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 >

FLEX by Fenwick is the only service created by an AmLaw 100 firm that provides flexible and cost-effective solutions for interim in-house legal needs to high-growth companies.  MORE >

Fenwick & West handles significant cross-border legal and business issues for a wide range of technology and life sciences who operate internationally..  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:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney


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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 >

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Eastern District of Texas Partially Transfers Patent Case

September 24, 2009

September 24, 2009 (San Francisco, CA) – Michael Sacksteder, partner in the Patent Litigation Group at Fenwick & West LLP, was recently quoted in the National Law Journal article "Eastern District of Texas Partially Transfers Patent Case."

A recent Eastern District of Texas order that shipped some defendants to California while keeping the local defendants in the district highlights the traditionally plaintiff-friendly Texas district's increasing tendency to reject cases that belong in other venues.

Traditionally, the Eastern District of Texas is considered one of several rocket dockets where cases move quickly through the system. On Sept. 15, an order in Balthaser Online Inc. v. Art Star Design LLC that transferred most defendants to the Northern District of California follows the lead set by two U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decisions and a 5th Circuit ruling that criticized the Texas federal court for not transferring cases.

In the Balthaser order, District Judge David Folsom wrote that Balthaser "has failed to show a sufficient connection to this district to override the conveniences gained by transferring" the California defendants. He also claimed that it would be "extremely inconvenient and unfair" to move the Texas defendants added after the TS Tech ruling. "These Defendants were apparently added to the lawsuit for the purpose of maintaining venue in this district," Folsom wrote.

Michael Sacksteder, the Fenwick & West patent litigation partner who argued the joint defense motion for the California defendants, said Balthaser added several extremely small Texas-based defendants shortly after the TS Tech decision. Sacksteder said the defendants that fought for the transfer also recognized that it was unfair to these small Texas companies to move with the other defendants.

"We raised the argument that if you [transfer the whole case], then no Texas company is safe from a patent infringement suit even though it has nothing to do with them," Sacksteder said.

The four Texas defendants the judge allowed to stay in Texas include a Christian social networking community, Web site design companies with one or two employees and a 325-member video-sharing Web site.

About the Fenwick & West Intellectual Property Litigation Group

Fenwick & West attorneys have handled some of the most prominent IP litigation over the past two decades, including securing one of the largest IP litigation settlements of 2005—a $400M settlement for its client Compuware against IBM—and one of the largest patent verdicts of the past eighteen months, a $74.7M patent litigation verdict for client Asyst Technologies against Jenoptik. The firm is ranked by Managing Intellectual Property as one of the top five West coast firms for IP litigation, by IP Worldwide as one of the top dozen firms that Fortune 500 companies relied on for IP litigation, and was recently awarded "Most Innovative Use of Technology by a Law Firm" by American Lawyer Media for the firm's proprietary electronic discovery tools.