For more than 25 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. Before joining Womble Bond Dickinson in 2019, Chris practiced in the Bay Area offices of several nationally-known law firms. 

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. Drawing on his years of teaching civil procedure, evidence, e-discovery, and advanced patent law, Chris is a creative strategist and has marked wins for clients on a variety of unconventional issues. Before entering law practice, Chris 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, including artificial intelligence. He speaks and writes frequently on IP, litigation, and technology topics. Chris 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. 

Chris is the Office Managing Partner of Womble Bond Dickinson's San Francisco office. He previously led the firm’s US Intellectual Property Litigation Group and serves on the firm’s Global Board. Chris co-founded the firm’s AI practice and is a member of its Innovation Board.

Representative Experience

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.

IP Litigation

  • Arkose Labs Holdings, Inc. v. DataDome, D. Del. (No. 23-cv-1467): Represent Arkose in patent infringement and unfair competition action relating to use of AI and CAPTCHA to detect online bots.
  • Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Finch Therapeurics Group, Inc., D. Del. (No. 21-cv-1694-RGA): Represent Ferring in patent litigation relating to FMT therapy.
  • Inneos LLC v. Opticis Co. Ltd., C.D. Cal. (No. 23-cv-185-MCS-ADS): Represent Inneos in patent infringement action relating to fiber optic wavelength division multiplexing devices.
  • Velodyne Lidar USA, Inc. v. Ouster Inc., N.D. Cal. (No. 22-cv-3490-BLF) and U.S. ITC (Inv. No. 337-TA-1322): Represented Velodyne in patent infringement action and ITC investigation relating to rotational lidar.
  • PASCO Scientific v. Vernier Software & Technology LLC, D. Or. (No. 21-cv-1523-IM): Represented PASCO in patent infringement action relating to electronics carts for science education.
  • OBD Sensor Solutions LLC v. Progressive Casualty Ins. Co., W.D. Tex. (No. 22-cv-391-ADA): Represented Progressive in patent infringement action related to automotive on-board diagnostic device technology.
  • 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.

Appellate Matters

  • Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC, Federal Circuit (Nos. 23-1460, 23-1559). Represent Ferring in appeal and cross-appeal of judgment in ANDA litigation.
  • 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. Argued appeal.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

Thought Leadership

Books, Chapters, and Law Review Articles

  • 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, 2022)
  • “AI and IP: Are Creativity and Inventorship Inherently Human Activities?” 14 FIU L. Rev. 273 (2020) (co-authored with Carrie Richey)
  • “Patent Claim Construction as a Form of Legal Interpretation,” 12 John Marshall Rev. of Intel. Prop. Law 40 (2012)
  • “Revisiting the Doctrine of Inequitable Conduct Before the Patent and Trademark Office,” XXI Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 1007 (2011)
  • “Controlling the ‘Plague’: Reforming the Doctrine of Inequitable Conduct,” 24 Berkeley Tech. L. J. 1331 (2010)
  • “File Sharing is Dead! Long Live File Sharing! Recent Developments in the Law of Secondary Liability for Copyright Infringement, 33 Comm/Ent: Hastings Communication and Entertainment Law Journal 443 (2011)
  • Note, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Timing of Contacts for Jurisdiction and Venue Under 28 U.S.C. § 1391,” 78 Cornell L. Rev. 708 (1993)
  • Using Legislative History in American Statutory Interpretation (Kluwer, 2002) 

Recent Articles, Talks, Interviews, Podcasts, Webcasts and Videos

  • “Can AI Algorithms Be Authors and Artists Under Copyright Law?” Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre, University of Oxford (Oct. 2023)
  • “AI and IP: Copyright and the New Frontiers of Generative AI, and Can AI Algorithms be Patent Inventors?” Oregon State Bar, Section of Intellectual Property (May 2023)
  • "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)
  • “Potential Pitfalls and Best Practices in Using AI Tools to Generate Code,” WBD Client Alert (co-authored with Fabio Marino and Daniel Grigore) (Apr. 13, 2023)
  • "To AI or Not to AI: U.S. Copyright Office Clarifies Options,” WBD Client Alert (co-authored with Nadia Aram) (Mar. 20, 2023)
  • “New Modes of Contracting, and Their Potential for IP Licensing,” Licensing Executive Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco (Oct. 2022)
  • “The Ideal IP Portfolio: How to Ensure Your AI Portfolio is Optimized For Success,” Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (panel discussion) (Oct. 2022)
  • “AI as Inventor,” Intellectual Property Scholars Conference, Stanford University (Aug. 2022)
  • “AI Inventor’s Status in the United States: Where Future Technology and IP Law is Headed,” Joint International Conference of 4th Industrial Revolution Convergence Law Association, Korea Institute of Intellectual Property, and Kyungsung University Law Research Institute (Korea (Zoom) (Feb. 2022)
  • “Blow to AI, Clarity for Humans: Key Insights from the DABUS Rulings,” IPWatchdog (August 8, 2022)
  • “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)
  • The Value of Innovation and Intellectual Property in the Opportunity Economy,” Womble Bond Dickinson podcast (Sept. 2021) (interviewed Mairi Gibbs, Oxford University Innovation COO; Rich Lyons, UC Berkeley Chief Innovation & Entrepreneurship Officer) 
  • “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)
  • “The Ethics of Using AI Tools in Law Practice,” Cornell Law School digital continuing legal education program (June 10, 2021)
  • “German move to limit injunctions in patent suits aligns with US law,” author, Daily Journal (June 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)
  • “Legal Ethics and Using AI in Law Practice,” Client Webinar (Dec. 2020)
  • Sui Generis Right for Trained AI Models,” co-author, IPO White Paper (Nov. 2020)
  • “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)
  • “AI and Trade Secrets,” panelist, IP Law panel moderated by Colleen Chien, ABA Artificial Intelligence and Robotics National Institute (Jan. 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)
  • “Disruption: The New Buzz Word In Tech,” RelativityFest (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)
  • “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)
  • “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)
  • 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)
  • 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)

Selected Press Mentions

Professional & Civic Engagement

  • Law360 Intellectual Property Editorial Advisory Board, Member, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Advisory Board for the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, Member
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association, past member, Trade Secrets Committee and Emerging Technologies Committee
  • Oxford Entrepreneurs Network, co-founder and past 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, 2024
  • Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation: Full Coverage, Legal 500 US, 2018