Rod Thompson’s practice centers on antitrust, civil litigation, and trial practice, with an emphasis on complex commercial litigation. His experience is particularly deep with respect to internet, financial services, and technology companies.

With over 35 years of experience, and a track record that includes representations of large, well-known companies as well as smaller start-ups in a number of high-stakes cases, Rod is valued by his clients as a trusted advisor and as a skillful litigator. Clients trust his judgment on both the substantive law and how best to advance their business goals. Rod sees litigation as part of a broader strategic picture, and is relied upon to help clients understand when deciding not to litigate can be the better course than proceeding to court.

When a dispute does become a case, Rod is known for the results achieved and for being cost-effective. He is particularly skilled at staffing matters with junior lawyers, and managing them as an aggressive, highly effective team that delivers both great value and good results in efficiently resolving both litigation and disputes.

In addition to acting as an advocate, Rod also serves as an arbitrator, early neutral evaluator, and mediator in technology-related controversies. He has handled multi-week trials of IP cases to a conclusion as both advocate and neutral. Regardless of the forum, the dispute or the complexity of the issues at hand, Rod reliably and professionally helps his clients manage their litigation challenges efficiently—and usually prevail.


  • Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center (SVAMC) List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals (2020)
  • Best Lawyers in America (Intellectual Property Litigation)
  • Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars
  • 2016 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award for his Ninth Circuit victory representing the City of Sunnyvale in its successful opposition to a Second Amendment challenge
  • Daily Journal’s list of the “Top 75 IP Litigators” in California (twice)
  • Benchmark Litigation’s State Litigation Stars in California
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2011-2019)
  • PLC Which Lawyer? for Dispute Resolution

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Sedona Conference, Patent Mediation Best Practices Drafting Team (co-lead, 2015-2016)
  • American Arbitration Association (Arbitration and Mediation panels (1987-date); member Complex Case Committee)
  • CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution (member, Technology and California Regional Panels) (1994-date)
  • United States District Court (Mediation and Early Neutral Evaluation panels) (Local ADR Rules Committee 2018-19)
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (UDRP, Arbitration and Mediation panels) (1999-date)
  • Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Board of Directors, 2001-present)
  • American Bar Association (IP, Antitrust, Dispute Resolution and Science and Technology sections)
  • American Bar Association, (Antitrust, Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution Sections)
  • State Bar of California (Antitrust and Litigation Sections) (former Litigation Section Executive Committee Member)
  • San Francisco Bar Association (ADR Section)
  • Appointee Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center Tech List (2015-date)
  • Member The Mediation Society (Board of Directors 2019)

Firm Highlights


Tax Relief in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

In order to combat the adverse economic effects in which many individuals and businesses are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the federal government and the State of California will provide tax...

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Advising Businesses and Practicing Law During COVID-19

Rebecca Stephens is speaking on employment law issues on the Barristers Club of The Bar Association of San Francisco live webinar, "Advising Businesses and Practicing Law During COVID-19." Details: A comprehensive, one-stop shop CLE on the...

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7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop

Brian Donnelly is presenting the case study session, "Managing Partner Performance" at Fairfax Associates' 7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop. Click here for more information.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Insights and Resources

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing disruption throughout the US that we have not seen in generations. Governmental entities, academia, and the private sector are working diligently to contain COVID-19 while it...

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Berkeley Boosts Shorts: Financial Crises and Insurance

In light of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on work and financial markets, Berkeley Law will be hosting short, live daily video interviews with leading voices from law and business. Farella's Tyler Gerking...

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Daily Journal Names Farella Lawyers Among Top IP Lawyers in California

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that partners Jeffrey M. Fisher and James L. Day were named to the 2020 list of “Top Intellectual Property Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal...

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Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Hit to ‘Event Driven’ D&O Line

Mary McCutcheon was quote in the Claims Journal article,"Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Hit to ‘Event Driven’ D&O Line." Link to read the full article .

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Trademark Office Deadlines and Coronavirus-Related Delays

With all of the business interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many worldwide trademark offices have taken steps to recognize the issues caused by the crisis. The offices in which applicants from the U.S...

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Impacts of Recent PTAB Precedential Opinions Addressing Its Discretion to Reject Petitions for Review of Issued Patents

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) recently designated two more opinions as “precedential” dealing with its discretion to reject petitions for inter partes review (IPR) or similar post-grant reviews. Under 35 U.S.C. § 325(d...

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Farella COVID-19 Update: A Message From the Managing Partner

To our clients, alumni and friends, During these unsettling times, Farella Braun + Martel is focused on protecting the health and safety of our firm members, clients, and communities and doing our part to...

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