Paul Sykes represents businesses and individuals in a wide variety of intellectual property and technology-related legal matters. As a member of both the Intellectual Property and Competitive Practices and the Litigation practice groups, Paul counsels clients in the acquisition, licensing and protection of intellectual property rights, and he litigates those rights in the state and federal courts. Paul has been peer-selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® and Mid-South Super Lawyers in Intellectual Property Law. Birmingham Magazine has also listed him as a “Top Attorney” for Intellectual Property.
Paul focuses his practice on patent, copyright, trademark, unfair competition, and trade secret litigation. As a former computer engineer, he understands technology and how to use it for the benefit of the client. As a registered patent attorney, Paul prepares and prosecutes patent applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He also counsels clients generally in the areas of copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. He previously served as president of the Intellectual Property Section of the Alabama State Bar.
Paul has handled patent infringement matters, for both plaintiffs and defendants, involving technology as diverse as telecommunications equipment, fishing lures, automated teller machines, football pads, wireless networking equipment, muzzle loading firearms, microprocessors, automated bark control collars, injection molding processes, lenticular images, mops and brooms, spun concrete utility poles, and telephony software.
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® Copyright Law, 2011-2018, 2023-2024 Information Technology Law, 2006-2018, 2023-2024 Intellectual Property Law, 2007-2010 Litigation – Intellectual Property, 2011-2018, 2023-2024 Litigation – Patent, 2016-2018, 2023-2024 Patent Law, 2011-2018, 2023-2024 Trade Secrets Law, 2016-2018, 2023-2024 "Lawyer of the Year," Birmingham, Litigation – Intellectual Property, 2015 "Lawyer of the Year," Birmingham, Copyright Law, 2023 "Lawyer of the Year," Birmingham, Information Technology Law, 2023 "Lawyer of the Year," Birmingham, Litigation – Patent, 2024 Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property, 2016-2017 Listed in Alabama Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property, 2012-2015 Listed in Birmingham Magazine "Top Attorneys" Intellectual Property, 2015 Accord Indus., Inc. v. Valmont Newmark, Inc., Case No. 8:10-cv-01647-JSM-TGW (M.D. Fla) 2010 Represented counterclaim plaintiff-patentee in this infringement litigation involving design of reinforced concrete construction materials. Bet-the-company litigation Successfully defended numerous defendants in bet-the-company litigation involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation, breach of non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, and numerous state-law tort claims. After obtaining summary judgment on all counts and an attorney fee award, settled case favorably for clients on eve of trial of their counterclaims against original plaintiffs. ClassroomDirect, LLC v. Re-print Draphix, LLC Represented plaintiff and obtained jury verdict of infringement following nearly two-week trial in this trademark infringement case. ClassroomDirect.com, LLC v. Re-Print/Draphix, LLC, CV-05-4675 (Jefferson Co., Ala.) 2005 Acted as lead counsel for plaintiff in nearly two-week jury trial of unfair competition, intentional interference, and fraud claims. Obtained verdict for client on all counts. Copyright infringement litigation Jointly selected by the parties and approved by the court to serve as special master and court-appointed expert in substantial copyright infringement litigation involving computer software. Ed Tobergte Assoc. v. Russell Brands, LLC, Case No. 2:08-cv-02290-JWL-GLR (D. Kan.) 2008 Defended sporting goods manufacturer in this patent infringement case. Intel Corp. v. Intergraph Corp., Case No. CV 97-N-3023-NE (N.D. Ala.) 1997 Represented Intel with respect to allegation of infringement of multiple patents involving microprocessor cache memory architecture and operations. Marketron, Inc. v. OneDomain, Inc. Represented defendants and obtained summary judgment for the client in this computer-software case on a 22-count complaint alleging trade secret misappropriation, violations of confidentiality and non-compete agreements, and various state-law tort claims. The court also awarded our clients their attorneys’ fees. The case then settled on the eve of the trial of our clients’ counterclaims against the original plaintiff. McNaughton v. Pure Fishing, Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-0932-SLB (N.D. Ala.) 2010 Obtained favorable settlement for client sporting goods manufacturer in patent infringement litigation, prior to discovery, based on strength of invalidity defense developed after litigation was filed. Mediator in intellectual property cases Retained by colleagues from other firms in Birmingham to mediate several patent and copyright infringement suits. MidSouth Companies, Inc. v. Southern Living, Inc., 2:03CV56-SAA (N.D. Miss. 2003) Represented Southern Living, Inc. in a declaratory judgment action filed to resolve Southern Living’s claim of trademark infringement against the magazine MidSouth Living. After discovery, MidSouth agreed to discontinue use of “MidSouth Living” as part of a settlement, the terms of which are otherwise confidential. Patent infringement and antitrust litigation Assisted in representation of Intel Corp. in patent infringement and antitrust litigation regarding microprocessors. Plastic Research and Development Corp. v. Nichols, 3-01CV0735-R (N.D. Tex.) 2001 Defended manufacturer of outdoor products in this patent infringement case. Protective Life Ins. Co. v. Coss Development Corp. Selected by the parties and the court to serve as a special master in this complex copyright infringement case involving computer software. Issued an extensive recommendation and report on summary judgment and related motions, which was adopted by the court. Representation of software company in anti-piracy litigation Represented major developer of personal computer operating system software in multiple states in anti-piracy, copyright infringement, and trademark infringement suits. Strategic Systems, Inc. v. Octatron, Inc. Obtained summary judgment on all counts in favor of client in this contract case involving allegations of malfunction and technical deficiency in wireless mesh networking hardware. Teltech Systems, Inc. v. Itellas, LLC, Case No. 1:11-CV-01711-WHP (S.D.N.Y.) 2011 Defending telecommunications software and services provider in this ongoing patent litigation.