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Johnson, Kevin P.B.

Kevin P.B. Johnson

Direct Tel: +1 650-801-5015
Silicon Valley
Tel: +1 650 801 5000 Fax: +1 650 801 5100

Kevin Johnson, who has an electrical engineering degree from Cornell, serves as lead counsel for such companies as Sony, Samsung, Marvell Semiconductor, MediaTek, Hynix, Bio-Rad, and, to name a few.  He has tried many cases to verdict for these and other clients over the course of his career.  His practice focuses on litigating patent infringement, trade secret, unfair competition, trademark, copyright and licensing actions in Federal and State courts, as well as the International Trade Commission.  His experience ranges from representing Fortune 50 companies to smaller, rapidly growing technology companies in disputes related to smart phones, microprocessors, wireless communications, semiconductor processing equipment, liquid crystal devices, consumer electronics, medical devices, biotech and life science products, software and graphics, telecommunications, and optical devices.

  • MediaTek
  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Marvell
  • Hynix
  • Bio-Rad
  • Avaya
  • Oberthur Card Systems
  • Nuance
  • Netsuite
  • Blackberry
  • CalTech
  • Rovi
  • Memjet
  • Mr. Johnson served as lead trial counsel for Sony in a multifront battle against Fujifilm arising from Fujifilm’s anticompetitive conduct seeking to exclude Sony from the Linear Tape-Open magnetic tape market.  LTO tape products are used to store large quantities of data by companies in a wide range of industries, including health care, education, finance and banking.  Sony filed a complaint in the ITC seeking an exclusion order of Fujifilm’s products based on its infringement of three Sony patents covering various aspects of magnetic data storage technology.  In August 2018, the ALJ issued the initial determination finding multiple Section 337 violations by Fujifilm, and in March 2019 the full Commission of the ITC affirmed Sony’s victory in all respects and issued exclusion orders barring Fujifilm’s magnetic tape products from being imported into the US.
  • Mr. Johnson was lead trial counsel for Marvell in a patent trial in September 2015.  France Telecom accused Marvell’s 3G communications processors of infringing a patent that allegedly covers a widely used type of channel coding in digital communications known as “turbo coding.” France Telecom had declared this patent essential to the 3G standard and had licensed it to almost 50 companies—including five major 3G chip companies.  France Telecom originally sought $50M in damages, but reduced its demand to $10M after the Court knocked out all foreign sales on summary judgment.  Undeterred by this setback, France Telecom sought a trebling of its demand to $30M in light of Marvell’s alleged willfulness.  After a two-week trial, the jury rejected France Telecom’s allegations of indirect infringement and willfulness, and awarded just $1.7M total for direct infringement.  After post-trial briefing, the Court determined that France Telecom had presented no evidence of direct infringement by Marvell, reducing the damages to $0 and entering judgment in Marvell’s favor.  France Telecom has appealed to the Federal Circuit.
  • Mr. Johnson is lead counsel for BlackBerry in a patent and trade dress infringement action brought by BlackBerry against Typo Products LLC (co-founded by Ryan Seacrest) and Show Media LLC.  Defendants offer for sale an iPhone case with an add-on physical Bluetooth keyboard that is the slavish copy  of the iconic BlackBerry keyboard.  BlackBerry has asserted design and utility patents against the Defendants.  In March of 2014, Mr. Johnson obtained a preliminary injunction for Blackberry to halt the sale of Defendants’ infringing product.  The Defendants failed to comply with the injunction, and in February of 2015, the Court ordered Typo to pay BlackBerry over $860,000 in sanctions and awarded Blackberry its attorneys’ fees and costs relating to the contempt motion.  Trial is set for September 8, 2015.
  • Mr. Johnson is co-lead counsel for Caltech in this patent infringement litigation against Hughes Communications and Dish Network involving powerful error correction codes called Irregular Repeat and Accumulate (“IRA”) codes developed by inventors at Caltech and used in satellite broadband communication standards.  Defendants moved for summary judgment alleging that the claims were not patent eligible.  On November 3, 2014, the Court denied Defendants motion.  The Court again subsequently denied Defendants’ motions for summary judgment of invalidity due to anticipation and lack of written description.
  • Mr. Johnson is lead counsel for BlackBerry in a patent infringement action brought by plaintiff non-practicing entity SPH America, LLC.  SPH claims exclusive license rights to allegedly standard essential patents asserted against BlackBerry 3G and WiFi mobile devices.  Mr. Johnson was instrumental in ensuring the venue of this lawsuit in successfully arguing transfer of a prior case brought by SPH against another firm client.  At the initial scheduling conference, the Court stayed almost all fact discovery during the claim construction phase.  With BlackBerry’s claim construction briefs, BlackBerry also moved for summary judgment of invalidity due to indefiniteness of one of the asserted patents.  Mr. Johnson argued BlackBerry’s motion for summary judgment and secured a determination from the bench during argument that this asserted patent is invalid due to indefiniteness.  
  • Mr. Johnson is lead counsel for Sony in a patent case recently filed by Cascades Projection regarding digital projectors.  The Court recently held the Scheduling Conference where Sony successfully obtained application of the Northern District patent local rules to this case. The Markman hearing is set for Fall 2015.
  • Mr. Johnson is lead counsel for MediaTek in a patent case filed in August 2012 by an Australian government-backed research organization, CSIRO, on a patent alleged to cover all WiFi products that comply with certain IEEE 802.11 wireless networking standards.  Although CSIRO has previously litigated this patent in the Eastern District of Texas several times, MediaTek, along with other co-defendants, persuaded the Court to adopt a new means-plus-function claim construction that impacts infringement of the asserted claims.  MediaTek and the co-defendants also obtained summary judgment that no actual notice was provided.  In addition, MediaTek also persuaded the Court to grant leave to move for summary judgment based on the lack of the required structure and, separately, on the basis of laches and equitable estoppel.  The case is currently scheduled for trial in July 2015.  
  • Served as co-lead counsel representing Samsung in the company’s smartphone litigations with Apple.  These cases are venued around the world including in the Northern District of California, ITC, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Korea and Japan.  In the initial Northern District of California action, the Federal Circuit recently issued an opinion rejecting the majority of Apple’s challenges to the district court’s denial of a permanent injunction.  Importantly, the Federal Circuit affirmed the denial of an injunction with respect to Apple’s design patents and trade dress claims.  Additionally, in response to Samsung’s motion for a new trial, the Court held a damages retrial for certain accused products in November 2013.  The jury awarded Apple less than half of Apple’s original demand prior to trial.
  • In another action where Mr. Johnson is co-lead counsel for Samsung, the Federal Circuit vacated a preliminary injunction issued against Samsung, holding that Apple failed to show causal nexus to harm that would justify a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus.  The Federal Circuit additionally denied Apple’s rehearing petition. 
  • Served as co-lead counsel for Samsung in this ITC investigation asserting Samsung’s patents covering HSUPA and user interactivity against Apple.  Mr. Johnson tried this case in June of 2012.  In June 2013, the ITC issued a Final Determination that Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G infringe on the asserted patents, and entered a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order prohibiting Apple from importing into the U.S. or selling or distributing within the U.S. these products. Additionally, the ITC rejected Apple’s affirmative defense that Samsung’s asserted standards patents are unenforceable. While the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a letter disapproving of the limited exclusion order and the cease and desist order, nothing in the USTR’s letter prohibits Samsung from recovering damages for Apple’s infringement nor does it prohibit Samsung from seeking an exclusion order covering other standards patents in its portfolio.
  • Served as co-lead counsel for Samsung in this ITC investigation defending against Apple’s patent infringement claims.  Mr. Johnson tried this case in May/June of 2012.  In August 2013, the ITC Commission issued its Final Determination, finding that none of Samsung’s accused devices infringed either of the asserted design patents.  The ITC also found no violation of two of Apple’s asserted utility patents.  For the remaining two asserted utility patents, while the ITC found that certain older products infringed and issued an exclusion order relating to those products, the ITC found no infringement by Samsung’s new designs.  All of Samsung’s products that have been imported since the exclusion order went into effect use the designs found not to infringe.  Based on Samsung’s design-arounds, U.S. Customs has not seized any shipments of Samsung products based on the exclusion order.
  • Served as lead counsel for Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. and Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. (collectively, “Marvell”), in a patent case filed by Carnegie Mellon University (“CMU”).  While the jury sided with CMU at trial, Marvell is vigorously challenging the judgment through all appropriate post trial motions and appeal processes. Of note, in December 2013, CMU filed a motion to permit registration of the judgment against Marvell and a motion to enjoin Marvell from transferring assets outside the “ordinary course of business.”  Shortly after Marvell filed its oppositions, the Court denied both of CMU’s motions without prejudice.
  • Mr. Johnson is lead counsel for two Sony entities in a patent case filed by UK-based Compound Photonics regarding high-resolution digital projectors and digital televisions.  The case was stayed for nearly a year while the parties litigated in the ITC (see immediately above).  However, after Compound Photonics dropped its parallel ITC action, this case resumed in the Eastern District of Texas, where it had originally been filed.  Sony successfully moved to transfer the action from the Eastern District to the Southern District of California, the home forum for one of the Sony entities.  After a claim construction hearing, the Court ruled in Sony’s favor on key terms in the asserted claims, leading Compound Photonics to drop its allegations of literal infringement.  Sony subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment of no infringement on Compound Photonics’ doctrine of equivalence allegations.  After Sony filed its motion, Compound Photonics agreed to stay the remainder of the case (including expert depositions and pre-trial motions) pending determination of Sony’s motion.  Sony’s motion is currently under submission after an oral argument where the Court repeatedly questioned Compound Photonics’ allegations.
  • Served as lead counsel for MediaTek Inc., MediaTek USA Inc., and MediaTek Wireless, Inc. (collectively, “MediaTek”) in connection with a suit brought by plaintiff Lantiq Deutschland GMBH (“Lantiq”) in December 2011 for alleged patent infringement by MediaTek’s mobile communications products, digital home products, information technology products, and wireless broadband connectivity products.  In February 2012, the Court struck the complaint against MediaTek as improperly and belatedly filed without leave of Court.  After leave was granted by the Court, Lantiq filed a Second Amended Complaint against MediaTek.  MediaTek moved to dismiss that complaint on numerous grounds, including lack of personal jurisdiction, improper service, and failure to state a claim of direct, indirect and willful infringement.  Before decision on that motion, the case was favorably settled in February 2013.
  • Served as lead counsel for Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. in an action pending before Judge Richard Andrews in the District of Delaware.  Plaintiffs HSM Portfolio, LLC and Technology Properties Limited, LLC initially named Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and Marvell Semiconductor Ltd. but they were convinced to drop those parties and substitute Marvell Semiconductor, Inc.  The case settled favorably for Marvell early on in discovery.
  • Served as lead counsel for CSR plc, Marvell Semiconductor, Inc., Lexmark International, Inc., Canon Inc., Canon U.S.A., Inc. and Ralink Technology Corporation in a case brought by the Canadian company MOSAID Technologies, Inc. that involved six patents alleged to read on WiFi technology.  After the Court issued its claim construction ruling, the case settled favorably for the remaining parties.
  • Served as lead counsel for Sony in this case involving LCD patents.  In July 2010, Positive Technologies Inc. (“PTI”) filed a patent infringement action against Sony and several other defendants in the Eastern District of Texas, alleging infringement of three patents. The patents-in-suit are directed to the control and driving of matrix addressable electro-optic displays.  The case was transferred to the Northern District of California in May 2011.  After a productive mediation in October 2012, the parties agreed to settlement terms that were favorable to Sony.  The Court granted a stipulation and order dismissing the case against Sony with prejudice in February 2013.
  • Served as lead counsel for Sony in an ITC Investigation regarding ultra-high resolution digital projectors, including those used to show 3-D movies in theaters throughout the country.  During the Investigation, Mr. Johnson secured important wins on Sony’s motions, including a motion to strike critical contentions (and evidence) regarding the asserted patent’s invention date and domestic industry.  Just two weeks before trial and for nothing in return, Complainants requested that the Investigation be terminated in its entirety.
  • Served as lead counsel for Hynix, the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker, and now a member of SK Telecom Group, in a patent case filed by Intellectual Ventures in federal court in Delaware.  The action was one among Intellectual Ventures’ first three patent infringement lawsuits filed against various technology companies in December 2010.  Intellectual Ventures filed actions in the Western District of Washington and in the ITC against Hynix and several of its customers.  Following the completion of expert discovery in the ITC and Delaware actions, Hynix reached a favorable global settlement with Intellectual Ventures.
  • Served as lead counsel and defended Sony in a patent case brought by Austin-based Bandspeed, Inc. in the Western District of Texas.  Bandspeed asserted two patents alleged to cover adaptive frequency hopping communication systems, including Bluetooth.  Despite more than two years of litigation, Sony had not responded to a single interrogatory or had even a single deposition taken of it—the only fact discovery had been on a potentially dispositive licensing defense based on Bandspeed’s standards setting activities.  After claim construction, the case settled favorably for Sony.
  • Served as lead counsel for MediaTek and Ralink in an ITC investigation filed by LSI Corporation.  LSI asserted two patents relating to video compression technologies and two patents relating to WiFi technologies.  LSI asserted the patents against MediaTek/Ralink and two other groups of respondents.  Mr. Johnson led a Quinn Emanuel team that took over the case for MediaTek/Ralink halfway through discovery.  Ten weeks before the evidentiary hearing was to begin, MediaTek/Ralink obtained an agreement from LSI to terminate MediaTek/Ralink from the investigation, although the investigation continued against the other respondents.
  • Served as lead trial counsel for Sony Electronics Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., and Crackle, Inc. (collectively “Sony”)  in a patent infringement case brought by Antor Media relating to the downloading of media to smartphones and personal digital assistants.  After obtaining a stay of the case pending reexamination of the patent-in-suit, all claims of the patent were invalidated by the USPTO.  The Federal Circuit affirmed the USPTO’s findings resulting in a complete victory for Sony.
  • Served as lead counsel for Giesecke & Devrient America, Inc. (“G&D”) in an action pending in the Southern District of New York (“S.D.N.Y.”).  G&D is a leading supplier of secure banknotes and smartcards.  In January 2011, Leighton Technologies, LLC (“Leighton”) filed suit in the Eastern District of Virginia against G&D for the alleged infringement of five patents regarding methods of manufacturing “smart cards.”  In July 2011, Mr. Johnson successfully obtained an order transferring this action to S.D.N.Y.  Mr. Johnson’s team convinced the Court to stay all further fact discovery pending a Markman hearing to construe the disputed terms in the asserted patents.  After a technology tutorial in November 2011, the parties entered into a settlement agreement and the plaintiff agreed to voluntarily dismiss the case in March 2012.
  • Served as lead counsel for MediaTek in an ITC investigation brought by Freescale.  The case involved chipsets for DVD and DTV products.  Based on Freescale’s unsuccessful assertion of the same patent in prior litigations, MediaTek successfully moved to stay the investigation prior to the evidentiary hearing.  MediaTek then obtained a Final Determination terminating the investigation.
  • Obtained unanimous precedential ruling from the Federal Circuit affirming summary judgment of invalidity for clients Bio-Rad Labs and ARUP.
  • Served as lead counsel for Sony in Sony’s first-ever plaintiff-side patent enforcement program.  Mr. Johnson successfully obtained favorable settlements in these actions pending in both the ITC and district court against Chi Mei Innolux and TPV.
  • Served as lead counsel for Sony in a world-wide patent infringement dispute (involving about 20 actions in multiple jurisdictions, including the ITC and district courts across the United States) with LG Electronics, Inc. and its subsidiary, Zenith Electronics, in cases involving patents related to digital display technology.  The cases settled favorably for Sony.
  • Defended Marvell Semiconductor Inc. and Sony in an infringement trial brought by Wi-LAN, Inc. in the Eastern District of Texas.  The case settled favorably right after jury was selected.
  • Defended Sony Electronics Inc. and 14 other defendants in a patent infringement action in the Eastern District of Texas and the Federal Circuit against Intellectual Capital Holdings Limited ("ICHL"), a non-practicing entity.
  • Represented MediaTek in a series of patent lawsuits in San Francisco and Marshall, Texas against Matsushita involving semiconductors and consumer electronics products.  After obtaining favorable rulings on claim construction, summary judgment and other key motions, the case settled on very favorable terms.
  • Defended Samsung in a case brought by Agere Systems involving technology related to semiconductor memory products and semiconductor processing.
  • Defended the Gillette Company in a successful jury trial involving patents related to technology used on the Mach3 razor.
  • Represented Sony in a declaratory judgment action against AmTRAN in the Northern District of California and defending Sony against AmTRAN’s assertions of infringement in a related lawsuit in Wisconsin.  Both cases involve the same patents related to television signal processing and power management.
  • Represented Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. in a series of patent lawsuits against various defendants including 4titude, Ltd., Phenix Research, and Eppendorf.  The suits involved laboratory trays used during DNA testing.  All cases ultimately settled on terms favorable to Bio-Rad.
  • Defended Avaya in a multi-defendant patent action brought by sole inventor in North Carolina relating to metering systems.  After serving a Rule 11 motion, obtained walk-away settlement.
  • Represented most of the cell phone industry (30+ defendants) in a patent case in Texas brought by the University of Texas involving predictive text messaging.  After convincing the Court to stay discovery on everything except claim construction and hold a separate trial on validity of the patent, the Court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment of non-infringement.  The Federal Circuit upheld this judgment on appeal.
  • Represented Varian Semiconductor against Applied Materials in a patent infringement arbitration involving semiconductor processing equipment.  The arbitration panel found that Applied infringed Varian's patents.
  • Defended OTC in an unfair competition, trade secret and copyright case.  Case was dismissed on summary judgment, and OTC was awarded its attorneys fees and costs.
  • Defended Oberthur Technologies in a patent lawsuit involving technology related to the manufacturing of radio frequency identification cards.  After obtaining favorable rulings on standing and ownership, the case settled on very favorable terms.
  • Successfully defended Ampex is a series of patent jury trials involving error correction and Audio and Video standards.  The jury found the patents invalid and not infringed.
  • Defended the DeVry University in one of the first cases brought under California's new anti-spam statute.
  • Represented Tegic Communications, Inc. in a contempt proceeding in the Northern District of California filed against Zi Corporation.  Tegic alleges that Zi violated the terms of a 2002 judgment following a successful patent-infringement jury verdict for Tegic.  The contempt proceedings are now pending in arbitration.
  • Represented HTC Corp. in lawsuit filed in Eastern District of Virginia asserting three patents in CDMA technology.
  • Successfully represented Netsuite in an ED TX suit alleging infringement of a patent relating to CRM software.
  • Hofstra University School of Law
    (J.D., 1992)
    • Law Review:
      • Associate Editor
  • Cornell University
    (B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1988)
  • The State Bar of California
  • The State Bar of New York
    • Federal Courts
  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Fish & Neave, Palo Alto:
    • Partner, 1992
  • Listed as a Best Lawyers in America for Intellectual Property Litigation, 2013-2021
  • Ranked in California Intellectual Property Patent Litigation, Chambers USA, 2013-2022
  • Listed as "Leading Intellectual Property Lawyers in California," Daily Journal, 2018 
  • Selected as a SuperLawyer, 2012-2018
  • Named a "Top Intellectual Property Attorney," Daily Journal, 2016
  • Named “Technology MVP,” Law360, 2016  
  • Ranked in Top IP Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2015
  • Ranked in California Intellectual Property Patent Litigation, Chambers USA, 2013
  • "Keeping the Bar High – The Doctrine of Equivalents in the Aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Festo Decision," Stanford Technology Law Review (2003)
  • "Festo and Claim Construction," The American Conference Institute’s Seventh National Advanced Forum on  Litigating Patent Disputes, San Francisco, California (2002)
  • "Assessing Your Patent Risk," The Venture Capital Review, Issue 9 (Fall 2001)
  • Member, Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, New York Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Member, Bar Association of San Francisco