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Diane L. Peterson

Of Counsel

Diane is a seasoned litigator and trial lawyer with a broad range of experience in business litigation matters. While much of her career has involved high-profile, high-stakes intellectual property, antitrust, and bet-the-company litigation, she’s also worked the in-house side. She knows the importance of understanding the business operations, dynamics, culture, and goals in order to provide her clients with the best possible legal representation. 

Her focus is to solve the client’s problems in an effective and efficient manner with direct, practical, and useful counsel and—when needed— exceptional advocacy. 

Diane enjoys people. When you hire Diane, you’ll get a dedicated team member who wants to work with you and get to know your team. She also enjoys life. Driven by a “work-hard/play-hard” mentality, she’s been known to climb rock faces between trials, tear her ACL on the World Cup downhill ski run with clients in Italy, and milk those beautiful Minnesota summer and fall evenings for a water ski run around the lake.  She may be bruised and/or on crutches when you see her, but it’s all good.  

Diane has tried cases in various federal district courts, the Federal Trade Commission, and the International Trade Commission. She has  represented clients at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court, state courts, and arbitration. Her matters have involved everything from hard-fought litigation over gasoline and oil refining, robotics, software, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, and contact lenses to consumer claims, securities fraud, and a Title IX action. Through various pro bono organizations and partnerships, she’s spent countless hours representing those in need.

She’s been recognized as an Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer (2018 – with “Arctic Cat’s Winning Team”) and listed with The Best Lawyers in America® for Intellectual Property (2024).  Before joining Kutak Rock, Diane was a partner with an AmLaw 100 firm.

Speaking Engagements
  • “Talking Turf: Trends, Traps, and Strategic Considerations Relating to Patent Venue,” Minnesota, March 2017 (CLE Presenter)

Select Cases

  • Bombardier Recreational Products v. Arctic Cat (D. Minnesota). Trial counsel defending Arctic Cat on allegations of willful patent infringement pertaining to snowmobiles. Jury verdict for Arctic Cat invaliding both patents at issue; affirmed on appeal.
  • Arctic Cat v. Bombardier Recreational Products and BRP U.S. Inc. (S.D. Florida). Trial counsel for Arctic Cat as plaintiff alleging infringement of two Arctic Cat patents directed to off-throttle steering technology for personal watercraft. Jury verdict for Arctic Cat on all counts; judgment for Arctic Cat in excess of $48 million (including enhanced damages for willful infringement). Willful infringement and patent validity issues all affirmed on appeal; remanded for a recalculation of damages based on an interpretation of the patent marking statute. One of the Top 100 Verdicts in the United States for 2016.
  • Union Oil Company of California and Unocal Corp. v. Arco, et al. (C.D. Cal.). Trial counsel for Union Oil and Unocal as plaintiffs alleging infringement of a patent for certain compositions of reformulated gasoline. Jury verdict for plaintiffs on all counsel resulting in judgment in excess of $98 million. Affirmed on appeal.
  • Talbert Fuel Systems v. Unocal Corp., et al. (C.D. Cal.). Counsel for Unocal on allegations of patent infringement for patent related to gasoline compositions. Summary judgment for Unocal before discovery; affirmed on appeal.
  • FTC v. Union Oil Company of California (FTC). Trial counsel for Union Oil Co. in antitrust and fraud case arising from the enforcement of Union Oil’s patents for reformulated gasoline. Trial decision pending at time of sale of company to Chevron and Chevron’s settlement of the matter with a consent decree.

Most Recent

  • Counsel for defendant wholesaler on allegations of willful patent infringement and trade dress infringement pertaining to exhale smoke filters. Obtained reversal of default after withdrawal of prior counsel. Within two months completed discovery, brought summary judgment of non-infringement and patent invalidity, and served an expert report resulting in settlement of all claims before further summary judgment briefing or argument.
  • Counsel for former officers and directors in class action securities fraud matter resulting in settlement of all claims against these defendants shortly before trial.
  • Temporary in-house counsel for major national retailer to assist in managing active litigation matters.
  • Temporary in-house counsel for major global payment services company to assist in managing active litigation and pre-litigation matters, establishing and training a working team, drafting policies and procedures, etc. 
  • Counsel for financial services client on various active consumer litigation matters, pre-litigation matters, subpoenas, and other non-party litigation issues, etc.

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Litigation – Patent, 2024
  • Minnesota Lawyer, "Arctic Cat's Winning Team" Attorney of the Year, 2018