San Francisco Skyline

Intellectual Property

The firm has an active practice in trademark, copyright, trade secrets, unfair competition, and other intellectual property rights, including expertise in Internet-related issues.

Mr. Gross has been counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization focused on freedom of speech on the Internet, advising and litigating on behalf of the EFF on numerous technology and Internet issues. Recently, as co-counsel with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the firm defended Reverend Billy, an anti-consumerism activist, against copyright infringement claims. Reverend Billy and his organization demonstrated in New York City’s Union Square Park, a traditional center for community and labor gatherings, against attempts by the local businesses to privatize and gentrify the Park, and created a website parodying the local business improvement district, which then sued for copyright infringement. The firm filed a counterclaim under the New York anti-SLAPP statute and prepared a motion for judgment on the pleadings, leading to a successful settlement and capitulation.

As General Counsel to Burning Man, the internationally known arts and community event, the firm has represented the event in litigation over the event’s trademarks, successfully defeating competing claims to the marks, and regularly has advised and represented Burning Man in both negotiations and litigation concerning trademark, copyright and privacy issues. The firm has also represented Cubatabaco, the Cuban cigar company, in defending its U.S. trademark rights. Other representative engagements include successfully representing an Internet journalist wrongfully sued by Apple Computer for trade secret misappropriation; representing The New York Times and several Business Week journalists against Hewlett-Packard, seeking and obtaining damages when HP illegally obtained private telephone records of the journalists in an attempt to learn the trade secrets of the identities of the journalists’ sources; representing the estate of Norma Millay Ellis relating to the sale of the literary properties of Edna St. Vincent Millay; and litigation relating to the sublicense of patent rights and contract negotiations for the sale of biotechnology development rights for a French biotechnology company. The firm represented the Republic of South Africa concerning the domain name southafrica.com, and before the World Intellectual Property Organization and ICANN obtained a change in domain name rules so that southafrica.info and all country names in the .info domain were transferred to the foreign sovereigns. Members of the firm have also litigated on behalf of one of the world’s largest computer companies in a landmark arbitration involving allegations of copyright infringement and antitrust violations; a large construction company whose former employees misappropriated trade secrets in forming a competing firm; and a software development company in claims against a business associate for unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets.