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About Seth

Seth is a seasoned trial lawyer who has experience in all aspects of complex patent and intellectual property litigation, including trade secret disputes, copyright actions, and RICO claims. He has successfully handled trials in U.S. district courts across the country and in hearings before the U.S. International Trade Commission. He recently co-chaired a trial where he invalidated a utility patent covering Columbia Sportswear’s Omni-Heat product lines representing hundreds of millions of dollars. This was also the first design patent damages trial under the Supreme Court’s Samsung v. Apple opinion allowing apportionment of damages for design patents.

Clients say that Seth’s approach is firm but reasonable because he eschews scorched-earth tactics in favor of identifying and focusing on issues that truly matter. He brings to every case a careful attention to detail and a desire to align the litigation strategy with his clients’ business objectives. Seth’s practice spans multiple high-tech industries for market-leading clients in the cellular handset, software database, semiconductor, high-speed networking, and medical device fields. His recent cases have involved cutting-edge technical advancements in the 5G cellular industry, developing law relating to the determination of FRAND rates, and design patent damages.

Seth’s practice also involves counseling clients on licensing and patent due diligence matters, and in patent portfolio management. He has represented clients in high-stakes proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). He also litigates complex trade secret matters in state and federal court, where he is able to use his extensive technical expertise to help clients resolve often difficult questions of trade secret theft and misappropriation.

Seth’s expertise is built on a foundation of rigorous technical achievement starting with a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering from Oregon State University. Before going to law school, he worked in fellowships at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Washington, performing Monte Carlo analysis for nuclear transport casks, and later for the Commissariat D’Etude Atomique in Cadarache, France.

Outside the office, Seth enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids. He is an avid cyclist, and has completed the hundred miles of Levi’s Gran Fondo in Santa Rosa, California, three times. When the wind and swell are right, you can find him surfing in Encinitas.


Mr. Sproul is a contributing author to Fish’s IP Law Essentials.

Unlocking California’s Trade Secret Identification Requirement Under California Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 2019.210 – Part 2,” co-authored with Tucker Terhufen, Fish IP Law Essentials Blog (December 4, 2020).

Unlocking California’s Trade Secret Identification Requirement Under California Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 2019.210 – Part 1,” co-authored with Tucker Terhufen, Fish IP Law Essentials Blog (June 29, 2020).

Unlocking the Secret of California’s Trade Secret Identification Requirement: Part 2, co-authored with Tucker Terhufen, The Recorder (October 18, 2019).

Unlocking the Secret of California’s Trade Secret Identification Requirement: Part 1, co-authored with Tucker Terhufen, The Recorder (October 11, 2019).

Takeaways from the FTC’s Deep Dive on Patent Assertion Entities,” Corporate Counsel (October 31, 2016).

Speaking Engagements

“The Art of the Steal: Bill Belichick & the Houston Astros, as a Way to Understand Trade Secret Misappropriation,” speaker, Association of Corporate Counsel CLE Event (January 29, 2020)

“Design Patent Litigation,” co-speaker, San Diego Office CLE Event (January 24, 2018)

US Ethernet Innovations Inc. v. Acer et al (E.D. Tex. and N.D. Cal.) – Defending Intel Corporation in litigation relating to Ethernet adapters.

Applied Signal v. ViaSat Inc. (N.D. Cal.) – Represented ViaSat in competitor suit relating to Satellite technology achieving successful settlement before trial.

Asustech v. IBM (S.D. Cal.) – Represent computer manufacturer in assertion of patents relating to network devices and defense of patents relating to Ethernet adapters and vehicle control.

Veeco Instruments Inc., et al. v. Asylum Research Corporation (C.D. Cal.) – Represented Asylum Research in litigation relating to Atomic Force Microscopy.

Renesas v. Samsung (International Trade Commission) – Achieved favorable settlement for Samsung.  Patents related to semiconductor process.

z4 Technologies, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp./Autodesk, Inc. (E.D. Tex., Tyler) – Represented Autodesk and Microsoft in litigation relating to software anti-piracy technology.

Lucent v. Gateway, Microsoft, et al. (S.D. Cal.) – Represented Microsoft in pending litigation relating to digital audio technology.

TypeRight Keyboard Corporation v. Microsoft Corporation (S.D. Cal.) – Represented Microsoft in action relating to ergonomic keyboards. Settled favorably.

Intel adv. Broadcom (D. Del. and E.D. Tex.) – represented Intel in multiple cases relating to networking and 3D graphics technology.

Negotiated Data Solutions v. Intel (N.D. Cal.) – represented Intel against patent assertion.  Prevailed on appeal.

Predicate Logic v. Distributive Software – Achieved favorable settlement after prevailing at Federal Circuit for software design company in assertion of patent relating to automated software design analysis.

Jardin v. Datallegro (S.D. Cal.) – represented Datallegro in successful defense against patent and theft of trade secret claims relating to database technology.

Named to “Best Lawyers” by Best Lawyers in America (2020, 2021).

Recognized in “The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners” by IAM Patent 1000 (2020).

Named as a “Top Young Attorney” by the San Diego Daily Transcript (2008).

Focus Areas

J.D., Lewis and Clark College, Northwestern School of Law (2001)

B.S., Nuclear Engineering, Oregon State University (1997)

  • California 2001

What's trending with Seth

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December 4, 2020
Unlocking California’s Trade Secret Identification Requirement Under California Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 2019.210 – Part 2
IP Law Essentials
August 12, 2020
Fish & Richardson Receives Top “Gold” Ranking from IAM Patent 1000 for National Litigation Practice; National Rankings in the Plaintiff Firm and Prosecution Firm Categories
Press Release
June 29, 2020
Unlocking California’s Trade Secret Identification Requirement Under California Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 2019.210 – Part 1
Authors: Tucker N. Terhufen, Seth M. Sproul
IP Litigation
IP Law Essentials
Trade Secrets
March 26th, 2020 | 1:00 pm EDT
Webinar | Trade Secrets: Protection & Defense
October 23, 2019
Seth Sproul & Tucker Terhufen Author Article in The Recorder, “Unlocking the Secret of California's Trade Secret Identification Requirement”
December 20, 2017
Court Vacates TRO and Denies Motion for Injunction in Columbia-Seirus Patent Battle
Press Release
October 4, 2017
Fish & Richardson Invalidates Columbia's Omni-Heat Patent for Client Seirus
Press Release
October 31, 2016
Corporate Counsel interview with Seth Sproul "Takeaways From the FTC's Deep Dive on Patent Assertion Entities"
Media Mention
February 11th, 2013
Fifth Annual Great Scientists Golf Classic
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