Hogan Lovells secures jury verdict for PPG in patent dispute

Press releases | 14 March 2022

Washington, D.C., 14 March 2022 — Global law firm Hogan Lovells secured a unanimous jury verdict for global supplier of paints and coatings PPG Industries in a multi-year patent infringement dispute against Sherwin-Williams Co. over beverage can coatings. On March 8, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania found in favor of PPG, invalidating the five Sherwin-Williams patents that Sherwin claimed PPG infringed. The jury’s decision shielded PPG from potentially substantial monetary damages and a possible injunction. 

The suit originally was filed in May 2016, when Sherwin-Williams alleged PPG had copied its internal BPA-free coating for beverage containers. During a nearly two-week trial in Pittsburgh, Hogan Lovells helped PPG to prove that it actually had invented and patented the technology more than two decades prior in the early 1990s. Sherwin’s patents should have never been issued.

Hogan Lovells' trial team representing PPG was led by Intellectual Property, Media and Technology (IPMT) Americas Practice Lead Celine Jimenez Crowson. 

She commented: “We were extremely gratified by the jury’s decision, siding with our client on all five claims under dispute. Patent dispute trials are extremely technical, and few ever make it before a jury. We appreciate the jurors’ time and attention to the many details of this case.”

Along with Crowson, the Hogan Lovells team included partner Joseph J. Raffetto (Washington) and senior associates Ryan J. Stephenson (Washington), Corey T. Leggett (San Francisco), and Nicholas W. Rotz (Washington).

A team from Blank Rome led by Andrew Fletcher served as Pittsburgh-based co-counsel.