William I. Schwartz

William I. Schwartz

Education

Amherst College (B.A., 1976)
University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1983)

Bar Admissions

California

Clerkships

Hon. John D. Butzner, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

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.

Representative Matters

  • Autodesk in the technology and intellectual property aspects of various transactions.
  • Dexcom, a San Diego-based medical device manufacturer that markets a continuous glucose monitoring device for use by people with diabetes, in a patent licensing agreement with Abbott.
  • SoftBank on intellectual property aspects of its $1 billion investment in OneWeb for low Earth orbit satellites to provide global broadband access.
  • Palo Alto Networks in its patent cross-license with Juniper Networks relating to (among other things) network security technology.
  • Panasonic in its disputes and settlements with Qualcomm regarding patents relating to mobile communications equipment.
  • Qwest in a variety of intellectual property and information technology matters, including the intellectual property and technology aspects of Qwest’s sale of its Dex directory publishing business in a $7.05 billion leveraged buyout, Qwest’s agreements with IBM and Hewlett-Packard for the establishment and outsourcing of Internet services facilities, and Qwest’s strategic relationship with BellSouth.
  • Red Hat in its agreement with Microsoft for offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing infrastructure.
  • Sprint Nextel in its agreements with Qualcomm and other companies in connection with the development, licensing and deployment of technology for the next generation of Sprint Nextel’s wireless telecommunications services.
  • SUSE (formerly Novell) in the formation of Open Invention Network, a company formed by SUSE, IBM, Philips, Red Hat, Sony, NEC and Google to promote the Linux operating system by using an innovative model for patents and in SUSE’s dispute with The SCO Group concerning Unix-related copyrights.
  • Visa in its agreement with JPMorgan Chase to establish a customized payments platform to provide differentiated experiences for JPMorgan Chase merchants and cardholders.
  • VMware and its AirWatch subsidiary in a patent license agreement with Good Technology relating to mobile device management (MDM).
  • Yahoo and SoftBank, the largest shareholders of Alibaba Group (the leading PRC-based online and mobile commerce company), in the intellectual property aspects of the carve-out and restructuring of Alipay and Alibaba’s other financial services businesses.

Billy Schwartz is recommended as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA (2015), Legal 500 US (2016), 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.

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame 2017

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