Matt Werdegar is an experienced trial lawyer who helps his clients navigate complex, intellectual property disputes. Mr. Werdegar also is often called upon to assist with high-stakes disputes involving breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition claims. Whatever the subject matter, Mr. Werdegar focuses on his clients’ ultimate objectives and crafts novel, pragmatic litigation strategies to meet those objectives.
Mr. Werdegar has handled complex intellectual property and civil litigation matters in state and federal courts across the country and before the International Trade Commission. He has successfully tried a variety of cases to verdict and won favorable decisions before both state appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Werdegar repeatedly has been recognized for his skillful advocacy in intellectual property and business cases. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for intellectual property and patent litigation since 2011. And he has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer for business litigation since 2014.
Mr. Werdegar also dedicates substantial time to a number of community and educational organizations. He serves on the board of OneJustice, a California state-wide legal nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to legal services to those in need. He also serves as an instructor for Stanford Law School’s trial advocacy program.
Cases of Note
EMC Corporation v. Pure Storage Inc.: We defended data storage innovator Pure Storage Inc. in multi-patent litigation filed by its Fortune 500 rival EMC Corporation in the District of Delaware. EMC’s asserted patents related to various data storage technologies, including technology for deduplicating data. We prevailed on two of the five patents in suit prior to trial, and obtained a jury verdict of non-infringement as two others following a seven-day jury trial. We then won partial judgment as a matter of law and a new trial on invalidity as to EMC’s one remaining asserted patent. Shortly following the court’s order granting a new trial, Pure Storage and EMC reached a global settlement.
Plaintiff v. Venture Capital Firm and Firm Partner: On behalf of a venture capital firm and its general partners, we defeated aggressive litigation filed by one of the firm’s portfolio companies. Our client had invested in the plaintiff company more than 25 years prior to the litigation, and was the plaintiff’s largest minority shareholder. The case began when our client exercised its contractual right to compel the plaintiff’s IPO so it could finally liquidate its investment. The plaintiff retaliated by accusing a firm partner who had exercised his stock options of breach of contract, conversion, and fraud. After successfully getting the case moved from Orange County to San Mateo, we battled with the plaintiff over the sufficiency of its pleadings and defeated a succession of attempts by the plaintiff to uncover in discovery our clients’ confidential and irrelevant business strategies concerning its investment. Ultimately, despite repeated efforts by the plaintiff to expand and delay the litigation, we convinced the San Mateo Superior Court to grant our clients’ motion for summary judgment in its entirety.
CA, Inc. d/b/a CA Technologies v. New Relic, Inc.: We are defending software analytics company, New Relic, Inc., from patent infringement allegations in the Eastern District of New York.
American Medical Response Inc. et al. v. Paramedics Plus, et al.: We defended Paramedics Plus from American Medical Response’s (AMR) claims of anticompetitive unfair business practices. After losing the competitive bidding process for Alameda County’s emergency medical services transportation contract to its much smaller rival Paramedics Plus, AMR accused our client of violating California's predatory pricing law, Business & Professions Code Section 17043, in its bid to win the 911 ambulance contract. Despite a minimal amount of precedent, we were able to preserve the statute’s intent, which is to safeguard healthy competition by protecting smaller companies from larger rivals. We received a unanimous 12-0 jury verdict in favor of our client.
Plaintiff v. Cepia, LLC: A toy developer sued our client Cepia for allegedly using misappropriated trade secrets to develop Cepia’s award-wining line of ZhuZhu robotic toys. We obtained Rule 11 sanctions for the pleading of factually baseless allegations as well as the dismissal of five of the plaintiff’s six claims. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the final claim and issue a public acknowledgement of no misconduct and independent development by Cepia.
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.
Rembrandt Technologies, Inc. v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC: We served as lead counsel for Comcast in a patent infringement case involving high-speed Internet and digital TV services. Rembrandt Technologies, Inc. originally filed the case in the Eastern District of Texas, but in conjunction with other co-defendants, we obtained multi-district consolidation and transfer to the District of Delaware. Based upon claim construction, Rembrandt conceded non-infringement of all patents, preserving only its right to appeal the claim construction as to the ninth. The Federal Circuit then upheld the claim construction on that last patent that resulted in non-infringement. We also helped Comcast secure an exceptional-case determination and a resulting award of over $10 million in fees and costs.
Maritime Association v. Miniace: We successfully defended an individual in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) action brought by her deceased husband’s employer. The employer sought to recoup the $10 million insurance proceeds paid to our client upon her husband's death. After a two-week court trial, judgment was awarded in favor of our client. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment.
Commercial Property v. Mortgage Corporation: We represented the owners of a Silicon Valley commercial office building in a dispute over unlawful mortgage servicing practices. We won a complete victory at the jury trial, collecting a verdict of $7.5 million in actual damages plus $30 million in punitive damages. The case was favorably settled prior to appeal.
Awards and Honors
- The Best Lawyers in America for Intellectual Property Litigation and Patent Litigation, 2012 - present
- Northern California Super Lawyer for Business Litigation, 2014 - present
- Notes editor, Stanford Law Review, Stanford Law School, 1998
- Order of the Coif, Stanford Law School, 1998
- Marshall Scholarship, University of London, 1992-1994
Professional Affiliations, Publications and Presentations
- "Jury's Still Out on the Impact of the Defend Trade Secrets Act," Inside Counsel, 2017, co-authored with Warren Braunig
- "One year on: the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act," Daily Journal, 2017, co-authored with Warren Braunig
- "2016 Rulings Shed Light on Software Patent Eligibility Standards," BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, 2017, co-authored with Matthias Kamber.
- "Planning for E-Discovery: Federal courts in California Have Developed New Rules and Guidelines," California Lawyer, 2014, co-authored with Ben Hur
- "3 E-discovery Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore," Corporate Counsel, 2014, co-authored with Ben Hur
- "Grow Your Business, Not Your Legal Bills: Avoid Litigation While Hiring New Talent, Managing Customer Data, and Protecting IP," 2011
- Board of Directors, OneJustice, 2011 - present
- Volunteer faculty, Stanford Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop, 2014 - present
- American Bar Association
- Bar Association of San Francisco
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers
- California Supreme Court Historical Society