Chris Kao is based in Pillsbury’s San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices, where he focuses on intellectual property and complex commercial litigation. Chris is the co-leader of Pillsbury’s Taiwan practice.

Chris is an experienced first-chair trial lawyer representing technology companies in patent, copyright, trademark and trade secrets litigation, and other high-stakes commercial disputes. He has represented companies in the computer hardware and software, semiconductor, telecommunications, biotechnology, and consumer products industries in federal and state courts throughout the country, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He has extensive experience litigating Covered Business Method and inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Chris also regularly advises clients on privacy and cybersecurity issues and is designated a Certified International Privacy Professional/US by the IAPP.

Before joining Pillsbury, Chris was the Office Managing Partner of another firm’s Silicon Valley office.

Representative Experience

  • Served as counsel for leading technology companies in consolidated patent infringement actions related to distributed processing technology; obtained judgment on the pleadings invalidating all asserted patents for claiming unpatentable subject matter. The judgment was affirmed by the Federal Circuit (N.D. Cal.).
  • Served as counsel for social networking company in patent infringement action relating to online marketplaces. Obtained dismissal of litigation after successfully invalidating the asserted patent in a Covered Business Method review before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (D. Del.).
  • Served as counsel for e-commerce company in a patent infringement action relating to internet database patents. Obtained summary judgment invalidating all asserted patents; the judgment was affirmed by the Federal Circuit (N.D. Cal.).

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  • Patent Litigation
    • Served as counsel for enterprise software company in a patent infringement action relating to metadata removal and document comparison technology. Filed petitions for inter partes review challenging asserted patents; petitions were instituted by PTAB (D. Del.).
    • Served as counsel for Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturing company in a patent infringement action relating to semiconductor technology (N.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for memory device company in patent and antitrust litigation relating to solid-state drive and DRAM technology (C.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for television company in patent and antitrust litigation relating to MPEG-2, H.264 and ATSC standard essential patents (C.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for memory device company in patent litigation relating to solid-state drive and DRAM technology (C.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for Taiwanese LED company in patent litigation relating to LED technology (C.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for Taiwanese memory device company in patent litigation relating to DRAM technology (N.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for dental technology companies in a patent infringement action relating to dental drill assistance technology (D. Del.).
    • Served as counsel for memory device company in patent litigation relating to SD card technology (C.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for social networking company in patent litigation relating to internet and e-commerce technologies (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for enterprise software company in patent litigation related to distributed computing technology (M.D. Tenn.).
    • Served as counsel for enterprise software company in patent litigation relating to database technology (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for leading technology companies in consolidated patent infringement actions related to distributed file system technology (D. Del.).
    • Served as counsel for memory device company in patent litigation relating to USB technology (C.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for Taiwanese memory device company in patent litigation relating to USB technology (S.D. Fla.).
    • Served as counsel for an enterprise software company in a patent infringement action relating to database access control technology (D. Conn.).
    • Served as counsel for a Taiwanese bicycle company in a patent infringement action relating to exercise equipment (D. Nev.).
    • Served as counsel for an enterprise software company in a patent infringement action relating to metadata removal and document comparison technology (E.D.N.C.).
    • Served as counsel for an enterprise software company in a patent infringement action relating to metadata removal technology (M.D.N.C.).
    • Served as counsel for a social networking company in a patent infringement action relating to search technology (D. Del.).
    • Served as counsel for a camera manufacturer in a patent infringement action relating to graphical user interface technology (D. Del.).
    • Served as counsel for a television company in a patent infringement action relating to MPEG-2, H.264 and ATSC standard essential patents (S.D. Fla.).
    • Served as counsel for a Taiwanese electronics company in a patent infringement action relating to optical disk drive technology (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for a Taiwanese electronics company in a patent infringement action relating to LED technology (D. Mass.).
    • Served as counsel for an internet company in a patent infringement action relating to mortgage lender database technology (W.D.N.C.).
    • Served as counsel for a technology company in a patent infringement action relating to energy management technology (S.D. Fla.).
    • Served as counsel for a leading defense contractor in a patent infringement action relating to synthetic materials used for ballistic protection (N.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for leading software companies in a patent infringement action relating to distributed file system technology (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for an internet-streaming company in a patent infringement action relating to digital video recording and playback technology (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for an internet storage company in a patent infringement action relating to remote data storage technology (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for an interactive television company in a patent infringement action relating to digital signal analysis (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for a Taiwanese computer company in a patent infringement action relating to computer security technology (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for an enterprise software company in a patent infringement action relating to network document management technology (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for an enterprise software company in a patent infringement action relating to word processing and filtering technology (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for an internet company in a patent infringement action relating to internet mapping patents (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for an internet company in a patent infringement action relating to database technology (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for an electronics retailer in a patent infringement action relating to wireless communications technology (D. Del.).
    • Served as counsel for an internet company in a patent infringement action relating to data analysis technology (D. Del.).
    • Served as counsel for a financial payments company in a patent infringement action regarding data entry terminals and databases (D. Del.).
    • Served as counsel for an internet travel company in a patent infringement action relating to online database technology (D. Del.).
    • Served as counsel for an internet content company in a patent infringement action relating to online advertising technology (D. Del.).
    • Served as counsel for a national newspaper in a patent infringement action relating to online tearsheet and invoicing technology (N.D. Ill.).
    • Served as counsel for an advertising technology company in a declaratory judgment action relating to online tearsheet and invoicing technology (D. Ariz.).
    • Served as counsel for an advertising technology company in a declaratory judgment action relating to online tearsheet and invoicing technology (N.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for leading a software company in a patent infringement action concerning digital video recording technology (E.D. Tex.).
    • Served as counsel for a leading Japanese electronics manufacturer in a patent infringement action concerning hard disk drive technology (N.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for an iternet streaming company in a patent infringement action relating to electronic program guide technology (ITC).
  • PTAB Proceedings
    • Served as counsel for a social networking company in a Covered Business Method proceeding challenging a patent relating to online marketplaces.
    • Served as counsel for computer hardware company in inter partes proceedings challenging patents relating to connector technology.
    • Served as counsel for enterprise software company in IPR proceedings challenging patents relating to metadata removal and document comparison technology.
    • Served as counsel for leading software companies in IPR proceedings challenging patents relating to distributed computing.
    • Served as counsel for a medical device company in an IPR proceeding challenging patent relating to dental drill assistance technology.
  • Trademark Litigation
    • Served as counsel for an iternet storage company in trademark cancellation proceedings (TTAB).
    • Served as counsel for a grocery store chain in trademark cancellation proceedings (TTAB).
    • Served as counsel for memory device company in a trademark infringement action (N.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for a grocery store chain in a trademark infringement action (S.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for a grocery store chain in a trademark infringement action (C.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for a grocery store chain in a trademark infringement action (N.D. Cal.).
  • Copyright Litigation
    • Served as counsel for an e-commerce company in a copyright infringement and website terms of use action concerning the unauthorized scraping and redistribution of online content (N.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for a leading technology company in a copyright infringement action concerning the UNIX System V operating system and the open source Linux operating system (D. Utah).
  • Trade Secrets Litigation
    • Served as counsel for Taiwanese electronics company in a trade secrets action concerning power technology (N.D. Cal.).
    • Served as counsel for a music technology company in a trade secrets action concerning computer software for management and cloud storage of music files (D. Mass.).
    • Served as counsel for a financial company in a trade secrets action concerning theft of business and customer information (Cal. Super. Ct.).
    • Served as counsel for an individual in a trade secrets action concerning semiconductor technology (Cal. Super. Ct.).
    • Served as counsel for a pollution control technology company and individual defendants in a trade secrets action concerning diesel emissions reduction technology (JAMS Arbitration).
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
    • Served as counsel for Taiwanese electronics company in a breach of contract action (AAA).
    • Served as counsel for Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturing company in a breach of contract action (AAA).
    • Served as counsel for a Taiwanese technology company in a breach of contract action concerning reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) licensing of standards-essential patents  (NY Sup. Ct.).
    • Served as counsel for a Taiwanese solar company in a breach of contract action concerning polycrystalline silicon (Mich. Cir. Ct.).
    • Served as counsel for a Korean governmental entity in a takings litigation brought under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (D. Mass.).
    • Served as counsel for a Taiwanese technology company in a breach of contract, unjust enrichment and unfair competition action concerning interactive display advertisements (D. Mass.).
    • Served as counsel for an oil company in multiple actions concerning oil and gas leases; obtained directed verdict in favor of client at trial; affirmed on appeal (Cal. Super. Ct.).
    • Served as counsel for a major accounting company in a professional liability litigation (W.D. Pa.).
    • Served as counsel for a telecommunications company in a litigation concerning environmental issues (D. Alaska).
    • Served as counsel for recycling companies in a litigation against the California State Controller and Director of Finance to repay monies borrowed from the California Recycling Fund (Cal. Super. Ct.).
    • Served as counsel for a retailer in a consumer class action concerning the collection of taxes on certain medical products (Cal. Super. Ct.).

Professional Highlights

  • The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.), Litigation – Intellectual Property, 2018 - 2019
  • Selected to the Northern California Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2010, 2016-2018
  • Selected to the Northern California Rising Stars list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2009, 2010, and 2012-2015

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  • Recent Presentations
    • Speaker, “U.S. Privacy Laws: Preparing for 2020,” at legal seminar titled “U.S. Legal Trends in IP, Trade, and Commerce,” hosted by Pillsbury and the Taiwan Intellectual Property Training Academy, Taipei City, Taiwan (March 6, 2019)
    • Speaker, “U.S. Privacy Laws: Preparing for 2020,” at legal seminar titled “U.S. Legal Trends in IP, Trade, and Commerce,” hosted by Pillsbury in Shenzhen, China (March 8, 2019)
    • Speaker: “Recent Developments in Post-Grant Proceedings Practice at the PTAB,” Legal seminar titled “The Changing Tides in Global IP Protection” hosted by Pillsbury, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Training Academy and the National Taiwan University College of Law, Center for Law, Technology and Ethics, Taipei City, Taiwan, June 2018
  • Associations
    • American Bar Association
    • Bar Association of San Francisco
    • San Francisco Bay Area Intellectual Property American Inn of Court
    • William A. Ingram Inn of Court (Santa Clara County)
    • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
    • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
    • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley (Board Member)

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1999
    with honors, President, Harvard Journal on Legislation

    B.A., Government and History, Dartmouth College, 1996
    magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • California

    New York

Courts

  • United States Supreme Court

    United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

    United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

    United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

    United States District Court for the Central Northern and Southern District of California

    United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

    United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

    United States District Court for the District of Colorado

    Registered Foreign Attorney in Taiwan (Member of Taipei Bar Association)

Clerkships

  • Law clerk for the Honorable Carol B. Amon, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (2000-2001)