Morrison & Foerster counsels clients on a wide variety of copyright issues for all types of copyrighted materials, including computer programs, motion pictures, visual art, sound recordings, and other literary, musical, dramatic, sculptural, pictorial, and architectural works. We assist clients with copyright registration, counseling, licensing and transfer of ownership, and disputes. We have represented clients in several landmark copyright cases over the past 20 years, including In re IBM and Fujitsu, SCO Group v. Novell, and On Command Video v. Columbia Pictures Industries, et al. In addition, we have played a role in the development of almost every significant piece of copyright legislation over the past decade, most notably the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


We are particularly experienced in the area of computer software, including issues relating to the scope of copyright protection and business arrangements for research and development, consulting, and licensing. We also have extensive experience with copyrightable material in the entertainment industry.


We are honored to have Paul Goldstein as Of Counsel to the firm on copyright matters. Mr. Goldstein, a professor of law at Stanford University, is a nationally-recognized expert on copyright and related intellectual property issues and is the author of the authoritative four-volume treatise, Goldstein on Copyright.

Oracle America v. Google
Currently representing Oracle America in an action for copyright and patent infringement based on Google's inclusion of Java platform technology in the Android software platform and operating system.
SCO v. Novell
In March 2010, after seven years of litigation and two trial victories, we secured another win for Novell in a three-week trial in which a jury determined Novell owned the copyrights to the UNIX computer operating system. The Tenth Circuit later upheld the jury’s finding and corresponding court decision that found Novell to be the rightful owner of the Unix operating system, denying SCO’s attempt to profit by suing users of a related operating system.
Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc.
In September 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of our client, Autodesk, against a reseller of its software. The reseller asserted that his resales of Autodesk software were protected by the first sale doctrine and did not infringe Autodesk’s copyright. The Ninth Circuit held that the plaintiff was not entitled to assert the first sale defense against Autodesk because he acquired the used software subject to Autodesk’s license agreement and did not have ownership rights.
Rosen v. PCCW Global (C.D. Cal.)
Won summary judgment for communications provider PCCW Global in matter alleging that PCCW had violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. (2010)

IP Practice Group of the Year 2015, 2013

Chambers USA 2016
National: Intellectual Property
National: International Trade: Intellectual Property (Section 337)
California: Intellectual Property
California: Intellectual Property (Patent Prosecution)
New York: Technology & Outsourcing
Washington D.C.: Intellectual Property (Litigation)
Washington D.C.: Technology & Outsourcing

Chambers Global 2017
Global: Intellectual Property
Asia-Pacific Region: Intellectual Property
China: Intellectual Property: International Firms
Japan: Intellectual Property: International Firms
United States: Intellectual Property (Patent)
United States: Intellectual Property (Section 337)

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017
2011 Asia Pacific Awards: Japan – International Firm of the Year
Japan: Intellectual Property: International Firms
Asia-Pacific Region: Intellectual Property
China: Intellectual Property: International Firms

BTI Litigation Outlook
“IP VIP” (2015)
“IP Litigation Powerhouse” (2014)

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms 2015
National: IP Litigation (Tier 1)
National: Patent Litigation (Tier 1)
National: Patent Law (Tier 1)
Los Angeles: IP Litigation (Tier 1)
Los Angeles: Patent Litigation (Tier 1)
San Diego: IP Litigation (Tier 1)
San Diego: Patent Litigation (Tier 1)
San Diego: Patent Law (Tier 1)
San Francisco: IP Litigation (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Patent Litigation (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Patent Law (Tier 1)
Washington D.C.: IP Litigation (Tier 1)
Washington D.C.: Patent Litigation (Tier 1)

The Recorder
Three IP Litigators named 2012 Attorney of the Year by The Recorder.

The National Law Journal 2015
IP Hot List

Legal 500 US 2016
Patent Litigation: ITC
Patent Litigation: Full Coverage
Patents: Portfolio Management and Licensing
Patent: Prosecution (Including re-examination and post-grant proceedings)
Trade Secrets
Trademarks: Litigation

Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2015
China: Foreign Firms
Hong Kong
Japan: International Firms and Joint Ventures

Managing IP: Patent Survey 2015
United States: Bio/Life Sciences
United States: Patent Contentious
United States: Patent Prosecution
United States: ITC
Japan: Patent – foreign firms

Asian Legal Business Japan Law Awards 2015
IP Law Firm of the Year

Benchmark Litigation Awards 2014
Intellectual Property Firm of the Year
California Firm of the Year
National Impact Case Award

IAM Patent 1000 2016
California: Litigation (Gold)
California: Transactions(Highly Recommended)
California: Prosecution
Hong Kong: Litigation & Transactions
Japan: Litigation and Licensing (Highly Recommended)
National: Transactions
National: Litigation
Washington D.C.: Litigation

LMG Life Sciences 2013
Firm of the year: Patent Prosecution

National Law Journal - 2016 IP Hot List

Law 360 - IP Practice Group of the Year
IP Practice Group of the Year 2015, 2013

Chambers USA Winner 2013 - IP Firm of the Year
IP Firm of the Year

BTI Litigation Outlook
BTI Litigation Outlook
“IP VIP” (2015)
“IP Litigation Powerhouse” (2014)

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