Communications & Media

Our Communications & Media group combines industry and product specialization for key sectors, including cable, telecommunications, and production companies. For these companies, we regularly litigate patent, breach of contract and other complex cases. 

Representative Clients:

Comcast Cable Communications Corporation • Electronic Arts Inc. •  Univision Communications • Lucasfilm Ltd. 

Cases of Note

Former Employee v. Netflix, Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc.: We defended Netflix and several of its senior executives from a high-profile defamation and blacklisting lawsuit. The plaintiff departed Netflix for Amazon, and later claimed that Netflix retaliated against him by making defamatory statements about him, wrongfully accusing him of taking confidential information, and inducing Amazon to fire him. We filed an early special motion to strike plaintiff’s complaint against the Netflix defendants pursuant to California’s anti-SLAPP statute, explaining why the plaintiff’s claims against the Netflix defendants were entirely premised on protected and privileged speech and did not establish a viable claim. The court granted our anti-SLAPP motion in its entirety, dismissing all of the plaintiff’s claims against the Netflix defendants only 5 ½ months after the complaint was filed.

Keller v. Electronic Arts Inc. et al: We secured a favorable settlement for Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) in this groundbreaking antitrust and right of publicity class action. Current and former student-athletes claimed EA improperly used the athletes’ likenesses and biographical information in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball video games.

C-Cation Technologies v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, et al.: We represented Comcast in a patent infringement case brought by C-Cation Technologies in the Eastern District of Texas, and a related breach of contract claim Comcast brought in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff targeted our clients' high speed data and telephony services and sought damages well into nine figures. We were selected as lead trial counsel for all defendants, which included three other cable companies. After several pre-trial victories, we reached a favorable settlement for all defendants.

British Telecommunications v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC: We served as lead counsel for Comcast in an eight-patent case brought by British Telecom in Delaware federal court. The case targeted Comcast's high speed data and telephony services and video encryption. We also asserted Comcast patents against British Telecom in Texas federal court. In Delaware, we prevailed on six of the eight patents by way of summary judgment and stipulated dismissals, and thereafter reached a very favorable resolution of both litigations.

Former Employees v. Lucasfilm Ltd.: We advised Lucasfilm Ltd. in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and then represented Lucasfilm in a series of antitrust class actions brought by former employees of Lucasfilm, Google, Apple and Pixar. Plaintiffs alleged unlawful agreements related to hiring and employee retention. Plaintiffs and Lucasfilm reached a preliminary settlement of plaintiffs’ claims in July 2013.

Acacia Media Technology v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC: We defended Comcast Cable Communications, LLC as part of a large joint-defense group handling patent infringement claims related to video-on-demand services. The plaintiff, Acacia Media Technology, sought hundreds of millions in royalties from more than 40 cable TV, satellite TV, and Internet streaming companies, alleging its patents covered virtually all transmission of compressed digital video or audio files. After extensive claim-construction proceedings, U.S. District Judge James Ware held that the patents were invalid and granted summary judgment for our client and the other defendants. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed that judgment.

Rembrandt Technologies, Inc. v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC: We served as lead counsel for Comcast in a patent infringement case involving high-speed Internet and digital TV services. Rembrandt Technologies, Inc. originally filed the case in the Eastern District of Texas, but in conjunction with other co-defendants, we obtained multi-district consolidation and transfer to the District of Delaware. Based upon claim construction, Rembrandt conceded non-infringement of all patents, preserving only its right to appeal the claim construction as to the ninth. The Federal Circuit then upheld the claim construction on that last patent that resulted in non-infringement. We also helped Comcast secure an exceptional-case determination and a resulting award of over $10 million in fees and costs.

Dillinger LLC v. Electronic Arts Inc.: We won summary judgment for Electronic Arts Inc in this right-of-publicity and trademark case. The heirs of John Dillinger alleged that EA improperly used the Dillinger name in a series of video games. Plaintiff sought damages and an injunction to prevent EA from selling the games. The court's orders not only affirmed EA's fundamental First Amendment right to design and publish its games, but also made clear that Indiana's right of publicity statute could not be applied retroactively to individuals who died before it was enacted. Law360 described the rulings as a "total victory" for EA.

Key Contacts

Susan J. Harriman

Susan J. Harriman

(415) 676-2213
email link

Brian L. Ferrall

Brian L. Ferrall

(415) 391-5400
email link

David J. Silbert

David J. Silbert

(415) 676-2261
email link

Developed by Tenrec