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.
- 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? Irreparable 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