FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Michael A. Jacobs

Michael A. Jacobs

Morrison & Foerster LLP

San Francisco, CA, USA


Many leading technology and life sciences companies call on Michael Jacobs to lead trial teams in their most complex litigation. He served as co-lead counsel in two of the most-watched intellectual property battles of recent memory, including a high-profile smartphone case leading to a jury verdict of over $1 billion. Chambers calls him a “real star” and a “pillar of the Silicon Valley patent litigation community.” Clients have described him as “simply outstanding… he is a superb writer and strategist, as well as super-smart and articulate in court.”

Mr. Jacobs is listed in Band 1 by Chambers USA 2014 in its California Intellectual Property category. He is listed for the third consecutive year among the top attorneys in The BTI Client Service All-Star MVP, nominated by clients and selected for consistent outstanding client service. Mr. Jacobs has won the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) award three times, first for his advocacy on behalf of Intel in the Intel v. Hamidi “trespass to chattels” case, in 2012 for his defense of Novell in SCO v. Novell, and in 2014 for his role as co-lead counsel in a billion dollar smartphone trial. He also has twice been named “Litigator of the Week” by The American Lawyer, once for his victory in the Novell case and, in September 2012, for his victory in the smartphone trial.

Mr. Jacobs' work in several landmark cases has helped to shape the laws governing emerging technologies. Mr. Jacobs represented Novell in the widely reported SCO v. Novell Linux litigation, prevailing in a bench trial on Novell’s multi-million dollar claims, defeating SCO’s $200 million claim in a three-week jury trial, and defending those results on appeal in the 10th Circuit. He also represented Autodesk in the Vernor v. Autodesk case, which established that copyright’s first sale doctrine does not immunize the re-sale of licensed software.

In addition, he has represented leading life sciences companies in their cutting edge litigation, including Chiron in its HCV protease litigation, Abraxis in its nanoparticle anticancer treatment dispute with Elan Pharma, and QLT in its litigation with TAP Pharmaceutical involving the Eligard anticancer treatment. He currently represents Genentech in its patent litigation with Phigenix.

Mr. Jacobs has also achieved victories in important pro bono cases. He was co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in the landmark Williams v. State of California class action, which led to a settlement in which the State undertook to address shocking conditions in California’s lowest performing schools. He also represented the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Anti-Defamation League in a successful pre-election challenge to an anti-circumcision initiative slated for San Francisco’s ballot. 

Mr. Jacobs routinely speaks on cutting-edge intellectual property issues. For example, for the last several years he has participated in the Federal Judicial Center-Berkeley Center for Law & Technology’s education program for federal judges.

Michael A. Jacobs is associated with the following items:
Web Segment  Web Segment Conducting an Effective Cross-Examination - Trial by Jury 2016, Tuesday, November 29, 2016
MP3 Audio  MP3 Audio Conducting an Effective Cross-Examination - Conducting an Effective Cross-Examination, Tuesday, November 29, 2016
MP4 - Mobile Video Seg  MP4 - Mobile Video Seg Conducting an Effective Cross-Examination - Conducting an Effective Cross-Examination, Tuesday, November 29, 2016
On-Demand Web Programs  On-Demand Web Programs Trial by Jury 2016, Friday, December 02, 2016, New York, NY
CHB Chapters  CHB Chapters Ethical Pitfalls in Jury Trials (September 7, 2012) - Trial by Jury 2017, Monday, November 13, 2017
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