close

For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Nearly 15 percent of Fenwick partners named America's Leading Lawyers for Business by Chambers USA and Chambers Global
  • Selected as a "Go-To" law firm by in-house legal departments at Fortune 500 companies in Corporate Counsel magazine
  • Named to The National Law Journal's inaugural "Intellectual Property Hot List" for outstanding patent, copyright, trademark and IP litigation services

MORE >

We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

Mountain View Office
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650.988.8500

San Francisco Office
555 California Street
12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
415.875.2300

Seattle Office
1191 Second Avenue
10th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
206.389.4510

Shanghai Office
Unit 908, 9/F, Kerry Parkside Office
No. 1155 Fang Dian Road
Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201204
P.R. China
+86 21 8017 1200

Laurence F. Pulgram

Chair, Commercial Litigation

Chair, Copyright Litigation

Partner, Litigation

icon partner 415.875.2390  

Laurence Pulgram's experience spans twenty seven years as trial, appellate and arbitration counsel in intellectual property and complex commercial disputes. His practice emphasizes technology related litigation and frequently involves novel legal issues generated by cutting-edge information technologies and the Internet. Laurence is also Managing Partner of the firm's San Francisco office and has been appointed co-chair of the Federal Practice Task Force of the ABA's Section of Litigation for the 2013-14 year.

Laurence's copyright litigation practice includes copyright enforcement for prominent rights holders as well as defense of new Internet and cloud computing technologies. He represented ReplayTV, Inc. in defense against actions brought by 28 major television networks and movie studios contending that digital video recorders contribute to copyright infringement, and he defended Napster, Inc. in its multi-district and class action copyright litigations in the trial and appellate courts. In the last several years he has obtained summary dismissal of claims in three actions alleging infringement of copyrights in software components. Last year he prevailed in a jury trial resulting in defense favorable award of damages of less than five percent of the sums demanded in a case of admitted infringement.

His recent trade secret successes include prevailing against lawsuits that claimed misappropriation in the web analytics, IT automation, and online sales markets, and, conversely, obtaining protection of trade secrets in the project management, customer relationship management and video gaming markets. He has also recently obtained a preliminary and then permanent injunctions, as well as a substantial cash settlement, against unfair advertising and illegal access to computer systems by a client's competitor.

In class action litigation, Laurence has successfully defended numerous claims for unfair business practices, false advertising and other claims under California Business and Professions Code § 17200. Recent matters include winning dismissal of a class action complaint and recovery of costs in an action alleging that digital rights management software contained "spyware," and current defense against claims of computer fraud and invasion of privacy through smart-phone applications' collection of user information. He also recently obtained dismissal of claims alleging unlawful trade practices in Internet advertising, and gained favorable settlements of class claims against search engines and hardware manufacturers.

In the last two years, Laurence has twice defeated class certification, won summary judgment, and recovered attorneys' fees against claims for misappropriation of celebrities' rights of publicity that challenged the licensing by copyright owners of photos depicting the celebrities.

Laurence also regularly represents clients in technology licensing disputes and merger and acquisition controversies. Two recent cases in these areas include winning dismissal and summary judgment, respectively, in two matters in which a major software company severed its relationships with business partners. In a third matter, he defeated a motion for TRO and preliminary injunction that sought to enjoin a $900 million merger on antitrust grounds, resulting in the plaintiff's abandoning the action.

Prior Positions

Laurence served as judicial clerk for Chief Judge Sam C. Pointer, Jr., in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama from 1983-1984. He joined Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin in 1984, was elected a partner in 1989, and practiced in its San Francisco office through 1999. He joined Fenwick & West in 2000 to help open a San Francisco litigation practice.

Recognitions

Laurence was recently named by the Daily Journal as one of the top 75 IP litigators in California. He is also recognized in Best Lawyers in America for IP, commercial and patent litigation and has been repeatedly selected as a "Northern California Super Lawyer" in the area of IP litigation. Frequently sought out as a thought leader on a variety of emerging IP issues, he has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg News, Reuters and The National Law Journal, among other publications.

Professional Activities

Laurence has been a longtime member of the Leadership of the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation, including positions on the Executive Committee and as Budget Officer, as Co-Chair of the Section's ABA Annual Meeting in 1997 and 2003, as a member of the governing Council, and as member of various task forces. He chaired the Committee for the Minority Trial Lawyer, the Diversity Committee of the Council, and the Task Force for the Independence of the Judiciary. Laurence is Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee of The Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center in San Francisco. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the San Francisco Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights, a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law. He is also on the Board of Advisors for the SSanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.

Pro Bono Work

Laurence also enjoys an active pro bono practice, frequently focusing on copyright fair use issues as well as civil rights. He has represented a number of film makers, technologists and activists with respect to copyright and fair use issues, including an amicus brief cited by the Supreme Court in the Grokster case. He also led the successful litigation against copyright "troll" Righthaven LLC, in which the Courts rejected efforts to assign to Righthaven newspapers' rights to sue against those who excerpted or blogged copyrighted works. In 2012, Managing IP magazine subsequently awarded the firm, in partnership with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Intellectual Property Case of the Year for defending Democratic Underground in Righthaven v. Democratic Underground.

Laurence has also prosecuted several class action cases involving constitutional rights of privacy for employees, including cases involving drug testing, psychological testing, and political affiliation testing. With the ACLU, he represented citizens challenging the Bush Administration warrantless collection of electronic communications and records in the aftermath of 9/11.

Recent Appearances and Presentations

  • “Altai@21: Software Copyrights Revisited,” Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, October 25, 2013
  • "Legal Frontiers in Digital Media: Digital Copyright Mashup," Stanford Law School, May 17, 2013
  • "Litigation A Trade Secret Case," Bridgeport Continuing Education, March 29, 2013
  • "From Public Squares to Platforms: Free Expression in the Networked World," Stanford Law School, November 30, 2011
  • "Recent Cases on Right of Publicity and the First Amendment," Copyright Society of San Francisco, January 12, 2011
  • "Video Piracy – Without The Piracy," Forbes, September 8, 2008
  • "Exploiting the Social Graph: What are the Boundaries; Legal or Otherwise," OnHollywood 2008 Conference, June 10, 2008
  • "Can Copyright and DRM be Fair and Balanced?," OnHollywood 2007 Conference, May 2, 2007
  • "Copyright, DRM Technology and Consumer Protection," Moderator, U.C. Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, March 10, 2007
  • "MGM v. Grokster – Not Just About Music: Implications for All IP Owners and Technology Developers," Strafford Publications, Inc., July 21, 2005
  • "What Grokster Really Means for Your Business – a Non-Instant Analysis," Fenwick & West LLP Intellectual Property and Litigation Practice Groups, July 12, 2005
  • Sony v. Universal: The Betamax Decision Twenty Years Hence," Southwestern University Law Review, Symposium, Volume 34, Number 2, March 11, 2004
  • "Litigation at the Cutting Edges of Technology Law," Lecture, Stanford LLM Program, August 27, 2003
  • "Feature Distribution and the Threat of Internet Piracy – Evaluating the Short and Long Term Implications," Digital Hollywood at CES, January 9, 2003
  • "The Entertainment Industry vs. ReplayTV: Fast Forwarding the Laws of Copyright and Fair Use," Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, October 2, 2002
  • "Digital Landscapes: Redrawing the Boundaries in Entertainment, Media and the Law," Stanford Law and Technology Association, April 20, 2002

Publications

 

About Laurence