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David T. McDonald

Practice Area Leader - Intellectual Property
+1.206.370.7957
Fax +1.206.623.7022

Mr. McDonald's practice emphasizes technology-related intellectual property litigation, including strategic litigation arising from contract-based disputes.  He also regularly advises on matters of constitutional and statutory law relating to political parties.

Much of Mr. McDonald's practice has focused on software-related disputes. Before obtaining his law degree he worked as a computer programmer for an oil company and as a research assistant at the Dynamic Modeling Group of Project MAC at MIT. He has represented Microsoft Corporation in significant litigation since 1986, including leading the company’s defense in the historic Apple v. Microsoft “look and feel” litigation.

Mr. McDonald holds ten software-related patents. He is the sole inventor of a system and method for efficiently processing messages stored in multiple message stores, and a co-inventor of nine systems and methods for efficiently evaluating a structured message store for message redundancy, including message threads, processing the message store to identify unique and duplicate messages and for near duplicates, and identifying and categorizing messages extracted from an archived message store. 

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association 
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Harborview Medical Center, 1998-present
    • Chair Health Care and Strategic Planning Committee, 2003-2010
    • President, 2001-2002
  • Member, Democratic National Committee, 1992-present (Member, Rules and ByLaws Committee 2001-present)
David has led legal teams in several significant public matters, including:
  • Managing the Washington State Democratic Party’s successful post-election day defense of the election of Governor Christine Gregoire in one of the closest statewide elections in U.S. history as Manual Recount Director and then Election Contest Manager.  The project involved Washington’s first ever statewide manual recount, five lawsuits, two Washington Supreme Court decisions, and a two week bench trial, all in the space of seven months.
  • Serving as lead counsel for the Washington State Democratic Party in its defense of its constitutional right to determine its nominees and candidates, a twelve year battle. The project resulted in one United States Supreme Court opinion and four Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinions.
  • Serving as lead counsel for Microsoft Corporation in its successful seven-year-long battle with Apple Computer concerning Microsoft’s right to develop and distribute the Windows graphic user interface.  This case sharply limited the applicability of “look and feel” concepts in copyright infringement disputes involving software.  Microsoft won the case on summary judgment by the trial court and successfully defended that judgment through appeals.  The case is reported at Apple Computer Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation and Hewlett Packard Corporation, 35 F.3d 1435 (9th Cir. 1994), certiorari denied 115 S.Ct. 1176 (1995).
  • Serving as lead counsel for Microsoft Corporation in Sun v. Microsoft (N.D. Cal. 1997-2001)(Java) resolved by settlement between the parties.
  • Serving as lead counsel for Microsoft Corporation in its first major litigation as a public corporation in 1986, defending Microsoft against claims by Seattle Computer Products (SCP) to have a fully-paid up, royalty free license to the source and object code of all versions of the company’s then flagship product, MS-DOS.  The matter resolved by settlement after a favorable summary judgment and during jury deliberations.
  • Serving as lead counsel representing a structural engineer sued by a building owner and general contractor in 1981 because the building he designed was vacated by King County authorities on the basis of alleged seismic deficiencies and less structural steel than the building code required. After a four-week trial the jury returned a verdict in the engineer’s favor and the trial court ordered the contractor and owner to pay the engineer’s attorneys’ fees and costs.

Recent Experience
  • Cequint Inc. v. Apple Inc. (D Del 1-11-cv-01224-SLR)(caller ID technology)
  • PT Diagnostics v. United Technologies Corp. (ED Tex 2:11-cv-00507-MHS)(engine condition trend monitoring technology)
  • PT Diagnostics v. Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. (ED Tex 2:11-cv-00508-MHS)(engine condition trend monitoring technology)
  • PT Diagnostics v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. (ED Tex 2:11-cv-00509-MHS)(engine condition trend monitoring technology)
  • PT Diagnostics v. Pratt & Hamilton Sundstrand Corp. (ED Tex 2-11-cv-00510-MHS)(engine condition trend monitoring technology)
  • United Technologies Corporation v. Webvention Holdings LLC and Webvention, LLC (D Del 1:11-cv-00060-GMS)(display technology)
  • Condatis LLC v. A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, Pratt & Whitney Services, Inc., Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, United Technologies Corporation et al. (E.D. Tex., 6:10-cv-00600)(powered vehicle condition management technology)
  • Gillani Consulting Inc v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc. et al. (W.D. Wash., 2:10-cv-00975)(software copyright infringement)
  • Gillani Consulting, Inc. v. Verizon Corporate Services Group Inc. (W.D. Wash., 2:10-cv-01348)(software copyright infringement)
  • Source Search Technologies, LLC v. Zillow, Inc. (New Jersey, 2:10-cv-02717)(mortgage quotation technology)
  • NeuroGrafix, Washington Research Foundation et al v. Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. et al. (CD Cal., 2:10-cv-01990)( Image Neurography and Diffusion Anistropy Imaging)
  • Eastman Kodak Company v Research in Motion, Ltd., Research in Motion Corporation, Apple Inc. (In the Matter of CERTAIN MOBILE TELEPHONES AND WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES FEATURING DIGITAL CAMERAS, AND COMPONENTS THEREOF, ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-703)
  • Research in Motion Limited v Eastman Kodak Company (N.D. Tex., 3:08-cv-02075K )(digital camera technology; object manager software technology)
  • Eastman Kodak Company v Apple, Inc. (W.D.N.Y., 6:10-cv-06021MAT) (digital camera technology)
  • Eastman Kodak Company v Apple, Inc. (W.D.N.Y., 6:10-cv-06022MAT) (object manager software technology)
  • U.S. Ethernet Innovations, LLC v. Acer, Inc., Acer America, Inc., Gateway, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., et al., (E.D. Tex., 6:09-cv-00448)(network adapters, interfaces and data transmission)
  • Mortgage Grader Inc. v. Zillow Inc., et al. (E.D. Tex., 2:09-cv-00319)(credit/financing process)
  • Clear With Computers, LLC v. Carrier Corporation, Otis Elevator Co., Pratt & Whitney Power Systems, Inc., Pratt & Whitney RocketDyne, Inc., Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., United Technologies Corp., UTC Fire & Security Corporation; UTC Power Corp., Bergdorf Goodman, Inc. et al (E.D. Tex., 6:09-cv-00481) (web catalogs)
  • Gillani Consulting, Inc. v. Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., (N.D. Tex., 3:07-cv-1488-O) (software copyright infringement)
  • Gillani Consulting, Inc. v. Motorola, Inc., (W. D. Wa., C09-0351-TSZ) (software copyright infringement)
  • Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. And Marvell Semiconductor, Inc., (W.D. Pa., 2:09-cv-00290)(Correlation-Sensitive Adaptive Sequence Detection)
  • Clear With Computers, LLC v. Carrier Corporation, Otis Elevator Co., Pratt & Whitney Power Systems, Inc., Pratt & Whitney Rocket Dyne, Inc., Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., United Technologies Corp., UTC Fire & Security Corporation; UTC Power Corp., Bassett Furniture Industries, Inc. et al (E.D. Tex., 6:09-cv-00095) (web catalogs)
  • Information Protection and Authentication of Texas v. Microsoft Corporation, McAfee, Inc., Velocity Micro, Inc. et al, (E.D. Tex., 2:08-cv-00484)(Program Authorization Information Data Structures)
  • Global Innovations Technology Holdings, LLC and Information Protection and Authentication of Texas v. Acer America Corp., Alienware, Corp., American Future Technology Corp., Dell Inc., Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp., Gateway, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Motion Computing, Inc. et. al, (S.D. Fla. 1:09-cv-20217)( Program Authorization Information Data Structures) and Global Innovation Technology Holdings, LLC, et al. v. Acer America Corp., Alienware, Corp., American Future Technology Corp., Dell Inc., Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp., Gateway, Inc., Motion Computing, Inc., Panasonic Corporation of North America, et al., (E.D. Tex., 2:09-cv-198)
  • MAZ Technologies, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, (E.D. Tex., 6:08-cv-00289) (Transparent Encryption and Decryption for an Electronic Document Management System)
  • Neurografix and Washington Research Foundation v. Oak Tree Medical Corporation, et al., (C.D. Cal., CV08-02923)(Image Neurography and Diffusion Anistropy Imaging)