During his nine years in prime-time broadcasting, Nic Marais spent every day developing crucial communication skills: transforming complicated ideas into interesting stories; maintaining focus in an unpredictable environment; and handling the pressures of live radio before an audience of 1.3 million people. Mr. Marais has interviewed hundreds of sophisticated subjects, with guests ranging from global leaders and Nobel laureates, including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and F.W. de Klerk, to internationally acclaimed athletes, authors, singers, and movie stars, including Charlize Theron and Morgan Freeman. As a litigator, Mr. Marais applies his extensive experience to our clients' advantage at every turn—conducting depositions, relating arguments to a judge, and framing complex legal questions in a way that juries will find interesting and relatable.
Before joining Keker, Van Nest & Peters in the fall of 2011, Mr. Marais interned at the New York City Law Department's Special Litigation Unit.
Mr. Marais is a 2:53 marathoner, a regular cyclist, and a licensed skydiver. He is fluent in Afrikaans.
Fundme, Inc. v. GoFundMe, Inc.
We represented GoFundMe, one of the world’s leading crowdfunding platforms, in trademark litigation in federal district court in Utah. In pursuing an aggressive defense of GoFundMe’s trademark rights, we filed an early motion for summary judgment asking the federal court to cancel and invalidate the plaintiff’s competing registered mark. Shortly after our motion for summary judgment was filed, the case reached a confidential settlement.
Michael E. Davis, et al. v. Electronic Arts Inc.
We defended Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) against claims that avatars in its hugely successful Madden NFL franchise used the likenesses of retired NFL players. After litigating an important First Amendment issue in the District Court and before the Ninth Circuit, we defeated two successive motions to certify a class, both because plaintiffs’ case presented intractable choice-of-law problems and because, as the court recognized, the right of publicity is inherently an individual right. In mid-2017, we prevailed at summary judgment over plaintiffs’ statutory claims: the court found that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that “any of the avatars in the Madden games could be ‘readily identified’ as corresponding to any specific plaintiff based on the appearance of the avatars alone.” Not long after, the parties settled.
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.
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Executive
The Securities and Exchange Commission launched a securities fraud suit in California federal court against our client, a former vice president of sales. The SEC claimed he grossly inflated his company's revenue in order to raise additional capital from investors. We also defended him in a parallel criminal investigation. We were able to prevent any criminal charges from being filed, and resolved the SEC case for a small penalty.
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.
Litigators at Keker, Van Nest & Peters land runners-up honors in the case they’re handling for the PGA Tour involving antitrust claims brought by suspended golfers who have joined the professional golf tour’s upstart rivals at the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Read more
A federal judge in California ruled Tuesday that three golfers who joined Saudi-backed LIV Golf will not be able to compete in the PGA Tour’s postseason. Read more
May 26, 2020
Keker, Van Nest & Peters’ Ben Berkowitz and Nic Marais have obtained an important settlement on behalf of Bryan Carmody, a journalist whose reporting materials were seized in an illegal raid on his home by the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) last May. Read more
December 19, 2019
Keker, Van Nest & Peters is pleased to announce that the firm has elevated associates Nic Marais and Ben Rothstein to its partnership effective January 1, 2020. Read more
May 24, 2019
Following the San Francisco Police Department’s raid of Bryan Carmody’s home, Keker,
Van Nest & Peters has agreed to represent the journalist on a pro bono basis. 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
On behalf of a former Silicon Valley executive accused of accounting fraud, Keker & Van Nest has won a round in their battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission, landing sanctions against the commission for dragging its heels in discovery. 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
Many firms are seeking associates like Nic Marais, whose nonlegal experience as a prime-time broadcaster helps him communicate and connect with clients. Read more