  • Defended Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in copyright litigation related to the use of photographs in textbooks
  • Represented one of the country's largest banks in litigation against a well-known hedge fund
  • Represented a leading global producer of mechanical pipe joining and fire protection systems as trial counsel to bring an injunction action to stop one of its senior engineers from undertaking a similar position at its competitor; successfully negotiated a favorable settlement for our client
  • Served as trial counsel for a leading developer of document management and workflow software, prosecuting claims for trade secret misappropriation and breach of an important software license against another, larger technology company; the case favorably settled days before the trial was to begin
  • Prosecuted cases in state and federal courts, on behalf of a global biopharmaceutical company, against a competitor for breach of an important supply agreement and for patent infringement, favorably settling before trial
  • Defended successfully a national franchise system in preliminary injunction trials throughout the country
  • Brought a patent infringement action against a manufacturer, resulting in the court signing a Consent Decree that incorporated the equitable relief sought in the complaint
  • Defended a major accounting firm in connection with its decision not to pursue private equity participation in a proposed roll-up IPO of court-reporting companies
  • Represented various large aerospace companies in trade secret litigation
  • Represented a variety of clients, including a university health care system and a pharmaceutical company, in the investigation and prosecution of civil fraud cases against former employees
  • Won an arbitration concerning complex post-closing adjustments arising from a client's purchase of a multimillion-dollar distribution business
  • Served on the trial team that won an important arbitration arising from the termination of a co-promotion agreement between major pharmaceutical companies for a leading cholesterol drug
  • Won an arbitration related to breach of a software contract that, among other things, involved successfully litigating issues related to the enforcement of "shrinkwrap" provisions
  • Handled the trademark, copyright, and right of publicity work on behalf of the players associations for the U.S. Women's National Team and the Women's United Soccer Association
  • Defended a real estate investment fund in tax litigation and an indemnity dispute related to the purchase and sale of an office building in Philadelphia
  • Enforced franchisee terminations in Delaware and Long Island, New York, on behalf of a national franchise system 
  • Represented a regional retailer and a related real estate partnership in a dispute between the business's founders
  • Served on the team that represented a well-known media corporation in various complex disputes against its principal competitor throughout the country, including an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit related to the ownership of a trademark, and a publicized trade secret case in Los Angeles Superior Court that was favorably settled during jury selection
  • Provided written guidelines for a Major League sports team's policing of its popular logos and trademarks on the Internet
  • Won an appeal before the Pennsylvania Superior Court regarding the authority of individual partners to settle the litigation claims of a partnership

Recognition & Accomplishments

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, intellectual property law, 2012-2014

IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Professionals, patent litigation, 2013 and 2014

Recognized as one of "IP Stars" in Pennsylvania by Managing Intellectual Property magazine, 2013 and 2014

Named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, 2004-2014

Philadelphia Business Journal, 2003 recipient of  "40 Under 40" award, which recognizes 40 individuals under age 40 who have become leaders in their respective professional fields and communities

AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Professional Activities

Philadelphia Bar Association
Past Chair, Business Litigation Committee

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas
Judge Pro Tem, Commerce Litigation Division, assisting the court when asked in the management of settlement discussions and mediations

University of Pennsylvania Inn of Court, Barrister (2002-2004)

Participant in Leadership, Inc., Philadelphia's premier leadership-training organization, and in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Community Partnership Program

Publications

Co-author, "Federal Court Ruling in Pa. Narrows Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," Ballard Spahr Alert, March 25, 2014

Co-author, "Third Circuit Clarifies Time Limits for Joint Authorship Copyright Claims, and Bars District Courts from Canceling Copyright Registrations," Ballard Spahr Alert, January 31, 2014

Co-author, "USPTO Clarifies Standard for Review of Financial Services Patents," Ballard Spahr Alert, November 5, 2013

Co-author, "Tell it to the Judge, Federal Circuit Rules: The Judge—Not Jury—Decides Threshold Issue of Willful Infringement in Patent Cases," Ballard Spahr Alert, June 18, 2012

Co-author, "Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Applies Only to Hackers, Not Thieving Workers, 9th Circuit Rules," Ballard Spahr Alert, April 13, 2012

Co-author, "Second Circuit Ruling Affects Copyrighted Works Produced Abroad," Ballard Spahr Alert, August 19, 2011

Co-author, "Seventh Circuit Ruling Affects State, State University Challenges and Appeals of TTAB Decisions," Ballard Spahr Alert, August 12, 2011

Co-author, "Supreme Court Tightens Test for Patent Infringement by Inducement," Ballard Spahr Alert, June 1, 2011

Co-author, "Licenses Do Not Automatically Transfer in the Merger or Sale of a Business," Ballard Spahr Alert, October 2, 2009

Co-author, "Watch that Text: Unsolicited Text Messages Can Be Unlawful under Telephone Consumer Protection Act," Ballard Spahr Alert, June 24, 2009

"A Trade Secrets Practice with Extraordinary Bench Strength and a Strong Sense of Economic Trends," a Q&A with the editor of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, September 2008

Co-author, "Justice Department Continues to Target IP Crimes—Implications of the Proposed Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007," Ballard Spahr Alert, June 4, 2007

Co-author, "Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants: Keep Your Secrets Safe and Your Employees Honest," 10th Annual Employment Law Institute (Volume II), Pennsylvania Bar Institute

Co-author, "Intellectual Property Basics and How Software Licensing Interplays with IP Concepts," chapter one of Software Licensing, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2001

"Metatags Raise Serious Legal Issues," New York Law Journal, September 14, 1998

"Invisible Ink and Unfair Competition: Metatags and the Internet," Ballard Spahr Intellectual Property Newsletter, Spring 1998

"NSI Revises Its Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, Again," Ballard Spahr Intellectual Property Newsletter, Spring 1998

Speaking Engagements

"A New Battlefield in Patent Litigation: Post-Grant Review Procedures before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board," Ballard Spahr CLE program, Philadelphia, May 7, 2014

"Post-Grant Proceedings Under the AIA: How Do They Affect My University?" AUTM Professional Development Program, March 4, 2014

Course planner and panelist, "Attorney-Client Privilege in the Corporate Environment: Practical Approaches and Recent Developments," Philadelphia Bar Association 2011 Philadelphia Bench Bar Conference, October 14, 2011

Panelist, "The Who, When, Why and How of Royalty Auditing," Technology Transfer Tactics webinar, May 25, 2011

"Deciding When to Enforce Your IP Rights," AUTM 2010 Eastern Regional Meeting, Atlanta, June 8, 2010

Moderator, "State of the Philadelphia Commerce Court Program," Philadelphia Bar Association program, January 19, 2010 (with Hon. D. Webster Keogh, Hon. William Manfredi, Hon. Albert Sheppard, and Hon Mark Bernstein)

"Trade Secrets and the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine—Practical Strategies for Litigation and Settlement," Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association CLE seminar, December 9, 2009 (with Hon. Henry S. Perkin)

"Navigating Your Way Through Commerce Court," Philadelphia Bar Association Annual Bench Bar & Conference, October 23, 2009

"The Impact of Twombly and Tellabs on Litigation Strategy—Plaintiff and Defense Perspectives," Philadelphia Bar Association Federal Courts Committee, May 21, 2008

Community Activities

Mr. Baron is an active community leader. He is the immediate past Co-President of the Board of Directors of Operation Understanding, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving race relations through youth education, travel, and training. Mr. Baron participated in Leadership, Inc., Philadelphia's premier leadership-training organization, and in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Community Partnership Program.

Board Memberships

The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, Board of Trustees
Member; Past Chair, Governance Committee

The Arts & Business Council, Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

American Jewish Committee, Philadelphia Chapter
Past Board Member

Operation Understanding, Board of Advisors
Past Co-President of the Board

George Washington University Law School (J.D. 1992, with honors)
Member, George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics; Dean's Fellow for Legal Research and Writing

Brown University (B.A. 1988)

New Jersey

Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit