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


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

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

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

New York Office
1211 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, NY 10036

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

David L. Hayes

Partner, Intellectual Property  

San Francisco 415.875.2411



David Hayes concentrates his practice on intellectual property counseling, litigation and audits, and technology licensing, distribution and transfer. He is a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

David counsels a wide range of high technology companies on establishing and maintaining procedures to protect the company's intellectual property through copyrights, patents, trade secrets, mask works and trademarks, and on avoiding infringing the rights of others. He represents numerous clients on high profile, complex technology transactions, including patent license transactions and acquisition strategies for both component technologies and turnkey systems. He counsels numerous clients on complex open source issues. He is a nationally recognized expert on copyright issues related to the Internet and digital media. He has served as counsel in a number of precedent setting software copyright infringement cases, including Apple v. MicrosoftLotus Development Corp. v. Borland International, and A & M Records v. Napster, Inc. He has also worked on several patent infringement cases.

David has published dozens of articles and given many speeches throughout the United States and in Japan on various intellectual property topics. He has testified before Congress and federal agencies concerning intellectual property issues. David serves on the advisory board of The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, the program committee for the USC Intellectual Property Law Institute, as well as the editorial boards of The Computer and Internet Lawyer, Cyberspace Lawyer, The Intellectual Property Strategist, The Journal of Internet Law and Intellectual Property Counselor.

Over the past decade, David has been recognized more than 140 times as one of the top practitioners in various fields of intellectual property law and strategy by leading publications and ranking organizations. Among those, he has been included in Chambers USA every year since 2002, in Chambers Global since 2008, in Northern California Super Lawyers since 2004, and has been ranked by Intellectual Asset Management for each of the last three years as one of the world’s leading patent and IP strategy attorneys. Best Lawyers named him the 2017 Lawyer of the Year for Information Technology Law in San Francisco, and in 2014, he was named among the top 50 IP lawyers nationally in The National Law Journal’s inaugural issue of ‘Intellectual Property Trailblazers & Pioneers. David has been included in Managing Intellectual Property's  list of IP Stars for the past three years.

After law school, he served as a law clerk to Hon. John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Before law school, David worked as an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley.


D. Hayes, Advanced Copyright Issues on the Internet, September 2016 (previous versions published in The Computer Law & Security Report, Part 1, November/December 2000, at 363, Part 2, January/February 2001, at 3, Part 3, March/April 2001, at 75, Part 4, May/June 2001, at 147, Part 5, July/August 2001 at 219, Part 6, September/October 2001 at 291, Part 7, November/December 2001 at 363, Part 8, January/February 2002 at 3; and 7 Tex. Intell. Prop. L. J. 1 (Fall 1998)

D. Hayes, First Sales in Electronic Commerce, CIPerati, Vol. 1, Issue 2 (June 2004)

D. Hayes, Copyright Liability of Online Service Providers (3-part article), The Computer & Internet Lawyer, Oct.-Dec. 2002

D. Hayes, Patenting Business Methods, The Computer Lawyer, October 1999


D. Hayes, Advanced Issues Related to Outsourcing Agreements, Corporate Counsel's Guide to Outsourcing, (Business Laws, Inc., July 1997, Chapter 2.)

D. Hayes, The Coming Tidal Wave of Copyright Issues on the Internet, 1997 Intellectual Property Law Update (J. Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997); The Journal of Internet Law (July 1997, Volume 1, No. 1)

D. Hayes, A Comprehensive Current Analysis of Software 'Look and Feel' Protection, 1997 Intellectual Property Update (J. Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997)

D. Hayes, Performing an Intellectual Property Audit of Copyrights, The Corporate Analyst, (Business Laws, Inc., November 1996)

D. Hayes, The Enforceability of Shrinkwrap License Agreements On-Line and Off-Line, Cyberspace Lawyer, (Glasser LegalWorks, Part 1, October 1996, Part 2, November 1996)

D. Hayes, Legal Issues Relating to the Migration of Data Processing Operations, Information Technology Outsourcing Transactions - Process, Strategies and Contracts, Appendix 4.5 at 350, (J. Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996)

D. Hayes, Conducting the Intellectual Property Audit for Copyright, Chapter 4 in Conducting Intellectual Property Audits (Practising Law Institute 1996)

D. Hayes, A Comprehensive Current Analysis of Software 'Look and Feel' Protection, The Computer Law and Security Report; Part I, (December, 1995) at 304; Part II, (February, 1996) at 14; Part III, (April, 1996), at 66; Part IV, (June, 1996), at 134; Part V, (July, 1996), at 21; and Part VI, (October 1996), at 270

D. Hayes, Intel and AMD Settle Out of Court Over MPU Dispute, Nikkei Electronics, No. 643, April 9, 1995, at 135 (published in Japanese)

D. Hayes, The Copyrightability Of Software Menu Command Hierarchies: The Lotus v. Borland Cases, Mealey's Litigation Reports on Intellectual Property, June 5, 1995

D. Hayes, U.S. Copyright Protection of Nonliteral Program Elements, The International Computer Lawyer, April 1995, at 14

D. Hayes, Conducting the Intellectual Property Audit for Copyright, Chapter 8 in Conducting Intellectual Property Audits (Practising Law Institute 1995)

D. Hayes, Performing An Intellectual Property Audit of Copyrights, Mealey's Litigation Reports on Intellectual Property, January 13, 1995

D. Hayes & A. Smith, What is that patent, trademark, or copyright worth?, CHEMTECH, November 1994, at 16 (Published by the American Chemical Society)

D. Hayes, The Importance of Stac Electronics v. Microsoft to Software Patent and Trade Secret Protection, Mealey's Litigation Reports on Intellectual Property, Sept. 28, 1994, at 19

D. Hayes, Look & Feel--The Borland Case What's Up?, New Matter, Volume 19, Number 1, Spring 1994, at 32 (Publication of The Intellectual Property Section, State Bar of California)

D. Hayes, The Legality of Disassembly of Computer Programs, Computer/Law Journal, Volume XII, October 1993, Number 1, at 1

D. Hayes, What's Left of 'Look and Feel' Protections for Software? , The San Francisco Daily Journal, The Practitioner column, July 28, 1993

D. Hayes, What's Left of 'Look and Feel': A Current Analysis, The Computer Lawyer, Parts I, II, III, May, June, July 1993

D. Hayes, Shrinkwrap License Agreements: New Light On A Vexing Problem, University of California Hastings College of Law Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Volume 15, Number 3, Spring 1993, at 653

S. Meyer & D. Hayes, Harbingers of Change in United States Computer Software Copyright Protection, Mitteilungen der deutschen Patentanwalte, March 1993, at 81. (published in German and English)

D. Hayes, The Legality Of Disassembly Of Computer Programs, Mealey's Litigation Reports on Intellectual Property, November 13, 1992

D. Hayes, A Hard And Fast Rule For 'Look And Feel': Consult Counsel, Mealey's Litigation Reports on Intellectual Property, October 21, 1992

D. Hayes, Shrinkwrap License Agreements: New Light On A Vexing Problem, The Computer Lawyer, September, 1992, at 1

D. Hayes, Shrinkwrap License Agreements: New Light On A Vexing Problem, The Computer Law Association Bulletin, 1992, Volume 7 Number 2, at 5

D. Hayes, Acquiring and Protecting Technology: The Intellectual Property Audit, International Computer Law Adviser, February and March 1992, both at 4

D. Hayes, Problems and Pitfalls Presented by U.S. Customs Enforcement Procedures to Importers of Legitimate Computer Programs, The Computer Lawyer, January 1992, at 1

D. Hayes, Problems and Pitfalls Presented by U.S. Customs Enforcement Procedures to Importers of Legitimate Computer Programs, The Licensing Journal, January 1992, at 10

D. Hayes, Acquiring and Protecting Technology: The Intellectual Property Audit, The Corporate Analyst (Business Laws, Inc.), November 1991, at 88

D. Hayes, Software Protection: Copyright Protection, Chemical Design Automation News, June 1991 at 8