Ben Hur litigates disputes for technology companies ranging from start-ups to established corporations. He has tried over half a dozen cases as first chair, and handled numerous criminal and civil cases in state courts, federal courts, and before the International Trade Commission. He has recently served as lead counsel in two federal court summary judgment victories on behalf of technology companies and in a trial victory on behalf of a public entity.
Ben has deep and wide-ranging experience litigating commercial disputes of many kinds: including intellectual property and employee mobility, breach of contract, unfair trade practices and commercial disparagement. He specializes in helping early stage companies protect their greatest assets: people, ideas and products. Ben defends these companies against hostile actors, including competitors, investors and even co-founders. Ben has successfully navigated numerous start-up companies through disputes that threatened to destroy them.
In addition to resolving complex commercial disputes, Ben has extensive experience as lead trial counsel representing technology companies in high-stakes class action matters asserting right of publicity, privacy and consumer claims.
Fowler, et al. v. City of Lafayette, et al.
We defended writ of mandamus and constitutional claims brought against the City of Lafayette relating to alleged Brown Act violations by the City Council. We won a trial victory on all claims.
Company Representative v. Microchip Company
We defended a federal court action accusing our client of conspiring with the former CEO of one of its customers to sell sensitive, space-grade microchips illegally to China. The plaintiff brought claims for civil conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence. We won summary judgment on all claims.
Investors v. Mobile Gaming Company
We defended a mobile gaming company and its founders in a dispute with former investors who complained that they were denied their equity stake in the company. The plaintiffs brought claims for breach of contract, fraudulent concealment, conversion, libel, intentional interference with contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. On the eve of trial, we obtained summary judgment on all claims.
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.
Class Action Plaintiff v. Internet of Things Company
We represented an internet of things company in national consumer class action litigation in the Northern District of California. After we convinced the judge that a national class was unlikely to be certified, the plaintiff re-filed limited state law claims in an out-of-state jurisdiction that led to a favorable settlement.
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.
Plaintiffs v. Company Co-Founders
We represented the founders of a solar panel company in an action brought by shareholders alleging fraud, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and intentional interference relating to the demise of the company during the economic crisis. We won a series of three demurrers—the last of which was sustained without leave to amend—providing a complete victory for our clients.
Investor v. Company Founder
We represented a founder of a solar panel company in an action brought by an investor alleging that the founder misrepresented how the company would use the investment. After conducting limited discovery, we were able to settle the matter on favorable terms.
Technology Company v. Internet Search Engine
We defended a leading Internet search engine in a high-stakes binding arbitration. The founders of a company acquired by our client alleged our client breached the merger agreement, and sought hundreds of millions in earn-out compensation. A three-judge panel found in favor of our client on all counts.
AUL Corporation v. Executives
We represented three individuals in a breach of contract and California corporations code action relating to terms of an investment contract. We settled the case favorably for our client before going to trial.
Individual v. Mobile Gaming Company
The founders of a mobile gaming company were embroiled in an internal dispute over an alleged breach of fiduciary duty. On behalf of the company, we devised a successful resolution.
Developer v. Social Gaming Company
In this breach of contract action, our client sued a social gaming company over the development rights of a prominent Facebook game. We were able to secure substantially better contract terms than the developer had originally negotiated.
Class Action Plaintiff v. Social Gaming Company
Apple Inc. v. HTC Corp
We served as lead counsel for HTC, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of handheld devices, in its battle with Apple over smartphone technology. Apple first sued HTC in district court and before the International Trade Commission (ITC), claiming our client had infringed 20 patents related to various computer-related technologies, including user interfaces, operating systems, power management, and digital signal processing. The ITC hearing that went to decision resulted in a favorable ruling, and HTC obtained a settlement to become the first Android handset maker licensed by Apple.
Broadcom Corporation v. Telecommunications Company
In a landmark patent case before the International Trade Commission (ITC), we represented Broadcom, a leading semiconductor company, against a telecommunications company, various wireless network providers, and handset manufacturers. After a trial and the first live hearing before the full commission in 20 years, we obtained an order from the ITC preventing the infringing chips from being imported into the U.S.
Wyeth v. Impax Laboratories, Inc.
Impax Laboratories, Inc. asked us to take over this patent case midway through the discovery process. We completed discovery, handled all of the depositions, and achieved a very favorable result for our client.
United States v. Michael Shanahan Jr.
In a criminal options backdating case, we secured a dismissal before trial for Michael Shanahan Jr., who served on Engineered Support Systems Inc.'s board of directors and was a member of the company's compensation committee. We also represented him in a parallel options backdating action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. After eight days of trial testimony, a federal judge in Missouri granted our motion for judgment as a matter of law.
December 08, 2017
The California Superior Court in Sacramento today granted a writ of habeas corpus overturning the 2002 murder conviction of Zavion Johnson. Mr. Johnson spent nearly 17 years in California state prison after he was wrongfully convicted of the homicide. Read more
The awards recognize California litigation practices that delivered exceptional results on their clients' most critical and challenging matters. Read more
The ITC cleared Samsung and Qualcomm of violating a pair of Nvidia graphics patents in a case that could have barred certain Samsung products from the U.S. market, upholding an administrative law judge's decision and ending its investigation of the Korean smartphone giant. Read more
Robert Van Nest and his team score an important victory in the ITC, winning on all three patents. Read more
Matthew Werdegar and Ben Hur offer advice to in-house counsel on how to best manage e-discovery. Read more
The Federal Circuit declined to review a ruling in a semiconductor patent dispute that found infringement suits must be thrown out when the co-owner of a patent decides not to participate. Read more
Ben Hur comments on how to fight these high-stakes motions. Read more
The Federal Circuit day affirmed a district court's dismissal of a suit brought by the University of New Mexico's patent arm alleging Intel Corp. infringed a patent for lithographic methods used in semiconductor manufacturing Read more
A Delaware federal judge dealt a blow to British Telecommunications PLC in a pair of suits claiming infringement of several of data networking patents it has licensed, tossing the corporation's contracts counterclaims against Cox Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. Read more
Ben Hur and his fellow panelists will discuss recent developments in patent law, case law updates such as the U.S. Supreme Court’s January 2013 decision in Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc., recent developments in ITC based litigation, and practical changes resulting from 2011’s Patent Reinvention Act. Read more
Ben Hur and Michelle Ybarra will cover what constitutes “cloning,” and how courts and current IP laws address this hot topic. Read more
Ben Hur reflects on how the commission evaluated Mayor Ed Lee's suspension of Mirkarimi. Read more
Ethics Committee Chair Ben Hur regarded as the "unexpected star" of the Mirkarimi hearings. Read more
The San Francisco Chronicle lauds Mr. Hur's handling of the Ross Mirkarimi misconduct hearings. Read more
Ben Hur and Chris Kearney knock down class certification, protecting their client from millions in damages. Read more
The San Francisco Ethics Commission oversees all campaign finance and open government laws for the City and County of San Francisco. Read more
Keker & Van Nest represented Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) Read more
- "Basic Training Civil Procedure Before Trial," The Rutter Group, 2016
- "Planning for E-Discovery: Federal courts in California Have Developed New Rules and Guidelines," California Lawyer, 2014, co-authored with Matthew Werdegar
- "3 E-discovery Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore," Corporate Counsel, 2014, co-authored with Matthew Werdegar
- "Defeating Mobile Game Clones: Why Copyright Protection is Not Enough," VentureBeat, 2013, co-authored with Michelle Ybarra
- "When Clones Attack: How to Protect Social/Mobile Games from Copying," Intellectual Property Today, 2012, co-authored with Michelle Ybarra
- "How to Protect Your Games from Clones," Games Industry International, 2012
- "Three Ways Game Developers Can Avoid Cloning," TechRepublic, 2012
- "For Social Gaming Companies, Protecting Innovation from Litigation is Key," Daily Journal, 2011
- “Anything You Don't Say Can and Will Be Used Against You: Adverse Inferences from Invoking the Right to Remain Silent in DOJ/SEC Parallel Proceedings,” Securities Litigation & Enforcement Institute, 2010