Robert C. (Bob) Holtzapple

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As a trial lawyer and business litigator for more than 25 years, Bob Holtzapple has learned how to develop strategies in complex commercial and intellectual property disputes to obtain the best results for his clients. He tries a case if needed, but even more often he negotiates a favorable resolution outside the courtroom.

Mr. Holtzapple has a deep understanding of how businesses work, and he often represents private companies or individual owners, as well as officers and directors, in corporate divorces. His experience also includes defending public and private companies against shareholder claims and resolving issues for law firms when partners leave. In addition, Mr. Holtzapple has successfully handled the defense of a number of class actions, including those asserted by consumers against a major credit card company and a leading on-line auction house.

In intellectual property matters, Mr. Holtzapple routinely handles cases involving accusations of trade secret theft, trademark infringement claims and alleged copyright violations, particularly for technology companies, financial services firms, software developers, and Internet-based businesses and retailers.

Mr. Holtzapple’s litigation successes, in both state and federal court, include: 

  • Attaining a nearly $10 million verdict, including punitive damages – the highest reported jury award in Marin County at the time – for a client after a three-week trial stemming from wrongful interference with an attempt to acquire a business.
  • Defeating claims of trademark infringement against a client after a two-week jury trial in federal court in Texas.
  • Obtaining summary judgment and an award of attorneys fees for a large Japanese corporation accused of misappropriating a Texas firm’s trade secrets.
  • Achieving the emergency appointment of a receiver to take control of a defendant’s assets to protect a client’s investment.
  • Securing summary judgment for a national franchise company accused of infringing others' copyrights in the creation of training materials.
  • Obtaining a permanent injunction for an Internet company against a cybersquatter who had registered a competing “.net” domain name.

Mr. Holtzapple maintains an active pro bono practice, which has included winning a federal jury verdict and punitive damages for an inmate improperly treated by a guard at Pelican Bay State Prison.

He serves as a member of Farella’s five-person Advisory Board, which provides long-term strategic direction for the firm.