Warren Braunig's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, ranging from trade secrets and trademark law to consumer class actions and contract disputes. He has represented Impax Laboratories, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, and other individual and corporate clients.
Mr. Braunig was part of the team that won a trial victory for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in one of the largest trade secrets cases in California history, resulting in a settlement for TSMC publicly valued at more than $300 million. Mr. Braunig has also represented individuals under investigation or indictment by the Department of Justice. He successfully argued an appeal of a civil contempt order before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, winning a complete reversal. He has represented individuals and businesses in federal and state courts throughout the United States.
Mr. Braunig also manages an active pro bono practice. He currently represents a consortium of environmental groups challenging the reauthorization of federal grazing permits in U.S. national forests. He has successfully represented indigent individuals in both criminal and immigration cases.
Cases of Note
Plaintiff v. Cepia, LLC: A toy developer sued our client Cepia for allegedly using misappropriated trade secrets to develop Cepia’s award-wining line of ZhuZhu robotic toys. We obtained Rule 11 sanctions for the pleading of factually baseless allegations as well as the dismissal of five of the plaintiff’s six claims. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the final claim and issue a public acknowledgement of no misconduct and independent development by Cepia.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company v. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation: We represented the world’s leading semiconductor foundry, TSMC, against China’s leading semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, in the largest trade secret misuse case ever tried. SMIC owed its existence to technology stolen from our client, and faced our damages claim of $2 billion, which would have exceeded SMIC's entire market value. The parties produced nearly 18 million pages of documents and conducted 266 days of deposition in the U.S. and in Asia. Following a jury verdict in favor of our client, SMIC agreed to pay $200 million in cash and approximately $130 million of its company stock. Ultimately TSMC's goal was to protect its intellectual property, not shut down its competitor, and so settled for far less than it could have recovered. For foreign companies that market their goods and services in the U.S., this case established that California’s trade secret statute will protect the intellectual property essential to those goods and services, even if the theft occurred in Asia.
Internet Company v. Google: An Internet company based in Lafayette, Louisiana filed suit in its local federal court against Google for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The plaintiff alleged Google's various uses of the term "gadget" infringed the federal trademarks "website gadget" and "gadget." We represented Google, and counterclaimed to cancel both marks as not protectable under either federal or Louisiana law because they are generic or at best descriptive and have not attained secondary meaning. The court agreed with us and granted summary judgment, canceling the marks and dismissing the lawsuit.
In re NCAA Name & Likeness Litigation: We represent Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) in a groundbreaking case that will determine how First Amendment protections apply to videogames. This right of publicity case was brought by a putative national class of current and former student athletes in the Northern District of California against EA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Collegiate Licensing Company. Plaintiffs claim EA improperly used the athletes’ likenesses and biographical information in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball video games. The case is currently on appeal at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. At issue is what legal test the circuit will adopt when balancing the right of publicity against rights of free expression.
United States v. Attorney: We represented a nationally-known Mississippi trial attorney in multiple federal criminal cases alleging judicial bribery and honest services fraud. Our client received favorable plea agreements.
State of California v. Defendant: We represented an indigent woman wrongly arrested on DUI and reckless driving charges. After uncovering proof of police misconduct during the investigation, as well as undisclosed evidence of factual innocence, we won the suppression of most of the evidence against her. All charges were dropped.
Awards and Honors
Team Winner and Best Oralist, Marden Moot Court Competition, 2005
Order of the Coif, New York University, 2005
Phi Beta Kappa, Yale University, 1997
“Reflexive Law Solutions to Factory Farm Pollution,” New York University Law Review, 2005
Co-inventor of software patents, U.S. 7,302,431, and U.S. 7,139,757