Business Litigation

Appellate Litigation


Area 51 Productions v. City of Alameda

On appeal, we won a dismissal on anti-SLAPP grounds of an event promotions company’s business tort claims against a local city and its officials, with an award of attorney’s fees.  Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the rest of the suit.  Area 51 Productions, Inc. v. City of Alameda, 20 Cal. App. 5th 581 (2018). 

AP Companies, LLC v. Kriti Properties (2d Dist. Court of Appeal 2010)

Defended an appeal from a trial court judgment confirming an arbitration award in favor of our clients, and prevailed on our cross-appeal to have the judgment amended to have an alter ego named as a joint judgment debtor.

Authors Guild v. Hathitrust (2d Cir. 2014)

Submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in this landmark copyright case. The Second Circuit agreed with our argument that scanning and indexing millions of books for search purposes without consent of authors and publishers is a “fair use” under U.S. copyright law.

Bilski et al v. Kappos (561 U.S. 593 (2010)

Submitted an amicus brief on behalf of Dolby Laboratories for the Supreme Court of the United States in the landmark Bilski ruling relating to business method patents. The Supreme Court relied on and cited for the proposition in overturning the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals opinion and addressing the scope of what is patentable under section 101 of the Patent Act. Specifically, that exclusive adoption of a “machine-or-transformation test” for patent eligibility “would create uncertainty as to the patentability of software, advanced diagnostic medicine techniques, and inventions based on linear programming, data compression, and the manipulation of digital signals.”

Fyock v. City of Sunnyvale

Defeated a Ninth Circuit appeal of the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction motion in a high-profile case challenging a local gun safety ordinance on Second Amendment grounds, including defeating requests for an emergency stay of the ordinance made to the Ninth Circuit and then the U.S. Supreme Court. 779 F.3d 991 (9th Cir. 2015)

Hanson v. Cable (1st Dist. Court of Appeal 2015)

Represented an NFL football team before the trial court, Court of Appeal, and California Supreme Court in a high-profile employment dispute turning on the enforceability of a coach’s arbitration agreement. We confirmed the underlying arbitration award, prevailed on appeal, and successfully opposed Supreme Court review.

MedioStream v. Acer America Corp., 626 F.3d 1252 (Fed. Cir. 2010)

Filed a petition for writ of mandate to the Federal Circuit in a patent infringement suit originally filed in the Eastern District of Texas. In a precedent-setting tactical victory, we obtained a writ of mandate directing the trial judge in Marshall, Texas to transfer the action under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) to the Northern District of California. Our client later won a judgment of dismissal.

Nibler v. Monex Deposit Co. (4th Dist. Court of Appeal 2013)

Obtained reversal of a trial court order denying our client’s motion to compel arbitration.

Perfect 10 v. Giganews (9th Cir. 2016)

Represented Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries in filing an amicus curiae brief in support of Giganews, an online newsgroup host, in the copyright case of Perfect 10 v. Giganews, which is pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief urged the court to maintain the important protections provided to innovators of new technologies and services that have developed over the last several decades by affirming the district court ruling.

Rotatable Technologies LLP v. Motorola Mobility, et al., 567 Fed.Appx. 761 (Fed. Cir. 2014)

Defended Motorola Mobility and Google-subsidiary Quickoffice in a patent case concerning screen rotation technology. At the district court, we prevailed on a successful claim construction argument in the Eastern District of Texas, leading to a stipulated judgment of non-infringement and invalidity. On appeal, the Federal Circuit upheld the case-dispositive claim constructions and judgment.

Tse v. Google, 570 Fed.Appx. 941 (Fed. Cir., 2014)

Represented Google in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals seeking affirmance of a Northern District of California ruling that a digital rights management patent was invalid. The Federal Circuit ruled in favor of our client, affirming invalidity of the asserted patents.

United States v. Kaczynski (9th Cir. 2009)

Prepared an amicus brief for the Unnamed Victims of the Unabomber, who sought to prevent him from profiting from the sale of his personal property.

Vaden v. Superior Court (Outdoor Ventures) (6th Dist. Court of Appeal 2015)

Defeated plaintiff’s petition for writ of mandate seeking to overturn the trial court’s grant of summary adjudication in our client’s favor.

Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., 676 F.3d 19 (2d Cir. 2012)

Submitted amicus briefs in support of YouTube in its successful DMCA defense against a nine-digit copyright claim by Viacom.

Firm Highlights


How to Plan for a Smooth Transition of Your Family Business

Family Wealth Senior Associate Lauren Galbraith discusses how family internal dynamics play a role in transferring significant assets, especially a business, between generations. Link to read the full article.

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North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to underwrite the North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference featuring keynote speaker Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. The event will also feature...

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Attorney General Finds Impact Fees on Density Bonus Projects Invalid

In response to questions from a variety of cities across the state regarding the application of “public benefit fees” to density bonus projects, the State Attorney General’s Office published an opinion on April 9...

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Individual Accountability in the Huawei Trade Secrets Prosecution

In the ongoing legal battle over the alleged theft of American trade secrets by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, one curious aspect is the lack of charges filed against any individual Huawei employees. On February...

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CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

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Who 'Owns' a Secret? Whether Trade Secret Licensees Have Standing to Sue in California

If the eye-popping damages awards in several recent lawsuits are any indication, companies are increasingly coming to see their private information as one of their most valuable assets—and California juries apparently agree. For example,...

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Judge Finds Grounds to Sue California Insurance Commissioner for Refusing to Investigate Industry Fraud in Recent Wildfire Claims

Lawsuit Alleges Insurance Industry Has Illegally Used Unlicensed Out-of-State Adjusters to Cheat Victims of 2017 and 2018 Wildfires SAN FRANCISCO, April 1, 2019: A judge is permitting a survivor of the 2017 Tubbs Fire...

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Last Major SF Transbay Tower, Affordable Housing at Risk of Delays

Real Estate/Land Use and Development Partner Charles (C.J.) Higley shares his thoughts on why the 546 Howard St. tower project deserves priority for approval. Read the full article here .

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The 10th Circuit Correctly Construes “That Particular Part” Narrowly

We do not often write about coverage opinions from jurisdictions as far away as Oklahoma; however, a recent case from the Federal Tenth Circuit looked at one of our favorite topics and came out...

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Identifying and Preparing Expert Witnesses for Trial

How do you identify the key experts you need for trial? Once you have them, what are the best practices for preparing them for trial? How do these practices vary depending on your venue, and...

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