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 in 2013, 2015 and 2016

Chambers Global 2018
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 USA 2017
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 Asia-Pacific 2018
Japan: Intellectual Property: International Firms
Asia-Pacific Region: Intellectual Property

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms 2018
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 National Law Journal 2016
IP Hot List

Legal 500 US 2018
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 2018
China: Intellectual Property: Foreign Firms
Hong Kong: Intellectual Property
Japan: Intellectual Property: International Firms and Joint Ventures

Managing IP: American Awards Shortlist 2018
United States: Appellate
United States: Life Sciences IP Litigation
United States: ITC
Japan: Patent – Foreign Firms

IAM Patent 1000 2017
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 2017
Hatch-Waxman Patent Litigation
Patent Prosecution (Highly Recommended)
Patent Strategy and Management (Highly Recommended)

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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