As a former software entrepreneur and management consultant, Warren Braunig is particularly well suited to advise technology and software companies in solving their most difficult business and legal problems. Although he has tried more than a dozen cases in state court, federal court and arbitration, Warren also appreciates that sometimes the thorniest problems can be solved outside the courtroom. His approach to litigation is tenacious, creative, and always focused on the client’s ultimate objectives.
Warren’s practice is centered on intellectual property, but runs the gamut of complex commercial litigation, from antitrust and employment disputes to contract fights, copyright and patent infringement cases. He has particular expertise in issues of trade secret and employee mobility. His clients have included Qualcomm, Google, Roche/Genentech, Western Digital, Williams-Sonoma, Dialpad, and CREXi.
Among other prominent wins, Warren successfully defended SaaS software innovator Freshworks in a multinational trade secrets case brought by a competitor, and prominent chip developer and entrepreneur Gerard Williams in trade-secret litigation brought by a former employer. He won a complete defense verdict for a multinational law firm against a $60 million malpractice claim arising out of patent litigation in the ITC and Delaware. He defended Dialpad in multiple patent-infringement attacks launched by competitors. And, for more than a decade, he has steered the San Diego County Water Authority through various lawsuits against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, obtaining more than $100 million in damages and fees for the ratepayers of San Diego County. He is currently defending commercial real estate platform CREXi in a major federal copyright case brought by a competitor.
Warren earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law and served as a clerk to Justice Kim McLane Wardlaw on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to his law career, he was the director of product marketing at Emmperative, Inc. and is the co-inventor of two registered software patents. He regularly writes, provides news commentary, and presents on various trade secret law topics. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children.
RingCentral, Inc. v. Dialpad, Inc.
We successfully defended cloud-based telephony and unified messaging provider Dialpad in a patent infringement action brought by competitor RingCentral in the Northern District of California. Dialpad obtained a ruling that all five asserted patents claim ineligible subject matter.
Apple v. Williams
We defended Gerard Williams, a celebrated chip designer, in a case brought by Apple claiming that he breached contractual agreements and misappropriated trade secrets when he founded Nuvia, Inc., a leading-edge microchip company ultimately acquired by Qualcomm. The case was successfully resolved before trial.
San Diego County Water Authority v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
For more than a decade, we have represented the San Diego County Water Authority in litigation against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), the regional water wholesaler for most of Southern California. We have led them through three separate trials, and represented them in three separate appeals, resulting in more than $100 million in recovered damages, interest and attorneys’ fees, plus legal victories that have provided more than $1 billion in long-term benefit to the Water Authority.
Former Client v. Law Firm
We won a complete defense verdict for our multinational law firm client, and three individual law firm partners, in a malpractice claim arising out of patent litigation in the ITC and Delaware. The plaintiffs had alleged more than a dozen individual acts of malpractice and sought $60+ million in damages. After a hard-fought two-week arbitration before a retired federal judge in New York, the arbitrator issued an award in our clients’ favor.
CoStar v. CREXi
We are defending Commercial Real Estate Exchange, Inc. (CREXi), a fast-growing commercial real estate marketplace, against a copyright and unfair competition lawsuit brought by industry giant CoStar.
SRS Acquiom, Inc. v. PNC Bank et al.
We represent software innovator SRS Acquiom, Inc. in a trade-secrets misappropriation case against PNC Bank and two former SRS employees, alleging that the employees improperly retained SRS confidential information and used it, with PNC, to unfairly compete against SRS for online M&A payments-and-escrow business. The case is awaiting a ruling on summary judgment and will then proceed to trial.
BMC Software, Inc. v. Cherwell Software, LLC
We represented IT software innovator Cherwell Software in a patent-infringement case in Colorado brought by industry giant BMC Software, alleging infringement of seven software patents. After fifteen months of intensive litigation, we were able to resolve the case for Cherwell on favorable terms.
Ten-X LLC v. Commercial Real Estate Exchange Inc. (CREXi)
We represented real-estate startup CREXi and its Chief Executive Officer in bet-the-company litigation brought by industry giant Ten-X involving claims of trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract. Ten-X asserted in litigation that it was entitled to millions of dollars in damages, plus ownership of CREXi. After a year of very hard-fought litigation, CREXi was able to resolve the case for a minimal cost-of-defense settlement and was free to continue serving the commercial real estate market.
Hoffmann-La Roche v. Plexxikon
We represented Roche in a dispute concerning a breach of the company’s Collaboration Agreement with Plexxikon, Inc., now a subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo. The agreement provides Plexxikon funding and Roche license to develop and commercialize certain drug candidates, which it successfully did with Zelboraf, a cancer-fighting drug. The agreement also provides Roche the right to bring litigation to enforce certain of Plexxikon’s patents implicated by the Collaboration Agreement. Plexxikon pursued a patent enforcement lawsuit against Novartis, which culminated in a $178 million judgment in favor of Plexxikon. However, under Plexxikon’s Collaboration Agreement with Roche, Roche should have been notified about the infringement and given the first right to proceed and control the litigation against Novartis, and was entitled to a portion of the proceeds of that litigation. We settled the dispute favorably.
SanDisk Corp. v. SK Hynix Inc.
We represented SanDisk in a massive trade secret misappropriation and corporate espionage case. SanDisk, a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, sued competitor SK Hynix for misappropriating approximately ten gigabytes of highly confidential trade secret information and using that information over the course of six years to revamp Hynix’s technology and unfairly compete with SanDisk. We obtained a sweeping preliminary injunction that barred Hynix from any further use or disclosure of stolen SanDisk information, and fought back efforts to dismiss the case, to send it to arbitration, to transfer it overseas, and to remove it from the court that granted the preliminary injunction. Following a series of courtroom victories for our client, the parties reached a confidential settlement and entered into a product supply agreement.
Zoho v. Freshworks
We defended SaaS CRM company Freshworks in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought by rival Zoho in the Northern District of California. We successfully narrowed the case with an early motion to dismiss, and, after eighteen months of intensive litigation, negotiated a settlement that cleared the way for Freshworks to become a publicly traded company.
Wetlands Preservation Foundation v. Dept. of Water Resources et al
We represent non-profit Wetlands Preservation Foundation, based in Stockton, California, in litigation against the California Department of Water Resources and The Nature Conservancy concerning gross mismanagement of Staten Island—an island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that is a critical wildlife habitat for migratory birds as well as an important agricultural resource. Following a ten-day bench trial, the Court issued a writ of mandate against the Department of Water Resources and held that it had failed to comply with its public trust obligations on Staten Island.
In re Qvale Estate
We represented the Qvale Auto Group and its president Bruce Qvale in bitterly-contested litigation concerning the $100+ million estate of auto industry pioneer Kjell Qvale. We successfully defended our clients against claims of elder abuse and undue influence, ultimately obtaining a highly favorable settlement on the eve of trial.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company v. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation
We represented TSMC against China's then-leading semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, in the largest trade secret misuse case tried to date. SMIC owed its very existence to technology stolen from our client. Following a jury verdict on liability in favor of TSMC, SMIC agreed to pay $200 million in cash and approximately $130 million of its company stock. The case serves as precedent for the strong protection afforded by California's trade secret statute, even where the actual theft occurred in Asia.
Warren Braunig and Samuel Koenig discuss how the Supreme Court weakened First Amendment protections for parody use of others' trademarks. Read more
March 07, 2018
IBM and Microsoft have wisely split the baby in a trade secrets dispute that wasn’t making either side look good. Read more
February 14, 2018
Have big companies’ diversity metrics become so valuable they might now be considered trade secrets? Read more
Warren Braunig will address civil and criminal liabilities, challenges, and consequences of the Act. Read more
The awards recognize California litigation practices that delivered exceptional results on their clients' most critical and challenging matters. Read more
John Keker and his team brought in nearly $235 million for the San Diego County Water Authority. The big win was a key installment in California's ongoing water wars, made increasingly urgent by four dry years. Read more
John Keker, Dan Purcell and their team secured another victory for the San Diego County Water Authority. Read more
John Keker and his team win a major victory for the San Diego region. Read more
Sandisk lead counsel Jeff Chanin and his team won a preliminary injunction requiring South Korea-based SK Hynix Inc. to hand over the alleged secrets. Read more
Keker & Van Nest helped the San Diego County Water Authority triumph in its long-standing battle with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California over millions in water transportation fees. Read more
New partners all served on several significant trial teams, attended elite law schools, and completed prominent clerkships. Read more
Jeff Chanin and Matthew Werdegar convinced the plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss his law suit. Read more
Led by Ashok Ramani, Keker & Van Nest defeats trademark and unfair competition case. Read more
- "Can't You Take a Joke? Parody Products and Trademark Law in the Wake of the Jack Daniel's Decision," The Recorder, 2023, co-authored with Samuel Koenig
- "Does Your Boss Own Your Brain?" Today's General Counsel, 2018, co-authored with Sarah Salomon
- "Jury's Still Out on the Impact of the Defend Trade Secrets Act," Inside Counsel, 2017, co-authored with Matt Werdegar
- "One year on: the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act," Daily Journal, 2017, co-authored with Matt Werdegar
- "What the Defend Trade Secrets Act Means for California," The Recorder, 2016
- "Recent Developments in the Case Law of Damages," American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2014
- “Reflexive Law Solutions to Factory Farm Pollution,” New York University Law Review, 2005
- Co-inventor of software patents, U.S. 7,302,431, and U.S. 7,139,757
- Regular presenter at conferences on federal trial practice and trade secrets law