Ben Hur litigates intellectual property and commercial disputes for companies ranging from start-ups to established corporations. He has tried over half a dozen cases as first chair, and handled numerous criminal and civil cases in state courts, federal courts, and before the International Trade Commission.
As an intellectual property and complex commercial litigator with a deep understanding of the gaming and mobile application industries, Ben Hur helps those companies and developers protect their greatest assets – innovative ideas, products and relationships. Using a client-centric approach, he recently helped various clients to safeguard cutting-edge technology, resolve a founder dispute, and secure a successful settlement which avoided litigation.
In addition to resolving intellectual property and complex commercial disputes, he also guides executives and board members of publicly traded companies through white collar criminal and securities litigation in federal courts and before the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Cases of Note
NVIDIA Corporation v. Qualcomm Inc.: We represent Qualcomm in an ITC investigation which concerns seven patents owned by Nvidia. The patents purportedly cover graphics processing units (GPU), which combine all the functions needed to process graphics and light up screens on a single chip. Nvidia asked the ITC to block shipments of Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets that contain Qualcomm’s Adreno technology as well as semiconductor companies ARM Holdings’ Mali and Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR platforms.
British Telecommunications v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC: We served as lead counsel for Comcast in an eight-patent case brought by British Telecom in Delaware federal court. The case targeted Comcast's high speed data and telephony services and video encryption. We also asserted Comcast patents against British Telecom in Texas federal court. In Delaware, we prevailed on six of the eight patents by way of summary judgment and stipulated dismissals, and thereafter reached a very favorable resolution of both litigations.
Investor v. Company Founder: We represented a founder of a solar panel company in an action brought by an investor alleging that the founder misrepresented how the company would use the investment. After conducting limited discovery, we were able to settle the matter on favorable terms.
Plaintiffs v. Company Co-Founders: We represented the founders of a solar panel company in an action brought by shareholders alleging fraud, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and intentional interference relating to the demise of the company during the economic crisis. We won a series of three demurrers—the last of which was sustained without leave to amend—providing a complete victory for our clients.
Technology Company v. Internet Search Engine: We defended a leading Internet search engine in a high-stakes binding arbitration. The founders of a company acquired by our client alleged our client breached the merger agreement, and sought hundreds of millions in earn-out compensation. A three-judge panel found in favor of our client on all counts.
AUL Corporation v. Executives: We represented three individuals in a breach of contract and California corporations code action relating to terms of an investment contract. We settled favorably on the eve of trial.
Individual v. Mobile Gaming Company: The founders of a mobile gaming company were embroiled in an internal dispute over an alleged breach of fiduciary duty. On behalf of the company, we devised a successful resolution.
Developer v. Social Gaming Company: In this breach of contract action, our client sued a social gaming company over the development rights of a prominent Facebook game. We were able to secure substantially better contract terms than the developer had originally negotiated.
Apple Inc. v. HTC Corp: We served as lead counsel for HTC, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of handheld devices, in its battle with Apple over smartphone technology. Apple first sued HTC in district court and before the International Trade Commission (ITC), claiming our client had infringed on 20 patents related to various computer-related technologies, including user interfaces, operating systems, power management, and digital signal processing. The ITC hearing that went to decision resulted in a favorable ruling, and HTC obtained a settlement to become the first Android handset maker licensed by Apple.
Broadcom Corporation v. Telecommunications Company: In a landmark patent case before the International Trade Commission (ITC), we represented Broadcom, a leading semiconductor company, against a telecommunications company, various wireless network providers, and handset manufacturers. After a trial and the first live hearing before the full commission in 20 years, we obtained an order from the ITC preventing the infringing chips from being imported into the U.S.
Wyeth v. Impax Laboratories, Inc.: Impax Laboratories, Inc. asked us to take over this patent case midway through the discovery process. We completed discovery, handled all of the depositions, and achieved a very favorable result for our client.
United States v. Michael Shanahan Jr.: In a criminal options backdating case, we secured a dismissal before trial for Michael Shanahan Jr., who served on Engineered Support Systems Inc.'s board of directors and was a member of the company's compensation committee. We also represented him in a parallel options backdating action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. After eight days of trial testimony, a federal judge in Missouri granted our motion for judgment as a matter of law.
Awards and Honors
- Super Lawyers Award, 2013 - 2015
- Coro Fellow in Public Affairs
- Member, San Francisco Ethics Commission (former chair)
- Advisor, Hellman Foundation Collaborative Change Initiative
- Board member and legal director, Stanford Daily
- Judiciary Committee member, Korean American Bar Association of Northern California
- "Planning for E-Discovery: Federal courts in California Have Developed New Rules and Guidelines," California Lawyer, 2014, co-authored with Matthew Werdegar
- "3 E-discovery Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore," Corporate Counsel, 2014, co-authored with Matthew Werdegar
- "Defeating Mobile Game Clones: Why Copyright Protection is Not Enough," VentureBeat, 2013, co-authored with Michelle Ybarra
- "When Clones Attack: How to Protect Social/Mobile Games from Copying," Intellectual Property Today, 2012, co-authored with Michelle Ybarra
- "How to Protect Your Games from Clones," Games Industry International, 2012
- "Three Ways Game Developers Can Avoid Cloning," TechRepublic, 2012
- "For Social Gaming Companies, Protecting Innovation from Litigation is Key," Daily Journal, 2011
- “Anything You Don't Say Can and Will Be Used Against You: Adverse Inferences from Invoking the Right to Remain Silent in DOJ/SEC Parallel Proceedings,” Securities Litigation & Enforcement Institute, 2010