Robert A. Van Nest
Partner

rvannest@kvn.com
Tel. (415) 391-5400

Education

Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1978

Stanford University, B.A., 1973

Clerkships

Hon. William H. Orrick
United States District Judge, Northern District of California, 1978-1979

Bar Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal, First, Fourth and Ninth Circuits

California

Robert A. Van Nest

Bob Van Nest is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who frequently handles high-stakes cases for clients such as Intel, Google, Medtronic, Broadcom, and American Honda. His practice ranges widely over the field of complex business litigation and intellectual property. He has tried cases involving patent infringement, securities fraud, trademarks, commercial contracts and antitrust.

Mr. Van Nest is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. His honors include being named a leading lawyer by Chambers USA, and listed as one California's Top 75 Intellectual Property Lawyers and one of its Top 100 Attorneys by The Daily Journal

Mr. Van Nest joined Keker & Brockett as an associate in 1979, becoming a partner in 1982.

Cases of Note

Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc.: We represented Google in a high-stakes patent and copyright war brought by Oracle with billions of dollars at stake. Oracle, which bought the Java programming language by acquiring Sun Microsystems in January 2010, alleged that Google’s Android mobile technology infringed Oracle's Java patents and copyrights. An expert for Oracle estimated Google owed Oracle up to $6 billion in damages for infringement. Our team defended Google against all the patent and copyright claims, and also argued that the damage estimates were wildly inflated. Following repeated rounds of motions and briefing, the judge dismissed the bulk of Oracle’s copyright claims, and at trial the jury rendered a unanimous verdict rejecting all claims of patent infringement. Although the jury decided that Google infringed an Oracle copyright on nine out of millions of lines of source code, the case is considered a sweeping victory for Google, with zero damages.

State of New York v. Intel Corp.: We were lead trial counsel for Intel Corp. in a high-profile antitrust case. The New York Attorney General claimed Intel violated federal and state antitrust statutes by maintaining an illegal monopoly in the microprocessor market. We won several key motions near the start of trial that severely limited the scope of New York's case. The matter settled shortly thereafter with a payment by Intel of only $6.5 million in partial repayment of some of New York's costs.

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.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation v. Semiconductor Company: We represented a leading semiconductor company in a patent trial brought in the Eastern District of Texas. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) asserted patent infringement claims against more than a dozen of the world's leading technology companies, including our client. CSIRO contended the defendants' Wi-Fi products infringed on CSIRO's patent, and sought nine to ten figure royalty payments. A week into the jury trial, we reached a favorable settlement with CSIRO, and the remaining parties also settled favorably.

McGah v. Davis: We represented limited partnership owners of the Oakland Raiders in a breach of fiduciary duty action against the team's general partner, Al Davis. The suit sought to confirm our client's partnership rights and prevent the diminishment of its partnership share. The case was settled before trial on favorable terms for our client.

Plaintiffs v. Automobile Manufacturers: We defended automakers in multi-forum, antitrust litigation involving restrictions on car exports in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Plaintiffs, alleging a broad conspiracy among all major automobile manufacturers and distributors, sought damages of more than $1 billion. We won summary judgment in the lead federal litigation, in several state cases, and in the California state court class action. We also achieved early dismissal of numerous state court actions.

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.

Awards and Honors

  • Top 75 Intellectual Property Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2009 - 2014
  • Intellectual Property: Patent (Band 1), Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3), Chambers, 2014
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, 2014
  • Top 100 Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2010-present
  • California Lawyer of the Year, Intellectual Property, California Lawyer, 2013
  • Lawyer of the Year, The Recorder, 2012
  • Recommended Leading Trial Lawyer and Patent Litigator, Legal 500, 2012
  • Litigator of the Week and Litigator in the Spotlight, American Lawyer, 2012
  • Top Defense Verdict, Daily Journal, 2012
  • Intellectual Property MVP, Law360, 2012
  • Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, 2012

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Chair, Development Committee, Bay Area Legal Aid
  • Member, State Bar Commission on Mandatory Continuing Legal Education
  • Fellow, International Society of Barristers
  • Annual Lecturer, CEB Developments in Torts 

Abbott and Fournier v. Teva, Impax Laboratories, Inc.: We represented Impax Laboratories, Inc. against Abbott and the French pharmaceutical company Fournier in a plaintiff-side antitrust case that alleged monopolization in a drug market. We led the trial presentation for all of the plaintiffs, and secured a settlement for Impax midway through the trial.

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.

McGah v. Davis: We represented limited partnership owners of the Oakland Raiders in a breach of fiduciary duty action against the team's general partner, Al Davis. The suit sought to confirm our client's partnership rights and prevent the diminishment of its partnership share. The case was settled before trial on favorable terms for our client.

Plaintiffs v. Automobile Manufacturers: We defended automakers in multi-forum, antitrust litigation involving restrictions on car exports in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Plaintiffs, alleging a broad conspiracy among all major automobile manufacturers and distributors, sought damages of more than $1 billion. We won summary judgment in the lead federal litigation, in several state cases, and in the California state court class action. We also achieved early dismissal of numerous state court actions.

Keller v. Electronic Arts Inc. et al: We represent Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) in this groundbreaking antitrust and right of publicity class action in which current and former student-athletes claim EA improperly used the athletes’ likenesses and biographical information in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball video games.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. v. Former Executive: We represented and advised Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the country's largest wine and spirits wholesalers, in various matters; most recently in connection with the violation of a non-compete agreement by a senior executive who left to join the company’s primary competitor.

Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc.: We represented Google in a high-stakes patent and copyright war brought by Oracle with billions of dollars at stake. Oracle, which bought the Java programming language by acquiring Sun Microsystems in January 2010, alleged that Google’s Android mobile technology infringed Oracle's Java patents and copyrights. An expert for Oracle estimated Google owed Oracle up to $6 billion in damages for infringement. Our team defended Google against all the patent and copyright claims, and also argued that the damage estimates were wildly inflated. Following repeated rounds of motions and briefing, the judge dismissed the bulk of Oracle’s copyright claims, and at trial the jury rendered a unanimous verdict rejecting all claims of patent infringement. Although the jury decided that Google infringed an Oracle copyright on nine out of millions of lines of source code, the case is considered a sweeping victory for Google, with zero damages.

Suffolk Technologies LLC v. AOL Inc. and Google Inc.: A Virginia federal judge granted our motion for summary judgment on all but one of Suffolk’s patent infringement claims, and issued a Daubert ruling striking the plaintiff’s expert damages opinion in its entirety. Soon after, Suffolk stipulated to invalidity on the last remaining claim. Suffolk had claimed that Google’s Adsense advertising placement technology, which selectively places paid advertisements for a company’s product or service on the Web page of another, used a similar protocol to the one under patent with Suffolk.

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.

AIME v. The Regents of the University of California: We convinced a federal judge to dismiss a breach of contract suit which alleged the University of California, Los Angeles violated the copyrights of educational-video makers when it implemented a system for streaming videos online to students and faculty. The suit, the first of its kind in the nation, asserted federal causes of action for copyright infringement and unlawful circumvention under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as well as state law claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, interference with contract, and interference with prospective business advantage. In addition to vindicating UCLA, this case may impact the rights of colleges and universities to bring educational videos into the virtual classroom space.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation v. Semiconductor Company: We represented a leading semiconductor company in a patent trial brought in the Eastern District of Texas. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) asserted patent infringement claims against more than a dozen of the world's leading technology companies, including our client. CSIRO contended the defendants' Wi-Fi products infringed on CSIRO's patent, and sought nine to ten figure royalty payments. A week into the jury trial, we reached a favorable settlement with CSIRO, and the remaining parties also settled favorably.

evYsio Medical Devices v. Advanced Cardiovascular Systems: We represented evYsio Medical Devices in asserting patents for its cardiac stent technology. Prior to jury selection, the case became part of a global settlement between Medtronic and Abbott. Our client, the inventor of several stents in the suit, received $42 million as part of the settlement.

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.

Broadcom Corporation, et al. v. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation: On behalf of Broadcom, we led a joint-defense group of wireless chip manufacturers, PC manufacturers, and cellular network carriers. The plaintiff, CSIRO, asserted patent claims that allegedly covered a wide variety of products that offer wireless functionality under the IEEE 802.11 standard for local area networks. We settled the case favorably on the eve of trial.

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.

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Semiconductor Company: The patent arm of the University of Wisconsin brought patent claims against our client for its core microprocessor technology. As co-lead counsel we defended the company, and settled the case favorably on the eve of trial.

“Bob has earned our trust time and time again. He’s one of the best legal strategists in the country.” – Steve Rodgers, Intel’s VP & Deputy General Counsel
Developed by Tenrec