Kenneth A. Kuwayti

Partner | Palo Alto | (650) 813-5688
(650) 813-5688

Ken has more than 25 years of experience in intellectual property and other complex, high-stakes commercial litigation and trials. His cases have involved a broad range of technology industries, including software, semiconductor, Internet, and medical devices.

Ken has successfully brought and defended numerous trade secret cases in state and federal court. He was a member of the team that successfully tried a recent high-profile smartphone case leading to a jury verdict of over $900 million.

He also represented the University of California in patent litigation against a leading life sciences company over a pioneering patent involving human growth hormone. The resulting $200 million settlement, reached after a six-week jury trial, remains one of the top-ten settlements in any biotechnology patent case in the United States.

Ken also represents public companies and their officers and directors in securities class actions, shareholder derivative suits, internal investigations, and SEC proceedings. He frequently litigates disputes arising out of mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. In addition, he represents privately funded and emerging companies in disputes over corporate governance and breaches of fiduciary duty, as well as in disputes among boards of directors, investors, partners, and founders.

A significant part of Ken’s practice involves pre-litigation counseling for companies seeking to avoid litigation and/or to better prepare themselves for litigation that may arise. He has extensive experience in arbitration and mediation proceedings.

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  • (District of Delaware) Represented Nevro Corp., a public global medical device company, in its patent battle against competitor Stimwave Technologies, Inc. Secured a preliminary injunction for Nevro, after an all-day evidentiary hearing. The case subsequently settled after Stimwave stipulated to a permanent injunction agreeing not to infringe the patents.

  • (Northern District of California) Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of Iconix against former employees who developed software code and launched website while working for the company. The case settled on favorable terms shortly thereafter. The opinion has become a leading case in the area of copyright infringement and the rights of companies to work created by employees using company resources.

  • (Northern District of California) Recently defended Shanghai–based manufacturer of advanced semiconductor fabrication equipment that was accused of misappropriating trade secrets by Applied Materials. Obtained precedential court opinion regarding the rights of California inventors to their inventions, which granted our client’s counterclaim that Applied Materials’ standard employment agreements were illegal under California law because they purported to require Applied’s former employees to assign inventions they made after leaving the company. The case settled on confidential terms shortly before trial.

  • (San Francisco Superior Court; E.D. Arkansas.) Successfully blocked plaintiff’s attempt to stop our client from obtaining contracts at the San Francisco and Little Rock Airports based on allegations of trade secret misappropriation. Defeated motion for temporary restraining order in San Francisco Superior Court, and succeeded in getting companion case in the Eastern District of Arkansas dismissed. Both cases settled the next day and the client was awarded exclusive rights at both airports.

  • (Northern District of California) Persuaded plaintiffs to walk away from $37 million breach of fiduciary duty/breach of contract action after court issued tentative ruling at summary judgment hearing dismissing entire action in Sorenson’s favor.

  • (Delaware Court of Chancery) Obtained bench trial verdict for Atmel Corporation in litigation over termination for cause of chief executive officer and other senior executives and co–founders based on findings of internal investigation into travel misconduct.

  • (2009) Conducted internal investigation for audit committee of manufacturer of semiconductor components in U.S. and China involving accounting irregularities and alleged violation of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Successfully persuaded SEC not to conduct further investigation.

  • (Northern District of California) Defended series of derivative suits filed against Atmel Corporation in federal and state court relating to allegations of stock option backdating. Global settlement netted $4.7 million for Atmel.

  • (Northern District of California) Used findings of internal investigation to persuade plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss derivative complaint before any motion to dismiss was filed.

  • (California Court of Appeal, Sixth District) Won decision of first impression in the California Court of Appeal in the first case to hold that a party requesting the production of electronic backup tapes in discovery is required to pay for the cost of their translation under the California Code of Civil Procedure.

  • (Santa Clara Superior Court). Won complete dismissal and award of costs on summary judgment for client against contract breach for failing to provide foundry capacity. Dismissal and cost award affirmed on appeal.

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