Intellectual property litigator Michael Headley is a superb trial strategist and an articulate and compelling client advocate who represents clients in patent infringement and other IP cases involving a wide variety of technologies.

Michael focuses his practice on complex IP disputes for global brands and other companies. A Stanford alum with startup experience and more than a dozen jury and bench trials to date, he has tried cases and counseled clients through disputes involving patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, unfair competition, and other technology-related issues in courts from Delaware to San Francisco to China.

In 2015, Michael obtained a $139 million verdict for Power Integrations against Fairchild Semiconductor, one of the largest jury verdicts of that year. In 2016, the California Daily Journal named him one of the "Top IP Lawyers in California."

When he is not in court, Michael works with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), where he is a faculty member, and has served on several advisory boards related to IP issues. He is the former managing principal of Fish & Richardson's Silicon Valley office and previously served as firm-wide hiring principal.

Before joining the firm, he was the special deputy district attorney for San Benito County, California (2003-2006), and a judicial extern in the Northern District of California to the Honorable D. Lowell Jensen (2002) and to the Honorable Saundra Brown Armstrong (2000).


Patent cases

Power Integrations v. Fairchild Semiconductor – Successfully represented Power Integrations in bringing patent infringement suits in the District of Delaware and the Northern District of California. Asserted Power Integrations patents relating to circuits and high voltage transistor structures against various Fairchild chips used in power conversion applications. Juries returned verdicts awarding Power Integrations $34 million and $139 million in damages, respectively.

Gilead Sciences Inc. v. Merck & Co. – Counsel for Gilead in bench trial regarding equitable issues and post-trial damages claims following a March 2016 verdict against Gilead for infringement of Merck patents in a case involving Gilead’s multi-billion dollar drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni, which are cures for Hepatitis C.  On June 6, 2016, the Judge sided with Gilead and found Merck’s patents unenforceable against Gilead, wiping out a prior $200M verdict against Gilead.

Fairchild Semiconductor v. Power Integrations (China) – Served as lead defense counsel in this $19 million lawsuit filed in China against Power Integrations, with responsibilities ranging from hiring and overseeing local counsel to developing trial strategy in a Chinese patent litigation matter that tested new and evolving law.  After Power Integrations received a complete defense verdict at trial and invalidated more than half of Fairchild’s patent claims, and continued to prevail in subsequent appeals, Fairchild ultimately dropped the case.

Power Integrations adv. Intersil and Fairchild – Represented Power Integrations as counsel in both the Eastern District of Texas and the District of Delaware in defense of patent infringement claims, and successfully moved to have the case dismissed. The technology related to high-voltage transistor structures.

Honeywell v. Sandel Avionics (Sandel I) – Successfully represented Sandel as trial counsel in securing a jury defense verdict of non-infringement. Other asserted Honeywell patent claims were previously held invalid on summary judgment, and the invalidity findings were affirmed on appeal. The patents-in-suit related to FAA-mandated Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems (“TAWS”).

Honeywell v. Sandel Avionics (Sandel II) – Represented Sandel as trial counsel in securing a jury verdict of non-infringement in the District of Delaware. The technology in this case also related to Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems for aircraft but was directed to older Ground Proximity Warning System (“GPWS”) software.

Cadence adv. Bhandari and Vanguard – Successfully represented Cadence in defending against claims for patent infringement in the Eastern District of Texas and Northern District of California. The technology at issue related to electronic design automation and verification tools. Secured summary judgment of non-infringement and dismissal of counterclaims.

National Instruments v. SoftWIRE Technology and Measurement Computing Corporation – Asserted National Instruments’ pioneering patents related to graphical programming, embodied in LabVIEW®, in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts. Also defended countersuit on two patents related to virtual instrumentation. Case settled.

Represented leading supplier of LCD controllers in patent infringement action. Obtained summary judgment of infringement and exceptional case attorneys’ fees award for a total judgment over $7.5 million.

Trademark and copyright cases

Asserted client’s trademarks and copyrights against multiple defendants in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. Won summary judgment of infringement and obtained judgments against multiple infringers.

Trade secret cases

Represented leading fiber optic components company in trade secret litigation in California State Court. Case successfully resolved.

Teaching positions

National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) faculty member
U.C. Hastings College of Law, taught legal writing and moot court (2003-2007)

Government legal service positions

Special Deputy District Attorney, San Benito County, California (2003-2006)

Served as a judicial extern in the Northern District of California to the Honorable D. Lowell Jensen, U.S. District Court Judge (2002) and to the Honorable Saundra Brown Armstrong, U.S. District Court Judge (2000)

Professional associations

  • San Francisco Bay Area IP Inn of Court, President
  • San Francisco Opera BRAVO! Club, Director, 2004-2007
  • Stanford Center for the Legal Profession, Advisory Board, 2016-present
  • Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, Advisory Board, 2016-present
  • Law360 Intellectual Property Editorial Advisory Board, 2015-2017
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Faculty Member
  • U.C. Hastings College of Law, taught legal writing and moot court, Instructor, 2003-2007