Many of the world's leading companies call on Michael Jacobs to lead trial teams in their most complex litigation. He served as co-lead counsel in two of the most-watched intellectual property battles of recent memory, including a high-profile smartphone case leading to a jury verdict of over $1 billion. He has represented information technology and life sciences companies in more than 100 patent lawsuits, often prevailing at early stages of the dispute. Chambers has described him as a “real star” and a “pillar of the Silicon Valley patent litigation community.” Mr. Jacobs co-founded the firm's Intellectual Property Practice Group and currently heads its Life Sciences Practice Group.
Mr. Jacobs' work in several landmark cases has helped to shape the laws governing emerging technologies. Early in his career, he led the technical team that represented Fujitsu in its landmark operating system software arbitration with IBM. He represented the motion picture industry in the On Command Video case, which established that on-demand video systems require a license under copyright’s public performance right. Mr. Jacobs represented Novell in the widely reported SCO v. Novell Linux litigation, prevailing in a bench trial on Novell’s multi-million dollar claims, defeating SCO’s $200 million claim in a three-week jury trial, and defending those results on appeal in the 10th Circuit. He also represented Autodesk in the Vernor v. Autodesk case, which established that copyright’s first sale doctrine does not immunize the re-sale of licensed software.
In addition, he has represented leading life sciences companies in their cutting edge litigation, including Chiron in its HCV protease litigation, Abraxis in its nanoparticle anticancer treatment dispute with Elan Pharma, and QLT in its litigation with TAP Pharmaceutical involving the Eligard anticancer treatment. He has also handled numerous high-profile arbitrations, several of which involved the interplay between arbitration and court proceedings.
Mr. Jacobs has also achieved victories in important pro bono cases. He was co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in the landmark Williams v. State of California class action, which led to a settlement in which the State undertook to address shocking conditions in California’s lowest performing schools. He also represented the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Anti-Defamation League in a successful pre-election challenge to an anti-circumcision initiative slated for San Francisco’s ballot.
Mr. Jacobs is listed in Band 1 by Chambers USA 2013 in its California Intellectual Property category and in Chambers Global 2013 as a leading attorney for Intellectual Property. He is listed for the third consecutive year among the top attorneys in The BTI Client Service All-Star MVP, nominated by clients and selected for consistent outstanding client service. Mr. Jacobs has won the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) award three times, first for his advocacy on behalf of Intel in the Intel v. Hamidi “trespass to chattels” case and in 2012 for his defense of Novell in SCO v. Novell, and in 2014 for his work on a billion dollar smartphone trial. He also has twice been named “Litigator of the Week” by The American Lawyer, once for his victory in the Novell case and, in September 2012, for his victory in a billion dollar smartphone trial in the Northern District of California. He has been recognized as a “Life Sciences Star” by LMG Life Sciences in 2012 and 2013.
Mr. Jacobs teaches trade secrets law at U.C. Berkeley Law School.