For more than 20 years, Chris has guided Silicon Valley, national, and global tech and life sciences clients in high-stakes patent, other intellectual property, and technology litigation. He has led both large and small trial teams in courts throughout the United States, and has also served as lead counsel on appeals before the Ninth and Federal Circuits. His clients include companies in the software, artificial intelligence, telecommunications, microelectronics, medical devices, and life sciences sectors.
Chris is an accomplished scholar, with significant teaching and academic experience. Drawing on his years of teaching civil procedure, evidence, e-discovery, and advanced patent law, Chris is a creative strategist. He has marked wins for clients on a variety of unconventional issues. Before joining Womble Bond Dickinson in 2019, Chris practiced in the Bay Area offices of several nationally-known law firms. He speaks and writes frequently on IP, litigation, and technology issues.
One of only a handful of practicing lawyers to have earned a doctorate in Law from Oxford University in addition to a U.S. law degree, Chris has held visiting faculty positions at UC Hastings School of Law, Berkeley Law School, Stanford Law School, and Oxford University. He clerked for Judge Robert Beezer on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Chris is a recognized thought leader on IP issues. He serves on the Advisory Boards for the annual Berkeley-Stanford Advanced Patent Law Institute, and for the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, the top ranked IP program in the U.S. For the past three years, he has been named to Law 360’s IP Editorial Advisory Board, and for the past five years he has been the principal author for the U.S. patent litigation chapter in Kluwer Law International’s Global Patent Litigation treatise. Chris contributed a chapter on artificial intelligence and patent law to The Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence, a book published in 2022 by Cambridge University Press. He is a co-founder and Executive Board member of the global Oxford Entrepreneurs Network, and serves on the Board of Directors of American Friends of University College, Oxford.
Chris is the Office Managing Partner of Womble Bond Dickinson's San Francisco office and chairs the firm’s US Intellectual Property Litigation Group. He also serves on the firm’s Global Board as well as the firm’s Innovation Board.
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Encoditech LLC v. PASCO Scientific, E.D. Cal. (No. 20-cv-01530-JAM-CKD). Represented PASCO in patent infringement action relating to Bluetooth wireless technology. Dismissed with prejudice prior to answer.
- Forutome IP LLC v. Elecraft Incorporated, N.D. Cal. (No. 20-cv-03560-HSG). Represented Elecraft in patent infringement action relating to input/output bus driver circuits. Dismissed with prejudice prior to answer.
- Nuance Communications Inc. v. Omilia Natural Language Solutions, Ltd., D. Mass. (No. 19-cv-11438). Represented Nuance in action asserting claims for patent infringement, copyright infringement, and violations of DMCA and CFAA relating to automated speech recognition (ASR). Dismissed following confidential settlement.
- Palmer v. Nuance Communications Inc., et al., Mass. Super. (No. 19-1280). Represent Nuance in dispute with former employee relating to claim for commissions and counterclaims for misappropriation of trade secrets and violation of CFAA.
- SAS Institute Inc. v. World Programming Limited et al., E.D. Tex (No. 18-cv-295). Represent SAS in software copyright and patent infringement action concerning statistical analysis and database management software.
- Silbersher, et al. v. Valeant Pharmaceuticals, et al., N.D. Cal. (No. 18-cv-1496). Represent Dr. Falk Pharma in qui tam action based on theory of medicare reimbursement amounts being allegedly inflated due to patent rights; won dismissal of claims.
- Eloqui v. Nuance Communications, Inc., C.D. Cal. (No. 17-cv-890). Represented Nuance in patent infringement action relating to virtual digital assistants; won summary judgment of noninfringement; Eloqui abandoned appeal.
- Alta Devices v. LG Electronics, N.D. Cal. (N. 18-cv-404). Represented LG in trade secret action relating to thin-film solar technology.
- BASF v. Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation et al., D. Del. (No. 17-cv-421) and E.D. Va. (No. 17-cv-503). Represented BASF in patent litigation relating to genetically modified, high Omega-3 canola.
- Nuance Communications, Inc. et al. v. Pindrop Security, Inc., E.D. Va. (No. 17-cv-1193). Represented Nuance and subsidiaries in contract and copyright dispute relating to voice biometric software. Dismissed following confidential settlement.
- Karp v. Imagetrust et al., C.D. Cal. (No. 16-cv-9228). Represented Imagetrust and co-defendants in copyright infringement action relating to rock concert photographs; won dismissal of $293 million claim.
- Karp v. Adam Opel AG, et al., C.D. Cal. (No. 16-cv-9226). Represented defendants in copyright infringement action relating to rock concert photographs.
- Richtek Technology Corp. v. uPI Semiconductor Corp., N.D. Cal. (No. 09-cv-5659). Represented uPI in patent litigation involving DC-DC power controllers. Won partial summary judgment dismissing 98% of claimed damages.
- Richtek Technology Corp. et al. v. uPI Semiconductor Corp. et al., Santa Clara Superior Court (No. 2011-1-cv-192991). Represented uPI in trade secret misappropriation case relating to DC-DC power controllers.
- Coen Company Inc. v. Pan International Ltd., N.D. Cal. (No. 14-cv-3392). Represented Coen and John Zink Co. in contract litigation involving Chinese trademark registrations. Former sales representative in China unilaterally registered U.S. client’s trademarks in China and sought compensation for return of the marks. Brought U.S. litigation that resulted in return of the marks.
- Amgen v. Roche, D. Mass. (No. 05-cv-12237). Represented Amgen in declaratory judgment patent suit and Federal Circuit appeal involving recombinant erythropoietin. Case was tried to a verdict in a 4-week jury and bench trial.
- Versata v. SAP, E.D. Tex. (No. 07-cv-153). Represented SAP in patent suit involving artificial intelligence software and eCommerce technology.
- Qualcomm v. Nokia, S.D. Cal. (No. 05-cv-2063). Represented Qualcomm in a patent suit involving cellular telephone technology. Coordinated global strategy for multi-jurisdictional litigation.
Other Notable Litigation
- Rubicon Global Ventures et al. v. Chongqing Zongshen Group Import/Export Corp. et al., D.Or. (Nos. 05-cv-1809, 09-cv-818, 09-cv-1397, 10-cv-833, 11-cv-712). Represented defendants in complex commercial dispute starting after $300 million in default judgments had been entered in breach of contract claims across multiple parallel lawsuits.
- In re Rate Application of State Farm General Ins. Co., Cal. Dept. of Insurance (File No. PA 2015-00004). Represented State Farm in contested rate hearing and administrative trial concerning homeowners’ insurance rates.
- Eloqui Voice Systems, LLC v. Nuance Communications, Inc., Federal Circuit (No. 20-01798). Represented Nuance in appeal of patent infringement action after winning summary judgment of noninfringement.
- Silbersher, et al. v. Valeant Pharmaceuticals, et al., Ninth Circuit (No. 20-16176). Represent Dr. Falk Pharma in appeal of qui tam action after winning dismissal of all claims against defendants.
- Karp v. Imagetrust et al., Ninth Circuit (No. 17-56677). Represented Imagetrust and co-defendants in appeal of copyright infringement action relating to rock concert photographs following dismissal of all claims against defendants.
- Rubicon Global Ventures et al. v. Chongqing Zongshen Group Import/Export Corp. et al., Ninth Circuit (Nos. 11-35090, 13-35879, 14-35836, 14-35911). Represented defendants in complex commercial dispute involving multiple parallel lawsuits; via motion to recall mandate in prior appeal, secured dismissal of one defendant for lack of personal jurisdiction, won reversal of $300 million in prior judgments for all remaining defendants.
- Deep9 v. Barnes & Noble, Federal Circuit (No. 13-01031). Represented Deep9 in patent infringement suit involving online database synchronization. Argued Federal Circuit appeal.
- Therasense v. Becton Dickinson, Federal Circuit. Submitted amicus brief on behalf of nine IP Law Professors in support of en banc review of inequitable conduct doctrine. Scholarly research cited in en banc opinion.
- Amgen v. Roche, Federal Circuit (Nos. 2009-1020, 2009-1096). Counsel for Amgen in appeal of post-verdict preliminary injunction. Reported at 580 F.3d 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2009); 296 Fed. Appx. 69 (Fed. Cir. 2008).
- Qualcomm v. Nokia, Federal Circuit (No. 2006-1317). Represented Qualcomm in a patent infringement suit involving cellular telephone technology. Argued appeal.
- Rasul v. Bush, Supreme Court of the United States. Represented Amici Curiae Center for Justice and Accountability and numerous individual advocates for the rule of law from emerging democracies in an amicus brief in the Guantanamo Bay detainee case.
- ISCO International, Inc. v. Conductus, Inc., et al., Federal Circuit (Nos. 04-1007, 04-1008). Represented Superconductor Technologies (STI) in successful defense on appeal of jury verdict and final judgment in patent infringement case.
Books and Chapters
- Willem Hoyng, et al., eds, Global Patent Litigation: Strategy and Practice, author/editor, United States chapter (Kluwer 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021)
- “AI as Inventor,” chapter in AI and Private Law (Cambridge U. Press, 2021)
- Using Legislative History in American Statutory Interpretation (Kluwer, 2002)
Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property
- "An IP Expert Deconstructs Artificial Intelligence’s Right to Create," PYMNTS (July 21, 2023)
- “AI Law Year in Review,” Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (June 14, 2023)
- "Drake or Fake? A Lawyer Explains the Legality of AI-Generated Music," Vice (April 21, 2023)
- “Blow to AI, Clarity for Humans: Key Insights from the DABUS Rulings,” IPWatchdog (August 8, 2022)
- “The Ethics of Using AI Tools in Law Practice,” Cornell Law School digital continuing legal education program (June 10, 2021)
- “Artificial Intelligence and IP Law: Are Creativity and Invention Inherently Human Activities?,” Cornell Law School digital continuing legal education program (September 23, 2021)
- “National competitiveness and AI as a patent inventor—does it make a difference?” BCLT’s Expert Series Podcast (Sept. 2021)
- “Guest Post: DABUS Gains Traction: South Africa Becomes First Country to Recognize AI-Invented Patent,” co-author, Patently-O (August 4, 2021)
- "German move to limit injunctions in patent suits aligns with US law,” author, Daily Journal (June 2021)
- “AI as Inventor,” chapter in AI and Private Law (Cambridge U. Press, forthcoming 2021)
- “AI Systems and Drafting Patents: Enablement and Inventorship,” panelist, Strafford Webinars (Apr. 2021)
- “How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Legal Profession,” Round Table Group podcast (Feb. 1, 2021)
- “Sui Generis Right for Trained AI Models,” co-author, IPO White Paper (Nov. 2020)
- “AI and IP: Are Creativity and Inventorship Inherently Human Activities?” 14 FIU L. Rev. 273 (2020) (co-authored with Carrie Richey)
- “Artificial Intelligence and Patent Law: What Happens After DABUS?” panelist, Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (July 2020)
- “Book Review: The Reasonable Robot by Ryan Abbott,” The Recorder (June 2020)
- “The Emerging Impact of AI on IP Law,” Client Webinar (Jan. 2020)
- “Must Inventors Be Human? … and Other Questions About AI,” panelist, Berkeley-Stanford Advanced Patent Law Institute (Dec. 2019)
- “AI and IP: Robots, Creativity and Innovation,” speaker, Florida Int’l University Law Review Symposium (Nov. 2019)
- “AI and IP: Robots, Creativity and Innovation,” Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley (Nov. 2019)
- “IP Law and Artificial Intelligence,” panelist, Womble Bond Dickinson (Oct. 2019)
- “The AI Authorship Question Under Current Copyright Law,” Law360 (Oct. 4, 2019) (co-authored with Carrie Richey)
- “Must Inventors Be Humans? An Active Debate Over AI Patents,” Law360 (Sept. 20, 2019)
- “AI and IP Protection: Protection of and Infringement by AI-Powered Technologies,” Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (Sept. 2019)
- “Intellectual Property Law and Artificial Intelligence,” Oxford Entrepreneurs Network (June 2019)
- “AI and Trade Secrets,” panelist, IP Law panel moderated by Colleen Chien, ABA Artificial Intelligence and Robotics National Institute (Jan. 2020)
- “Protecting Trade Secrets in the EU and U.S.,” Hogan Lovells webinar (Oct. 9, 2018)
- “Protecting Trade Secrets in the E.U. and U.S.,” panelist, Hogan Lovells seminar, Amsterdam, Netherlands (June 2018)
- “International Trade Commission and the Defend Trade Secrets Act,” moderator, Managing Intellectual Property Trade Secrets Forum (Sept. 2017)
Legal Tech and Law Practice
- “The Value of Innovation and Intellectual Property in the Opportunity Economy,” In-House Roundhouse Podcast (Oct. 2021)
- “Managing Value: How to Remain Profitable and Competitive,” panelist, elevate (Sept. 2021)
- “Legal Ethics and Using AI in Law Practice,” Client Webinar (Dec. 2020)
- “Disruption: The New Buzz Word In Tech,” RelativityFest (Oct. 2019)
- “Artificial Intelligence: Specially Appearing for the Attorney of Record,” panelist, Benjamin J. Aranda III American Inns of Court (May 2019)
- “Ethical Machines – Professional Knowledge and Ethics,” panelist (moderated by Deirdre Mulligan), Governing Machines – Berkeley Technology L.J. Symposium (Apr. 2019)
- “The Ethics of AI and Machine Learning in Legal Practice,” panelist, Bloomberg Law Webinar (live and on-demand webinar) (April 1, 2019)
- “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: How Should the Legal Industry Evolve?” Cornell Law School panel discussion with general counsels of Salesforce and Slack (Mar. 2019)
- “Artificial Intelligence, Legal Ethics, and Legal Process Management,” Client Seminar (Nov. 2018)
- “Disruptive Technologies in the Insurance Industry,” Client Seminar (Nov. 2018)
- “Legal Ethics and Artificial Intelligence,” Pilot Legis Annual Conference (Nov. 2018)
- “AI in Law Practice: Robot Lawyers and Legal Ethics,” Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (Oct. 2018)
- “The Tech Showcase as a Herald of Change,” podcast, Legal Talk Network (Sept. 20, 2018)
- “Lex Machina from LexisNexis Transforming the Way Lawyers Work,” Lex Machina Video (Mar. 8, 2018)
- “Robots Replacing Lawyers? Discussions of the Future of Lawyers” 40th Global IP Confex (Feb. 2018)
- “How Tech is Disrupting the Practice of Law and What Junior Lawyers Should Know About It,” Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (Sept. 2017)
- “Moneyball Legal Analytics,” Summit on Legal Innovation and Disruption (SOLID) (co-presenter with Owen Byrd, Lex Machina) (Sept. 2017)
- “Thomson Reuters Thought Leadership Series: Artificial Intelligence in Practice,” panelist, International Legal Technology Association ILTACON17 (Aug. 2017)
- “Artificial Intelligence & Ethics,” Thomson Reuters Legal Current Podcast (Aug. 14, 2017)
- “The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Law Practice,” Legaltech News (co-author with Jason Lohr) (Feb. 8, 2017)
- “Ethical Considerations in Using Cognitive Tech in the Legal Space,” Client seminar (Dec. 2016)
- “Building the 21st Century Lawyer,” Law School Toolbox Podcast (Oct. 25, 2016)
- “Lawyering in the 21st Century,” panelist, West Coast Law Firm Leadership Forum (Sept. 2016)
- “Virtual reality and augmented reality,” panelist, International Bar Association, 3rd Silicon Beach Conference (Feb. 2017)
- "Blockchain and Patent Law: A conversation with Berkeley Law Professors Narechania and McCrary,” (Oct. 21, 2016) (filmed, edited and produced video)
- “The Internet of Things and Patent Law,” speaker, International IP Academic Symposium, Shih Hsin University, Taipei, Taiwan (Apr. 2016)
- "Internet of Things will provide the next wave of patent litigation,” San Francisco Daily Journal (October 5, 2016)
- "The Internet of Things – Planning for the Next Wave of Patent Litigation” LimeGreen IP Blog (Sept 2016)
Pleading Patent Claims
- “Don’t Feed the Trolls: How and When to Respond to Patent Demand Letters,” NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association (October 13, 2021)
- “Update on Pleading Standards in Patent Cases,” Westlaw Journal of Intellectual Property (July 5, 2017)
- “A state of flux: US law on patent infringement pleas,” World Intellectual Property Review (Jan. 5, 2016)
- “Pleading Standards,” panelist, Silicon Valley Advanced Patent Law Institute (Dec. 2016)
- “Recent Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” Client seminar (Jan. 2016)
- “Drafting and Attacking Pleadings Under the New Standards,” panelist, Silicon Valley Advanced Patent Law Institute (Dec. 2015)
- “Update on Patent Reform Legislation,” 4th Annual US-China IP Conference (Oct. 2015)
- IP Minute, “Patent Reform Legislation: Pleading Standards” (Oct. 17, 2015)
- “The Ethical Implications of Discovery and Pleading Reform Efforts,” panelist, Silicon Valley Advanced Patent Law Institute (Dec. 2014)
- “The coming lame duck status of Form 18 for patent infringement suits,” Intellectual Property Magazine (Oct. 2014)
- “Patent Reform is Coming, but Not From Congress,” Corporate Counsel (Sept. 18, 2014)
Inequitable Conduct Reform
- “The Duty of Disclosure after Therasense,” speaker, Advanced Patent Prosecution Workshop, Practicing Law Institute (Aug. 2011)
- “Telebriefing: Inequitable Conduct After Therasense,” panelist, Law Seminars International (June 2011)
- “The Therasense Ruling,” presentation, Competition Law Association, London, England (May 2011)
- “Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Co.” 649 F.3d 1276, 1289 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (en banc) (court cited my “Controlling the ‘Plague’” law review article)
- “Revisiting the Doctrine of Inequitable Conduct Before the Patent and Trademark Office,” author, XXI Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 1007 (2011)
- “Controlling the ‘Plague’: Reforming the Doctrine of Inequitable Conduct,” author, 24 Berkeley Tech. L. J. 1331 (2010)
- “Inequitable Conduct Reform,” panelist, American Bar Association, IP Law Section, 26th Annual Conference (Apr. 2011)
- “Inequitable Conduct Reform,” panelist, Fordham IPLJ Symposium (Nov. 2010)
- “Inequitable Conduct Reform,” panelist, San Diego IP Law Association (Sept. 2010)
- “Inequitable Conduct Reform” invited speaker, IP Scholars Conference, Cardozo School of Law, New York (Aug. 2009)
- “The Federal Circuit and Inequitable Conduct,” author, Intellectual Property Litigation (ABA, Spring 2008)
Selected Press Mentions
- “AI Crushed Music Label Stocks; Why ‘Fake Drake’ Won’t Kill Them,” Barron’s, June 16, 2023
- “Patents and Artificial Intelligence: An ‘Obvious’ Slippery Slope,” Bloomberg Law (October 8, 2021)
- “2 Wins For AI-Made Inventions May Be Just The Beginning,” Law360 (August 5, 2021)
- “Law360’s 2021 Intellectual Property Editorial Advisory Board,” Law360 (Apr. 5, 2021)
- “Artificial Intelligence and Patent Law: What Happens After DABUS?” National Law Review (August 13, 2020)
- “Law360’s 2020 Intellectual Property Editorial Advisory Board,” Law360 (Apr. 9, 2020)
- Angela Chen, “Can an AI be an inventor? Not yet.” MIT Tech. Review (Jan. 8, 2020).
- Dani Deahl, “We’ve Been Warned About AI and Music for Over 50 Years, But No One’s Prepared,” The Verge (Apr. 17, 2019).
- Barney Thompson, “Big data: legal firms play ‘Moneyball’” Financial Times (Feb. 6, 2019).
- Sherry Karabin, “Best Schools for Legal Technology,” National Jurist (Dec. 7, 2018)
- Above the Law, Law 2020 Special Report, “The Ethical Implications of Artificial Intelligence” (Aug. 6, 2018)
- Leslie Pappas, “The Road More Traveled: Patent Attorneys Head to Delaware,” Bloomberg Law (Jan. 29, 2018)
- Jodi Xu Klein, “How innovative China’s growing pains point to an urgent need for IP know-how,” South China Morning Post (Dec. 20, 2017)
- Lex Machina, “Hogan Lovells Builds Out Their Winning Edge with Legal Analytics” (Sept 2017)
- Jess Bravin, “Gorsuch, a Conservative Firebrand in College, Evolved into a Conciliator,” Wall Street Journal (March 20, 2017).
- Scott Graham, “What to Expect from Neil Gorsuch on IP, Patents and Trade Secrets,” The American Lawyer (Feb. 13, 2017) (republished in National Law Journal).
- Cheryl Gay Stolberg, “Gorsuch Not Easy to Pigeonhole on Gay Rights, Friends Say,” New York Times (Feb. 11, 2017).
- Daniel Fisher, “A Small Rules Change May Make Life Much Harder for Patent Trolls,” Forbes (Sept. 12, 2014).
- Brian Wingfield and Susan Decker, “Generic Drugs Seen Limited in WikiLeaks Trade Document,” Businessweek (Nov. 14, 2013).
- David Kravets, “Revealed by WikiLeaks: Secret Trade Pact Spreads U.S. Copyright Rules Abroad,” Wired (Nov. 13, 2013).
- Rebecca Beyer, “Neil Gorsuch’s Law Firm Years,” Bloomberg Law Big Law Business (Feb. 1, 2017)
- Tiffany Friesen Milone, “Experts at IBA Meeting Probe IP Law, Standard-Setting Organizations” BNA Antitrust & Trade Regulation Report p 521 (Oct. 18, 2013)
- Featured in The American Lawyer for pro bono work on behalf of low-income tenants in San Francisco (Dec. 1998)
Professional & Civic Engagement
- Law360 Intellectual Property Editorial Advisory Board, Member, 2020, 2021
- Advisory Board for the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, Member
- Intellectual Property Owners Association, Trade Secrets Committee and Emerging Technologies Committee
- Oxford Entrepreneurs of the Bay Area, Co-founder
- Oxford Entrepreneurs Network, Executive Board Member
- Silicon Valley Advanced Patent Law Institute, Steering Committee Member and Faculty, 2012 – present
- Pro bono legal services: California Lawyers for the Arts; FairVote; KIND (Kids in Need of Defense); and Project Homeless Connect
- Berkeley High School Crew, Board Member, 2016 – 2017
Honors & Awards
- Honoree, Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigation Lawyers in Intellectual Property Litigation, 2023
- Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation: Full Coverage, Legal 500 US, 2018