Reid Mullen has repeatedly confronted novel and complex legal issues and persuaded judges and juries to rule for his clients. His comfort and creativity in uncharted territory has generated highly influential victories for clients ranging from leading technology companies to a wrongfully-convicted client who not only won his freedom, but received significant compensation from the state after his release.
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.
Microsoft Corporation and Google Inc. v. Geotag, Inc.: A Delaware federal judge granted our motion for summary judgment, freeing our client Google from this patent case. Google and Microsoft filed a declaratory judgment action against GeoTag in Delaware. GeoTag counterclaimed for patent infringement, and sought significant damages. We convinced the court that Google's advertising system does not infringe GeoTag’s patent, and no jury trial was necessary. After winning judgment on the merits, we successfully opposed numerous challenges to subject matter jurisdiction made by GeoTag, and protected our summary judgment victory.
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.
Former Employee v. Netflix, Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc.: We defended Netflix and several of its senior executives from a high-profile defamation and blacklisting lawsuit. The plaintiff departed Netflix for Amazon, and later claimed that Netflix retaliated against him by making defamatory statements about him, wrongfully accusing him of taking confidential information, and inducing Amazon to fire him. We filed an early special motion to strike plaintiff’s complaint against the Netflix defendants pursuant to California’s anti-SLAPP statute, explaining why the plaintiff’s claims against the Netflix defendants were entirely premised on protected and privileged speech and did not establish a viable claim. The court granted our anti-SLAPP motion in its entirety, dismissing all of the plaintiff’s claims against the Netflix defendants only 5 ½ months after the complaint was filed.
In re Ronald W. Ross: In this pro bono habeas corpus case we won freedom for Ronald Ross, an innocent man who had been wrongfully convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2006. Over the course of a four-year investigation, we, along with our co-counsel at the Northern California Innocence Project, uncovered trial-witness recantations and other newly discovered evidence that conclusively established Mr. Ross’s innocence. We presented this evidence at a three-day evidentiary hearing in Alameda County Superior Court, and we eventually convinced the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to join in our request that Mr. Ross’s conviction be vacated. The Court granted Mr. Ross’s habeas petition and the District Attorney dismissed the underlying charges. After spending almost seven years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Mr. Ross was freed. We also represented Mr. Ross in post-habeas proceedings, winning him significant compensation from the State of California for his wrongful conviction and incarceration.
Company Founders v. Investment Banking and Securities Firm: The founders of a Silicon Valley-based semiconductor company allege a major investment banking and securities firm manipulated the 2008 financial crisis to defraud them of more than $100 million. On behalf of the founders, we filed suit asserting the firm and two account executives committed fraud and breached their fiduciary duties by forcing the founders to sell millions of shares of stock at an extraordinary loss during the crisis of 2008.
Awards and Honors
- California Lawyer of the Year, Intellectual Property, Daily Journal, 2017
- Named one of the Daily Journal's "5 Associates to Watch," 2015
- Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013-2016
"Statutory Complexity Disguises Agency Capture in Citizens Coal Council v. EPA," 34 Ecology Law Quarterly 927 (2007).
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, New York State Bar Association