Geoffrey M. Howard


Geoff Howard has served as lead trial counsel in a broad range of high-profile commercial and intellectual property litigation, including most recently for Oracle in one of the United States’ largest copyright infringement and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act cases. He is former co-chair of the firm’s litigation area and former co-chair of the Intellectual Property Group.

His substantive emphasis includes Internet intrusion, software and telecommunications technology. Geoff has prosecuted and defended cases involving claims for copyright infringement, computer fraud, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, patent and trademark infringement, regulatory issues, business torts, and putative class actions.

Recognized as a leading lawyer in IP — Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secret Law by Chambers USA, Geoff has been described by clients as “an excellent writer and a superb oral advocate” as well as “a good strategist, with sound business sense.” They note that “he understands our business and interacts very well with our executives.” He was also named a California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer magazine in 2011, and one of the Top 75 IP Lawyers by the Daily Journal in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Geoff has authored several pieces of legislation and successfully tried several cases to jury verdict.

He served as the regional office managing partner for the San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices from 2007–2012. Before that, Geoff chaired the firm’s Complex and Class Action Litigation Group. He serves as a mediator for the United States District Court of the Northern District of California.

Before joining the firm in 1992, Geoff clerked for the Hon. Samuel Conti, United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of California.


  • Representation of Oracle in District of Nevada related to copyright infringement, computer fraud and related claims against Rimini Street
  • Represented Oracle in litigation against SAP AG for infringement of Oracle’s copyrighted software and support materials, computer fraud and related claims; obtained jury verdict of $1.3 billion in Oracle’s favor
  • Representation of Oracle in District of Alaska and Northern District of California related to software dispute with tribal agency
  • Representation of QUALCOMM in various jurisdictions related to claims for patent infringement, trade secrets and unfair competition related to Bluetooth technology
  • Representation of medical device manufacturer in patent and trademark litigation
  • Representation of leading building product technology company in series of class actions in various state courts throughout the country
  • Representations of golf products manufacturer and licensor in patent infringement defense relating to golf nets
  • Representation of Oracle Corporation in Alameda Superior and Delaware Chancery Court litigation related to $6 billion tender offer for PeopleSoft
  • Representation of various telecommunications companies in antitrust, patent, regulatory and state court business tort and contract claims
  • Representation of distributors in claims for business torts, wrongful termination and misappropriation of trade secrets
  • Representation of industry groups for socially sensitive products (e.g., alcohol and tobacco) in developing legislative, legal and public relations strategies


  • Emerging Law Update, Oracle E-Discovery Summit, Redwood Shores, Calif. (September 2012)
  • The Eight Keys to a Winning Oral Argument, Stanford University Law (April 2011, January 2012)
  • Oracle v. SAP: Anatomy of a Deal, AON Consulting Industry Symposium (June 2011)
  • Oracle v. SAP: Anatomy of a $1 Billion Copyright Infringement Verdict, Bay Area General Counsel Group (April 2011)
  • Oracle v. SAP: Anatomy of a $1 Billion Copyright Infringement Verdict, Practising Law Institute’s Webcast (February 2011)
  • Oracle v. SAP: Anatomy of a Trial, Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel’s Meeting, Redwood City, Calif. (January 2011)
  • Chair, Electronic Discovery Guidance: What Corporate and Outside Counsel Need to Know, Practising Law Institute, San Francisco (2006–2009)
  • Invited Faculty, New Federal e-Discovery Rules: What You Need to Know Now, Practising Law Institute Telephone/Webcast Briefing (June 2006)
  • Cutting Costs of e-Discovery, Practising Law Institute (December 2005)
  • Alcohol Distribution Legal Year in Review, California Beer and Beverage Distributors’ Annual Convention (October 2005)
  • Testimony before California Senate Governmental Operations Committee, The Tied-House Puzzle — Why The Three-Tier System Was Established and How Well Has It Worked? (May 2005)
  • Invited Participant, Conference on Electronic Discovery, Federal Rules Advisory Committee, Discovery Subcommittee, Fordham Law School (February 2004)
  • Contractual Fine Print: It’s All Small Stuff, CNET Radio (December 2001)
  • Panelist before Federal Rules Advisory Committee, Discovery Subcommittee Hearing regarding proposed changes to rules relating to electronic discovery, San Francisco (April 2000)
  • When Your Highly Paid Expert Isn’t Enough: A Primer on Court in Appointed Experts, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Annual Meeting (April 2000)



  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • California Bar Association
  • Associate member, Edward J. McFetridge American Inn of Court in San Francisco (1993–1995)
  • National American Inns of Court

Community Service

  • Chairman, Board of Directors, Legal Services for Children
  • Board of Directors, Bay Area Legal Aid

Awards & Honors

  • Chambers USA, IP: Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secret (2011–2014)
  • Benchmark Litigation, Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property (California) (2012–2015)
  • Daily Journal, Top 75 Intellectual Property Litigators in California (2010–2014)
  • Lawdragon 500 (2011–2014)
  • Managing IP, IP Star (2014)
  • Super Lawyers, Northern California (2004, 2006–2014)
  • California Lawyer“California Lawyer of the Year” for Intellectual Property (2011)
  • Daily Journal, Top 100 Lawyers (2011)
  • American Lawyer, Litigator of the Week (2010)
  • The Recorder, 2010 Attorney of the Year
  • Daily Journal, Top 20 California Lawyers Under 40 (2006)
  • Lawdragon 500, Rising Stars (2006)

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