Michael Okerlund joined Hansen Reynolds LLC in 2018. Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Okerlund served as the Vice President of Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary for Arctic Cat Inc., one of Minnesota’s largest public companies (since acquired by Textron). While at Arctic Cat, Mr. Okerlund had primary responsibility for all legal matters for the company, worldwide, including all intellectual property disputes and business litigation. Immediately prior to that, Mr. Okerlund served as the General Counsel to Hysitron, Inc., a world leader in nanomechanical and material science testing, with offices and research labs in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Mr. Okerlund previously practiced as an intellectual property litigator at the Robins Kaplan firm, representing companies such as General Electric, GE Medical, American Express, Honeywell and Best Buy in high-stakes patent and business disputes. Mr. Okerlund has previously served on the Board of the Minnesota Wildlife Science Center and as a volunteer attorney for the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota and for the Volunteer Lawyers Network. Mr. Okerlund currently serves as an officer and as the Legal Chair and Board Secretary for The Isthmus Foundation, an organization dedicated to transforming stem cell discoveries into cures for major diseases.
University of Iowa College of Law (J.D. with distinction, 2002).
Saint Olaf College, (B.A., Philosophy, 1996)
University of Minnesota (Biology)
Texas A&M University (Biology)
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota and the Minnesota Supreme Court
Pro hac vice practice before federal courts in California, Delaware, Missouri, New York, and Texas
Erich D. Mathias Award for International Social Justice, Recipient
As the Vice President of Legal Affairs for Arctic Cat Inc., one of Minnesota’s largest public companies (since acquired by Textron) and as the General Counsel for Hysitron, a world leader in nanotechnology and materials science (since acquired by Bruker), Mr. Okerlund was responsible for the efficient management of well over 100 litigation matters including numerous intellectual property and business litigation matters, trade secrets and trademark disputes, product liability matters, and employment law and regulatory matters across the United States, Canada, Europe and abroad.
As counsel for Arctic Cat, launched a patent infringement action against a major competitor involving off-throttle steering technology used in personal watercraft. Testified at trial in the Southern District of Florida where Arctic Cat obtained a jury verdict of willful infringement, trebled damages (Approx. $48 Million) and the award of an ongoing royalty.
Obtained on behalf of Arctic Cat Inc. the voluntary dismissal of all patent claims from one of the largest and most sophisticated NPEs in the country. The entity voluntarily dismissed its case, shortly after it was filed, after Mr. Okerlund set forth a detailed, claim-by-claim demonstration of the invalidity of the asserted patents.
Managed the defense of two related patent cases against Arctic Cat, one in the Federal Court in Canada and the other in the United States-both involving alleged recreational vehicle technology. These cases involved hundreds of asserted patent claims and (collectively) hundreds of millions in alleged damages. After separate trials in Canada and the United States, all asserted claims were proven either invalid or not infringed.
Obtained on behalf of Arctic Cat Inc. the voluntary dismissal of all patent claims from a NPE asserting patent infringement on a vehicle patent after demonstrating the unenforceability of that patent. The dismissal was obtained shortly after the case was filed and without the need to engage in discovery or motion practice.
Hysitron Corporation v. MTS Systems Corporation & MTS System Corporation v. Hysitron Incorporated (District of Minnesota). Managed two patent infringement actions against Hysitron’s largest competitor, MTS Systems Corp. Both cases resolved after MTS’s case against Hysitron was dismissed on summary judgement, and MTS agreed to pay Hysitron Inc. $7.5 million to resolve allegations that it infringed two of Hysitron’s nano-scale testing patents and broke competition and trademark laws.
Litigation counsel for Honeywell et. al v. Apple et. al. in a highly complex patent infringement dispute. The case involved Honeywell’s liquid crystal display technology and was brought against numerous defendants in the consumer electronics industry (including Apple, Sony Corporation, Arima Display Corporation, Optrex America, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Casio Computer Co., Citizen Watch Co., Ltd., Seiko Epson Corp., International Display Technology, BEO Hydis Technology Co., Hitachi Displays, Ltd., Toppoly Optoelectronics Corp., Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., Philips Electronics North America Corp., Wintek Corp., Samsung SDI America, Inc., and others.). The majority of the cases eventually resolved with the defendants taking a license to Honeywell’s technology.
Litigation counsel for TV Interactive Data Corporation v. Microsoft Corp. in a patent infringement action involving the “AutoPlay” function contained in every version of Microsoft Windows™ from Windows 95 to the most current release, Windows “AutoPlay” is that part of Windows™ that tells the computer to run a program automatically once a storage medium like a CD-ROM or DVD is inserted. The case settled shortly before trial for a confidential amount.
Litigation counsel for Best Buy in RealSource, Inc. v. Best Buy Co., et al. involving patent claims asserted in U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas. The plaintiff alleged Best Buy’s gift cards infringed its patent, and sought more than $30 million in damages. Summary judgment was ultimately granted and affirmed by the Federal Circuit.
Litigation counsel for GE and GE Medical in a patent infringement action involving gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging technology. The parties settled the case prior to trial.
The Isthmus Foundation: Serve on the Board of Directors (Board Secretary) and as Legal Counsel – Chair. The Isthmus Foundation is a non-profit organization working closely with stem cell researchers and institutions (including the University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute) and the business community to transform stem cell discoveries into cures for major diseases. (Isthmusfoundation.org)
Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, volunteer attorney representing and advocating in court for children that are wards of the state and/or in foster care. (2004-2012)
Volunteer Lawyers Network, volunteer attorney representing low income individuals in housing court disputes. (2004-2007)
Minnesota Wildlife Science Center, Board of Directors. (2004-2006)
Litigation counsel for Straights and Gays for Equality vs. Osseo Area Schools District No.279. (No. 06-1942). Mr. Okerlund was pro bono litigation counsel for SAGE, a high school student group formed to promote tolerance and respect for all students. The case resolved with the Court ordering the school to grant SAGE the same access for meetings, avenues of communication, and other miscellaneous rights afforded to other groups referred to as “curricular.” The decision was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.
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