Zeller, Michael T.

Michael T. Zeller



Mike is a partner specializing in intellectual property litigation, with more than 20 years of experience in a broad array of Lanham Act, patent, copyright and trade secret disputes.

He has been frequently named as a leading intellectual property litigator, including in surveys published by Los Angeles Magazine and California Lawyer Magazine. He has been named as one of Southern California's Top Lawyers every year since 2007 as well.

In 2009, Mike received the prestigious California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) award for "extraordinary achievements" in intellectual property litigation. Mike was featured in the January 2010 issue of The American Lawyer, which named Quinn Emanuel as the "Top Intellectual Property Firm in the U.S.," and in the January 2010 issue of IP Law & Business.

In 2013, after trial, Mike won a complete defense decision for Samsung against Apple’s claims of design patent infringement in the International Trade Commission that had sought to bar sale of Samsung smartphones and other products in the United States. In related actions, he has ultimately defeated each of Apple’s repeated attempts to date to enjoin Samsung products based on patent and trade dress claims.

In 2014, Mike’s victory for Mattel in the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit in litigation against MGA Entertainment was named in the press as one of the year’s most significant appellate decisions.

Mike is admitted to the State Bars of California, Illinois and New York and regularly practices in the federal courts in those jurisdictions as well as the TTAB. He also routinely litigates cross-border intellectual property and technology disputes.

  Notable Representations

  • On behalf of Marvell Technology, won as appellate counsel in Federal Circuit reversal and vacatur of more than $1.25 billion in damages in patent suit accusing Marvell's semiconductors of infringing method claims, including complete reversal of willfulness determination against Marvell.
  • Representing Samsung in patent and trade dress matters involving smartphone and tablet computer technology. Results to date include winning a complete, and now final, decision of non-infringement in Samsung’s favor on Apple’s design patent claims in the International Trade Commission. Results to date also include ultimately defeating Apple’s repeated requests for injunctions against Samsung product sales in litigation in the Northern District of California. Reported decisions include 678 F.3d 1314 (Fed. Cir. 2012), 695 F.3d 1370 (Fed. Cir. 2012) and 735 F3d. 1352 (Fed. Cir. 2013).
  • Won summary judgment in District of Delaware for Michael Milken in suit brought by Ronald Perelman companies arising from $135 million acquisition of software company.
  • Counsel for Google in intellectual property matters.  These include Perfect 10 v. Google, a copyright, trademark and right of publicity suit in which plaintiff alleged that Google's Image Search, Web Search and Blogger products infringed tens of thousands of images.  Reported decisions for Google include 653 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 2011) and 551 F.3d 572 (7th Cir. 2008).
  • Represented eBay against claims for trademark infringement involving web site search.  Won summary judgment in the District Court, and then a Ninth Circuit affirmance.  Appellate decision reported at 511 F.3d 966 (9th Cir. 2007).
  • Represented owner of patent in prepaid wireless technology against telecommunications providers. Won $128 million judgment, along with additional award of $35 million in interest and royalties and permanent injunction. Reported decisions include: Freedom Wireless v. Boston Communications Group, 390 F. Supp. 2d 63 (D. Mass. 2005); 369 F. Supp. 2d 159 (D. Mass. 2005); 369 F. Supp. 2d 155 (D. Mass. 2005); 220 F. Supp. 2d 16 (D. Mass. 2002).
  • Obtained $80 million verdict for Avery Dennison in the Northern District of Ohio against Taiwanese adhesive manufacturer for trade secret misappropriation. Verdict upheld by Sixth Circuit.
  • Successfully defended Borland against Lanham Act and related claims in connection with computer programming software.
  • Successfully defended Napster against assignment-in-gross challenges to validity of Napster's federal registrations for, and its ownership rights to, the NAPSTER marks that had been acquired in Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Representing Activision against right of publicity and related claims over videogame content.
  • Counsel for Mattel in numerous intellectual property matters. Decisions include 354 F.3d 857 (9th Cir. 2003).
  • Successfully represented IBM in multiple copyright infringement and Lanham Act actions, including suits involving database tools, communications controllers and memory cards.
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of claims against AOL Time Warner alleging contributory and vicarious copyright infringement based upon "Gnutella" information sharing software.
  • Has represented numerous studios and networks in intellectual property disputes, including Disney, Sony and Twentieth Century Fox.

  Practice Areas

  • Domestic U.S. Arbitration
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • International Arbitration
  • International Trade Commission Proceedings
  • Internet Litigation
  • Media & Entertainment Litigation
  • Patent Litigation
  • Sports Litigation
  • Trade Secret Litigation
  • Trademark, Trade Dress, Unfair Competition/False Advertising, and Publicity Rights Litigation


  • University of Iowa School of Law
    (J.D., with high honors, 1989)
    • Iowa Law Review:
      • Editor in Chief
    • Order of the Coif
    • Van Oosterhout Honors Moot Court

  • University of Iowa
    (B.A., with honors, 1986)


The State Bar of California; The State Bar of New York; The State Bar of Illinois; United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Appeals: Second Circuit, Seventh Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Federal Circuit; United States District Court: Central District of California, Northern District of California, Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, Western District of Wisconsin, Northern District of Illinois, Southern District of Illinois

  Prior Associations

  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore:
    • Associate, 1991-1994

  • Mayer, Brown & Platt:
    • Associate, 1994-1997

  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Raymond J. Broderick:
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1989-1991

Publications and Lectures

  • "Design Patents in the Modern World," Stanford Law School (2013)
  • “Litigating Design Patent Infringement,” Suffolk University Law School (2013)
  • IP Damages Institute, “Damages In Copyright and Trademark Infringement Litigation,” Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association (2010)
  • “Intellectual Property Protection,” UCLA (2010)
  • "Litigating Employment Trade Secret Cases," Employment Trade Secret Protection & Litigation (2009)
  • "Inside The Bratz Case," American Bar Association CLE (2009)
  • "Clarifying Software Patent Litigation Problems," Corporate Counsel's Guide to Software, Internet and Telecom Patents (2006)
  • "Why You Need A Patent Strategy Now," Corporate Counsel, Fall 2001
  • "Combatting Attempts to Divert Web Traffic," The Internet Newsletter, Jan. 2000
  • Co-Author, International Agency, Licensing and Distribution Agreements (1997)
  • "Cross-Border Intellectual Property Protection," International Distribution of Goods (1996)

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association: Intellectual Property Section
  • Former Advisor, European Roundtable on Intellectual Property Law Harmonization