Jeffrey E. Francis
Jeff Francis is an experienced trial lawyer who has successfully represented clients in complex commercial and intellectual property litigation matters throughout the U.S. His practice includes litigation involving patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret disputes; technology development and/or licensing; large loss fire investigations, commercial property and business interruption insurance; and commercial disparagement, defamation and harassment.
One focus of Jeff’s practice is intellectual property and technology disputes in the software, cloud computing, and consumer products and services industries. He has successfully represented clients in disputes concerning trademark, trade secret, copyright, patent, unfair competition, employee lift-out, technology development programs, and other complex commercial matters.
Jeff has represented numerous clients in connection with litigation, across the country and internationally, arising from catastrophic fire loss events.
Jeff has also represented both companies and individuals in commercial disparagement, defamation, and harassment matters. These representations have included commercial disparagement matters brought against competitors in the consumer product and biotechnology industries.
Jeff has tried numerous matters in courts in Massachusetts, New York, and Florida, and before the American Arbitration Association. In addition, Jeffrey’s trial work has resulted in what is believed to be the largest jury verdict in Massachusetts state court history.
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation (2023)
Named a "Go-to" Business Litigation Lawyer by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (2022)
- Listed as a "Rising Star" in Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2005-2008 and 2011-2013)
- American Bar Association
- Boston Bar Association
- Boston Patent Law Association
- National Fire Protection Association
- The Defend Trade Secrets Act: Five Key Lessons, Pierce Atwood Client Alert (April 9, 2018)
- The Challenge of Engaging US Counsel for Non-US Companies, Pierce Atwood Podcast (August 2, 2016)
- What You Need to Know About U.S. Law: You Really Need to Register Your Copyrights, Pierce Atwood Client Alert (July 14, 2016)
- The New Federal Trade Secrets Law: What You Need to Know, Pierce Atwood Client Alert (May 19, 2016)
- Federal Circuit Decision Signals Game Not Over for Washington Redskins Trademark, Pierce Atwood Client Alert (February 18, 2016)
- What You Need to Know About US Law: Massachusetts and New York Trade Secrets Not Governed by Uniform Trade Secret Act, Pierce Atwood Client Alert (February 9, 2016)
- What You Need to Know About U.S. Law - Punishing the Dishonest Competitor, Pierce Atwood Client Alert (December 9, 2015)
- Posturing for Protection: Yogi Chooses Wrong IP Tool to Protect Yoga Sequence, Pierce Atwood Client Alert (November 2, 2015)
- What You Need to Know About U.S. Law, Pierce Atwood Client Alert (September 23, 2015)
- The Five Largest Jury Verdicts, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (January 15, 2007)
Trade Secret/Employee Lift-Out
- Successfully defended a cloud computing/data distribution company against trade secret misappropriation/employee lift-out claims in New York.
- Successfully defended a Massachusetts biotech firm from trade secret misappropriation/employee lift-out claims in Massachusetts.
- Successfully prosecuted an NYSE-listed company's claims against a former employee who had accessed the company's computer system and downloaded confidential and proprietary data. Immediately and successfully moved for leave to seize the former employee's computer files and hard drives at his then current employer.
Unfair Competition/Lanham Act
- Successfully defended an international cat food manufacturer against unfair competition/Lanham Act claims brought by a competing cat food manufacturer in Massachusetts federal court.
- Successfully defended a consumer goods importer and wholesaler against unfair competition/Lanham Act claims by a competitor in Massachusetts.
Latest Updates in Intellectual Property & Technology
Commercial Disparagement, Defamation, and Harassment
- Represented a large commercial agriculture and food stuffs client in matters involving defamation and disparagement by individuals protesting the company’s industrial farming and livestock practices.
- In a matter filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, obtained a preliminary and then permanent injunction against an individual who was publishing, via email messages to the plaintiff’s family and co-workers, false and defamatory statements regarding certain false allegations of wrong-doing by the plaintiff. In addition, represented the plaintiff in connection with plaintiff’s then post-graduate degree to bring a quick and successful conclusion to that university’s investigation into the defendant’s false allegations.
- Represented two individuals, one of the first gay couples to be legally married in Massachusetts, who were being harassed and threatened by a neighbor. In a proceeding brought in Massachusetts State Court, successfully sought and was awarded a series of injunctions, spanning over two years, prohibiting the defendant from communicating with or about the plaintiffs.
Technology Development Programs and Other Complex Commercial Litigation
- Successfully obtained a £9.5 million ($17.5 million) summary judgment verdict plus an award of more than $1 million in attorneys' fees for a U.K. financial institution in Rhode Island federal court.
- Successfully tried a NASDAQ-listed company's claims against an ASIC developer who had contracted to develop the client's next generation product – the 14-person jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the client for $36.7 million in damages, believed to be the largest verdict ever from a state court jury in Massachusetts. The jury also returned a verdict for the client rejecting the developer's approximately $7 million in counterclaims.
- Successfully tried in a Florida federal court an NYSE-listed company's defense to approximately $6 million in claims arising out of a catastrophic fire in a manufacturing facility by the commercial tenant that converted the facility to use for high density, plastic storage and processing. The district court's decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
- Successfully represented an NYSE-listed company in connection with claims arising out of multiple failures of intermediate sprinkler heads in commercial facilities across North America. In 2007, a federal judge in Texas entered summary judgment on all issues in the client's favor.
- Successfully defended an international software company against claims alleging breach of a license agreement and copyright infringement in Massachusetts federal court.
- Successfully obtained preliminary injunction preventing opposing party from terminating certain supply and license agreements thereby preserving client's ability to continue the manufacture and sale of principal telephony product.
- Successfully defended and prosecuted patent infringement claims regarding time and temperature tracking devices, various consumer products, medical devices and speech recognition software in Massachusetts and New York.