Ashok Ramani is an experienced trial lawyer who focuses his practice on patent and trade-secret disputes. Having tried 15 jury and bench trials, Mr. Ramani quickly identifies key issues, designs a winning strategy, and simplifies sophisticated technical and legal concepts to persuade juries and judges alike. In addition to patent and trade-secret matters, Mr. Ramani has substantial experience handling class action, employment, and complex-commercial disputes.
Mr. Ramani has been widely recognized for his skillful advocacy. He has repeatedly been named one of California’s top IP lawyers by the Daily Journal, Chambers recognizes him as a leader in IP, and he has been named a Northern California SuperLawyer since 2009. In 2015, Mr. Ramani was inducted as a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America.
Mr. Ramani is honored to have handled multiple engagements for leading technology companies including Netflix, TSMC, Hulu, HTC, Square, and Broadcom. For his plaintiff clients, Mr. Ramani has secured multiple nine-figure settlements and preliminary injunctions against former employees on trade-secret-misappropriation claims. For his defendant clients, he has achieved complete victory after trial on multiple patents, mid-trial voluntary dismissal by the plaintiff and pretrial victory by summary judgment and motion to dismiss.
Mr. Ramani lives in Hillsborough with his wife, daughter, and dog.
Cases of Note
Netflix, Inc. v. Rovi: We defended our clients Netflix, Inc. and Roku Corporation in a U.S. International Trade Commission complaint filed by Rovi Corporation. The complaint accused our clients, along with Mitsubishi Electric Corp., LG Electronics Inc., and Vizio Inc., of infringing several patents related to interactive program guides. The complaint sought an order banning television and media-player makers from entering the U.S. By the time of the trial, the other defendants had settled and our clients faced four patents. We successfully defended our clients at trial, with the ALJ finding one of the patents invalid and none of the patents infringed, as well as no actionable importation or available remedy. The ITC confirmed there was no violation. Rovi then pursued the matter in District Court with three of the same patents used in the ITC investigation as well as two additional patents. We won summary judgment of invalidity under Alice on all five asserted patents, which the Federal Circuit affirmed summarily.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company v. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation: We represented TSMC against China's then-leading semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, in the largest trade secret misuse case tried to date. SMIC owed its very existence to technology stolen from our client. Following a jury verdict on liability in favor of TSMC, SMIC agreed to pay $200 million in cash and approximately $130 million of its company stock. The case serves as precedent for the strong protection afforded by California's trade secret statute, even where the actual theft occurred in Asia.
Multinational Biotechnology Company v. Biopharmaceutical Company: We won partial summary judgment for a Seattle biopharmaceutical company and its founder in a trade secret and contract action over a cystic fibrosis drug. Aided by that ruling, and the favorable progress of the trial relating to the remaining claims, another biotechnology company acquired our client for $365 million mid-trial.
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 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.
Edwards Lifesciences v. Medtronic, Inc.: We defended Medtronic, Inc. and its subsidiary, CoreValve, in a multi-patent case brought by Edwards Lifesciences in the District of Delaware. The patents at stake concerned CoreValve’s lifesaving transcatheter artificial heart valve. Although an injunction was initially ordered, we convinced the court to stay that injunction, and then later resolved all of the pending patent litigation with a successful settlement.
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. v. Former Employee: Representing Cadence Design Systems, Inc., we secured cutting-edge R&D materials that an employee conspired to misappropriate to start a competing venture overseas. We prevailed, obtaining a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction against the employee.
Comcast Cable Communications, LLC v. PixFusion: On behalf of Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, we prosecuted a declaratory-judgment action against PixFusion for non-infringement and invalidity relating to two video-technology patents. After we defeated a motion to transfer the case from the Southern District of New York to the Eastern District of Texas where PixFusion had sued a score of other defendants, the case settled on very favorable terms.
Internet Subscription Service v. Competitor: We prosecuted a patent infringement case on behalf of a leading Internet subscription service. Our client claimed its once larger rival infringed on our client's unique business method. The competitor countersued, alleging antitrust violations. The case was dismissed before trial.
Abbott v. Medtronic, Inc.: Prior to our retention in this matter, U.S. District Court Judge Lowell Jensen had found that Medtronic, Inc. willfully infringed on Abbott's delivery system patent and enjoined Medtronic until that patent expired. The injunction included language for its term to extend if Abbott applied to extend the patent, which the company did at the same time Medtronic planned to release its device. We were then brought on as co-counsel for Medtronic, and persuaded the judge to terminate the injunction upon the patent’s natural expiration date. As a result, Medtronic's Endeavor Rx stent is now for sale on the U.S. market.
Plaintiffs v. Telecommunications Company: In a patent infringement suit concerning video-conferencing systems, our client's competitor and its patent-holding arm sought an injunction and demanded damages against all products and services in our client’s core business. We settled the case favorably for our client after summary judgment briefing.
Broadcom Corporation v. SiRF Technology and CSR: We served as trial counsel for Broadcom, one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies, against SiRF, a GPS chip manufacturer, and its parent CSR. Broadcom asserted multiple patents covering graphics, video processing, and digital signal processing techniques, as well as claims arising under the Lanham Act and unfair competition laws. This case, along with other actions between the parties, was settled shortly before trial on terms that were very favorable to Broadcom.
United States v. Lee: We represented third-party TSMC in the first Espionage Act and criminal trade secret provisions case brought in the Northern District of California. We successfully limited inquiry into and discovery of our client's personnel and materials during pretrial proceedings, and coordinated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to identify and prepare our client's witnesses for trial testimony.
Semiconductor Company v. Competitor: We represented a semiconductor company in patent infringement claims in the Eastern District of California. The patents included those for a host of analog, mixed signal, and networking semiconductor devices. The case was settled on confidential terms favorable to our client.
Genentech, Inc. v. The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania: On behalf of Genentech, we sought a declaration of non-infringement and invalidity of a University of Pennsylvania patent that purported to cover a specific breast cancer therapy. After a very successful pretrial conference, we were able to negotiate a settlement which greatly benefitted our client.
Deasy v. State of California: We represented Annika Deasy, a Swedish national convicted of accessory to murder, in her quest for parole. Ms. Deasy was involved in a crime spree in which her boyfriend shot and killed two men. After pleading guilty she was sentenced to prison at the California Institution for Women. While in prison, Ms. Deasy completed a remarkable rehabilitation. She conquered her heroin addiction, established a prison Narcotics Anonymous chapter, religious ministry and a guide dog training program for her fellow inmates. Despite her commitment to reform and admission of guilt, Ms. Deasy was twice denied parole. Once we began representing Ms. Deasy pro bono in her parole-board hearings and related proceedings, we were able to arrange for her transfer to a Swedish prison in 2009 and her eventual release in 2011.
Awards and Honors
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Intellectual Property and Patent Litigation, 2012 - present
- Intellectual Property (Band 4), Chambers, 2016
- Top 75 Intellectual Property Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2014, - 2016
- IP Star, Managing IP (MIP) Magazine, 2016
- Northern California, Top 100 Lawyers, Super Lawyer, 2015 - 2016
- Northern California Super Lawyer, IP litigation, 2009 - present
- World’s Leading Patent Practitioners, IAM Patent 1000, 2014 - 2015
- Legal 500 for patent litigation, 2007, 2009
- Phi Beta Kappa, UC Berkeley, 1995
Presentations and Publications
- "Willful Infringement and Enhanced Damages after Halo," Advanced Patent Law Institute, 2016
- "The Changing Patent Landscape," The Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology and Samsung Electronics, 2016
- "Alice Test: Is It Clearing District Court Dockets and Making the Concept of Preemption for Ineligible Subject Matter a Dead Issue?" Daily Journal's Patent Disputes Forum, 2016
- "Defensive Trial Strategies" at the IP Defense: Silicon Valley Conference, 2015
- Moderated "Crossed Wires: Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Age," Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, 2015
- "Intellectual Property Law," North American South Asian Law Students Association Conference, 2015
- Moderated "The Patent System: Does It Need to Be Fixed? How Would You Fix It?," Daily Journal & Thomson Reuters Patent Disputes Forum, 2014
- "Patent Trolls and Patent Reform Conference," Stanford Program in Law, Science, & Technology, 2014
- "Intellectual Property Roundtable: Patent Litigation," California Lawyer, 2014
- "IP Law for In house Counsel & Non IP Lawyers," Bridgeport Continuing Education, 2013
- "Intellectual Property Roundtable: Patent Litigation," California Lawyer, 2013
- "Listening to the Marketplace: What San Francisco’s Top Lawyers Expect From Mediators," American Bar Association, 2013
- Co-chair and speaker, "Patent Disputes Conference," Thomson Reuters, 2013
- "You Were Just Sued for Patent Infringement: Now What?" Westlaw Intellectual Property Journal, 2012
- “An Oft-Overlooked Patent-Inducement Defense,” Law360, 2012
- "You Just Got Sued, Now What," Bridgeport's Understanding Patent & Trade Secret Law Conference, 2012
- "Three Hot Topics in Patent Law," Bridgeport's Understanding Patent & Trade Secret Law Conference, 2012
- "Grow Your Business, Not Your Legal Bills: Avoid Litigation While Hiring New Talent, Managing Customer Data, and Protecting IP," Keker & Van Nest presentation, 2011
- "How to Protect Your IP from Walking out the Door," 2011 NASABA Convention
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
- Member, Patent Instructions and Rules Attorney Advisory Committee
- Chair of the Board of Directors, Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus
- Commissioner, California State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominee Evaluation, 2010-2013
- Faculty, National Institute of Trial Advocacy's Western Region trial-skills course
- Barrister, Edward J. McFetridge American Inn of Court