Overview

Audra Dial is the Managing Partner for the firm's Atlanta office. Ms. Dial is an experienced litigator practicing in Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP’s nationally recognized Patent Litigation Team in addition to handling complex commercial litigation involving technology. She focuses her practice on complex federal court litigation involving trade secrets, patent disputes, restrictive employment covenants, and complex business disputes involving intellectual property. Ms. Dial has obtained favorable verdicts in many high-profile intellectual property disputes, including on behalf of several Fortune 500 companies. She has represented companies whose intellectual property was misused both domestically and abroad. Ms. Dial was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® in 2018 for Technology Law. She has been recognized as a 2013 and 2014 "Legal Elite" for General Practice by Georgia Trend magazine. In 2012, Ms. Dial was recommended by Legal 500 US in the area of Trade Secrets Litigation.

Ms. Dial is a past President of the Junior League of Atlanta. She currently serves as a member of the Savannah College of Art and Design's Atlanta Advisory Council and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History's Corporate Leadership Council. Ms. Dial is a member of Leadership Atlanta's Class of 2016 and of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2014. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Special Olympics of Georgia, Atlanta Speech School, Atlanta Children's Shelter, Georgia Immigration & Asylum Network ("GAIN"), and Trees Atlanta.

Ms. Dial was recognized by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta as a 2016 Woman of Style & Substance and by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as a Woman Who Means Business in 2015. She received the Tapestri 2015 Legal Team of the Year Award for her pro bono efforts on behalf of a human trafficking victim. In 2014, Ms. Dial received a Social Spotlight award from The Atlantan for her work in the community and was recognized by the Daily Report in its 2014 Verdicts Hall of Fame for intellectual property litigation. She also was recognized by Pathbuilders with its Inspiria Award in 2014. Ms. Dial was honored by the State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism in 2013 with a Justice Robert Benham Community Service Award for her significant contributions to her community beyond her legal work. She was selected by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Georgia Chapter as a participant in its MS Leadership Class of 2012. Ms. Dial has also been recognized as a 2011 POW! Award winner by Womenetics, a 2011 IMPACT Leader by Business to Business magazine, 2010 "Up and Comer" by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Junior League Woman to Watch, a Top 50 Women Georgia "Super Lawyer" in 2016-2017, a Georgia "Super Lawyer" from 2013-2017, and a Georgia "Rising Star" from 2006-2012 by Super Lawyers magazine. Ms. Dial has been profiled by Chambers and Partners in its Women in Law section.

Ms. Dial is a past chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative and former member of the firm’s Hiring Committee. She is a frequent speaker on women’s leadership, patent litigation, protecting trade secrets against misuse, including through social media and corporate espionage, electronic discovery, and diversity issues.

Ms. Dial earned her J.D. from William and Mary School of Law, where she served as the Managing Editor of the William & Mary Law Review. Ms. Dial is involved with the Trade Secrets Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association, Women in Electronic Discovery, and the National Association of Women Lawyers. Ms. Dial received her Bachelor of Arts from American University, where she graduated cum laude in Interdisciplinary Studies.

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Experience

Served as lead counsel in defending our client against a disgruntled dealer that sued for an alleged breach of the dealership agreement. The case culminated in a week-long arbitration hearing. The arbitrator adopted our client’s arguments on every issue and ruled that the agreement had been properly terminated by our client.

Represented a telecommunications company in a dispute with its joint venture partner relating to the provision of mobile wireless telecommunications services on cruise ships in international waters. The dispute centered around the development of a mobile application that would directly compete with an offering provided by the joint venture. The joint venture partner announced its plans to launch the application at one of the cruise industry’s largest and most important annual expositions, implicating trade secret concerns, contractual issues, and confidentiality restrictions. The dispute was resolved before the need for court intervention.

Serves as local counsel for Bluestem Brands in their defense against allegations that they breached the terms of a non-disclosure agreement and violated the Georgia Trade Secrets Act. Purchasing Power, LLC v. Bluestem Brands, Inc., No. 1:12-cv-00258 (N.D. Ga. filed Jan. 25, 2012).

Serves as local counsel representing Canon Inc. in their pursuit of patent infringement claims relating to their toner supply container products. Canon, Inc. v. Color Imaging, Inc. et al., No. 1:11-cv-03855 (N.D. Ga. filed Nov. 8, 2011).

Serves as local counsel for Friendly Environment in a lawsuit alleging that Friendly Environment and Atlantic Construction Fabrics, Inc., have infringed Silt Saver’s patent relating to a reinforced silt retention fencing product by selling its SmartFence product. Silt Saver, Inc. v. Denny Hastings, et al., Case No. 1:16CV01137-SCJ (N.D. Ga. Filed April 7, 2016).

Served as lead counsel for our client who was a victim of labor trafficking. The firm’s client, Thembi Dlamini, was enticed to Atlanta from her native Swaziland, a country in Southern Africa, in 2005 to purportedly work in Atlanta for two weeks to cater a couple’s son’s upcoming wedding. When she arrived in Atlanta, her passport and return plane ticket were confiscated and she learned that everything she had been told was lies and that she was brought to Atlanta to be the slave of this couple. Ms. Dlamini was forced her to work 16 hours a day, taking care of the couple’s grandchildren, cleaning their home and the homes of neighbors, and working in their construction business. She lived in these conditions for 20 months until she had enough and took the risk of telling neighbors and friends of her captors her true circumstances. The case culminated in a jury trial in April 2015, and our client obtained a verdict of $365,000 in damages in what is believed to be one of the first civil lawsuits in Georgia for labor trafficking. Dlamini v. Babb, Case No. 1:13-cv-02699-WSD (N.D. Ga., filed Aug. 13, 2013).

Represented Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. in a patent infringement action filed by Genetic Technologies Limited (“GTG”). The plaintiff sued nine defendants in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin alleging patent infringement of its patent relating to methods of analysis of non-coding DNA sequences. Several large companies had previously been involved in litigation with GTG over this patent. As a result of licenses GTG negotiated with those defendants, GTG sought millions of dollars in past damages and future license fees from Pioneer. Because of intensive defensive efforts and factual investigation, we approached GTG regarding settlement. These discussions resulted in a favorable settlement of the matter, the terms of which are confidential. Genetic Technologies Limited v. Beckman Coulter, Inc. et al., No. 3:10-cv-00069 (W.D. Wisc. filed Feb. 11, 2010).

Represented Cox Communications, Inc. and CSC Holdings, LLC in a patent infringement suit in the District of Delaware involving modem technology. The plaintiff alleged that providing voice-over-IP telephone calls infringed its patented technology and sued an entire industry for infringement of this patent. The dispute was resolved favorably. (Judge Stark). GTZM Tech. Ventures LTD v. Atlantic Broadband Fin., LLC et al., No. 1:11-cv-00790 (D. Del. filed Sept. 8, 2011).

Served as local counsel in lawsuit against one of Porsche Cars North America’s largest dealers alleging that the dealer misused Porsche Cars North America’s confidential information by leaking advance information learned during a confidential meeting of all Porsche dealers. The case settled on confidential terms. Porsche Cars North America v. Copans Motors, Inc. et al., Case No. 2013CV238772 (Fulton County Sup. Ct., filed Nov. 11, 2013).

The firm served as lead counsel on behalf of Cox Communications, which was accused of infringing a competitor’s patents relating to voice over IP technology. We obtained a jury verdict of no patent infringement of six patents and invalidity of two patents. Affirmed by the Federal Circuit. Verizon Servs. Corp. v. Cox Fibernet Va., Inc., No. 08-157 (E.D. Va. filed Jan. 11, 2008).

Represented DuPont in patent dispute with BASF involving technology related to herbicide-resistant genetically modified corn. Litigation resulted in an agreement to cross-license patents and mutually dismiss the pending claims and counterclaims. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, et al. v. BASF Plant Science GmbH, et al., No. 1:09-cv-00393 (D. Del. filed Jun. 1, 2009).

Served as lead counsel in defending our client against a disgruntled business partner that filed a demand for arbitration over an alleged breach of a software distribution agreement. The case settled on confidential terms after the parties exchanged key documents that demonstrated that our client had terminated the agreement in accordance with its terms.

Lead counsel on behalf of York International, a large independent supplier of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration products, against a former employee who divulged the company’s trade secrets in Internet chat rooms. We obtained a permanent injunction against the former employee enforcing his confidentiality obligations and preventing him from further disclosure of our client’s data. York Int'l v. Hammer, et al., No. 1:04-CV-00260 (N.D. Ga. filed Jan. 30, 2004).

Served as lead counsel in a lawsuit alleging that Sage Software had infringed Uniloc’s patent relating to the use of software to administer licenses for use of software on a network by selling software that included concurrent license administration functionality. After engaging in some discovery, the case settled on a confidential basis. Uniloc v. Sage Group, Case No. 6:13CV00906-RWS-KNM (E.D. Tex., filed Nov. 25, 2013).

Served as lead counsel in a lawsuit alleging that Sage Software had infringed Softvault Systems’ patents relating to digital rights management and remote disablement of software by selling software containing product activation features. After claim construction began, the case settled on confidential terms. Softvault Systems, Inc. v. Sage Software Inc., Case No. 3:15CV02972-JCS (N.D. Cal., filed June 25, 2015).

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Education

William and Mary School of Law, J.D. (1998)

American University, B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, emphasis on Economics and Government (1994) cum laude

Admissions

District of Columbia (2000)

Georgia (1998)

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia

Supreme Court of Georgia

Georgia Court of Appeals

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Professional & Community Activities

Meals on Wheels, Meal to Remember Gala Co-Chair (2016)

The Children’s School, Capital Campaign Co-Chair (2016-2018)

Leadership Atlanta, Class of 2016

Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Corporate Leadership Council Member (2014 to present)

Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta Advisory Council Member (2011 to present)

Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Garden of Eden Ball Chair (2015)

Jeffrey Fashion Cares, Host Committee Co-Chair (2015)

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Associates Designer Showhouse, Opening Night Party Co-Chair (2015)

Georgia CASA Fundraising Luncheon, Chair (2014)

Leadership Georgia, Class of 2014

Atlanta Community Food Bank, Tangerine Tango Chair (2014)

Pink Ribbons Fundraising Luncheon, Chair (2013)

Meals on Wheels Sunday Suppers, Chair (2013)

American Heart Association Go Red for Women, Circle of Red Chair (2012-2013)

American Heart Association Go Red for Women, Executive Leadership Team (2012-2014)

Women in Electronic Discovery, Member

National Association of Women Lawyers, Member

IPO Trade Secrets Committee, Member

Georgia Immigration & Asylum Network (“GAIN”), Board Member (2014)

Junior League of Atlanta Board of Directors, Past President (2010-2011)

Special Olympics of Georgia, Board Member and Secretary (2007-2013)

Trees Atlanta, Board Member (2010-2011)

Atlanta Speech School, Board Member (2010-2011)

Atlanta Children's Shelter, Board Member (2010-2011)

William & Mary Law Review, Managing Editor (1997-1998)

William and Mary Law School Alumni Association, Past President (2003-2004)

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