William M. Gantz

Partner

  • William M. Gantz
  • Phone: +1 857 488 4234
    Fax: +1 857 401 3026

    William M. Gantz - LinkedIn Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    100 High Street, Suite 2400
    Boston, MA 02110-1724
    USA
  • Duane Morris LLP
    190 South LaSalle Street, Suite 3700
    Chicago, IL 60603-3433
    USA

William M. Gantz is a versatile lead trial lawyer with nationwide experience representing manufacturing, gaming, technology and insurance clients in intellectual property and commercial litigation, including patent infringement, trade secret, consumer class action and appeals.

Mr. Gantz is a well-known speaker and authority on gaming law in the US. Since 2002, he has represented internet and mobile gaming clients in patent infringement litigation, provided patent landscape and "freedom-to-operate" analyses and advised on state and federal gambling law. Mr. Gantz regularly provides counsel on intellectual property and regulatory compliance matters to start-ups and digital entertainment businesses offering igaming, social gaming, pay-to-play or "freemium" games, fantasy sports, esports, sports betting, skill games, sweepstakes, retail product promotions and lottery tickets. His gaming clients include those utilizing cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, ICO's and tokens. Mr. Gantz's pro bono work regularly involves assisting charitable organizations with events or fundraising involving games, contests or raffles.

Mr. Gantz has extensive experience seeking temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions or defending against them, particularly in actions involving trade secret misappropriation, confidentiality agreements, covenants not to compete, the Defend Trade Secret Act (DTSA) and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Mr. Gantz is highly experienced in shareholder rights litigation involving closely held corporations and limited liability companies, and has successfully tried cases for oppression, forced buyouts for "fair value" and dissolution, as well as shareholder derivative claims for breach of fiduciary duty and corporate waste.

Mr. Gantz negotiates and drafts commercial agreements such as licensing agreements, website development and hosting agreements, asset purchase agreements, limited liability company equity transactions, distribution and sales representative agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and employment and separation agreements.

Areas of Practice

  • Gaming and Digital Entertainment
  • Patent Litigation
  • Trade Secrets Litigation
  • Consumer Class Action Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Appellate

  • Intellectual Property and Technology

  • Shareholder Litigation

  • Sweepstakes

Representative Matters

    Trade Secret Litigation

  • Obtained TRO in trade secret misappropriation and restrictive covenant case for global clinical research organization, prohibiting former Vice President hired by competitor from using trade secrets or contacting client’s employees, vendors or customers, followed by successful resolution. Worldwide Clinical Trials Holdings, Inc. v. Mosher, No. 3:17-cv-00079-MAS-TJB (U.S.D.C. NJ).
  • Lead trial counsel for paper processing equipment manufacturer asserting trade secret misappropriation and violation of restrictive covenants against former plant manager hired by competitor. JJ Plank Co, LLC v. Bowman, 3:18-cv-00798 (U.S.D.C., Western Dist. Louisiana).
  • Defense of employee of global manufacturer of hearing aids, hearing aid accessories, and software in action by competitor alleging misappropriation of trade secrets by departing employee. Phonak, LLC v. Holly Dean, No.1:17-cv-06238 (U.S.D.C. N.D. Ill.).
  • Defended new hire of chemical company against claims of trade secret misappropriation and violation of restrictive covenants. Verichem, Inc. v. Martin and Nashville Chemical & Equipment Co., Inc., G.D. No. 12-2935 (Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny Cty, PA).
  • Defeated attempt of pharmaceutical clinical research organization (CRO) to prohibit employment of business development executive by competitor based upon alleged misappropriation of computer data and trade secrets and violation of restrictive covenants. InVentiv Clinical Solutions, LLC v. Crucitti, 3:12-cv-00430 (U.S.D.C., Dist. Connecticut).
  • Lead counsel for manufacturer of outdoor LED billboards and electronic signs in action seeking preliminary injunctive relief against competitor and departing employee for misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information. Watchfire Signs LLC v. William Thomas Bogard, et al., No. 2:16-cv-02176 (U.S.D.C. C.D. Ill.).
  • Commercial Litigation

  • Represent investment bank in lawsuit in dispute over types and amounts of fees due in connection with marketing and sale of customer. William Blair & Co. v. Univar, Case No 07L5348 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.).
  • Represent investment bank in action over disputed success fee following sale and acquisition of customer. William Blair & Co. v. Allied Richard Bertram Marine Group. Inc. et al., Case No 1:09-cv-03564 (U.S.D.C. N.D. Ill.).
  • Represented owner of commercial real estate in suit seeking eviction and dispute over exercise of option to purchase nursing home. Oak Park Building Partnership, et al. v. N.S.T. Realty, et al., No. 10 M1 731066 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.).
  • Trade Secret Litigation

  • Lead trial counsel, defeating $40M trade secret misappropriation claim brought by global plastics and additives manufacturer against specialty manufacturer of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), alleging misappropriation of TPE formula and processing techniques. PolyOne Corp. v. Lu, et al., No. 14-CV-10369 (U.S.D.C., N.D. Ill.).
  • Commercial Litigation

  • Conducted jury trial successfully for leading global public relations agency, defeating $7 million business defamation and intentional tort claim brought by Bob Prosen following cancellation of event and Prosen’s planned executive education center at University of Texas at Dallas. Business Results, Inc., et al. v. Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., No.06-05036 (Dist. Ct. Dallas Cty., Texas).
  • Obtain permanent consent injunction for real estate investor following misappropriation of electronic data. Synergy Financial Partners, LLC et al. v. Demeter, 1:07-cv-03079 (U.S.D.C., N.D. Ill.)
  • Shareholder Derivative Claims

  • Defend managing partner against breach of fiduciary duty claims in real estate investment partnership and obtained right to dissolve and liquidate property. Joseph Enterprises v. Vachaparambil, et al., No. 09 CH 1932 (DuPage Cty).
  • Successfully defended family owned electropolishing company against oppression claims by disgruntled shareholder through trial and obtained forced buyout of shareholder’s equity on very favorable terms under Section 12.56 of the Illinois Business Corporation Act. Schewe v. Pokvitis, et al., No. 2011 L 13854 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.).
  • Successful trial in defense of closely-held recruiting and placement agency, defeating claims for oppression and forced buyout. Cyber Search, Ld., et al. v. Eunice Sherwood, et al., No. 12 CH 31765 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.).
  • Represented parents in dispute with adult son over title to investment properties. Fu v. Fu, 1681-cv-02497 (Middlesex Sup. Ct., Massachusetts).
  • Successfully obtained buyout in AAA arbitration for 50% partner in forced dissolution due to deadlock and irreconcilable differences.
  • Successfully sued for oppression on behalf of 50% partner in fluid handling business, obtaining buyout and company’s Bears season tickets.
  • Trade Secret Litigation

  • Successfully defend and resolve trade secret claims related to manufacturing and processing of elastic films. Tredegar Film Products Corp., et al. v. Pliant Corporation, et al., Case No. 09 L 3089 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.).
  • Obtained injunction for global plastics compounder against employment of former lead chemist by competitor, followed by favorable confidential agreement. Pliant Corp. v. Mark Jordan, et al., No. 2009 CV 5269 (U.S.D.C. N.D. Ill.).
  • Defeated attempt by global plastic packaging company to prohibit employment of former account manager by competitor. Bemis Co., Inc. v. Sesolak, No. 11-CV-1161 (Cir. Ct. Winnebago Cty. WI). Represented manufacturer of biodegradable plastic additives in dispute with technology licensor in arbitration proceeding over trade secret, patent and breach of exclusive distribution agreement.
  • Shareholder Derivative Claims

  • Obtained TRO for minority shareholder barring consumer point-of-sale advertiser from conducting any votes or proceeding with any acquisition, merger or other proposed transaction impacting equity, followed by favorable settlement. Dingo Mobile, Inc. v. GoGoCast, Inc., et al., No. 13-753-M-PAS (U.S.D.C. RI).
  • Represent minority member of cannabis cultivator asserting derivative claims for breach of fiduciary duty arising from improper dilution, and opposing sale of company by “reverse merger” in violation of operating agreement and Illinois LLC Act. Harris Silver v. Jean-Paul St. Germain, et al., No. 2018 CH 00350 (Cir. Ct., Sangamon Cty., Ill.).
  • Trade Secret Litigation

  • Obtain TRO for global plastics compounder against former executive based upon restrictive covenants and inevitable disclosure of trade secrets, followed by favorable confidential settlement. Pliant v. Wampnar, Case No. 09 CH 24366.
  • Consumer Protection and Class Action

  • Defending publications in putative class actions seeking damages for alleged disclosure of magazine subscription information to data aggregators and brokers in alleged violation of Rhode Island’s Video, Audio and Publication Rentals Privacy Act. Watterson v. Consumer Reports, Inc., Case No. 18-cv-00513 (U.S.D.C. RI); Watterson v.Trusted Media Brands, Inc., Case No.18-cv-00520 (U.S.D.C. RI.).
  • Defense counsel for national residential mortgage lender against putative class action of homeowners allegedly subjected to foreclosure proceedings in violation of HUD regulations requiring notice and in-person consultation. Phan v. Carrington Mortgage Services LLC., Case No. 18-cv-00208 (U.S.D.C. RI.).
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of commercial general liability insurer against claims of unfair and bad faith settlement practices allegedly violative of G.L. c 176D and Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, M.G.L. c. 93A, followed by defense of appeal by insured. Surabian Realty Co., Inc., et al. v. CUMIS Ins. Society, Inc., Appeal No. 2018-P-0766. (Appeals Ct., Worcester Cty., Massachusetts).
  • Commercial Litigation

  • Represented electronic product promotion kiosk distributor in action against manufacturer and affiliates for breach of exclusive distribution agreement, non-payment of commissions and royalties, and fraud. Windy City Promotions v. Pace-O-Matic, Inc., et al., No. 2018 CH 04716) (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.).
  • Consumer Protection and Class Action

  • Defend user of online sportsbook against claims for recovery of gambling winnings brought by bystander under Illinois’ version of gambling loss recovery act, which generally allows bystander claims if a qualified wagering loser does not file a claim, asserting motion to dismiss under Dew-Becker v. Wu, 2018 IL App. (1st) 171675 and raising other defects. (Circuit Court Rock Island Cty).
  • Successfully defend and resolve putative “junk fax” class action under Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Greg's Greater Chicago Chiropractic, LLC v. Midwest Nutritional Service, Inc., 1:13-cv-06400 (U.S.D.C., N.D. Ill.).
  • Intellectual Property

  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of www.sportsbetting.com against, defeating claims of infringement asserted against use of wagering platform to offer games of chance to remote devices. Lottotron v.Interactive Systems, Inc. N.V., Case No. 09-4942 (U.S.D.C. New Jersey (Newark)).
  • Lead defense counsel for global igaming operator in patent infringement suit directed against use of geolocation services to govern game configuration and access to wagering platform and alleged use of verification data stored in non-volatile memory of portable gaming devices. CG Technology Development, LLC, et al. v. 888 Holdings PLC, Case No. 2:16-cv-00856 (U.S.D.C. Nevada).
  • Lead defense counsel in suit against manufacturer alleging infringement of patent for engine shutdown valve and breach of exclusive license. Tyler Research Corp. v. Envacon, Inc., Case No. 4:19-cv-00010 (U.S.D.C. Northern Dist. Indiana).
  • Consumer Protection and Class Action

  • Lead defense counsel for global gaming company IGT in one of series of putative class actions filed against various leading "social casinos" asserting the right to recover amounts spent by players on virtual coins under the Washington State gambling loss recovery act. Benson v. Double Down Interactive, LLC, Case No. 2:18-cv-00525 (U.S.D.C., W.D. Washington).
  • Negotiate and draft virtual casino hosting and services agreement for launch of social casino by tribal gaming client. Counsel numerous online gaming and online retail merchandisers regarding non-practicing entity (NPE) infringement and licensing claims.
  • Intellectual Property

  • Lead defense counsel for multiple online gaming operators accused of infringing patents for multimedia communications methods allowing separation, processing and enhancement of multiple streams of multimedia data. Lewis v. Boss Media and CryptoLogic (2:03-cv-00208) (U.S.D.C. Nevada), 1st Tech v. PartyPoker; 1st Tech v. IQ Ludorum (2:06-cv-00323) (U.S.D.C. Nevada).
  • Commercial Litigation

  • Defend dispute over rights to invention and concept involving internet-based charitable raffle system and method. Charity Splits, et al. v. Fleraf, Inc., et al., (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.).
  • Suit by real estate investment fund for return of earnest money and declaration of project termination. Xian City Xinxing Investment Management Ltd. v. Arruda et al., 1:14-cv-10264 (U.S.D.C. Dist. Massachusetts).
  • Suit by juice manufacturer to enforce termination of license agreement and collect amounts due from licensee. Tampico Beverages, Inc. v. Central Island Juice Corp. et al., 1:15-cv-05808 (U.S.D.C. N.D. Ill.).
  • Defend manufacturer of synthetic Christmas trees in litigation by buyer for alleged fraud and product defects. Hammacher, Schlemmer & Co. v. Holiday Bright Lights, 2011 L 007647 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.)
  • Defend seller of waste recycling business in AAA arbitration in New York in dispute under clawback provision following inability to ship waste paper to China due to container shortages. Edgewater Growth Capital Partners, LP,et al. v. Greenstar North America Holdings, Inc., No. 108641/08 (Sup. Ct. NY).
  • Took over commercial case which had been dismissed with prejudice, obtaining reversal and reinstatement of case on appeal for abuse of discretion, prosecuted and resolved case for enforcement of grains futures trading partnership agreement. Cronin v. Kottke Associates, LLC, Case No. 06 CH 12756, 2012 IL App. 111632 (reported decision).
  • Lead appellate lawyer in Illinois Supreme Court in novel case concerning subject matter jurisdiction over enforcement of agreements for placement of video gaming terminals ("VGT"). Successfully enforced exclusive agreements to operate VGTs in 27 circuit court cases, with the 5th District appellate court deciding, sua sponte, that the Illinois Gaming Board had exclusive jurisdiction over the validity of such agreements. In a decision departing from decades of prior jurisprudence, the Illinois Supreme Court found the IGB has exclusive jurisdiction over the issue of validity of contracts involving operation and placement of VGTs. J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC, et al. v. Wild, Inc., 2016 IL 119870 (reported decision).
  • Lead trial counsel in federal court action asserting multimillion dollar claim against VGT terminal operator for breach of settlement agreement intended to resolve claims under an earlier asset purchase agreement. AAA Gaming, LLC, et al. v. Midwest Electronics Gaming, LLC, No. 1:16-cv-04997 (U.S.D.C., N.D. Ill.).
  • Lead trial counsel enforcing asset purchase agreements and assignments of exclusive video gaming terminal (“VGT”) location agreements, seeking damages in excess of $15M against former manager and terminal operator for intentional interference with contract, breach of fiduciary duty and aiding abetting of same, deceptive business practices and other claims. Action Gaming, LLC., et al. v. Action Amusement Co., LLC., No. 12 CH 33360 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.).
  • Represent building solutions conglomerate in AAA arbitration in Massachusetts with software developer in dispute over damages following termination of software development agreement. Clicksoftware, Inc. v. Honeywell International, Inc., AAA No. 01-17-0000-0163.
  • Lead trial counsel in suit against the Illinois Gaming Board resulting in injunction against agency’s published opinion that electronic product promotion kiosks are unlawful gambling devices because the opinion was an unauthorized rulemaking under the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act. Windy City Promotions, et al. v. Illinois Gaming Board, No. 14 LM 133 (Cir. Ct. Grundy Cty., Ill.) reported decision Windy City Promotions v. Illinois Gaming Board, 2017 IL App. (3d) 150434 (2017).
  • Lead trial counsel in mandamus actions asserting that Illinois Gaming Board has wrongfully refused to adjudicate validity of VGT-related agreements and failed to promulgate appropriate rules for hearing as required under J&J Ventures v. Wild Inc., 2016 IL 119870. Action Gaming LLC v. The Illinois Gaming Board, et al., No. 2018 CH 09603 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.); AAA Gaming LLC, et al. v. The Illinois Gaming Board, et al., No. 2018 CH 09601 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.).

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island

Education

  • The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, J.D., 1990
  • University of Chicago, A.B., English Language and Literature, 1987

Experience

  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2020-present
  • Dentons US LLP
    - Partner, 2007-2020
  • DLA Piper LLP
    - Partner, 1997-2007
  • Bollinger Ruberry & Garvey
    - Associate, 1990-1997

Professional Activities

  • Gaming Law Review
    - Editorial Board
  • International Masters of Gaming Law
    - General Member, 2013-present
  • International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA)
  • Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Chicago Bar Association
    - Committee on Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Disputes, Founding Member

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • SquashBusters Urban Squash - Providence

Selected Publications

  • Co-author, "Massachusetts Sports Wagering Bill Expected to Be Approved by July," Duane Morris Alert, April 1, 2020
  • Co-author, "Virginia General Assembly Passes Expansive Gambling Legislation," Duane Morris Alert, March 17, 2020
  • Co-author, "Roundtable Discussion with the Experts: Official Sports Data and Sports Betting Royalties," Gaming Law Review, April 25, 2019

  • Author, "US: Tipping Point?," InterGaming Law, December 4, 2017

  • Author, "Gaming in the United States (Massachusetts)," Thomson Reuters/Practical Law - Gaming Law Global Guide, November 1, 2016 (updated July 2019)

  • Author, "Less Bang! for Your Copyright Buck: DaVinci v. Ziko Reaffirms the Limitations of Copyright to Protect Games," E- Commerce Law Reports, Volume 16, Issue 03, 2016

  • Co-author, "Legal Update re Pokerstars 'Zoom Poker' 573 application," May 9, 2014

  • Author, "The US as an Emerging Market: The Proliferation of Legal Intrastate Nonsport Internet Gambling and Related Financial Transactions Under UIGEA," InterGaming Law, September 27, 2013

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "The Convergence of Gaming and Gambling: From Daily Fantasy Sports to Esports and Peer-to-peer Betting on Skill Games," 2019 IAGA International Gaming Summit, Half Moon Bay, June 6, 2019

  • Panelist, "Motion: We Need to Redefine Gambling vs. Gaming,” ICE North America, Boston, May 14, 2019

  • Co-author, "Roundtable Discussion with the Experts: Official Sports Data and Sports Betting Royalties," Gaming Law Review, April 25, 2019

  • Panelist, “Creating a Sustainable Sports Betting Market - Policy Considerations for Newly Regulated Jurisdictions,” ICE VOX, London, February 4, 2019

  • Panelist, “The Americas Roundtables,” ICC/WrB Segment at ICE VOX, London, February 4, 2019

  • Speaker, "U.S. vs. Global Markets - Exploring the Attractiveness of Us Legal Sports Betting Market for Global Sports Book Brands and Technology Providers," 2018 ICE Sports Betting USA, November 28, 2018

  • Panelist, "Gambling Laws and Regulations in U.S.: Significant Issues and Developments, " Knowledge Group Live Webinar, March 30, 2017

  • Panelist, "The Rapidly Changing Lottery Landscape," International Association of Gaming Advisors’ 2017 International Gaming Summit, New York, June 1, 2017

  • Panelist, "The Latest in Regulation of Online Skill Games and Online Sports Manager Games in the US and EU," International Association of Gaming Advisors’ 2017 International Gaming Summit, New York, May 30, 2017

  • Panelist, "Intellectual Property Considerations for Entering Online Gaming Markets," International Masters of Gaming Law 2016 Autumn Conference, Dublin, October 24, 2016

  • Panelist, "Role of the Regulator," IMGL Masterclass, National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, Boston, Summer Meeting 2016, July 31, 2016

  • Speaker, “Best Practices in Recognizing and Protecting Trade Secrets,” Dentons CLE, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, Chicago, June 6, 2016

  • Panelist, "ESports and Fantasy Sports Regulation and Legal Impact Update," ICE Totally Gaming 2016, London International Masters of Gaming Law Masterclass, February 3, 2016

  • Moderator, "Hot Topics in U.S. Online Gaming," C5 International Online Gaming Forum, London, February 1, 2016

  • Speaker, "Clarifying Gaming's Legal Landscape," 2015 World Gaming Executive Summit (WGES), Barcelona, July 6, 2015

  • Speaker, "The Emerging Market of Digital Games, Online Contests and Remote Gambling," Dentons CLE, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, Chicago, June 5, 2015

  • Panelist, "Investigation of New Opportunities in Emerging Markets," 2014 furtureigaming.com (Worldwide Business Research), London, December 4, 2014

  • Moderator, "U.S. Regulatory Scheme and Emerging Market Issues," KPMG eGaming Summit on the Isle of Man, November 11, 2014

  • Panelist, "Lessons Learned From the New Entrants and Next Steps in to the U.S. Market," 2014 World Gaming Executive Summit (WGES) , Barcelona, July 9, 2014

  • Moderator, "Regulatory Stories Across the Atlantic," 2014 World Gaming Executive Summit (WGES), Barcelona, July 8, 2014

  • Panelist, "Gaminglaw.eu Update: Clarifying Gaming's Legal Landscape –Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and the US," 2014 World Executive Gaming Summit, Barcelona, July 7, 2014

  • Speaker, "Time to Fight the Patent Trolls: Learn How One of the Leading Sportsbooks Beat the Lottotron Patent," igaming Business Webinar, March 31, 2011

  • Panelist, "Sports, Sponsorship & Gambling," World Sports Law Report Seminar, March 7, 2007, London