Practice Areas

Our practice focuses on diverse areas of complex civil litigation including intellectual property (patent, trademark and copyright), professional liability, privacy, contract and commercial matters and class actions.

We recognize that different clients have different needs, and we don't take a one-size-fits-all approach. We start every engagement by asking our clients to define what constitutes success for them. The answer to that question allows us to tailor our litigation strategy to our clients’ specific situations. For some clients and cases, the goal may be to win the case – period. For smaller, startup clients facing bet-the-company litigation against bigger, better-funded competitors, the cost of litigation may itself threaten the company’s continued viability. In those situations, we may try to get traction on critical issues at the outset of the case while aggressively containing costs through proactive discovery management. Or we may put more resources into an offensive strategy, targeting a larger opponent’s much larger revenue base. Other clients may simply want to settle as cheaply as possible. In those cases, we try to figure out the pressure points for settlement without getting distracted by expensive side-shows. Our lawyers’ experience allows us to design and execute on this strategic approach to litigation.

Patent

We represent companies in patent litigation across the country in cases ranging from biotechnology to e-commerce, solar technology to firewalls. Our clients include Genentech, Google, Twitter, Yelp!, LinkedIn and Palo Alto Networks.

Our lawyers have extensive patent litigation experience. Daralyn is trial counsel for Genentech in fending off a challenge to Genentech’s Cabilly patent, which generates hundreds of millions in licensing revenue. Mark teaches patent law at Stanford, has written seven books and over 100 articles in the field (which have been cited more than 130 times by federal courts, including five times by the U.S. Supreme Court), and his expertise has been recognized by unusual bedfellows: he wrote an amicus brief on behalf of Cisco, Google, IBM, Micron, and Microsoft regarding the proper standards for claim construction in Phillips v. AWH, much of the reasoning of which was adopted by the en banc Federal Circuit. Ragesh represented Intel in an inventorship dispute; after a bench trial, the judge rejected his opponent's claims of invention and granted summary judgment on all of plaintiff's state law causes of action. Following a remand, the case resulted in a hung jury and, ultimately, judgment as a matter of law for defendants on all of plaintiff’s state law claims, such that plaintiff received no monetary recovery.  Mike represented  Sunlink Corporation, a leading provider of solar power deployment systems, in patent litgation against a much larger competitor.  Having inherited the case after a series of adverse decisions, we turned it around and negotiated an economical business solution to the advantage of both parties.  Mike also represented PixArt in litigation arising out of the settlement of a prior patent case concerning optical tracking technologies (in which we also represented the company).  We resolved that case by negotiating a complex set of patent cross-licenses and crafting an ongoing business relationship between the two former adversaries.  Clem serves as lead counsel for Ticketmaster (now Live Nation) in a patent fight against competitor Flash Seats in which we secured a summary judgment victory of both noninfringement and invalidity on five claims.  (The case is now on appeal in the Federal Circuit.)  Ryan led efforts to win summary judgment of invalidity related to speech recognition technology on behalf of West Interactive and personalization of Internet content on behalf of Yelp!, the latter win likely to benefit the firm’s clients—Netflix, eHarmony.com, Ticketmaster, LinkedIn, TheStreet.com and Priceline.com—in other pending cases asserting the same patent.  On behalf of Palo Alto Networks, he was responsible for rulings of summary judgment of non-infringement for two patents and summary judgment of no literal infringement for two other patents, which resulted in an early resolution of the case.

Here are some representative engagements:

  • DriveCam v. SmartDrive Systems, Inc. Case No. 11CV0997 H RBB (S.D. Cal.)
  • Eastman Kodak Company v. Shutterfly, Inc., Case No. 1:10-cv-01079-SLR (D. Del.)
  • EIT Holdings LLC v. Yelp!, Inc. et al., CV 10 5623 (JCS) (N.D. Cal.)
  • F5 Networks Inc. v. Imperva Inc., 10-cv-00760, (W.D. Wash.)
  • Flash Seats LLC v. Paciolan Inc., 07-cv-00575, (D. Del.)
  • Fortinet, Inc v. Palo Alto Networks, Inc., 09-cv-00036, (N.D. Cal.)
  • Glaxo Group Ltd. v. Genentech, Inc., 09-cv-61608, (C.D. Cal.)
  • Joao Control & Monitoring Systems of California, LLC v. DriveCam, Case No. 8:10-cv-01909-DOC-RNB (C.D. Cal.)
  • Media Queue, LLC v. Netflix, Inc., 2010-1199, (Fed. Cir.)
  • Phoenix Solutions, Inc. v. PG&E, 09-cv-00774, (C.D. Cal.)
  • Phoenix Solutions, Inc. v. West Interactive Corp., 09-cv-08156, (C.D. Cal.)
  • PixArt Imaging, Inc v. Avago Technologies General IP (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., Inc., 10-cv-00544, (N.D. Cal.)
  • Plant Equipment Inc. v. Intrado Inc., 2:09-cv-395 (E.D. Tex.)
  • Ruckus Wireless, Inc. v. Netgear Inc., 09-cv-05271, (N.D. Cal.)
  • Sony Corporation v. Viewsonic Corporation, 09-cv-07698, (C.D. Cal.)
  • Sunpower Corporation, Systems v. Sunlink Corporation, 08-02807, (Cal. Super. Ct. - Alameda County)
  • TQP Development, LLC v. Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc., 09-cv-00279, (E.D. Tex.)

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Professional Liability

Durie Tangri attorneys have represented many leading law firms, both Bay Area based and nationwide, in defense of professional liability claims. Our breadth of substantive disciplines and commitment to a "generalist" approach to litigation make us well-suited to step into virtually any professional liability claim, regardless of the underlying field of law. We have defended claims related to patent prosecution and patent litigation, general corporate advice rendered to both start-up and established companies, advice regarding employee benefit plans, and to a wide variety of civil litigation issues.

In addition to defending ripe claims, we frequently are called upon to advise our clients on avoiding or mitigating potential conflict-of-interest issues. Dave, a professor at the University of San Diego School of Law for over ten years and the former co-chair of the San Diego County Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee, focuses on legal ethics and professional liability issues and recently published a legal ethics casebook with Thompson West.

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Privacy

Durie Tangri attorneys are at the forefront of virtually all of today’s cutting edge Internet privacy cases. The firm was lead counsel in In re Quantcast Advertising Cookie Litigation, a multi-party class action in the Central District of California regarding the “respawning” of http cookies used in behavioral advertising. We represent Google and its AdMob subsidiary in the pending multidistrict In re iPhone litigation, which combines more than a score of suits alleging improper disclosure and use of personally identifiable information and geolocation data.  We represent several parties in the pending Kissmetrics class actions, and are also involved in the pending CarrierIQ privacy class actions.  We represent Twitter in privacy litigation. We also successfully represented Pandora in the Lalo v. Apple and Freeman v. Apple class actions, and in a Flash Cookie privacy class action litigation brought in Arkansas, achieving dismissals in all three cases. And we represented several parties in the In re Facebook Privacy Litigation and In re Zynga Privacy Litigation class actions, which alleged improper disclosure of Facebook user id’s via referrer URLs.

Our extensive experience against the plaintiffs’ bar in these cases, and our close working relationships among the relatively small set of experienced defense counsel in this field, leave us uniquely situated to handle Internet privacy issues in any venue.

Here are some representative engagements:

  • In re Quantcast Advertising Cookie Litigation, 10-cv-05484 (C.D. Cal.)
  • Lalo v. Apple, Inc., 10-cv-05878 (N.D. Cal.)
  • Freeman v. Apple, Inc., 10-cv-05881 (N.D. Cal.)
  • In re Facebook Privacy Litigation, 10-cv-02389 (N.D. Cal.)
  • In re Zynga Privacy Litigation, 10-cv-04680 (N.D. Cal.)
  • Kimbrough v. Pandora Media, Inc., cv-2011-63-2 (Washington County Circuit Court, Ark.)
  • In re iPhone/iPad Application Consumer Privacy Litigation, 11-md-02250-LHK (JPML/N.D. Cal.)
  • Shively v. CarrierIQ et al., 12-CV-00290-HRL (JPML/N.D. Cal.)
  • Kim v. Kissmetrics et al., 11-cv-03796-LB (N.D. Cal.)

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Contract & Commercial

Durie Tangri lawyers have handled a broad array of complex civil litigation, including disputes relating to contracts, trade secrets, employee mobility, corporate control, real estate, and false advertising.

Daralyn, Ryan, and Sonali represent the California State University system in class action litigation seeking to roll back fee increases across the entire statewide system. Josh and Johanna are defending executives of an online social advertising network in a lawsuit brought by an individual who claims to be a co-founder. Johanna filed a lawsuit on behalf of THX, the Lucas Film spin-off, against Monster Cable Products in a dispute over a license agreement. Following a victory on a motion seeking a right to attach Monster's assets the case settled. Ragesh, Josh, and Johanna have litigated a number of cases involving allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets.

Ragesh and Mike have represented venture capital firms in disputes over ownership and control of companies, including a trial win for Hummer Winblad Partners in Delaware Chancery Court over control of Napster and the assertion of antitrust claims against the recording industry. Daralyn, Clem and Johanna also have represented venture capital firms and individual board members of venture capital firms in ownership and control disputes.

Mark wrote the book – literally – on IP and antitrust law. We have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of industries, and in criminal as well as civil antitrust complaints. We also counsel clients on antitrust matters including compliance, amnesty issues, and participation in standard-setting and trade organizations.

Here are some representative engagements:

  • Evans v. Linden Research, Inc., 10-cv-01679 (E.D. Pa.)
  • Halpern v. Shukla, RG 09-466814 (Cal. Super. Ct. - Alameda County)
  • IBM Corp. v. T3 Technologies, Inc., 06-cv-13565 (S.D.N.Y.); 09-4517 (2nd Cir.)
  • Lautrec Corporation, Inc. v. Diamond Review, Inc., 09-cv-01124 (E.D. Wis.)
  • PC Specialists, Inc. dba Technology Integration Group v. FusionStorm, CGC 07-464358 (Cal. Super. Ct. - San Francisco County)
  • Phoenix American SalesFocus Solutions, Inc. v. ThomasLloyd Global, CV 085116 (Cal. Super. Ct. - Marin County)
  • Robert J. Thomas v. William James del Biaggio, III et al., Case No. 11-05180-YGR (N.D. Cal.)
  • Thomas Weisel Partners LLC v. BNP Paribas, 07-cv-06198 (N.D. Cal.)
  • THX Ltd. v. Monster Cable Products, Inc., CIV 1004485 (Cal. Super. Ct. - Marin County)
  • VoIP, Inc. v. Google Inc., BC 418842 (Cal. Super. Ct. - Los Angeles County)

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Class Action

Durie Tangri attorneys have extensive experience in defending class action cases, including some of the largest putative classes in the world. We represent Google in a nationwide class action challenging advertising pricing methods and an international class action defending against claims of copyright infringement arising from Google's program of scanning works in major library collections. The class in that case includes every registered copyright holder in the nation, as well as foreign rightsholders. We represent the California State University system in a class action challenging CSU’s response to the California budget crisis. We also represent Linden Lab, operators of the Second Life virtual world, in defending against class claims of copyright and trademark infringement based on in-world transactions between users, and Twitter in a putative class action alleging breach of contract and violation of users' privacy rights. 

Daralyn and Clem represented Gap, Inc. in a class action brought on behalf of fifty thousand garment workers arising out of factory conditions in Saipan. Mike and Joe represented Google in defeating class certification in nationwide allegations that Google’s AdSense program infringed the rights of all trademark holders, and Daralyn, Ryan and Clem defended Google against allegations of click fraud on behalf of every Google advertiser. Johanna was part of the team that represented Looksmart in the same click fraud case, and that also defended Looksmart in a class action alleging violation of California law in connection with advertising online gambling.

Here are some representative engagements:

  • The Authors Guild v. Google Inc., 05-cv-08136 (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Doe v. Twitter, Inc., CGC 10-503630 (Cal. Super. Ct. - San Francisco County)
  • Donselman v. Board of Trustees of California State University, CGC 09-440977 (Cal. Super. Ct. - San Francisco County)
  • Eros, LLC v. Linden Research, Inc., 09-cv-04269 (N.D. Cal.)
  • Evans v. Linden Research, Inc., 10-cv-01679 (E.D. Pa.)
  • CLRB Hanson Industries, LLC v. Google Inc., 05-cv-03649 (N.D. Cal.); 09-17380 (9th Cir.)
  • Valdez v. Quantcast Corporation, 10-cv-05484 (C.D. Cal.)
  • Vulcan Golf, LLC v. Google Inc., 07-cv-03371 (N.D. Ill.)

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Appellate

Durie Tangri lawyers regularly appear in state and federal appellate courts, especially the Federal Circuit and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal.

After obtaining summary judgment in patent cases for clients such as Guidewire, Yelp, and West Interactive Corporation, we continued to advocate for them at the Federal Circuit, which affirmed our district court victories. Mark and Clem represented a group of airlines and online ticket sellers in an appeal to the Federal Circuit, which affirmed a jury verdict in favor of our clients, invalidating a patent for online seat selection. Daralyn and Mark represented insurance software provider Guidewire at the Federal Circuit. The Court affirmed the trial court’s finding that plaintiff’s software patent claimed unpatenable subject matter and were invalid. Joe successfully represented Troy Augusto in a copyright case at the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed summary judgment for our client that the first sale doctrine allowed the resale of promotional music CDs.

Here are some representative engagements:

  • Accenture Global Services, GMBH v. Guidewire Software, Inc., 11-1486 (Fed. Cir.)
  • Kilopass Technology, Inc. v. Sidense Corp., 13-1193 (Fed. Cir.)
  • Adobe Systems Inc. v. Kornrumpf, 12-16616 (9th Cir.)
  • Ceats, Inc. v. Continental Airlines, Inc. et al., 12-1614 (Fed. Cir.)
  • EIT v. Yelp!, Inc., 12-1192 (Fed. Cir.)
  • Phoenix Solutions, Inc. v. West Interactive Corp., 11-1022 (Fed. Cir.)
  • UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Augusto, 08-55998 (9th Cir.)

Companies, non-profits, professional associations, and individuals who stand to be affected by shifts in the law frequently turn to us to draft amicus briefs explaining the broader effects of key rulings. We have submitted amicus briefs to the Second, Third, Seventh, and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court on many preeminent recent copyright cases on fair use and first sale.

Representative engagements include:

  • Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, 11-697 (2013) (amicus brief for Powell’s Books, Strand Book Store, Half Price Books, and Harvard Book Store)
  • Cariou v. Prince, No. 11-1197 (2d Cir.) (amicus brief for Google)
  • Flava Works, Inc. v. Gunter, 11-3190 (7th Cir.) (amicus brief for Google and Facebook)
  • Viacom Int’l, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., 10-3270, 10-3342 (2d Cir.) (amicus brief for National Venture Capital Association)
  • Perfect 10, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 10-56316 (9th Cir.) (amicus brief for Chilling Effects Clearinghouse)
  • Murphy v, Millennium Radio Group, LLC, 10-2163 (3d Cir.) (amicus brief for Brave New Films)

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