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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

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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

Trade Secret Litigation

About Our Trade Secret Litigation Practice

Trade secret cases are a core component of our IP litigation practice, largely due to the frequent movement of senior-level technology industry employees, and because of issues that arise as a result of NDA’s and partnership relationships. We provide counsel to trade secret owners who need to protect their secrets, and we help companies develop protocols to avoid misappropriating others’ secrets and defend against claims of trade secret misappropriation.

  • Trade secret cases erupt quickly. We are adept at moving rapidly on early injunction hearings that often resolve these cases.
  • We assemble strong teams of lawyers who quickly handle investigations and build cases due to their deep understanding of our clients' technology and competitive environments.
  • Our lawyers have litigated a host of civil and criminal cases involving trade secrets, unfair competition, inevitable misappropriation, industrial espionage and employee raiding, both on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants.

Representative successes include:

  • Secured significant settlement on behalf of SuccessFactors, after competitor deceitfully obtained confidential information posing as a potential client. Case ultimately settled on highly favorable terms, including (a) large monetary payment well in excess of fees and costs, (b) permanent injunction, and (c) competitor-issued press release admitting liability.
  • Won major summary judgment in New Jersey state court for Virgin Mobile against allegations of misuse of trade secrets of a supplier, resulting in rejection of all 43 claims of trade secret theft, based on lack of novelty of ideas, lack of use by Virgin Mobile or prior public disclosure of supposedly secret information.
  • Obtained preliminary injunction, writ of possession and ultimately terminating sanctions based on destruction of evidence against defalcating chief technology officer; worked with criminal authorities to facilitate pending federal prosecution.

Trade Secret Counseling and Litigation Avoidance

Working with inventors, start-up companies and creators of new technologies, we help our clients put into place structures and practices designed to minimize the risk of trade secrets claims being asserted against them, and to maximize their abilities to defend against such claims.

  • Work with trade secrets owners to identify their trade secrets and then set up and maintain comprehensive trade secret protection programs
  • Advise clients on avoiding issues with the trade secrets rights of others when developing new products or when hiring from competitors
  • Develop and negotiate confidentiality agreements with employees, partners, suppliers and customers
  • Create physical security measures to protect valuable trade secrets