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

Sebastian E. Kaplan

Associate, Litigation  

San Francisco 415.875.2477


Sebastian Kaplan litigates intellectual property disputes for high-tech clients concerning copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and complex commercial transactions. Sebastian represents clients in both federal and state courts and has successfully resolved claims at all stages from pre-litigation cease and desist letters through trial. He also defends technology innovators from privacy, false advertising, and other consumer-related class actions.

Sebastian has been a key member of teams that have:

  • Defended Nimble Storage, Inc. from allegations of trade secret misappropriation and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act brought by competitor NetApp, Inc.
  • Litigated and settled multiple complex trademark disputes involving a leading Mexican cleaning products manufacturer, Industrias AlEn S.A. de C.V., and its American subsidiary, AlEn USA LLC, against The Clorox Company regarding infringement and dilution of household cleaning brands.
  • Won provisional relief to enjoin efforts to gather competitive intelligence and trade secret information through pretexting and corporate espionage for SuccessFactors, Inc., against competitor Halogen Software, Inc.
  • Favorably resolved a software copyright dispute against downstream customers of Chordiant Software, Inc., resulting in favorable settlement of claims.

Sebastian is also an active member of local and national bar associations. In 2016, he was appointed by the President of the American Bar Association to sit on the Advisory Commission of the Standing Committee on Public Education. He is also a Director of the Justice and Diversity Center and the Vice Chair of the BASF Intellectual Property Section. In 2013, he served as the President of the Barristers Club and was previously the Chair of the Barristers Club’s Professional Development Section.

Sebastian frequently writes and speaks on issues of trade secrets litigation, including the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as trademark litigation and copyright issues. Sebastian launched the IP BYTES series of CLE presentations under sponsorship of the BASF Intellectual Property Section, which showcases presentations by corporate counsel, outside attorneys, and experts on discrete developments in the areas of trademark, trade secrets, copyright, and patent law.

Before joining Fenwick & West, Sebastian served as a law clerk to the Honorable Carlos T. Bea at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He began his clerkship after working at the San Francisco office of Heller Ehrman LLP. While attending law school, Sebastian was the Submissions Editor for the Stanford Journal of International Law. Sebastian lives in the East Bay with his wife and three daughters.

Recent Publications

  • The Ninth Circuit Holds that Password Sharing in Violation of Terms of Service Without More Does Not Violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Law360 with Hanley Chew (Aug. 11, 2016)
  • Ninth Circuit Ruling Clarifies Part of the Data Scraping Debate, Daily Journal (July 18, 2016)
  • Congress Overwhelmingly Approves the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016” Paving the Way for Federal Jurisdiction over Trade Secret Misappropriation, Fenwick & West Litigation Alerts (April 29, 2016)
  • Supreme Court’s Petrella Decision Eliminates the Laches Defense as an Absolute Bar to Copyright Claims, Fenwick & West Litigation Alert with Ilana Rubel (May 20, 2014)
  • Irreparable Harm, I Presume? Irrepar​able Harm in Trademark Injunctions after Ebay v. MercExchange, NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL with Jed Wakefield (Oct. 22, 2012) (also available here)


  • “The Defend Trade Secrets Act: What You Need to Know,” Bar Association of San Francisco, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, July 13, 2016 | San Francisco
  • “Judges Panel with Hon. William Fletcher, Hon. Haywood Gilliam, Hon. Jim Humes, and Hon. Mary Wiss”, Moderator, Bar Association of San Francisco’s 2015 Barristers Club Annual Meeting, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Nov. 6, 2015 | San Francisco
  • “Crisis Management in the Face of Threatened or Claimed Trade Secret Misappropriation,” Tenth Annual IP and Commercial Litigation MCLE Event, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, January 29, 2015 | Mountain View
  • “IP BYTES: Hot Topics in Copyright Law,” speaking on “Fox Broadcasting Co. v. Dish Network LLC,” Bar Association of San Francisco, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, January 22, 2015 | San Francisco
  • “IP BYTES: Hot Topics in Trademark Law,” speaking on “Considering a Reasonable Royalty as a Measure of Trademark Infringement Damages,” Bar Association of San Francisco, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, July 31, 2014 | San Francisco