Christa Anderson handles complex and high-stakes business litigation for some of the country’s top corporations, including Google, SanDisk, Broadcom, American Honda, and Sutter Health. She has extensive experience in the areas of intellectual property (patent, copyright and trademark), breach of contract, antitrust, business torts and class actions.
Ms. Anderson has litigated, mediated and tried cases in federal courts around the country (including California, Texas, and Virginia), as well as in California state court.
Cases of Note
Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc.: We represented Google in what Oracle claimed to be a multi-billion dollar patent and copyright war concerning the use of the Java programming language in Google’s Android platform. When Oracle bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010, it acquired Sun’s rights to Java. In August of that year, Oracle sued Google, claiming its Android mobile technology infringed Oracle patents and copyrights. We defended Google against all the patent and copyright claims, and also argued that the damage estimates were wildly inflated. Following repeated rounds of motions and briefing, the judge dismissed the bulk of Oracle’s copyright claims, and at trial the jury rendered a unanimous verdict rejecting all claims of patent infringement. Although the jury decided that Google infringed an Oracle copyright on nine out of millions of lines of source code, the case was a sweeping victory for Google, with zero damages. After an appeal by Oracle, the case returned to district court for a trial on fair use. After a two-week trial, the federal jury unanimously found that Google’s use of Oracle’s Java programming language in the Android operating system was a fair use, thereby rejecting Oracle’s claims of infringement in their entirety.
NVIDIA Corporation v. Qualcomm Inc.: We represented Qualcomm in an ITC investigation in which Nvidia asserted infringement of seven patents that purportedly cover graphics processing units (GPUs). Nvidia sought to block the importation of Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets that contain Qualcomm’s Adreno technology, as well as those containing chips from ARM Holdings and Imagination Technologies. Nvidia abandoned its claims of infringement as to three of the patents prior to the hearing before the ALJ, and dropped its claims as to a fourth patent during the course of the hearing. Following the hearing, the ALJ determined that no violation of section 337 had been established, because of the patents remaining in the investigation, two had not been infringed, and the third had been infringed but was invalid. In December of 2015, the full International Trade Commission declined to review the ALJ’s initial determination of no violation of section 337, resulting in a complete victory for our client Qualcomm in the ITC. Nvidia filed and then dismissed an appeal to the Federal Circuit, cementing the win for Qualcomm.
Prolifiq Software Inc. v. Veeva Systems: We defended Veeva Systems from patent infringement allegations brought by its competitor in the Northern District of California. The patents relate to the creation of email messages using multiple layers and/or content available on servers. We successfully narrowed the scope of the case from five patents to two, and further narrowed the case when the court agreed one of the claims was invalid. After that, we secured a very successful settlement for a fraction of the original demand.
Google Inc. v. Beneficial Innovations Inc.: On behalf of Google, we successfully sued a patent troll in Marshall, Texas. A federal jury determined that a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Beneficial Innovations Inc. against a number of Google's customer companies violated a licensing agreement it had with the technology giant.
American Medical Response Inc. et al. v. Paramedics Plus, et al.: We defended Paramedics Plus from American Medical Response’s (AMR) claims of anticompetitive unfair business practices. After losing the competitive bidding process for Alameda County’s emergency medical services transportation contract to its much smaller rival Paramedics Plus, AMR accused our client of violating California's predatory pricing law, Business & Professions Code Section 17043, in its bid to win the 911 ambulance contract. Despite a minimal amount of precedent, we were able to preserve the statute’s intent, which is to safeguard healthy competition by protecting smaller companies from larger rivals. We received a unanimous 12-0 jury verdict in favor of our client.
Suffolk Technologies LLC v. AOL Inc. and Google Inc.: A Virginia federal judge granted our motion for summary judgment on all but one of Suffolk’s patent infringement claims, and issued a Daubert ruling striking the plaintiff’s expert damages opinion in its entirety. Soon after, Suffolk stipulated to invalidity on the last remaining claim. Suffolk had claimed that Google’s Adsense advertising placement technology, which selectively places paid advertisements for a company’s product or service on the Web page of another, used a similar protocol to the one under patent with Suffolk.
Broadcom Corporation, et al. v. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation: On behalf of Broadcom, we led a joint-defense group of wireless chip manufacturers, PC manufacturers, and cellular network carriers. The plaintiff, CSIRO, asserted patent claims that allegedly covered a wide variety of products that offer wireless functionality under the IEEE 802.11 standard for local area networks. We settled the case favorably on the eve of trial.
Middle East Distributor v. Fashion Retailer: In a suit raising novel issues of franchise law, we represented a national fashion retailer in a breach of contract suit filed by our client's former Middle East distributor. A federal San Francisco judge granted our summary judgment motion. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s order, dismissing the case in our client’s favor.
Patent Holding Company v. Law Firm: A patent-holding company alleged our client, a prominent national law firm, misappropriated trade secrets. The company claimed our client violated various court protective orders and interfered with settlement obligations. In less than three months, we obtained a dismissal of all claims.
Pande v. Chevron: We won a $5.5 million jury verdict against Chevron for wrongfully terminating and retaliating against a female petroleum engineer. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the award.
Plaintiff v. Internet Search Engine: We represented a leading search engine in class action litigation concerning online advertising. Pursuant to our motion to dismiss, a federal judge dismissed the matter with prejudice.
Plaintiffs v. Consumer Finance Company: Our client, a major consumer finance company, faced a statewide class action alleging some of its financing disclosure statements were inadequate under California’s Rees-Levering Act. We secured a favorable settlement with the class representatives.
Toy Company v. Product Designer: We represented the designer of a very popular line of dolls in a federal trial to determine which toy company owns the doll's copyright. We settled the case on favorable terms before the commencement of trial.
Venture Capital Firm v. Music Publishing Group: We represented online file-sharing company investors against allegations of copyright infringement, and asserted counterclaims of antitrust violations. After we used crime fraud arguments to pierce the plaintiff's attorney-client privilege, the case settled on favorable terms.
Presentations and Publications
- "How to successfully manage the risk of litigation," Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum, 2017
- "Lessons Learned from Female Litigators," Women in IP & Law Silicon Valley, 2017
- "Negotiation Strategies," California Women Lawyers' Annual Conference, 2014
- "Litigation and Technology Trends," International Women's Leadership Forum, 2014
- “Critical Strategic Considerations at the Outset of Patent Litigation Defense,” ALM General Counsel Conference, 2014
- "Top Trial Skills for your Litigation Team," The Recorder's Litigator Summit, 2014
- "Blockbuster IP Trials: Tips from lawyers who have tried the biggest patent and copyright cases in the Northern District," the Commonwealth Club, 2012
- Co-authored chapter on "Crisis Management" with John Keker, in the treatise "Business & Commercial Litigation, 3d Edition," Thomson Reuters, 2012
Awards and Honors
- Top Women Lawyers in California, Daily Journal, 2017
- California Lawyer of the Year, Intellectual Property, Daily Journal, 2017
- Benchmark Litigation Star, 2017
- Top 250 Women in IP, Managing IP (MIP) Magazine, 2017
- California's Top IP Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2015 and 2016
- Litigator of the Week, AmLaw, 2016
- IP Stars, Managing IP (MIP) Magazine, 2016
- Women Leaders in Tech Law, The Recorder, 2013, 2015, 2016
- BTI Client Service All-Star, 2015
- World’s Leading Patent Practitioners, IAM Patent 1000, 2015
- Best Lawyers in America, Commercial and Intellectual Property Litigation, 2011 - present
- 20 Most Influential Women In IP Law by Law360, 2014
- Women Leaders in the Law, ALM, 2014
- Board of Governors, California Women Lawyers, 2011-2014
- Rated AV® Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
- Top 20 Lawyers Under 40 in California, Daily Journal, 2007
- Member, Harvard Legal Aid Bureau