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National Laboratory Prevails in IP Trial Involving Fusion Technology

Monday, April 19, 2010

Winston & Strawn Team Obtains Unanimous Defense Verdict

San Francisco, CA -- Winston & Strawn LLP successfully defended Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC (LLNS), which operates Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for the U.S. Department of Energy, in an intellectual property trial that was recently concluded in the Alameda County Superior Court. The case related to technology for fabricating spherical nanodiamond capsules for use in inertial confinement fusion experiments at the LLNL’s National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Calif.

“We are extremely pleased with the jury’s decision. The trial was an opportunity for scientists at LLNL to demonstrate that they had developed their novel approach to diamond capsule fabrication independently and in full compliance with the terms of a nondisclosure agreement with the plaintiffs, General Nanotechnology and Metadigm,” said Patrick Michael, a partner in the San Francisco office of Winston & Strawn, who co-led the LLNS defense team together with Dean Morehous and Nicole Norris of Winston and John Lee of the Laboratory legal staff.

The experiments conducted at the National Ignition Facility are directed towards gaining a better understanding of the process of nuclear fusion in the context of strategic national security and understanding the basic science of stars and planetary systems. Fusion ignition experiments are slated to begin later this year and, if successful, would also open the door to a potentially limitless source of clean energy, the energy source of our sun. The jury’s unanimous decision left LLNL scientists free to continue their development and evaluation of different materials including diamond for use in the tiny spherical capsules that will be used to contain the fuel for the fusion reactions. Additional information regarding the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is available at

Winston & Strawn LLP is an international commercial law firm with 12 offices. More information about the firm is available at

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