Michael J. Sacksteder

Chair, Patent Litigation

Partner, Litigation  

San Francisco 415.875.2450


Michael Sacksteder is Chair of the Patent Litigation Group at Fenwick & West – a team of more than 50 top-notch litigators with diverse legal and technical backgrounds at one of the foremost technology law firms in the country. Mr. Sacksteder has led patent litigation teams for high-profile clients such as Intuit, Symantec, Supercell, and Silver Peak Systems. He has successfully served as trial counsel in some of the most active patent litigation courts around the country, including the Eastern District of Texas, the District of Delaware, and the Northern District of California, and he has successfully argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In addition to his work in district courts and the Federal Circuit, Mr. Sacksteder has substantial experience with post-grant proceedings, such as inter partes review proceedings (“IPRs”) before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Clients have relied on him in litigation matters in a wide variety of technological fields, including computer hardware, software, networking, and security, semiconductors and semiconductor processing, polymer chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.

Notable engagements have included:

  • Representing Supercell Oy, maker of the popular mobile game “Clash of Clans” in two separate patent infringement suits in the District of Delaware. In both cases, Mr. Sacksteder successfully brought motions to dismiss for failure to claim patent-eligible subject matter, securing an early and efficient resolution of each lawsuit. In the second of these cases, Mr. Sacksteder also represented, and obtained the same result for, mobile game makers Rovio, ngmoco, and Glu Mobile.
  • Winning a jury verdict in favor of Silver Peak Systems against competitor Riverbed Technology in the District of Delaware. Riverbed initiated the suit and ultimately alleged infringement of five Riverbed patents. After two of those patents were found invalid through an inter partes reexamination, Riverbed’s claims were stayed, and the case went to trial on two patents asserted by Silver Peak. The jury found that both Silver Peak patents were infringed, and sustained the validity of the one Silver Peak patent that had been challenged on that basis.
  • Obtaining transfer of a multi-defendant patent lawsuit from the Eastern District of Texas to the Northern District of California.  The ruling allowed more than a dozen defendants to fight the lawsuit – brought by a non-practicing entity – in their home forum. Mr. Sacksteder settled the matter favorably for his clients shortly after transfer.
  • Winning a rare favorable defense damages verdict in the Eastern District of Texas. After initially announcing itself deadlocked on infringement and invalidity, the jury returned a verdict awarding less than 2% of the damages sought by the plaintiff, a notorious patent “troll.”

Mr. Sacksteder graduated magna cum laude from the Northwestern University School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Northwestern University Law Review. Before going to law school, Mr. Sacksteder worked as a broadcast journalist.​