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Keith R. Hummel

Partner, Litigation

Keith R. Hummel has extensive experience litigating complex commercial, intellectual property and other legal disputes, both for plaintiffs and defendants. He handles cases for clients in diverse fields, including telecommunications, medical devices, computer hardware and software, food additives, luxury flooring products, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Mr. Hummel frequently advises clients on national and worldwide intellectual property strategy, and is often asked to lead efforts to identify IP assets that can be effectively used for offensive or defensive purposes.

Mr. Hummel was featured as the “Litigator of the Week” by The Am Law Litigation Daily for obtaining affirmance in the Second Circuit of the dismissal of two lawsuits against IBM brought by South African nationals who attempted to hold IBM accountable for apartheid under the Alien Tort Statute.

Mr. Hummel recently won a jury verdict for Amgen as plaintiff in the February 2019 retrial of a patent infringement case in Delaware federal court against defendants Sanofi, Sanofi affiliates and Regeneron. Amgen successfully argued that the defendants’ cholesterol treatment drug Praluent® infringed Amgen’s patents covering a class of biologic drugs that included Amgen’s drug, Repatha®. He was retained for this retrial after representing Amgen in litigation concerning its introduction of a biosimilar to AbbVie’s biologic drug, Humira®—the world’s largest‑selling drug—in one of the first cases to proceed under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. In September 2017, Amgen reached a global settlement with AbbVie, enabling Amgen to market the first approved biosimilar to Humira® in the United States and Europe.

Mr. Hummel recently represented DRIT LP, an investment vehicle of DRI Capital, in a patent licensing dispute against Glaxo Group Limited and Human Genome Sciences, Inc. over the lupus drug Benlysta®. In September 2018, a Delaware jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of DRIT following a six‑day trial. In October 2019, the court denied a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law or, in the alternative, for a new trial, and simultaneously awarded damages to DRIT.

Mr. Hummel also recently represented Qualcomm in an action filed by Apple in California federal court alleging contract, patent and antitrust and unfair competition claims relating to Qualcomm’s patent licensing and modem chipset businesses. The parties reached a global settlement in April 2019 that includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm; the companies also reached a six‑year license agreement and a multiyear chipset supply agreement. He has represented Qualcomm in several other matters, including patent cases involving RF downconversion technology, GPS technology, WiFi encryption technology and mobile fleet tracking systems.

Mr. Hummel is representing Spirits International in its dispute with the Russian Federation over the ownership of the famous Stolichnaya vodka trademarks.

Among other notable matters, Mr. Hummel represented Reggie Brown in connection with his claim to an ownership interest in Snapchat, the disappearing picture and message application; the case settled on mutually agreeable terms to all parties.

Mr. Hummel represented Medinol in a case alleging that Guidant Corporation was infringing Medinol’s stent design patents. He obtained summary judgment that Guidant’s popular coronary stents infringed 10 claims and was lead counsel in the subsequent jury trial on validity. Just before the jury’s verdict was to be read, Guidant settled on monetary terms that are confidential.

Mr. Hummel tried a breach of contract case for Medinol against Boston Scientific Corporation (“BSC”). BSC settled after seven weeks of trial, paying Medinol $750 million and surrendering its 20% stake in Medinol. The settlement preserved Medinol’s right to arbitrate patent infringement claims against future BSC stents. Mr. Hummel has represented Medinol as lead counsel in those private arbitrations.

Mr. Hummel obtained a favorable settlement for OrbusNeich Medical and its international affiliates in patent infringement actions against BSC’s coronary stent systems, in which he oversaw and coordinated litigation in the United States, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Mr. Hummel was lead counsel for IBM in an action brought by Compression Labs asserting that the JPEG still image compression standard infringed one of its patents. The case settled on favorable terms after the court ruled that the patent was limited to video compression.

Mr. Hummel has handled numerous other significant intellectual property and commercial matters, including:

  • Successfully represented INEOS as plaintiff in a trade secret case concerning a revolutionary process for creating biofuels.
  • Successfully represented Qualcomm in a trade secret matter involving misappropriation of Qualcomm’s proprietary and confidential source code.
  • Successfully represented IBM against claims that IBM’s methods of manufacturing integrated circuits infringed patents held by Plasma Physics Corporation.
  • Successfully represented Metroflor Corp. as plaintiff in a suit alleging infringement of patents on a novel floor plank system. He also represented the company in a lawsuit brought by the company’s former CEO, who claimed to be a co-inventor of Metroflor’s patents, which settled.
  • Successfully represented Qualcomm in patent infringement litigation against Broadcom involving wireless telecommunications technology.
  • Successfully represented GlaxoSmithKline in its infringement case against Barr’s generic form of Avodart®.
  • Obtained a summary judgment dismissing claims brought by Commercial Data Servers alleging that IBM had monopolized alleged markets for computer hardware, and granting IBM’s counterclaim for copyright infringement.
  • Played a principal role in obtaining, on the eve of trial, summary judgment in a billion‑dollar class action securities case against IBM.
  • Successfully represented Morgan Guaranty against fraud claims brought by Korean institutions in connection with the structuring of total return swap transactions involving foreign currencies.
  • Acted as a principal member of the team that successfully represented Salomon Brothers in connection with several class action cases related to the Treasury bond market.

Mr. Hummel also has extensive experience in handling matters under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He successfully represented IBM in connection with a joint DOJ/SEC probe into alleged bribery of Argentine government officials.

Mr. Hummel co‑authors the Intellectual Property Law Answer Book, published by the Practising Law Institute, which is currently in its ninth edition.

For over 10 years, Mr. Hummel has been cited as one of the country’s leading practitioners in the intellectual property arena by Chambers USA. He was also recognized as a leading intellectual property lawyer by Chambers Global from 2013 through 2016. Benchmark Litigation named him a “National Star” in intellectual property litigation (2010, 2012‑2020) and in general commercial litigation (2010, 2012). From 2010 through 2020, The Legal 500 US recommended Mr. Hummel for his patent work, and in 2012, for his trade secrets work. Mr. Hummel has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal, Leaders League, IAM Patent, Euromoney Legal Media Group, Super Lawyers and World IP Review for his work in intellectual property. He and his colleagues earned the Firm distinction as “Law Firm of the Year” in intellectual property litigation in the U.S. News–Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2011‑2012 survey. The publication also ranked Cravath in the highest tier for patent litigation and intellectual property litigation from 2011 through 2019.

Mr. Hummel was born in Brooklyn, New York. He received a B.A. in Economics and English from the University of Notre Dame in 1987. Mr. Hummel graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1990, where he was the Senior Notes and Comments Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal and elected to the Order of the Coif. He currently serves on the NYU Engelberg Center IP Advisory Board and the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University Law Center.

Mr. Hummel joined Cravath in 1990 and was elected a partner in 1997.

Mr. Hummel is admitted only in New York.

+1 (212) 474-1772
+1 (212) 474-3700