Trademark litigation hanging over IBM’s $1.2 billion buyout of SPSS was successfully mediated by David Hilliard on September 25, 2009, after several months of negotiation. At issue were rights in the SPSS brand claimed by one of SPSS’s co-founders, who had provided the company with an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, royalty free license. According to the Chicago Tribune, the situation may illustrate “how the value of a name can be trumped by an even bigger name.” The terms of settlement are confidential.
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David Hilliard is an attorney and mediator with Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP, a leading intellectual property law firm based in Chicago, Illinois. Pattishall McAuliffe represents both plaintiffs and defendants in trademark, copyright, and unfair competition trials and appeals, and advises its clients on a broad range of domestic and international intellectual property matters, including brand protection, Internet, and e-commerce issues. Mr. Hilliard’s practice focuses on litigation in trademark, trade dress, Internet, and copyright law.