We are one of the world’s leading firms for Internet-related disputes. We have litigated every form of internet-related dispute—on both the plaintiff and defense-sides. We are often retained to seek injunctive relief and to defend against it. We have litigated the following internet-related claims:
- Patent infringement
- Trademark and trade dress infringement
- Copyright infringement
- Trade secret misappropriation
- Breach of privacy rights
- Domain ownership
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act violations
- Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violation
- Stored Communications Act violations
We have won at trial, or obtained summary judgment in, a number of cases later argued to the Second, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuit Courts of Appeal. The degree to which our expertise in Internet matters is recognized may best be illustrated by the fact that several of our lawyers have been tapped for significant in-house positions with leading Internet companies such as eBay and Google.
REPRESENTATIVE INTERNET CLIENTS
- Alibaba Group Holding Limited v. Alibabacoin Foundation et al. (PTAB 2018). We were engaged by our client, Netflix, Inc., in two inter partes review proceedings challenging the validity of patents owned by Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC relating to streaming systems for digitally stored audio, video, and textual content. Following the Oral Hearing, the PTAB issued Final Written Decisions in each proceeding finding that all challenged claims were unpatentable. We represent Netflix in an appeal of the PTAB’s ruling that was recently filed by Affinity and is currently pending before the Federal Circuit. We also represent Netflix in the related District Court proceeding that currently is stayed.
- Gottlieb et al. Alphabet Inc. et al. (N.D. Cal. 2018). We represented Google, Alphabet, and several of its senior executives in a case involving 13 claims, including RICO violations, securities fraud, antitrust, and breach of contract, arising out of plaintiff’s termination from Google’s AdSense program. The case was originally filed in New York, where plaintiffs reside, and we first successfully moved to transfer the case to California. We then moved to dismiss the case for failure to join the real party in interest, which the Court granted without prejudice. Once the amended complaint came in, we immediately moved to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds, arguing plaintiffs did not get the benefit of tolling or relation back. The Court agreed, granting our motion with prejudice.
- Edible International, LLC et al v. Google, LLC (D. Conn. 2018). We represented Google, LLC in a case involving allegations of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition, brought by a customer of Google’s advertising services. We successfully won a motion to compel the dispute to arbitration.
- Google LLC v. Equustek Solutions Inc., Clarma Enterprises Inc., and Robert Angus (N.D. Cal. 2017). Google retained Quinn Emanuel to bring a suit for a declaratory judgment and injunction to prevent the enforcement of an order in the United States issued by a Canadian court concerning search results worldwide. The order, which the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed, required Google, which was not a party to the underlying dispute, to remove the websites of the defendants (who had defaulted) from search results served in every country on the grounds the Canadian defendants’ websites offered products that violated plaintiffs’ trade secrets. The DJ action contends that the order is not enforceable in the United States because it repugnant to US policy as expressed by the First Amendment and Communications Decency Act and violated international comity. The Canadian court’s 2014 order was the first global delisting order, and Google’s United States challenge squarely tees up whether foreign countries can restrict the speech of U.S. internet services in the United States.
On November 2, 2017, Judge Davila of the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the Canadian order in the United States. He found that enforcing “the Canadian order undermines the policy goals of Section 230 and threatens free speech on the global internet.”
- SimpleAir, Inc. v. Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB (Fed. Cir. 2016). At the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, we obtained a complete reversal of an $85 million verdict of patent infringement against Google in the Eastern District of Texas. Plaintiff SimpleAir, Inc. had sued Google, Microsoft, and numerous other providers of smartphones and software, claiming its patents covered the technology used to send notifications to mobile devices. Google, while represented by previous counsel, had been found by two juries to infringe and to owe $85 million in royalties. On Quinn Emanuel’s successful appeal, the appellate court first reversed the district court’s key claim construction ruling, namely that the term “data channel” could not be a device’s connection to the Internet because that would make the term redundant. Instead, the Federal Circuit held that the well-known canon of construction that each claim term should be given meaning could not trump the overriding requirement to stay true to the patent’s specification. As a result, the court of appeals agreed with Quinn Emanuel that the verdicts should be reversed, and instructed the Eastern District of Texas to enter a judgment of non-infringement in favor Google.
- Broadband iTV, Inc. v. Time Warner Cable, Inc.; Oceanic Time Warner Cable, LLC (D. Haw. 2015). We were retained by Time Warner Cable for a patent case venued in Hawaii. The plaintiff, BBiTV, is a Honolulu-based company that failed in the video-on-demand (VOD) business and turned to asserting its patent portfolio. BBiTV sued TWC for infringement of a patent directed to creating a bridge between the internet and closed, cable systems by using metadata to facilitate the automation, hierarchical organization, and display of video content on customers’ electronic programming guides. TWC invalidated the asserted patent under the Supreme Court’s recent Section 101 jurisprudence holding that abstract ideas are not patentable in the context of software inventions and that the addition of conventional technologies cannot provide the inventive concept.
- Smartflash v. Samsung Electronics & HTC (Fed. Cir. 2015). We represented Samsung and HTC in a case involving patents related to the online payment for and distribution of content, such as apps, videos, and music. Weeks before trial, we obtained a reversal of the district court order denying a motion to stay the case pending covered business method review of the patents by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
- Hanginout, Inc. v. Google Inc. (S.D. Cal. 2014). We represent Google Inc. in a case against Hanginout, Inc. Hanginout claims that Google’s use of HANGOUTS infringes Hanginout’s alleged common law HANGINOUT trademark. Hanginout moved for a preliminary injunction but was soundly defeated. The Court’s 34-page opinion found in Google’s favor on all of the preliminary injunction factors. The Court’s opinion also raised serious doubts that Hanginout even has common law trademark rights in its alleged mark or that there is any likelihood of confusion.
- Parts.com, LLC v. Google Inc. (S.D. Cal. 2014). We represented Google Inc. in a trademark case involving Parts.com LLC and obtained dismissal of all claims against Google at the pleading stage under the doctrine of laches. The state law claims were also found to be barred by the Communications Decency Act’s immunity provision. Parts.com had alleged that Google impermissibly used its trademark in its AdWords program constituting federal and state trademark infringement, dilution, and unfair competition.
- Zhang v. Baidu.com Inc. and the People’s Republic of China (JMF) (S.D.N.Y. 2014). We obtained complete dismissal of an action in the Southern District of New York against our client Baidu, Inc., the most popular Internet search engine in the People’s Republic of China. Plaintiffs alleged that Baidu violated various civil rights statutes by failing to return links in search results to their works advocating political change in China. The court held that Baidu’s search results were protected speech and the action was therefore barred by the First Amendment.
- Schroeder, Rendezvoo LLC and Skoop Media v. Pinterest, et al. (New York Supreme Court — Commercial Division 2014). We represented the social networking service Pinterest in a trade secret misappropriation action filed in New York Supreme Court by an alleged former business partner of Pinterest’s first investor. The suit alleged that the idea for the massively successful Pinterest website was originally developed by plaintiffs and later stolen from them by Pinterest’s first investor. Plaintiffs further alleged that the investor then gave the idea to the Pinterest founders who then used the ideas to develop the website www.pinterest.com. We moved to dismiss all of plaintiffs’ claims against Pinterest. After briefing, the court granted Pinterest’s motion to dismiss in its entirety and dismissed Pinterest from the case with prejudice.
- I/P Engine, Inc. v. AOL Inc. et al (Fed. Cir. 2014). We represented Google, AOL, IAC, Target, and Gannett in litigation accusing Google’s AdWords and AdSense systems of patent in fringement. We obtained reversal of a jury verdict of infringement and validity and an award of $30.5 million in damages. The district court had also imposed ongoing royalties amounting to 1.35% of Google’s accused U.S. AdWords and AdSense revenues from 2012-2016. The Federal Circuit reversed the district court by finding all asserted patent claims invalid for obviousness. This ruling overturned both the jury verdict and the district court’s post-judgment royalty order, thus precluding not only the $30. 5 million verdict but also ongoing royalties of 1.35% of advertising revenues (Google’s main source of revenue) from the accused services for four years.
- Booking.com v. HRS (District Court Hamburg 2013). We obtained a first instance verdict for Booking.com against a main competitor regarding German unfair competition law.
- Perfect 10 v. Yandex (N.D. Cal. 2013). We represented Russian technology company Yandex, which operates the world's fourth largest search engine, in a massive copyright infringement lawsuit brought by adult entertainment publisher Perfect 10, seeking over $100 million in damages. The suit alleged that Yandex had willfully infringed Perfect 10’s copyrights in tens of thousands of its images of nude women by crawling, indexing and linking to third party websites hosting infringing Perfect 10 images, and by hosting unauthorized Perfect 10 images uploaded by users of Yandex’s user-generated content sites. Early in the case, Yandex defeated Perfect 10’s motion for a preliminary injunction on its copyright claims directed to Yandex’s search and hosting services, obtaining a court ruling that Perfect 10 was unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claims and that Perfect 10 had not demonstrated irreparable harm. Subsequently, Yandex obtained summary judgment on the vast majority of Perfect 10’s claims, on extraterritoriality and fair use grounds. Specifically, Yandex showed that most of Perfect 10’s claims concerned “extraterritorial” acts of alleged copyright infringement not cognizable under the U.S. Copyright Act, and that the thumbnail-sized images in Yandex’s image search results are a non-actionable "fair use" under the U.S. Copyright Act. After that victory, Perfect 10 quickly settled for a fraction of its original demand.
- Function Media, LLC v. Google, Inc. and Yahoo, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2010, Fed Cir. 2013). Brought in five months before trial to defend Google’s AdSense advertising products against Function Media’s $600 million claim of infringement of three patents, we won a unanimous jury verdict of both non-infringement and invalidity in the Eastern District of Texas in Google’s first patent trial and a complete affirmance of the judgments from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
- Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens & NFL Enterprises. (D. Md. 2012). We have successfully represented the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens professional football franchise in a series of copyright actions stemming from the adoption by the Ravens of an inaugural logo for its 1996-1998 seasons that plaintiff Frederick Bouchat alleged was substantially similar to a copyrighted drawing he had submitted for consideration. Most recently, Bouchat alleged that the fleeting appearance of the Ravens' inaugural logo in football documentaries shown on the NFL Network and on the NFL's website, as well as the appearance of the logo in photographic displays at the Ravens' stadium commemorating historical events, infringed his copyright in his drawing. We successfully had the cases entirely dismissed on summary judgment, persuading the Court that the uses at issue are all fair uses.
- Perfect 10, Inc. v. Yandex Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2012). For our client Yandex N.V., a Dutch holding company whose Russian subsidiary, Yandex LLC, operates the leading Internet search engine in Russia, we defeated Perfect 10’s motion for a preliminary injunction on its copyright claims directed to Yandex’s search and hosting services, obtaining a court ruling that Perfect 10 was unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claims against Yandex N.V., and that Perfect 10 had not demonstrated irreparable harm.
- Eon-Net LP et al. v. Flagstar Bancorp (Fed. Cir. 2011). We obtained a complete victory on claim construction, a stipulated judgment of non-infringement, and an award of over $600,000 in attorney fees and sanctions for our client Flagstar Bancorp in a patent infringement case related to converting hard copy documents to computer files using templates and content instructions. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment for our client in its entirety.
- Barclays v. Flyonthewall (2d Cir. 2011). We represented Google and Twitter as amicus in the Second Circuit in a successful effort to narrow the tort of "hot news" misappropriation.
- Soverain Software v. J.C. Penny, et al. (E.D. Tex. 2011). We represented Soverain Software in a patent infringement case involving online shopping cart technology and order tracking systems used on ecommerce websites. Following a five-day jury trial, we obtained a verdict of infringement with respect to all five asserted claims and $18 million in pre-judgment damages. Soverain’s motion for post-judgment damages is pending.
- Perfect 10, Inc. v. Google Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2010, 9th Cir. 2011). For our client Google, we successfully obtained the complete dismissal with prejudice of the long-running Perfect 10 v. Google litigation. At issue were Perfect 10's claims of copyright infringement seeking to shut down Google's popular Web Search, Image Search and Blogger services. Prior to the dismissal, we successfully obtained summary judgment of safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on Perfect 10’s copyright infringement claims against Google's Web Search, Image Search and Blogger services. The decision precluded Perfect 10 from seeking any monetary damages for almost all of the more than two million alleged copyright infringements Perfect 10 claimed were hosted by Google’s Blogger service or linked to by Google’s Web and Image Search services. We also defeated Perfect 10’s motion for a preliminary injunction on its copyright and publicity claims, obtaining a court ruling that Google was likely to succeed on the merits, and that Perfect 10 had not demonstrated irreparable harm. We successfully defended that victory on appeal before the Ninth Circuit in 2011. And finally, on the eve of the close of discovery, after obtaining damaging admissions during several key depositions (including of Perfect 10’s CEO Norman Zada) and winning several critical discovery motions, Perfect 10 offered to dismiss the entire lawsuit with prejudice in exchange for Google’s agreement not to seek attorneys’ fees and costs. The dismissal, coming after more than seven years of protracted litigation, completely vindicated Google’s legal position, as Google had maintained all along that Perfect 10’s case lacked any merit. The case ended without Google paying Perfect 10 a cent.
- Viacom International, Inc. v. YouTube Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2013). We won summary judgment on behalf of YouTube and its parent Google in a precedent-setting, billion-dollar copyright case brought by Viacom in U.S. District Court in New York. Viacom argued that YouTube should be held liable for the presence of allegedly unauthorized, infringing material on the site. In a decision that helps to establish the rules of the road for Internet services that host user-generated content, the district court agreed with us that YouTube and Google are fully protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
- Performance Pricing Inc. v. Google Inc., et al. (E.D. Tex., Fed. Cir. 2010). On behalf of Google and AOL, we won affirmance of summary judgment of non-infringement in a patent infringement litigation in which the patent-in-suit was asserted against the Defendants in September 2007 by Performance Pricing Inc., an Acacia entity. Performance Pricing had accused Google’s AdWords and AOL's Search Marketplace systems of infringing the patent, which involved a method of doing business over the Internet "wherein various forms of competition and/or entertainment are used to determine transaction prices between buyers and sellers."
- Paid Search Engine Tools, LLC v. Yahoo! Inc., et al. (E.D. Tex. 2010, Fed. Cir. 2012). Representing Google, we brought and won an early summary judgment motion of invalidity. The patent-in-suit was asserted against Google by Paid Search Engine Tools ("PSET"). PSET had accused Google's AdWords system of infringing the patent, which involved a bid management system that could adjust bidders' bids in online auctions in order to obtain their desired positions and eliminate "bid gaps." The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s order per curiam.
- Software Rights Archive, LLC v. Google Inc., Yahoo! Inc., IAC Search and Media, Inc., AOL, LLC, and Lycos, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2010). Our client, IAC Search and Media, Inc. (“IACSAM”), was sued by a patent troll for the alleged infringement of several patents that allegedly covered key parts of the search algorithms used in IACSAM’s Internet search engine. The plaintiff, who was represented by several plaintiffs’ firms, sought extensive damages for the alleged infringement by IACSAM and other search engine operators, such as Google and Yahoo!. Our firm played a key role in the preparation of invalidity contentions on behalf of the joint defense group, and the filing of a motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of California, which was recently granted. The plaintiff agreed to a favorable settlement for IACSAM in an amount that was significantly smaller than the plaintiff’s initial demand.
- Bright Response LLC v. Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. (E. D. Tex 2010). Defending Google against a $128 million patent infringement claim brought by Bright Response LLC against Google’s AdWords advertising system in the Eastern District of Texas, we won a complete non-infringement and invalidity verdict after a six-day jury trial.
- Rosetta Stone Ltd. v. Google Inc. (E.D. Va. 2010). We won a complete summary judgment for Google, by which all remaining claims that language software provider Rosetta Stone had asserted based on Google’s advertising programs and trademark policies were dismissed with prejudice. In a lengthy opinion, the Court held that Google was not liable for trademark infringement (whether direct, contributory, or vicarious) or dilution. At the pleading stage, Quinn Emanuel obtained dismissal of Rosetta Stone’s false endorsement claim under 15 U.S.C. 1125(a) and its state law business conspiracy and unjust enrichment claims.
- In re Jonathan Mitchell Shiff (U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the S.D. Cal. 2010). We represented DIRECTV in a cybersquatting case against an individual, Jonathan Shiff, who previously ran one of the largest and most successful independent DIRECTV retailers. After his company was terminated in 2007, Shiff started working as a partner/consultant for another independent DIRECTV retailer. While working with the new DIRECTV retailer, Shiff registered sixty-six domain names using “directv” followed by a city or state name. All of the domain names were registered without DIRECTV’s permission or knowledge and in violation of the DIRECTV retailer agreement, which forbids retailers from using DIRECTV trademarks in domain names. The Court found that Shiff violated the Anticybersquatting Protection Act and that the violation was willful because he “clearly used the mark in anticipation of personal profit and did so with the clear understanding that his use of the mark . . . was inconsistent with DIRECTV’s rights, desires, and contractual, oral, and written instructions.” Although DIRECTV did not offer any evidence of actual damages or Shiff’s profits, the court awarded DIRECTV $7,000 per domain name in damages for a total of $462,000.
- Bid For Position v. AOL (Fed. Cir. 2009). We won affirmance of summary judgment of non-infringement for Google in a patent infringement litigation in which plaintiff sought in excess of $150 million in past damages and a royalty on future revenue in the billions. The litigation concerned the AdWords auction system used by Google to sell advertisement space on search results pages for Google.com and partner sites.
- Source Search Technologies, L.L.C. v. LendingTree, LLC, IAC/InterActiveCorp, and ServiceMagic, Inc. (D.N.J. 2009). On behalf of our clients, IAC/InterActiveCorp, LendingTree, and ServiceMagic, we obtained a summary judgment of invalidity. They had been sued in New Jersey for infringement of a business method patent assigned to a New Jersey corporation, owned by a New Jersey resident (who also happened to be the named inventor), and represented by a New Jersey IP firm. The claim for damages was $100 million. The District Court granted our motion for summary judgment that the asserted claims were invalid for obviousness. If the patent had survived, it could be asserted against any and all internet buyer-vendor matching sites.
- Applied Information Sciences v. eBay Inc. (C.D. Cal., 9th Cir. 2007). We obtained a grant of summary judgment for eBay against trademark infringement and unfair competition claims related to its use of the terms "Smart Search" as the label for a hyperlink on its Web site home page. The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in eBay's favor. 511 F.3d 966 (9th Cir. 2007).
- Jews for Jesus v. Google (S.D.N.Y. 2006). We represented Google in a trademark suit arising from a third party's unauthorized use on blogspot of the plaintiff's registered trademark as the title of a blog critical of plaintiff's organization.
- eDirect Publishing v. eStaffMax (C.D. Cal. 2005). We won preliminary and permanent injunctions for eDirect Publishing in a false advertising, copyright, trademark and trade dress suit involving automated resume posting site and related software. We also obtained enhanced monetary damages under the Lanham Act, punitive damages and an award of attorney's fees.
- Hermes v. Bluefly (S.D.N.Y. 2004). We represented leading Internet retailer Bluefly in a false advertising suit brought by luxury goods manufacturer Hermes challenging the use by Bluefly of rare and high-priced Hermes handbags as prizes in an online sweepstakes. We have represented Bluefly in many other disputes arising from its online commerce model and marketing.
- Long v. Walt Disney Co. (Cal. Ct. App. 2004). We won summary judgment for Disney on tort and equitable claims arising out of the unauthorized use of 25-year old student photographs on a television show and related Internet sites based upon the Uniform Single Publication Act. Our win was then affirmed on appeal.
- International Bancorp, LLC v. Société des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Étrangers à Monaco (4th Cir. 2003). On behalf of Monaco's resort arm, we won an injunction against an online gambling site trading on the equity of Monaco's famous Casino de Monte Carlo and an affirmance by the 4th Circuit.
- TVT Records v. MP3.com (S.D.N.Y. 2003). We represented MP3.com in a jury trial of the plaintiffs' copyright claims arising from MP3.com's Internet-based music listening service, and obtained a unanimous verdict of no actual damages.
- ASCAP v. MP3.com (S.D.N.Y. 2002). We represented MP3.com in an ASCAP rate court proceeding to determine the reasonable level of public performance license payments for audio streaming over the Internet, resulting in a favorable license rate settlement for the client.
- Newman v. MP3.com (C.D. Cal. 2002). We represented MP3.com in numerous actions brought in New York and California by record labels, music publishers and artists/songwriters including Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Heart, Hanson, Hamstein Music, and Soundgarden arising from the reproduction of musical compositions and sound recordings to facilitate MP3.com's Internet music listening service. In the course of more than 20 lawsuits, many novel issues regarding copyright standing, liability and damages as they relate to Internet music were litigated and determined.
- Grey Advertising v. Gray (C.D. Cal. 2000). We obtained a preliminary injunction for Grey Advertising that shut down a competitor's infringing website on false advertising and unfair competition grounds.
- Estate of Kurt Cobain v. Smith (C.D. Cal. 1999). Representing the Estate of Kurt Cobain, we recovered the domain name kurtcobain.com as well as other domains from cybersquatters.