Stephanie Smiertka Riley Image

Stephanie Smiertka Riley

is Of Counsel with Womble Bond Dickinson. She focuses her practice on corporate, commercial, and intellectual property litigation in all Delaware Courts, especially the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, Delaware Court of Chancery, and Delaware Superior Court. Her experience in complex commercial litigation extends to business disputes, including misappropriation of trade secrets, breaches of contract, and tortious interference; consumer protection and RICO claims; constitutional law claims; and pharmaceutical and medical device multi-district litigations.

Recent Articles by Stephanie Smiertka Riley

Claim Construction in Bankruptcy Court? Revisiting Vacatur in Patent Litigation

While many patent litigators have no plans to litigate in bankruptcy court, it is a possibility if the infringer of a client’s patent files for bankruptcy. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin recently conducted a Markman hearing. How did that happen?  After being sued for patent infringement in district court, the alleged infringer sought refuge in the bankruptcy court, staying the district court litigation. The plaintiff then filed a claim in the defendant’s bankruptcy case, which ultimately triggered the bankruptcy court’s jurisdiction. While rare, other bankruptcy courts have conducted claim construction proceedings. As discussed herein, the bankruptcy court ultimately granted a joint request for vacatur, prompting us to revisit the doctrine of vacatur.

Counseling Clients on What Constitutes Exceptionality in Patent Litigation: A View from Delaware

After a client prevails in patent litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, the client often wants to know whether it can obtain its attorneys’ fees from the opposing party. The answer is yes, but only if the court finds exceptionality under 35 U.S.C. § 285, which states “The court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.” (Although 35 U.S.C. § 285 applies to patent litigation in all United States district courts, this article focuses only on recent decisions of the District of Delaware. Another tool available to clients are enhanced damages claims under 35 U.S.C. § 284. Damages under Section 284, however, are “reserved for egregious cases typified by willful misconduct” and are not a focus of this article.)