Sebastian E. Kaplan
Sebastian Kaplan litigates disputes involving construction, commercial transactions and contracts, intellectual property (copyright, trademark, trade secrets), and policyholder-side insurance. He also counsels clients on new product litigation risks, employment mobility issues, and IP portfolio management.
Sebastian represents clients in federal and state courts and has resolved claims through trial, arbitration, and appeal. He has extensive pre-litigation and pre-trial experience, simultaneously balancing high-stakes litigation with cease and desist disputes, subpoena responses, and numerous commercial disputes. Sebastian has managed document collection in several major litigations that involved complex ESI issues, including identification and forensic collection of documents from mobile devices and collaborative databases.
Sebastian clerked for the Honorable Carlos T. Bea at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 2009-2010.
Sebastian frequently writes and speaks on issues of trade secrets litigation, including the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and trademark litigation and copyright issues. He is also committed to pro bono homelessness prevention and represents indigent tenants facing eviction. In 2015, Sebastian was awarded the Bar Association of San Francisco’s annual Housing Justice Award for first-chairing a four-day unlawful detainer trial.
- Represented public construction company in breach of contract and fraud arbitration against former executive; second-chaired two week arbitration, including two direct and one cross-examinations
- Prevailed on appeal in a multi-million dollar commercial dispute in which the court found the client offered “the only reasonable interpretation” of a disputed agreement
- Defended non-profit organization in breach of contract action; first-chaired four-day bench trial
- Represented game developer in $10 million arbitration; settled after favorable ruling on dispositive motions
- First-chaired four-day jury trial that settled just before closing arguments
- Represented clients bringing and defending against trade secret misappropriation and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claims
- Represented clients in cases involving claims of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false advertising, cybersquatting, and unfair competition under the Lanham Act and similar state laws
- Defended clients against copyright infringement claims
- Key member of the team that defended Nimble Storage, Inc. from allegations of trade secret misappropriation and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act brought by competitor NetApp, Inc.
- Key member of the team that litigated and settled a complex trademark dispute involving Mexican cleaning products manufacturer, Industrias AlEn S.A. de C.V., and its American subsidiary, AlEn USA LLC, against The Clorox Company regarding infringement and dilution of household cleaning brands
- Key member of the team that won provisional relief to enjoin efforts to gather competitive intelligence and trade secret information through pretexting and corporate espionage for SuccessFactors, Inc. against competitor Halogen Software, Inc., and obtained favorable settlement for SuccessFactors
- Key member of the team that resolved a software copyright dispute against downstream customers of Chordiant Software, Inc. resulting in favorable settlement of claims
Honors and Awards
- Northern California Rising Star list: Intellectual Property Litigation, Business Litigation, Super Lawyers Magazine (2015-2019)
- Outstanding Barrister of the Year, Barristers Club, Bar Association of San Francisco (2015)
- Housing Justice Award, Bar Association of San Francisco (2015)
Presentations and Publications
- Author, “Stop Saying ‘Split the Baby’”, Legal by the Bay, Sept. 4, 2018
- Author, “Litigating Trade Secrets in Federal Court,” San Francisco Attorney Magazine, Sept. 2017
- Author, “IP Section Builds Community through Educational and Leadership Opportunities,” Legal by the Bay, June 24, 2017
- Co-Author, “CFAA Clarity From 9th Circuit,” Law360, Aug. 19, 2016
- Author, “Ninth Circuit Ruling Clarifies Part of the Data Scraping Debate,” Daily Journal, July 18, 2016
- Board Member, Bar Association of San Francisco (Jan. 2018-present)
- Chair, Intellectual Property Section, Bar Association of San Francisco (Jan. 2017-present)
- Presidential Appointee, Advisory Commission to the Standing Committee on Public Education, American Bar Association (Aug. 2016-present)
- Director and Founding Member, Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco (March 2015- present)
- Director, Justice and Diversity Center Board, Bar Association of San Francisco (Jan. 2015-Dec. 2017)
- Vice-Chair, Intellectual Property Section, Bar Association of San Francisco (Jan. 2016-Dec. 2016)
- Executive Committee, Intellectual Property Section, Bar Association of San Francisco (Jan. 2013-Dec. 2015)
- President of the Barristers Club, Bar Association of San Francisco (Jan. 2013-Dec. 2013)
- Director, Barristers Board, Bar Association of San Francisco (Jan. 2012-Dec. 2013)
- Past President, Barristers Club of the Bar Association of San Francisco (2013)
- Chair, Barristers Club Professional Development Section, Bar Association of San Francisco (March 2007-Dec. 2011)
- Stanford Law SchoolJD, 2006
- Wesleyan UniversityBA, 2002