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Pak, Sean S.

Sean S. Pak

Partner

seanpak@quinnemanuel.com
Direct Tel: +1 415-875-6320, Direct Fax: +1 415-875-6700
San Francisco
Tel: +1 415 875 6600 Fax: +1 415 875 6700

Sean is Co-Chair of the firm’s National Intellectual Property Litigation Practice and founding member of its AI Practice Group.  Sean is a trial lawyer with extensive experience in litigating patents, trade secrets, copyrights and other intellectual property in “bet the company” cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants.  As noted in Chambers USA 2019, “he has all of the trial skills you’d hope for, an unusually deep technical background and is one of the best at jumping into the subject matter and coming up with creative solutions.”  Sean received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and B.S. and M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, and has engineering experience at Intel Corporation and the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.  He is also a Fellow in The American College of Trial Lawyers, an honor attainable by no more than 1% of the attorneys practicing in each state.

In 2023, Sean and his team were recognized by the American Lawyer as “Litigators of the Week” for their work on the Sonos v. Google trial, resulting in a complete defense win for Google.  During the same year, Sean was lead counsel for Samsung Electronics in the Evolved Wireless v. Samsung trial in Marshall, Texas, in which Sean and his team obtained a complete defense verdict.  And in 2022, Sean’s work as lead counsel in The Hillman Group v. KeyMe trial was featured as one of two cases by Law360 in recognizing the firm with its “Trials Group of the Year” award. 

According to the 2016 IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Professionals guide, “Sean Pak’s star is in rapid ascendance thanks to major victories, such as his $283 million jury verdict for satellite designer and developer ViaSat in a dispute with a contractor.”  In the 2014 version of the same guide, Sean was described as “the complete package, combining a great understanding of the finer technical elements to a case with superb trial craft and courtroom presence.  He has a calm disposition, but can be aggressive when he needs to be.”  In 2013, Sean was named an Intellectual Property Rising Star under the age of 40 nationwide by Law360.  In 2008, The Times of London named Sean a “Future Star of America” and cited his “intellectual prowess, industry expertise, and people skills.”

  • Google
  • Samsung
  • TSMC
  • NVIDIA
  • Qualcomm
  • NTT Docomo
  • MediaTek
  • Hyundai / Kia
  • Slack
  • AliveCor
  • Proofpoint
  • KeyMe
  • SK hynix
  • Verkada
  • Varian Medical Systems
  • OpenAI
  • Murata

Sean was lead counsel for Samsung Electronics in a week-long jury trial in Marshall, Texas, resulting in a complete defense verdict.  The plaintiff, Evolved Wireless LLC, claimed infringement of three patents acquired from LG Electronics., claiming they were essential to the 4G/LTE cellular standard and infringed by all Samsung 4G-compatible devices: phones, tablets and smartwatches.  After two of the asserted patents had been dismissed from the case, the jury was asked to decide the questions of infringement, invalidity, damages and Samsung’s counterclaim for FRAND violation for the remaining patent. After a brief deliberation, the jury unanimously found that all asserted patent claims were not infringed by Samsung, rendering the remaining questions moot. (https://www.law.com/texaslawyer/2023/11/27/quinn-emanuel-secures-patent-infringement-defense-win-for-samsung/

Sean was also lead counsel for Google in a three-week jury trial in the Northern District of California involving multiple patents asserted by Sonos against a wide array of Google’s smartphone and audio devices.  Sonos had initially demanded over $3 billion in damages for its six asserted patents, but ultimately the trial involved two asserted patents after four of the asserted patents were dismissed on summary judgment or voluntarily dismissed by Sonos.  During trial, Sonos’ damages theory seeking $90 million in past royalties for the remaining two patents was rejected by the Court based on Google’s Daubert challenge, and following trial, the Court found that these patents were unenforceable under the doctrine of prosecution laches based on Sonos’ unreasonable delay and lack of written description in its original patent filings. (https://www.law.com/litigationdaily/2023/10/13/litigators-of-the-week-quinn-helps-google-flip-32-5m-verdict-from-patent-pretender-sonos/

Sean, as lead counsel, secured a total defense victory on behalf of Verkada in a bet-the-company case before the International Trade Commission.  Motorola Solutions and its Avigilon subsidiary brought patent infringement claims against Verkada in August 2021 related to computer vision, machine learning and secure firmware updates.  Motorola and Avigilon sought to block the importation of Verkada’s security cameras entirely—an important component of its cloud-managed video surveillance platform that protects over 17,000 organizations across more than 70 countries.  After trial, ALJ Moore found no violation by Verkada for two of the three asserted patents, and only a very narrow violation for the third patent, limited to a design that Verkada no longer uses.  Then, in March 2023, came Verkada’s complete vindication.  The Commission reversed ALJ Moore’s finding of the single instance of alleged infringement, resulting in a finding of no infringement – a complete win for Verkada.  In an unusual move signaling the strength of Verkada’s victory, Motorola and Avigilon chose not to appeal any issues. (https://www.quinnemanuel.com/media/p4fnneuk/qe_verkada-release_final.pdf)

Sean led a diverse team of trial lawyers from Quinn Emanuel against three separate law firms in one of the first trade secret cases to be tried solely under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA).  The firm represented leading cybersecurity company, Proofpoint, Inc. and its subsidiary, Cloudmark LLC, in a case involving misappropriation of trade secrets and infringement of copyrights by Vade Secure and its Chief Technical Officer who had taken trade secrets and confidential source code with him after he left Cloudmark.  After a three-week live jury trial, and one week of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in Proofpoint’s favor, finding that Vade Secure had willfully and maliciously misappropriated 15 different trade secrets owned by Proofpoint (including the use of AI and cloud-based techniques for detecting spear phishing attacks), and had infringed Proofpoint’s source code copyrights.  The jury awarded approximately $14M in compensatory damages. (https://www.crn.com/news/security/vade-secure-to-pay-proofpoint-14m-for-trade-secret-theft-jury)

Sean was lead trial counsel on behalf of KeyMe, and obtained a complete defense verdict from a jury in a six-patent case in the Eastern District of Texas, before Judge Gilstrap.  KeyMe provides more than 4,000 automated key-duplicating machines throughout the United States.  Built with industry-leading software, KeyMe’s machines use artificial intelligence to recognize hundreds of different key types and to create new keys for customers that work better than the original.  Plaintiff, The Hillman Group, also offers self-service key duplicating machines, albeit using older technology.  Hillman had put a self-service key duplicating machine into the market before KeyMe did, but once KeyMe entered, its superior technology allowed it to displace Hillman from multiple retailers.  Over the week-long jury trial, the firm demonstrated, first, that Hillman had not invented self-service key duplicating machines, citing to prior art as well as the IPR proceedings.  Second, the firm demonstrated that from the very beginning, KeyMe had deliberately chosen to develop AI-based technology that differed from the outdated, mechanical technology used by Hillman.  After a brief deliberation, the jury returned a verdict that KeyMe did not infringe any of the 18 patent claims asserted by Hillman, and also invalidated a majority of the asserted claims.  The firm’s trial strategy and defense verdict were featured in an article published by Recorder and Texas Lawyer. (https://www.law.com/texaslawyer/2021/04/14/how-quinn-emanuel-persuaded-an-e-d-tex-jury-to-award-nothing-in-a-patent-case/)

Sean was co-lead counsel for Qualcomm in its global dispute against Apple.  In January 2017, Apple launched an offensive litigation campaign against Qualcomm, alleging in multiple lawsuits that Qualcomm’s licensing practices were anticompetitive and seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement of several Qualcomm patents.  Along with its litigation assault, Apple also convinced its contract manufacturers to stop paying Qualcomm any licensing fees.  The firm worked with Qualcomm on a cross-border counter-offensive against Apple, which spanned more than nine lawsuits in five different tribunals across multiple continents.  The in-court demonstration of Apple’s infringement resulted in three significant showings of Qualcomm’s patents.  A Southern California jury verdict awarded a royalty of $1.41/unit on Apple’s infringing products, and two separate ITC Investigations resulted in findings of infringement by Apple.  The second ITC case resulted in an impending exclusion order that would affect all of the newest and future iPhones after Apple’s extensive public interest arguments were rejected by the ALJ.  These results helped drive the successful settlement of the parties’ global dispute before any of Apple’s offensive claims were ever heard by a jury, resulting in billions of dollars of chip sales and licensing revenues for Qualcomm. (https://timesofsandiego.com/business/2019/03/15/ qualcomm-stock-rises-after-victory-in-patent-suit-against-apple/)

Sean was the lead trial counsel for Varian Medical Systems in a global patent litigation dispute against its primary competitor Elekta involving numerous patents on cancer treatment technologies across numerous jurisdictions including the International Trade Commission, District of Delaware, Northern District of California, Germany and United Kingdom.  Sean and his team were able to obtain a highly favorable settlement for Varian, after an ITC victory on behalf of Varian in which Elekta was found to infringe multiple, valid patents owned by Varian. (http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/11/15/tic-recommends-exclusion-order-radiotherapy-cancer-treatment/id=74701/)

Sean was one of two lead counsel for plaintiff Viasat in a complex patent and contract breach case against Space Systems/Loral involving broadband satellites, which resulted in a jury verdict of $283 million for ViaSat in the Southern District of California.  In 2014, Sean won “Milestone Case of the Year” at the Managing IP North America Awards for his Viasat jury verdict.  Sean also won Top Verdict of 2014 by The National Law Journal, Top 10 Plaintiff Verdict by Dollar by the Daily Journal, and Top California Verdict of 2014 by The Recorder, achieving the highest dollar amount across all categories. (https://www.law360.com/articles/531777/jury-awards-viasat-283m-in-satellite-patent-row)

Sean also obtained a complete defense verdict as trial counsel in a multi-patent jury trial in Delaware on behalf of Symantec, defeating a claim for damages exceeding $1 billion.  Sean was also trial counsel on behalf of defendant Samsung Electronics in the second “smartphone” patent trial brought by Apple in the Northern District of California, in which all Apple patents defended by Sean and his team were found to be not infringed and Apple received less than six percent of its damages claim on the remaining patents defended by the firm.

At the International Trade Commission, Sean has served as trial counsel for respondent HTC in the ITC investigation (337-TA-710) initiated by Apple, and trial counsel for respondents NVIDIA, STMicroelectronics, MediaTek, Cisco, and Motorola in the ITC investigation (337-TA-753) initiated by Rambus.  In both cases involving billions of dollars in product sales, the ITC Commission found no violation for all claims defended by the firm.  

Sean represented MediaTek as lead counsel against NXP (which had acquired Freescale in 2015) before the ITC and secured a highly favorable cross-license agreement for MediaTek after trial.  For the first time ever, MediaTek decided to go on the offensive against a competitor after deciding that it should no longer have to pay a license fee to NXP given the strength of MediaTek’s global patent portfolio consisting of over 8,800 patents.  MediaTek brought suit to prove that NXP’s chips infringed five patents on its design, structure, and operation of products with power lines, temperature sensors, and wireless device signal processing.  After trial, the ITC staff attorney representing the U.S. government sided with MediaTek and recommended a violation finding and an exclusion order against NXP, which ultimately resulted in a global cross-license agreement, vindicating the strength of MediaTek’s intellectual property.

Sean represented plaintiff STMicroelectronics as trial counsel against its competitor, InvenSense, in multiple patent lawsuits at the ITC, the Northern District of California and the Eastern District of Texas.  Asserted twelve different patents against InvenSense, and defended against five InvenSense patents, related to various design and manufacturing technologies for MEMS-based gyroscopes and accelerometers used in smartphones, tablets and other devices.  After obtaining claim construction victories at the ITC, and after securing a transfer of the ED Texas case brought by InvenSense to the ND California, the litigation settled after one day of trial at the ITC, resulting in a successful patent license royalty agreement for STMicroelectronics.

Sean represented respondents Funai and MediaTek as trial counsel in an ITC investigation (337-TA-837) initiated by LSI involving multiple patents asserted against MPEG and WiFi products.  Examined multiple experts and other witnesses at trial.  Obtained final determination of no violation for all patent claims defended at trial.

Sean represented respondent MediaTek as trial counsel in an ITC investigation (337-TA-786) initiated by Freescale involving multiple patents asserted against DTV and DSP products.  Examined multiple witnesses at trial.  Obtained final determination of no violation for all patent claims defended at trial.

Sean represented plaintiff Veritas Operating Corp. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Symantec) against Microsoft in a multi-faceted case involving claims of trade secret misappropriation, patent infringement, copyright infringement, and contract breach in the field of volume management software, storage array network and automated system recovery technologies in US District Court for the Western District of Washington.  Obtained summary judgment of invalidity and non-infringement of Microsoft patent.  Negotiated a successful settlement for Veritas after Markman and summary judgment rulings.

Sean represented defendant Alcatel-Lucent in a patent case brought by plaintiff Golden Bridge Technology in US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Marshall) involving a patent claim against power ramping techniques for establishing a random access channel in a 3G wireless network.  Obtained summary judgment victory of invalidity for all asserted claims, which was upheld by the Federal Circuit on appeal.

Sean represented defendant Google as lead counsel against Collarity in a patent infringement suit in the District of Delaware involving search engine and user interface technologies.  Obtained a summary judgment of invalidity of all asserted claims for claiming ineligible subject matter under Alice.

Sean represented defendant MicroStrategy as lead counsel in a patent infringement case brought by plaintiff Vasudevan Software in the Northern District of California involving patents related to multi-dimensional database technologies.  Obtained summary judgment victory of non-infringement and invalidity for all asserted claims.

Sean represented defendants Samsung, HTC and Google in a patent case brought by Gemalto S.A. in the Eastern District of Texas (Tyler) involving three patents directed to virtual machines and code compilers.  Obtained summary judgment victory of non-infringement for all asserted claims.

  • Harvard Law School
    (J.D., cum laude, 1999)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    (M.Eng., Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, 1996)
    (B.S., Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, 1995)
  • The State Bar of California
  • Latham & Watkins:
    • Partner, 2008-2009
    • Associate, 2002-2007
  • Intel Corporation:
    • Engineer, 1993-1996
      • Designed advanced microprocessors and implemented technology licensing programs in the areas of microprocessors, integrated chipsets, memory devices, data networking and communication systems
  • MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory:
    • Research Associate, 1991-1992
  • Recognized by Lawdragon, AI IP Litigation, 2024
  • Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “Litigation Star”, 2024
  • Ranked by The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Intellectual Property, 2024
  • Ranked by Chambers, Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation California Band 4, 2023
  • Recognized by Managing IP, Patent Star, IP STARS 2023
  • Ranked in Chambers USA 2018-2019 in Nationwide: International Trade: Intellectual Property (Section 337) and California: Intellectual Property – Patent (2021, 2022)
  • Honored by Best Lawyers USA in Litigation - Intellectual Property (2018-2021)
  • Repeatedly recognized by Intellectual Asset Management’s (IAM) Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Professionals (2012-2014, 2016-2018, 2022)
  • Ranked in The Legal 500 USA 2018 in the areas Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation – Full Coverage and Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation – International Trade Commission
  • Named a Tier 1 Recommended Lawyer in The Legal 500 USA 2017 in Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation – Full Coverage
  • Ranked by The Legal 500 USA 2015 as a Recommended Lawyer in Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation – Full Coverage and in Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation – International Trade Commission
  • Recognized as an Intellectual Property Rising Star under the age of 40 nationwide by Law360 in 2013
  • Named a San Francisco Rising Star by Super Lawyers 2013
  • Ranked as a Recommended Lawyer in Patent Litigation: Full Coverage by The Legal 500 USA 2013
  • Recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers 2008 in Northern California
  • Recommended in Patent Litigation by The Legal 500 USA 2008
  • Honored as a “Future Star of America” by The Times of London in 2008
  • "Electronic Commerce, Hackers, and the Search for Legitimacy: A Regulatory Proposal," Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Spring 1999.
  • Fellow, The American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL)
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Member, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • Member, MIT-Caltech Enterprise Forum
  • Member, MIT Club of Southern California
  • Member, Licensing Executive Society (LES)
  • Member, Council of Korean Americans
  • Member, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association