Matt Furton’s practice focuses on commercial and intellectual property litigation. Matt served as the Co-Chair of the Litigation Department at Locke Lord for several years. Matt's practice includes representation of both plaintiffs and defendants, from pre-suit investigation through trial and appellate proceedings. Matt’s philosophy prioritizes reaching a prompt business solution at the lowest possible cost. Litigation and trials should always be avoided, but if a mutually acceptable resolution is not possible, Matt is eager to lead a client’s representation at trial.
Matt's commercial litigation experience includes handling claims for breach of contract, fraud, RICO violations, securities fraud, antitrust violations, shareholder derivative actions and various business torts. Matt’s trial work includes handling jury and bench trials in state, federal and bankruptcy courts, obtaining and avoiding injunctive relief, obtaining, enforcing and vacating arbitration awards and guiding clients through appeals. Matt also handles domestic and international arbitrations. Matt has been recognized by peer review organizations for over a decade as a leader in the field of commercial litigation.
Much of the commercial litigation Matt handles arises from the business of insurance. In the insurance industry, Matt represents traditional insurance industry entities, such as insurers, reinsurers, brokers and third-party administrators in business litigation. His clients also include investors in insurance assets, reinsurance pools, premium financiers, guaranty funds and joint self-insurance pools that have disputes arising from the business of insurance. His insurance-related litigation and arbitration experience includes: arbitrations and complex litigation involving class actions, MDL proceedings, bankruptcy proceedings, RICO, antitrust and consumer fraud claims. Many of these cases are influenced by the heavily regulated nature of the insurance industry.
Matt also represents clients in connection with intellectual property disputes and litigation. He has served as lead counsel in significant disputes involving claims of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition, false advertising and trade secret misappropriation. Matt’s soft IP practice has included representations in the software, telecommunications, insurance, food, trade association, toy, entertainment, construction, furniture and financial services industries. Matt has obtained injunctions against infringers, used the DMCA take-down provisions, obtained declaratory judgments and secured relief through the TTAB and UDRP domain name proceedings.
Many of Matt's engagements involve information technology. He has handled nearly two dozen significant engagements arising from failed computer system development or implementation projects. He has represented companies in disputes arising from software distribution agreements, troubled IT outsourcing projects, the unauthorized use of software and unauthorized access to a computer network. Matt has extensive experience working with, and cross-examining, computer science experts, including software architects and Chief Information Officers.
Matt was recognized as a Volunteer of the Year by the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services in 2019 for his pro bono work. He serves on the Board of Directors for several community organizations. He is often invited to be a guest lecturer on risk management and litigation topics at law schools, including the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where he recently served as the President of the Alumni Board of Advisors.
Matt’s experience includes:
- Representation of the national and state trade associations as well as several leading consumer-lending businesses in an action against the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation challenging the agency's rule making activity. Secured an injunction preventing a state agency from applying a newly enacted statute to certain consumer lenders, which spared an entire industry from potentially catastrophic consequences
- Represented trade association in defense of two defamation and tortious interference actions. Secured dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction and then, after refiling, secured summary judgment dismissing one claim and partial summary judgment that was followed by a voluntary dismissal with prejudice in the other action. Colorado
- Represented a global financial services company in connection with a fraud case alleging $10 million in losses as a result of the company's allegedly fraudulent failure to file documents with government authorities and extraction of agreements under duress. Secured dismissal with prejudice. Illinois
- Represented the two leading property and casualty insurance trade associations as well as the relevant Chamber of Commerce and other trade associations as amici in connection with action to enjoin enforcement of the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission's emergency rule changing the system for compensability determinations arising from a global pandemic. Secured TRO prohibiting enforcement of the rule and the IWCC subsequently repealed the rule that would have imposed costs on insurers and employers expected to be in excess of $1 billion
- Represented a leading bicycle manufacturer in connection with breach of contract, UCC and fraud claims asserted by a logistics and warehouse operator that claimed to be harmed by the bike company's decision to cease doing business with the logistics company. Defeated TRO and Preliminary Injunction for client and settled amicably. Illinois
- Represented a leading distributor of skin care products in a case where a skin care products manufacturer alleged the distributor engaged in price fixing of skin care products. Settled amicably. California
- Represent wholesale commercial insurance brokerage firm against a leading retail insurance brokerage firm in a breach of contract and trade secrets dispute involving the promotion of self-insured products and services. Secured TRO and Preliminary Injunction for client. Settled amicably. Oklahoma
- Represented a leading national accounting firm in a shareholder derivative action. Settled amicably. Illinois
- Represented leading auto insurer in MDL class action alleging price fixing of auto body repair shop arrangements. Florida
- Represented non-standard auto insurer in dispute with insurance software and IT services company over the unsuccessful development and implementation of a customized, enterprise software suite. Settled amicably. Georgia
- Represented a college with over 30,000 students in a dispute with an enterprise software vendor over the unsuccessful implementation of enterprise-level software. Settled amicably. Illinois
- Represented software company in breach of contract case against enterprise-grade hardware manufacturer involving claims of underpayment of royalties. Settled amicably after preliminary injunction motion practice. Iowa
- Represented investors in life insurance assets in dispute with trustee of life insurance trust over $6.5M policy proceeds interpleaded by life insurance company. Recovered over $6.5M in cash and judgments for client against trustee and notary that forged and falsely notarized sales documents. California
- Represented promoters of investment products in dispute with the Unsecured Creditors' Committee for an insolvent pension plan sponsor claiming losses of over $140M. The Committee assigned the claim for nothing to a third party after a premature summary judgment motion demonstrated the claim to be worthless. California
- Represented an international package delivery company in a dispute with the purchaser of uncollectible receivables over the quality of the receivables. Settled amicably after Motion to dismiss was granted in part. Illinois
- Represented merchant buyers of intangibles in dispute with seller over contractual terms. Secured summary judgment; affirmed on appeal. Illinois
Intellectual Property Litigation
- Represented leading cosmetic brand in lawsuit against counterfeiters using ecommerce platforms. Secured preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and large damages award. Illinois
- Represented real estate developer in copyright infringement action arising out of claims that developer copied plans for $35M empty-nester condo development. Case settled amicably after summary judgment motion was filed. Kansas
- Represented leading manufacturer of vaporizers in trademark infringement and breach of contract case with an e-juice company challenging mark on nine-figure product. Defeated TRO and Preliminary Injunction motion for client and settled amicably in anticipation of IPO. California
- Represent billion-dollar consumer food brand in trademark infringement and dilution action against a company adopting the same trademark for similar goods. Settled amicably during discovery. New York
- Represented a leading skin care distributor in connection with post-trial motion practice and appeal of adverse rulings and jury verdict in trademark infringement action. Secured reversal of cancellation order. Nebraska – 8th Circuit
- Represented leading VoIP speaker company in contract, copyright and trade secret case over the allegedly unauthorized distribution of VoIP speakers containing chips that circumvented copyright-protection measures. Settled amicably during extended jury trial. Illinois
- Represented the owner of the rights in a leading children's book/TV series in copyright infringement litigation alleging a photographer's images were used outside of license terms. Secured summary judgment; reversed on appeal in memorandum opinion and order that overruled prior precedent. Illinois
- Represented a leading high-end restaurant chain in trademark infringement litigation arising from use of a confusingly similar name. Resolved amicably after the defendant changed its name. Georgia
- Represented a large real estate services firm in a case challenging title to dozens of domain names transferred by a Receiver later found to have been improvidently appointed. Claims dismissed; affirmed on appeal to the 5th Circuit. Texas
- Represented a printer maintenance company in copyright and DMCA litigation arising from alleged use of unauthorized software to repair computer equipment. Settled amicably after dismissal of most serious claims. California
- Secured the removal of an infringing mobile application from the Apple App Store on behalf of a leading mobile application developer
- Represented a national insurer in multiple AAA arbitrations arising out of loss-sensitive insurance programs. Matters include a dispute in bankruptcy court that resulted in an affirmance from the 5th Circuit of a judgment of the District Court for the Northern District of Texas affirming the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the N.D. Texas ruling on a claim objection
- Represented health care insurer in arbitrated dispute involving dissolution of joint venture established to provide health care services to Medicaid beneficiaries. Arkansas
- Represented a national, multi-line insurer in AAA arbitration with a leading retail chain arising from process failures in the placement of fleet auto insurance that resulted in a very large, undesirable claim that the retail chain wanted to avoid
- Represented an Asian manufacturer of industrial goods in AAA arbitration arising from breach of contract claims related to the development of custom tooling for assembly line equipment
- Represented software development firm in AAA arbitration with developer over breach of contract claims
- Represented an InsurTech system developer in a dispute with an insurance company over the implementation of enterprise-wide software
- Represented large company in dispute with software company over allegedly copied software
- Represented an Asian distributor of chemical fertilizers in multiple international arbitrations arising from alleged breach of sales contracts