Phone: 619-238-4900

Intellectual Property Disputes

  • Copyright disputes
  • Patent disputes
  • Trademark/Tradename disputes
  • Trade secret litigation

Intellectual property issues arise often in business litigation. Trade secret disputes are the most common. We have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in numerous trade secret disputes over the years, involving everything from typical theft of customer lists to the removal of top secret drawings and specifications from a defense contractor. In addition to our substantial in-house expertise, when trade secrets are at issue, we routinely work with of one of the firm’s former attorneys, J. Patrick Huston, who recently published a 4,000 page treatise entitled “Trade Secret Litigation Under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act,” which is the most complete and authoritative work of its kind.

While we do not practice before the Patent and Trademark Office, we have significant patent, copyright, trademark, and tradename litigation experience. We have represented some of the best-selling non-fiction writers of all time, including Spencer Johnson MD, who among other titles, is co-author of the “One Minute Manager,” and author of “Who Moved My Cheese,” which has sold more than 26 million copies in 37 different languages. Mark Mazzarella also brings a unique perspective to our copyright litigation, having co-authored the New York Times and International best-seller, “Reading People” (Random House 1998), and “Put Your Best Foot Forward” (Simon & Schuster 2000).


  • We recently tried and won a case involving trademarks registered both in the United States and Mexico.
  • We recovered in excess of $4,000,000 on behalf of a venture capital firm in an action against a law firm which, through two different attorneys, unknowingly applied for the same patent on behalf of two different clients.
  • We were retained by a knife manufacturer which was bringing a universal tool to market which potentially violated a competitor’s patients. Before litigation was filed, we presented a mock trial on the patent issues to two retired judges, which resulted in our client’s decision to pay a royalty to the patent holder, and thereby avoid the cost and risk of litigation.
  • We represented an aerospace company whose employee took copies of classified drawings and specifications when the employee left the company to join a competitor. Working with the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI we recovered the trade secrets within days of discovering their removal, when the FBI raided the employee’s home pursuant to a search warrant.
  • We have represented a number of best-selling authors regarding copyright issues.
  • We represented the public relations firm which has run the campaigns of 3 of the past 5 Mayors of San Diego, including Bob Filner, when one of its most senior employees left the firm claiming sexual harassment by former Mayor Bob Filner. The claim was dropped when we were able to prove that the employee had taken many of the firm’s trade secrets when she left.


  • Buck Knives
  • Spencer Johnson MD (author of “The One Minute Manager”/”Who Moved My Cheese”/”Value Tales)
  • John Wexo (With more than 100,000,000 copies of his “ZOONOOS” books in print)
  • Nery’s USA, Inc.
  • Mark Mazzarella and Jo-Ellan Dimitrius