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Stephen J. Akerley




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

Recent Insights

News & Press



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On February 25, 2019, the Supreme Court denied Power Integrations, Inc.’s (“Power Integrations”) petition for writ of certiorari.  The question presented to the Court was whether a plaintiff who had proven customer demand for an infringing product as a result of the patented feature was entitled to damages based on the entire market value of the product, or if the plaintiff also had to prove that the other unpatented features of the infringing product did not drive customer demand.  The Court’s denial leaves a high burden for patentee’s relying on the Entire Market Value Rule (“EMVR”).
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CAFC Affirms Prior Jury Verdict Admissible in Upholding $140M Verdict against Time Warner

December 17, 2018 | Blog | By Stephen J. Akerley, Philip C. Ducker, Adrian Kwan

On November 30, 2018, the Federal Circuit affirmed a jury verdict awarding Sprint Communications Company, LP (“Sprint”) damages in the amount of $139,800,000.00 USD against Time Warner Cable, Inc., et al., for infringing five patents directed to Voice over IP technology (“VoIP”).
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Automated Tracking Solutions, LLC v. The Coca-Cola Company

March 5, 2018 | Blog | By Stephen J. Akerley, Adrian Kwan

Automated Tracking Solutions, LLC, (“ATS”) appealed findings of invalidity for failing to claim patent-eligible subject matter by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
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On January 12, 2018 in Exmark Manufacturing Co. Inc., v. Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group, LLC, the Federal Circuit once again addressed the issue of apportioning damages, an area of the law that continues to evolve.  The parties in Exmark are competitors in the commercial lawn mower market.
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The Federal Circuit’s damages apportionment jurisprudence is an ever-evolving area of the law. On January 10, 2018, a three judge panel of the Federal Circuit revisited the issue in connection with a patent covering a method for providing computer security in the case Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coat Systems, Inc.
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News & Press

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The October 29 edition of the Skilled in the Art newsletter published by reported that Mintz achieved a favorable Notice of Initial Determination at the U.S. International Trade Commission on behalf of the firm’s client Netlist, Inc., a California-based technology company focused on developing innovative server memory module products, including technology that is essential to certain JEDEC memory standards. Significantly, this is the first time since 2013 that a Section 337 violation has been found based on a standard-essential patent.
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Law360 reported that a U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled that Korean manufacturer SK Hynix infringed on California-based technology company, and Mintz client, Netlist, Inc.’s standard essential patent related to server memory modules.

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.
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Mintz Member Stephen Akerley was a featured speaker at the second annual Litigation Finance Dealmakers Forum, held in Manhattan from September 18-19.
In an article published by Law360, Mintz Member Stephen J. Akerly commented on the legal landscape five years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank, which ruled that four patents directed to a computerized trading platform were invalid. As a result, hundreds of patents on software and other computer-related inventions have been invalidated, and it is difficult to obtain those kinds of patents in the first place.

“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.
In this Law360 “Expert Analysis” column, a team of Mintz intellectual property attorneys discuss the Federal Circuit’s modified opinion in Power Integrations v. Fairchild. The piece notes that this opinion is a retreat from an earlier ruling that set an unattainable standard for invoking the entire market value rule. The column is authored by Member Steve Akerley, Of Counsel Philip Ducker and Associate Rob Moore.
Intellectual Property Member Steve Akerley was quoted in an article in Law360 discussing the effects of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on patent litigation over the past five years, citing it as one of the two things that have “really impacted the state of play in patent law”.
Mintz continues to expand its bicoastal Intellectual Property Practice with the addition of veteran patent attorney Alex Trimble, Ph.D. who will serve as a Member in the San Francisco office.
This article highlights Stephen Akerley’s arrival at Mintz as a member in the firm’s San Francisco office. Steve’s work involves intellectual property law and patent litigation practices, among others, and has applications in technology and manufacturing fields. 
This Law360 feature article highlights Stephen Akerley, who joined Mintz as a Member in the firm’s San Francisco office. Steve’s work involves IP law and patent litigation practices, and has applications in technology and manufacturing fields.
Mintz has bolstered its nationally recognized, bicoastal Intellectual Property Practice with the addition of veteran Silicon Valley attorney Stephen J. Akerley, who will serve as a Member in the San Francisco office.



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