Mr. Schwartz concentrates his practice on the representation of companies in business transactions and counseling involving intellectual property and technology, including licensing, development agreements, distribution and commercialization activities, joint ventures, outsourcing, and other services arrangements. He was the founding co-head of Morrison & Foerster’s Intellectual Property Group and has served as the firm’s managing partner.
Mr. Schwartz is particularly active on transactional and counseling matters relating to computers (including hardware and both open source and proprietary software), communications equipment (including smartphones and other wireless communications devices, internet television, satellites, and other communications infrastructure), semiconductors and other electronic devices, electronic commerce, and other advanced information technology. He has represented clients such as Accenture, Altera, Autodesk, Mozilla, Netflix, Palo Alto Networks, Panasonic, Red Hat, Softbank, Sprint Nextel, Visa, Whirlpool, VMware, and Yahoo, among others.
Mr. Schwartz is a frequent presenter on information technology and intellectual property issues. For example, he has lectured in the MBA program at Oxford University, and was a visiting fellow of Oxford’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. He also served as an adjunct instructor at Stanford Law School and lectured at the University of California (Boalt Hall) School of Law, University of Southern California Computer Law Institute, Licensing Executives Society, and American Intellectual Property Law Association.
Mr. Schwartz received his B.A. degree, with high honors, from Amherst College in 1976. He studied Japanese language and history from 1976 to 1977 at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and then worked in Tokyo and Hong Kong as a reporter and editor for the Asian edition of The Wall Street Journal from 1977 to 1980. He received his J.D. degree, with honors, in 1983 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of The University of Chicago Law Review. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to Judge John D. Butzner, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He joined Morrison & Foerster in 1984 and became a partner of the firm in 1990.
Billy Schwartz is recommended as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA (2015), Legal 500 US (2016–2018), PLC Which lawyer? (2009), Best Lawyers In America (2018), and Super Lawyers (2009). Mr. Schwartz is an inaugural inductee into the Legal 500 2017 Hall of Fame, along with fewer than 500 other outstanding U.S. partners who have been recommended as “Leading Lawyers” for the last six years consecutively. He was also selected as an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property’s World IP Survey 2018–2019.
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