Matt Poppe is a patent litigation partner in the Silicon Valley office. He
also handles other intellectual property and commercial litigation,
including trade secret, trademark, breach of contract, and false
advertising disputes. Matt is currently serving as President of the Santa Clara County Bar Association.
Matt is a patent litigator focusing on computer networking, data storage, and Internet technologies. He has first-chair trial experience in both patent and commercial cases, and has been successful obtaining many pretrial dismissals and settlements as well. Key clients include EMC (now part of Dell Technologies), eBay, Baidu, Brocade, and Varian Medical Systems.
Matt is President of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, a 99-year-old organization with 2,400 members. He chairs the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, and serves on several other committees as well. Matt is overseeing several strategic initiatives of the SCCBA and authors a monthly "President's Message" in the San Francisco Daily Journal. Matt is also a board member and past co-chair of the Campaign for Legal Services, a charity that raises funds and distributes them to eight local pro bono agencies in order to boost their ability to assist the needy.
Matt has been listed as a Northern California Super Lawyer every year from 2012-2016.
The following are some of Matt's notable cases.
- EMC Corporation. Matt
has represented EMC in patent cases related to data storage technology,
including an ongoing case against competitor Pure Storage, Inc. in the District of
- Varian Medical Systems, Inc. Matt has represented Varian in patent cases related to imaging systems for radiation therapy.
- Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. Matt has represented Brocade and its subsidiary, Foundry
Networks, in several multi-patent suits against Nortel, Alcatel,
Enterasys, and A10. The patents related to computer networking, server
load balancing, and VoIP technologies.
- Nanya Technology Corp.
Matt represented Nanya in an ITC proceeding and related district court
patent suit filed by Elpida Memory, Inc. The matter settled pending
Commission review of the ALJ's initial determination, reached after a
full hearing on the merits. The six patents-in-suit related to DRAM
- Nikko Materials USA Inc. v. R.E. Service Co. Matt
represented Nikko's subsidiary JJA in this patent case in the Northern
District of California. JJA won a jury verdict of willful infringement
on its patent, while RES's patent counterclaims were dismissed on
summary judgment. The patents related to copper foil laminate technology
used in manufacturing multilayer printed circuit boards.
- Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. v. A10 Networks, Inc.
Matt represented Brocade in a trade secret and patent action that it
filed against A10 Networks. The case, which related to computer
networking and server load balancing technology, resulted in a
substantial judgment in Brocade's favor after a jury trial.
- Silvaco Data Systems v. Intel Corp.
Matt represented Intel in this lawsuit accusing Intel of
misappropriating trade secrets allegedly contained in commercial
software that Intel had purchased from a third party. The trial court
dismissed Silvaco's claims on summary judgment and the decision was
affirmed on appeal. Silvaco Data Systems v. Intel Corp., 184 Cal. App. 4th 210 (2010).
- United States v. McDowell. Matt
represented Applied Materials in connection with this criminal case in
the Northern District of California in which the defendants were
convicted of crimes relating to the misappropriation of Applied's trade
secrets relating to semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
- Collagen Corp. v. Matrix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Matt represented Matrix Pharmaceuticals in this trade secret action
involving a process for manufacturing collagen for pharmaceutical
purposes. The case settled shortly before trial in Santa Clara County
Licensing Agreement and Other Contract Disputes
- Flextronics v. ICU Medical. Matt
represents Flextronics in this arbitration proceeding and related state
court action, in which each side charges the other with breaches of a
design services agreement.
- Ho v. Hsieh and HHI v. Chung.
These cases involved a dispute between family members and business
partners related to the operation of a golf course. Matt inherited the
cases after his clients had suffered losses at the trial court level.
Matt obtained appellate reversals in each case, with one resulting in a
published decision. Ho v. Hsieh, 181 Cal. App. 4th 337 (2010). Trial proceedings on remand secured an improved result for his clients.
- Lollicup v. Vigour Pak.
Matt has represented Vigour Pak, a Taiwanese company, in a contract and
trademark dispute against a U.S. competitor in the Central District of
- Ion Beam Applications, Inc. v. Outrigger Systems, Inc.
Matt represented Outrigger Systems in this contract action involving
disputed ownership of software that Outrigger had developed.
- LHS v. Pacific Bell Wireless.
Matt represented PBW (later called Cingular Wireless, and now AT&T)
in this license dispute. In 2001, PBW defeated LHS’s claims at an
arbitration hearing and obtained a multimillion dollar award on its
- Acer, Inc.
Matt represented Acer in a class action false advertising case filed in
the Southern District of Florida relating to notebook computers. The
case was brought to a speedy, satisfactory conclusion.
- Rumbaugh v. Pacific Bell Wireless. Matt
successfully defended PBW against this consumer class action, which
settled after the trial court refused to certify a class and the
decision was upheld on appeal.
- Veloff v. Pacific Bell Wireless. Matt obtained a dismissal of this false advertising case on demurrer and the ruling was affirmed on appeal.
The following blog post is courtesy of our sister blog, NorCal IP.
Usually, one benefit of being a plaintiff is deciding in what forum to pursue litigation. Generally, even a foreign-based plaintiff may pursue litigation in a U.S. forum where a defendant may be found or in which there is a substantial connection to the litigation. There are, however, limits on a plaintiff’s choice of forum, and a recent decision in Tapgerine LLC v. 50Mango, Inc. demonstrates that pushing those limits may result in sanctions.
How can you protect your trade secrets from a vast and well-concealed international effort to steal those secrets? What constitutes a “reasonable” effort to protect that information where at least one competitor may already have the information? The Ninth Circuit recently opined on these matters in the ongoing saga of U.S. v. Liew.
In 2014, Walter Liew and his company, USA Performance Technology, Inc., were convicted of multiple offenses, including claims under the Economic Espionage Act and conveying misappropriated trade secrets to a third party. The trade secrets related to DuPont’s technology for producing titanium dioxide, which is used in a wide range of products such as paint and Oreo cookies. READ MORE
Companies often seek to protect their trade secrets by requiring employees to sign non-compete agreements. California law invalidates such provisions except in very limited circumstances. See Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 16600 et seq. With the recent passage of a new statute, the ability of employers to enforce such agreements against California employees is more restricted than ever. READ MORE
Over the last few weeks, TSW has reported extensively on the first few cases brought under the new Defend Trade Secrets Act. But, given our recent celebration of our nation’s birthday and the day Will Smith saved the planet from alien attack, TSW takes a brief look back at the foundation and birth of trade secret law in the United States. READ MORE
The Obama Administration’s focus on criminal trade secret prosecutions under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) highlights the legal complexities at the murky intersection between criminal and civil jurisprudence in trade secrets cases. As we previously discussed, when it comes time for sentencing, determining the “value” of the stolen trade secrets is often difficult—and courts have applied different valuation models. READ MORE
On November 17, 2015, the Sixth Circuit held in an unpublished opinion that “confidential” information that does not otherwise qualify as a trade secret may nevertheless be protected contractually in nondisclosure or non-compete agreements under Texas contract law. READ MORE
With stories of cyberattacks and data breaches on a seemingly endless loop, businesses and governments have been doubling down on their efforts to protect digital information and assets. But, in some industries, the greatest threat might still be a pair of quick hands. For instance, in the restaurant industry, opening the kitchen doors to a new employee creates real risks. As we’ve discussed, sometimes the decision whether to print or download can have major legal ramifications. And with computer forensics technology growing in leaps and bounds, sometimes an old-school paper trail might be more enticing to would-be perps than a digital one. That said, the FBI has a track record of turning up bags of shredded documents in grocery store dumpsters. READ MORE
In January of this year, we noted that trade secret protection has lately been on the minds of lawmakers in Washington, and that federal trade secret legislation was very close to being enacted. While nothing is pending at the moment, we can expect renewed efforts similar to two bills that were introduced in Congress last year – one each in the Senate and House. In anticipation of such efforts, we thought it would be useful to review what happened in 2014. READ MORE
As we’ve previously discussed, a patchwork of state regulations requiring disclosure of chemicals used in fracking have been enacted by several states in recent years. One such regulation was by the State of Wyoming. While environmental groups initially lauded Wyoming’s new rule, the applause was short-lived as the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission began granting trade secret exemptions that prevented disclosure of this information to the public under the state public records act. This led the environmental groups to sue the Commission. After nearly three years of litigation, including an appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court, the parties reached a settlement that was approved by the state district court late last month.
Ah, October: the time of crisp fall air, brightly colored leaves, and pumpkin spice-flavored everything. And, of course, the World Series quest that can unite a city—or, in the case of Orrick’s San Francisco and Washington, D.C. offices, give rise to a friendly wager (sorry, D.C.!). In honor of the baseball playoffs, we take a look at some trade secret issues related to our national pastime.