Ajay Krishnan focuses on complex commercial disputes and intellectual property litigation. He has tried a number of cases to verdict, including three as first chair. Mr. Krishnan also has a thriving pro bono practice, and has litigated numerous civil rights cases in state and federal court.
Cases of Note
Comcast Cable Communications, LLC v. Finisar Corporation: We won summary judgment dismissing Sunnyvale-based Finisar Corporation’s patent infringement claim against Comcast Cable Communications, LLC. We first convinced U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup to cut potential damages from $590 million to $140 million, and later to invalidate the data transmission patent at issue. Finisar appealed, however the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling.
Former Chief Executive Officer v. Bank: We represented a bank’s former CEO in a fraud and breach of fiduciary duty case against his former employer. We won two separate petitions before the California court of appeal and ultimately reached a confidential settlement.
evYsio Medical Devices v. Advanced Cardiovascular Systems: We represented evYsio Medical Devices in asserting patents for its cardiac stent technology. Prior to jury selection, the case became part of a global settlement between Medtronic and Abbott. Our client, the inventor of several stents in the suit, received $42 million as part of the settlement.
Plaintiff v. Law Firm: We successfully defended at trial an Am Law 50 law firm and one of its former partners against a $100 million claim. The plaintiff alleged malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty related to estate planning. After an eight-week trial in California state court, we won a complete victory.
Plaintiff v. Internet Search Engine: We defended a trademark dispute concerning our client's “broad matching” advertising algorithms. The case was dismissed before trial.
Deputy Sheriff v. County Sheriff’s Department: Over the course of many years, our client wrote letters to the editor of the local newspaper on political issues such as drug legalization and gun control. The County Sheriff’s Department disciplined him for expressing his views, claiming our client’s opinions reflected poorly on the Department. We partnered with the ACLU of Northern California to protect our client’s free speech rights by securing an injunction from a federal court in Sacramento. The Department may not discipline him for writing future letters to the editor, and must remove its past discipline from our client’s personnel file.
Pacific News Service v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: We are representing Pacific News Service in its lawsuit challenging California's use of unnecessary paralytic agent in its lethal injection protocol as a violation of the public's First Amendment right to meaningfully witness executions.
Derek Turner, Mari Tobin v. Golden Gate Bridge District: This case stemmed from two individuals who believed the Golden Gate Bridge District’s limitations on free speech concerning individuals and small groups violated their constitutional rights. After we demonstrated that the restrictions violated the plaintiffs’ first amendment rights; and that allowing protests would not increase traffic delays, create dangerous driving conditions, or endanger public safety, the court granted our motion for summary judgment.
Awards and Honors
Board member, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California
Board member, American Constitution Society (Bay Area Lawyers Chapter)