Cathy Lui concentrates on trade secrets litigation representing both plaintiffs and defendants in the biotech, retail and financial services industries. Cathy has a particular focus on obtaining and defending against temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions under exigent circumstances in fast-paced trade secret actions. 


Cathy has significant experience in actions arising from the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which created the first federal civil misappropriation of trade secrets claim in May 2016.  Cathy has helped shape DTSA law on behalf of her clients through her involvement in some of the earliest DTSA litigation.  Many of her trade secrets cases involve parallel criminal proceedings. Cathy also engages in complex commercial litigation including breach of contract, fraud, and employee mobility cases. 

Cathy is an editor and contributing author of Orrick's trade secrets blog, Trade Secrets Watch, and regularly speaks and writes about trade secrets litigation.

Cathy is very involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is co-chair of the Bay Area Asian American Bar Association Judiciary Committee and is also active in the California Minority Counsel Program, and the Firm's Asian American Affinity Group, hiring, and recruiting committees. Cathy's dedication to pro bono service was demonstrated by her work in an asylum merits hearing representing a Salvadoran religious activist persecuted by gangs in El Salvador. For her work on this matter, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights honored Cathy with the Father Cuchulain Moriarity Award. In addition, the Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco recognized Cathy as an Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service in 2014 through 2016 for her work with helping homeless clients remove outstanding warrants barring them from access to housing and employment.

  • Cathy's notable engagements include the following:

    • Defended Scopely, Inc., a gaming company, in defeating a TRO and preliminary injunction sought by Zynga in one of the first DTSA cases in Northern District of California.against former employees who started a competing company in an early DTSA case.  AllCells also defeated a motion to dismiss based on the effective date of the DTSA. 
    • Represented two subsidiaries of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. in obtaining a preliminary injunction against a former executive and his new employer from using plaintiffs' trade secrets.
    • Defended Oracle America, Inc. against a $6.6 billion breach of contract, fraud, false claims act, and civil RICO claims brought by the State of Oregon. The matter resolved very favorably to Oracle.    
    • Represented AllCells, LLC, a biotech company specializing in stem cell blood products, in obtaining a preliminary injunction
    • Represented medical devices leader Varian Medical in obtaining a preliminary injunction after an evidentiary hearing against its biggest competitor, Elekta, in a trade secrets action.  The injunction included the rarely-granted enjoinment that forced a senior VP of Elekta to stop sales activity related to Varian’s customers.
    • Represented Toyota Motor Credit Corporation in obtaining a preliminary injunction against a former employee who misappropriated Toyota's trade secrets.
    • Defended a client against allegations of theft of trade secrets relating to gellan gum and biogums as the second chair in a San Diego Superior Court jury trial, limiting the plaintiff's recovery to less than four percent of the requested $25 million in damages.

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