Steve is a seasoned intellectual property trial lawyer who has successfully represented clients in District Courts across the United States, the US International Trade Commission and international tribunals. Currently, he is preparing for an ITC trial relating to high-speed memory modules.
His practice emphasizes patent litigation, representing patent owners and accused infringers in cases involving telecommunications, semiconductors, software, and biotech diagnostics. His experience handling both enforcement and defense representations informs his approach to developing and deploying successful strategies for his clients.
Clients have entrusted Steve to handle cases against some of the biggest technology companies in the world, enforcing patent owner rights and helping them to secure individual settlements of more than a hundred million dollars. In his representation of accused infringers, Steve has achieved successes in the form of trial victories, summary judgment, and early settlements for nuisance amounts.
Clients look to Steve for his relentless and pragmatic approach to problem-solving. One to always see the big picture, he takes a practical approach to highly complex legal and technical issues, finding critical strengths in his clients’ cases and weaknesses in their opponents’ positions.
His insights and views on intellectual property issues are frequently sought and have been featured in publications such as the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, PC World, Red Herring, IP Law & Business, and Law360. Most recently, Steve has published and presented on the topic of damages and the Federal Circuit’s current approach to the Entire Market Value Rule.
He has been listed among the top IP litigators in Silicon Valley by The Legal 500 and has also been recognized multiple times as one of the Top 50 IP litigators in California by the Daily Journal. He was also previously recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the top “40 Under 40” litigators in the country.
- University of San Francisco (JD)
- Cornell University (BS, Electrical Engineering)
International Trade Commission
- Certain Food Waste Disposers and Components and Packaging Thereof (337-TA-838) - Trial counsel for respondent Anaheim Manufacturing in unusual Section 337 investigation involving patents, trademarks, and trade dress regarding garbage disposers. Won complete victory when the complainant unconditionally dropped all claims following the first day of trial.
- Certain Ceramic Capacitors and Products Containing Same (337-TA-692) - Trial counsel for respondent Samsung Electro Mechanical Co., Ltd. in a Section 337 case relating to multilayer ceramic capacitors. Prevailed on all three patents asserted at trial.
- Certain Digital Television Products and Certain Products Containing Same and Methods of Using Same (337-TA-617) - Trial counsel for respondent Top Victory Electronics (Taiwan) Co., Ltd. in Section 337 case relating to chipsets used in digital televisions. Prevailed on both patents in suit.
Federal District Court
- Intellectual Ventures I and II v. AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and US Cellular. Lead counsel in two cases involving 28 patents related to various aspects of telecommunications services including LTE and 3G infrastructure, SMS messaging, MMS messaging, web-based services and directory assistance technology.
- Amkor Technologies v. Synoptics, Inc. et al. Represented Amkor in patent and trademark dispute related fabrication and packaging technology for fingerprint sensors.
- BPI Sports LLC v. NAI. Lead counsel for BPI in patent infringement case involving nutritional supplements utilizing L-citruline, resulting in settlement by defendant.
- BPI Sports LLC v. Cellular. Lead counsel for BPI in trademark infringement case, resulting in favorable settlement.
- Convolve, Inc. v. Seagate Technology. Lead counsel for Seagate regarding claims of patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation where the plaintiff alleged more than a billion dollars in damages. This case led to the landmark Federal Circuit decision, In Re Seagate Technology, in which the court overturned 24 years of precedent in Seagate's favor, preserving the attorney-client privilege and abolishing the duty of care standard for defendants on notice of a patent claim. Client prevailed on summary judgment resolving all direct liability issues.
- Global lead counsel for Intergraph Corp. and Intergraph Hardware Technologies, Co. against Hewlett-Packard-Packard in five separate patent infringement cases venues in California, Texas, and Germany resulting in a US $141 million settlement for Intergraph.
- PACid LLC v. Lenovo Group Ltd. Lead counsel for Lenovo in patent litigation relating to encryption technology.
- F&G Research v. Creative Labs. Lead counsel for Creative, prevailing on summary judgment resulting in complete victory for Creative prior to discovery phase.
- AudioMPEG v. Creative Labs. Represented Creative in patent infringement case relating to audio compression technology.
- Creative Labs v. Apple, Inc. Represented Creative in patent infringement cases relating to hierarchical database structures and user interface design.
- Hitachi Ltd. v. AmTran. Lead counsel for Hitachi in patent cases regarding computer display technology. Resulted in substantial license.
- Hitachi Ltd. v. Top Victory Electronics. Lead counsel for Hitachi in patent cases regarding computer display technology. Resulted in substantial license.
- Hitachi Ltd. v. Proview. Lead counsel for Hitachi in patent cases regarding computer display technology. Resulted in substantial license.
- Phoenix Technologies v. DeviceVM. Lead counsel for DeviceVM in a patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation case relating to "instant on" boot routine technology. Resulted in Phoenix making a payment to DeviceVM.
- Intergraph v. Intel. Defended Intergraph with respect to claims by Intel that Intergraph had infringed seven patents. The case settled, with Intel paying Intergraph in excess of US $350 million.
- Bella Bella v. Neutropenia, et al. Represented Neutrogena and Johnson & Johnson in a patent infringement case involving abrading facial creams in a case we quickly resolved.
- NEC Corp. v. Hyundai Electronics. Represented Hyundai in a multi-patent case relating to DRAM structure and process technology.
Recognition & Awards
- The Legal 500: Top IP litigators in Silicon Valley
- Included on the Super Lawyers: Top Attorneys in Northern California list (2004 - 2019)
- California Daily Journal: Top 50 IP Litigators
- National Law Journal: 40 Under 40 (2009)
- American Airlines: Featured in "America's Best Lawyers," an in-flight radio story
December 17, 2018|Blog
News & Press
Cert. Denied – Patent Owners Still Must Prove Unpatented Features Did Not Drive Consumer Purchasing to Rely on EMVR
March 18, 2019 | Blog | By Stephen J. Akerley, Philip C. Ducker, Adrian Kwan
December 17, 2018 | Blog | By Stephen J. Akerley, Philip C. Ducker, Adrian Kwan
March 5, 2018 | Blog | By Stephen J. Akerley, Adrian Kwan
Federal Circuit Approves Apportioning Damages through a Thorough and Reliable Analysis of the Royalty Rate
February 15, 2018 | Blog | By Stephen J. Akerley, Philip C. Ducker
Damages Apportionment for Infringing A Method Claim When The Smallest Saleable Unit Performs Infringing and Non-Infringing Functions
January 22, 2018 | Blog | By Stephen J. Akerley, Philip C. Ducker
News & Press
October 30, 2019
October 22, 2019
The article noted that the Mintz team representing Netlist includes Member and Chair of the Intellectual Property Division Michael Renaud, along with Members James Wodarski, Drew DeVoogd, Steve Akerley, Aarti Shah, and Associates Kristina Cary, Matthew Galica, and Tiffany Knapp.
September 20, 2019
“In five years, I’ve seen what I would consider one of the most dramatic effects of any decision or change in legislation as it relates to the patent system,” Mr. Akerly said.