Michael I. Katz

Attorney at Law Shareholder

Michael I. Katz is highly regarded for his combination of creativity, strategic judgment, and courtroom prowess. He has twenty-five years of experience litigating complex business disputes, including intellectual property, software-related disputes, unfair competition, and business disputes of all kinds. He excels at listening to his clients and tailoring solutions to meet their specific needs.

Michael was formerly a partner at Morrison & Foerster, before running his own firm, Katz & Yoon LLP. He began his career at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Barbara B. Crabb, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

Michael has been selected as a “Super lawyer®” for Southern California every year from 2004 through 2021 and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in U.S. News & World Reports Best Lawyers in America® for Intellectual Property since 2016. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell®.

  • Education
    • J.D., New York University School of Law
    • A.B., cum laude, Harvard College
  • Practice Focus
    • Business Litigation
    • Intellectual Property Litigation
    • Software Disputes
    • Trade Secrets
  • Professional Admissions & Associations
    • California State Bar
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
    • Adjunct Law Professor, Trade Secrets Law, University of California Irvine School of Law
    • Board of Directors, Two Worlds Dance Foundation (2017-present)
    • Board of Directors, Pacific Symphony (2015-2017)
    • Board of Directors, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (2013-2014)
  • Publications, Speaking Engagements & Presentations
    • “The Song Remains The Same:  The Ninth Circuit Says Led Zeppelin Did Not Copy Stairway to Heaven,” Orange County Business Journal (March 2020)
    • “Two Sides of The Same Coin: The Commonality Between Great Intellectual Property Attorneys & Capital Investors That Businesses Should Care About,”  Mountain West Capital Network 2019 Deal Flow Magazine
    • “The Battle Between Big Pharma and Generics Heats Up in 2018,” Maschoff Brennan Website (November 2018)
    • “The Fate of the Linguistic Commons and the Future of Comic Con,”  with L. Rex Sears, Licensing Journal June/July 2018, (pgs. 4-9)
    • “Comic Con: A Convention by Any Other Name?” Orange County Lawyer (April 2018)
    • “A Bitter Pill to Swallow? Foreign Drug Makers (and Other Foreign Brand Owners) Can Seek Cancellation of U.S. Marks Under the Lanham Act,” Orange County Business Journal (July 2017)
    • Uniform Trade Secrets Act Preemption:  An Obscure Doctrine Finally Gets Its Day in Court,” with Michael Jacobs and Jana Gold
  • Awards & Recognition
    • U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers; Litigation – Intellectual Property, Commercial Litigation (2016 – 2021)
      • Lawyer of the Year; Litigation – Intellectual Property (2020)
    • Southern California Super Lawyers (2004 – 2021)
    • Martindale Hubble, AV Rated – Intellectual Property Litigation, Complex Business Litigation (2004 – 2021)
  • Representative Matters

    Trade Secret Litigation

    • MACOM v. LITRINIUM: Obtain dismissal of defendant in bet the company lawsuit brought by an industry leader alleging theft of purported trade secrets related to optical networking technology.
    • BEATPORT v. SOUNDCLOUD: Obtain dismissal of SoundCloud executive in a lawsuit alleging theft of purported trade secrets related to software enabling DJs to locally access a music catalog, curate playlists, and playback audio files.
    • SOFTKETEERS v. REGAL:  Obtain preliminary injunction precluding use of source code in a bet the company litigation alleging trade secret theft and copyright infringement.
    • BROADCOM, INC. v. SPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGIES: Obtained walk-away settlement for five SpaceX engineers in trade secret misappropriation case involving the design of phased array satellite communication chipset and related technology.
    • TECHNOLOGENT v. OnX: Defended trade secret misappropriation claim, including prevailing on a motion for terminating sanctions for discovery abuse.
    • MRV COMMUNICATIONS v. ZONU: Defended a fiber optic component manufacturer in a bet the company unfair competition and trade secret misappropriation case, obtaining terminating sanctions.
    • RE3W v. FIRST AMERICAN: Defended claims of trade secret misappropriation, breach of oral joint venture agreement, and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with commercial real estate app.
    • HERBALIFE v. GLOBENET: Obtained a preliminary and permanent injunction on behalf of Herbalife on claims of theft of trade secrets of their MLM business model, and for software development.


    Business Litigation

    • AUTOCRIB DIRECTORS LITIGATION:  Obtained complete defense verdict for the board of directors of AutoCrib, Inc. in three-week trial on breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted by minority shareholder.
    • RED DIGITAL CINEMA CAMERA v. USABILITY PRO: Represented software developer against claims alleging failed software development.
    • CUSTER v. MACHINE TOOL SUPPLY: Obtained favorable settlement after arbitration on behalf of a company against a minority shareholder alleging wrongful dilution of shares.
    • GEORGE v. YNUC: Prevailed at trial in partnership dispute over ownership of urgent care management company.
    • MLINAR v. NOBLES MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY: Represented company against aggrieved investor alleging fraud in the sale of shares.


    Patent Litigation

    • ON THE GO v. AT&T et al.: Represented Cricket Communications against claims of patent infringement and prosecuted claims of patent invalidity and unenforceability involving handset-enabled electronic commerce.
    • ANGEION CORPORATION v. CARDIAC PACEMAKERS: Prevailed on summary judgment in patent infringement case involving implantable heart defibrillator technology, obtaining a $35 million settlement.
    • GRAPHIC PROPERTIES HOLDINGS v. VIZIO: Represented the defendant against a charge of patent infringement regarding LCD panels, TV circuits, and video processing.
    • MEC v. MINDSPEED: Defended a patent infringement action involving ARM’s pipelined processor technology.


    Copyright, Trademark and Right of Publicity Litigation

    • QUEST SOFTWARE v. DIRECTV: Obtained walkaway settlement for DIRECTV in an action for copyright infringement and breach of software licensing agreement.
    • GRINDR SOFTWARE THEFT INVESTIGATION: Managed investigation for social networking app Grindr regarding alleged theft and copyright infringement of software source code.
    • JADE COSMETICS v. DANG: Represented party in trademark infringement and ownership dispute involving a fast growing cosmetics company.
    • HANNAH v. CURRIE TECHNOLOGIES INC.: Successfully represent the actress, Daryl Hannah, in right of publicity suit against ecofriendly bicycle company for improper use of her image.


    Class Action Litigation

    • McDONALD’S PROMOTIONAL GAMES MDL LITIGATION: Represented McDonald’s vendor Simon Marketing in over thirty class actions nationwide and in California alleging unlawful conduct of promotional games.
    • DAVIS v. ELECTRONIC ARTS: Represented retired NFLers in class action lawsuit alleging improper use of player’s likeness in the Madden NFL videogames.
    • STRADER v. PHH CORPORATION: Represented homeowners in class action against Realogy and PHH alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Practices Act.