Managing Partner, Palo Alto Office, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
William F. Abrams, the managing partner of Steptoe’s Palo Alto office, is a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer who Chambers USA calls a “wizard of the patent bar” and a “courageous litigator who understands both the broader picture and the social context surrounding issues.” He was named a “California Lawyer of the Year” by California Magazine and a Top 100 Lawyer and Top 75 IP Lawyer by The Daily Journal.
Mr. Abrams has been lead counsel in over 70 patent, trade secret and other IP cases since 2000, including trials, arbitrations and appeals in federal and state courts involving patent infringement, trade secrets and misappropriation, interference and business torts, technology transfer and licensing, trademarks and advertising, and copyright. He has also been litigation counsel and advised companies and individuals in defamation, First Amendment and cases involving media, and in privacy matters. Mr. Abrams represents public and private companies in a wide range of industries, including software and hardware companies, Internet and media, universities and research institutions, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, financial institutions, media and publishing, and wineries and alcoholic beverage companies. He also has extensive experience in public interest and Constitutional litigation in trial and appellate courts.
Mr. Abrams is a consulting professor at Stanford University, where he teaches courses on intellectual property, policy, civil rights, children’s legal issues and the death penalty. He was honored as the 2009 commencement speaker for the Program in Human Biology and received the 2004 Human Biology “Excellence in Advising” award. Mr. Abrams founded the Abrams Fellowship at the Haas Center for Public Interest, a program that awards fellowships for undergraduates to work in public interest law, and the Abrams Family Fellowship for students to take gap years to undertake service projects. He is also a faculty adviser to the Stanford Stude