Joseph C. Gratz

B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, English, Theatre, 2002

J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, 2005 

Joe Gratz is a litigator who is as comfortable on his feet in court as he is hashing over source code with a group of engineers.  Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association IP Section’s Committee on Copyright and New Technologies, Joe is a respected commentator on copyright and Internet law.  In addition to his work at Durie Tangri, Joe teaches Cyberlaw at the University of California – Hastings College of the Law. 

A true "digital native," Joe has been on the Internet for more than twenty years.  His deep understanding of technical issues and his background as a technical writer (and as an exhibit designer for a science museum) allow him to explain complex technical concepts simply and accurately to judges, juries, and clients.  Joe was named a Northern California IP Litigation SuperLawyer in 2013 and 2014 by SuperLawyers Magazine, after being named a Rising Star in IP Litigation in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Before becoming a partner, Joe was Durie Tangri's first associate.  He was previously an associate at Keker & Van Nest LLP, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable John T. Noonan, Jr. of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2005-06.  Joe graduated Phi Beta Kappa with degrees in English and Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002.  In 2005, he received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science, and Technology (and director of the law school musical).

Joe has litigated a number of important Internet copyright and trademark disputes.  He represents Google in the Google Book Search copyright cases and in the Rescuecom v. Google and Vulcan Golf v. Google trademark cases.  In a pro bono case, Joe argued and won in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Troy Augusto, an eBay seller of promotional CDs who had been sued for copyright infringement by the world's largest record company.  He authored copyright amicus briefs on behalf of Google in Flava Works v. Gunter (7th Cir.) and Cariou v. Prince (2nd Cir.) and co-authored an amicus brief with Mark Lemley in the Supreme Court in Wiley v. Kirtsaeng, representing the interests of independent bookstores in a first-sale case. He successfully defended the Ninth Circuit's judgment in favor of a credit card processing company in Perfect 10 v. VISA against en banc and certiorari attacks.  He previously represented artist Shepard Fairey in fair use litigation against the Associated Press over the Obama Hope poster. 

Joe has defended technology companies against claims of patent infringement relating to, for example, computer security, mobile-device interfaces, Internet telephony, and WiFi antenna design.

Joe led his team to victory in the 2008 Electronic Frontier Foundation Pub Quiz, breaking the tie with Google, Stanford, and Berkeley by recalling that the speech at issue in the First Amendment case Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988), was a parody of a Campari ad.

Joseph C. Gratz