Technology

For the country's leading technology clients, we handle a variety of intellectual property matters, as well as complex commercial and class action litigation.

Representative Clients:

Google Inc.  •  Twitter Inc.  •  LinkedIn  •  Netflix  • HTC  •  SanDisk  •  Lyft

Cases of Note

Bascom Research, LLC v. LinkedIn Corporation: We represented LinkedIn in a patent-infringement suit filed by Bascom Research. We obtained a stay of discovery pending the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice, then won summary judgment invalidating all asserted claims. The victory was chosen by The Daily Journal as one of the year's "Top Defense Verdicts."

Cobarruviaz, et al. v. Instacart: We defeated a putative class action filed against a leading on-demand technology company, Instacart, which connects customers with personal shoppers for grocery shopping and home delivery. The class action addressed an issue critical to the new “sharing economy”: whether personal shoppers who use Instacart’s technology platform were properly considered independent contractors rather than employees. The court issued its order dismissing the class action claims on November 3, 2015.

Cotter, et al. v. Lyft, Inc.: We represent technology company Lyft, which connects individuals in need of a ride to drivers willing to transport them. This putative class action addresses an issue critical to the new economy: whether Lyft drivers have been misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees. In summer 2016, the parties entered into a proposed settlement that does not require the re-classification of Lyft drivers as employees. The court preliminarily approved the settlement in June 2016. The Fairness Hearing is scheduled for December.

EMC Corporation v. Pure Storage Inc.: We defended data storage innovator Pure Storage Inc. in multi-patent litigation filed by its Fortune 500 rival EMC Corporation in the District of Delaware. EMC’s asserted patents related to various data storage technologies, including technology for deduplicating data. We prevailed on two of the five patents in suit prior to trial, and obtained a jury verdict of non-infringement as two others following a seven-day jury trial. We then won partial judgment as a matter of law and a new trial on invalidity as to EMC’s one remaining asserted patent. Shortly following the court’s order granting a new trial, Pure Storage and EMC reached a global settlement.

Cisco Systems, Inc. v. Arista Networks, Inc.: We defended Arista Networks in this groundbreaking case which raised the important question of whether and to what extent functional computer commands merit copyright protection. Cisco accused Arista, run by a former Cisco vice president, of copyright infringement for the use of more than 500 commands used to configure network switches. Cisco also accused Arista of infringing two patents, one of which it dismissed before trial. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in our client’s favor on both the copyright and patent claims.

Round Rock Research LLC v. SanDisk Corporation: We defended SanDisk from numerous patent assertions by Round Rock, including a total of 15 patents asserted in two separate litigations in the District of Delaware, and 12 patents asserted in another case in the Northern District of California. We prevailed in all adjudicated phases of the Delaware and California actions before the parties reached a broad settlement. In the California action, we secured final judgment in favor of SanDisk after obtaining a summary-judgment victory based on patent exhaustion. In the first Delaware phase, which culminated with a jury trial on two asserted patents, we obtained a defense verdict invalidating most asserted claims of both patents, and finding no infringement as to the other claims. In the next Delaware phase, a second jury trial was vacated after we obtained summary judgment invalidating claims from a third patent asserted by Round Rock. The other patents in the Delaware actions remained pending adjudication when the parties settled.

In re High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation: We helped Google reach a settlement in this antitrust class action brought on behalf of employees of Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. The case stemmed from a United States DOJ antitrust action and a civil class action of 64,000 workers against the Silicon Valley companies for alleged "no cold call” agreements which restrained the recruitment of high-tech employees.

C-Cation Technologies v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, et al.: We represented Comcast in a patent infringement case brought by C-Cation Technologies in the Eastern District of Texas, and a related breach of contract claim Comcast brought in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff targeted our clients' high speed data and telephony services and sought damages well into nine figures. We were selected as lead trial counsel for all defendants, which included three other cable companies. After several pre-trial victories, we reached a favorable settlement for all defendants.

Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc.: We represented Google in what Oracle claimed to be a multi-billion dollar patent and copyright war concerning the use of the Java programming language in Google’s Android platform. When Oracle bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010, it acquired Sun’s rights to Java. In August of that year, Oracle sued Google, claiming its Android mobile technology infringed Oracle patents and copyrights. We 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 was a sweeping victory for Google, with zero damages. After an appeal by Oracle, the case returned to district court for a trial on fair use. After a two-week trial, the federal jury unanimously found that Google’s use of Oracle’s Java programming language in the Android operating system was a fair use, thereby rejecting Oracle’s claims of infringement in their entirety.

VS Technologies LLC v. Twitter Inc.: By winning a defense verdict in this federal jury trial, we protected Twitter Inc. from a patent infringement suit and $40 million damages claim. Virginia-based VS Technologies had obtained a patent for “an interactive virtual community of famous people,” and sued Twitter over its virtual community technology. During the six-day trial, we argued that Twitter's Browse Interests feature did not infringe the terms of the patent and that in fact, the patent was invalid. The jury agreed, and found Twitter not liable for patent infringement.

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.

Robert A. Van Nest

Robert A. Van Nest

(415) 391-5400
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Christa Anderson

Christa Anderson

(415) 676-2276
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Brian L. Ferrall

Brian L. Ferrall

(415) 391-5400
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Matthias A. Kamber

Matthias A. Kamber

(415) 773-6635
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