Keiko Sugisaka is the chair of Maslon's Tort & Product Liability Group as well as a partner and trial lawyer in the firm's Litigation Group. She focuses her practice primarily on product liability, complex business, and intellectual property cases, including consolidated and multi-district litigation. Keiko has broad experience successfully representing clients in federal and state courts nationwide involving product liability defense; patent, trademark, and copyright infringement; director/officer liability; trade secret misappropriation; unfair competition; and commercial disputes. She also has extensive experience in all stages of complex and large-scale discovery and e-discovery issues. At Maslon, Keiko serves as a member of the firm's recruiting committee, chair of its technology committee, co-chair of its diversity committee, and as Maslon's member representative in Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, a nonprofit association comprised of Twin Cities law firms whose vision is to create a vibrant and inclusive legal community.
Prior to joining Maslon, Keiko practiced intellectual property litigation with a large national law firm and was an Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General's Office where she represented the State of Minnesota enforcing laws regulating nonprofit corporations, management of charitable assets, and litigating high-profile matters such as health care audits, insurance industry investigations, and fraud cases.
Keiko earned her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School and earned her bachelor's degree, cum laude, with a double major in speech communication and law and society from Macalester College. She also completed a judicial clerkship with Justice Alan C. Page of the Minnesota Supreme Court (1996-1997).
- In re American Medical Systems, Inc., CV-11-3933 (Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota). Defended consolidated state court actions alleging multiple tort theories against American Medical Systems related to female mesh products.
- Represent major medical device company in nationwide litigation involving PMA and 510k devices.
- Thomsen v. Famous Dave's of America et al., 606 F.2d 905 (8th Cir. 2010). Defended $10 million copyright infringement and breach of contract action brought by former sign painter and restaurant designer for defendant Famous Dave's. District Court dismissed case on summary judgment, which was upheld on appeal.
- U.S. Bancorp. v. Mitgang et al. (Minn. Ct. App.). Appellate counsel for plaintiff in $1 million breach of contract action. Obtained complete reversal of summary judgment on appeal with appellate court ordering grant of summary judgment in favor of plaintiff.
- Part of team representing design engineers for litigation following collapse of I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis; obtained interlocutory appellate review of district court decisions involving statute of repose.
- Indiezone, Inc. et al. v. Rooke et al. (N.D. Cal. 2013). Lead trial counsel successfully defending 17 defendants, as well as indemnified parties including two of the world's largest retailers, a national bank and technology company, against a 27-count complaint brought by domestic and international plaintiffs alleging over $1 billion in damages for trade secret misappropriation, civil RICO, copyright and trademark infringement, and state law claims. Obtained an order dismissing one plaintiff for lack of standing and requiring the remaining plaintiff to arbitrate against certain defendants and stay the litigation pending arbitration. Prior to arbitration, successfully moved the court to vacate the arbitration order, dismiss the entire lawsuit with prejudice as to all defendants, and award attorneys' fees. Case is currently on appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Other Selected Case Results
- Trial and appellate counsel in defense of an alleged $500 million theft of trade secret, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract case. The district court dismissed the case on summary judgment, which was affirmed on appeal.
- Trial counsel for plaintiff in action for theft of trade secrets involving an Olympic hospitality business for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Obtained a temporary injunction and case settled thereafter including a permanent injunction.
- Trial counsel for plaintiffs in patent infringement action for web browser technology for interactive applications embedded in web pages. Jury verdict returned in favor of plaintiffs on issues of infringement, validity, and damages in the amount of $520.6 million, with final judgment, including prejudgment interest, in an amount over $565 million. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed infringement and damages and ordered remand on invalidity and inequitable conduct defenses. Case settled prior to invalidity retrial.
2017 Women in Business Award Winner, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2014-2015 (North Star Lawyer is a designation that recognizes members who provide 50 hours or more of pro bono legal services in a calendar year.)
Recognized on Minnesota Rising Stars list as part of the Super Lawyers® selection process, 2004, 2009, 2011 (Minnesota Rising Stars is a designation given to only 2.5 percent of Minnesota attorneys each year, based on a selection process that includes the recommendation of peers in the legal profession.)