Derek Knerr, a senior associate in Orrick's San Francisco office, is a member of the Intellectual Property Group. Mr. Knerr counsels technology companies and litigates cases involving trade secret, copyright, patent, and other complex commercial issues.

Mr. Knerr has worked on matters for both Fortune 500 and emerging growth companies. He has experience in federal court, state court and arbitration.

He had the privilege of serving as an Assistant District Attorney with the San Francisco District Attorney's Office in 2013, where he handled jury trials and other hearings on the criminal docket.

Mr. Knerr also maintains an active pro bono practice, most recently for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

  • Prior to joining Orrick, Mr. Knerr served as a law clerk to the Honorable Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and before that, was an intellectual property litigation associate at another firm.

    While at law school, Mr. Knerr served as an editor of the Columbia Law Review and as a research assistant to Professor Jane C. Ginsburg. He also was a summer associate in the Tokyo office of Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu.

  • Derek's notable representations include the following.

    • C5 Medical Werks & CoorsTek Medical. Derek is part of the team currently representing C5 and CoorsTek Medical in a multi-national dispute seeking to preserve the clients' right to use color as a functional feature for its orthopedic joint replacement products.
    • eBay Inc. Derek is part of the team currently representing eBay in connection with intellectual property and other complex commercial matters.
    • Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. Derek was part of the team that represented Tekmira in a bet-the-company trade secret misappropriation case against its former collaborator Alnylam in Massachusetts state court. Tekmira alleged that Alnylam had taken advantage of the collaboration to misappropriate Tekmira's secret RNAi delivery and manufacturing technology, including by applying for patents on technology developed by Tekmira and by passing off Tekmira's technology as its own. Two days before jury selection, the case settled with Alnylam agreeing to pay Tekmira $75 million in cash and near-term milestone payments, and agreeing to transfer patents and patent applications to Tekmira. Alnylam also agreed to dismiss counter-suits for patent infringement that it had filed in Massachusetts and Canada. The San Francisco Daily Journal described the settlement as a "huge win" for Tekmira. See R. Swan, Orrick Nabs Win for Pharmaceutical Client, S.F. Daily Journal, Nov. 14, 2012.
    • EMC Corp. Derek was part of the team that represented EMC in writ of mandamus proceedings before the Federal Circuit relating to the test for joinder of patent claims against unrelated parties. Prior to adoption of the America Invents Act, a prevalent practice was to sue multiple unrelated defendants in a single action accusing them of infringing the same patent, a practice that forced defendants to work together in a joint defense group. In May 2012, the Federal Circuit granted EMC's petition for a writ of mandamus setting forth for the first time the test for proper joinder under FRCP 20 in patent cases.
    • Joe Theismann. Derek was part of the team that represented former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann in a putative class action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California relating to Mr. Theismann's endorsement of the dietary supplement Super Beta Prostate. The court granted Mr. Theismann's motion to dismiss with prejudice, completely exonerating him of any liability.  The decision was affirmed on appeal.

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