Annette Hurst



Annette L. Hurst, a partner in the San Francisco Office and Intellectual Property trial lawyer, is the firm’s Worldwide Tech Sector Leader and also coordinates its interdisciplinary Artificial Intelligence practice.

Annette is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried copyright, trade secret, trademark, patent and business tort claims. As a risk analyst and problem solver with deep proficiency in the software industry, Annette is a go-to counselor and speaker regarding the legal issues surrounding access and use of datasets in the development of machine learning algorithms. She was named “Litigator of the Week” by The American Lawyer for her work as co-lead counsel on the Mattel/MGA case. Chambers USA ranks her in Band 1 for Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets, with clients reporting that she is “smart, creative and terrific at oral argument” and “a very well-known authority in copyright law, a great advocate and a great trial lawyer.” Chambers reports: “Clients agree that Annette Hurst is ‘a very powerful and experienced trial lawyer for copyright cases, and a good team leader who is reliable before judges,” and “Peers consider Annette Hurst a ‘remarkably intuitive’ lawyer who ‘brings unique perspectives to soft IP cases.” Since 2018, The Legal 500 has recognized Annette as a “Leading Lawyer” in copyright law, and she was named “Female Litigator of the Year West” by Benchmark Litigation in 2013. Annette has been repeatedly named one of the top 75 IP litigators in California by The Daily Journal.

Annette’s community and professional activities include past service on the Northern District of California Patent Local Rules Committee, President of the Lafayette Elementary School PTA, and past membership on the Board of Directors of the Volunteer Legal Services Program and Board of Directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco for which she was chair of the Finance and Investments Committee. She also is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco and the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter, as well as a past president of the Barristers Club.

  • Annette’s recent notable engagements include the following:

    • hiQ Labs, Inc. v. a Professional Networking Platform (U.S.) (N.D. Cal.). Annette led the Orrick team that came into the case and scored a turnaround victory against hiQ and its counsel Quinn Emanuel, getting an earlier preliminary injunction dissolved and all of hiQ’s claims dismissed on summary judgment. The client's counterclaims are now set for trial. The Court also ruled on summary judgment that the Network Platform's User Agreement is clear and enforceable. 
    • Oracle v. Google (N.D. Cal.). Annette was a co-leader of the Orrick team representing Oracle in its copyright case against Google, and was successful in leading a multi-billion dollar damages claim past Daubert scrutiny in the trial court. After two appellate victories for Oracle at the Federal Circuit, the Supreme Court ultimately sided with Google. Annette’s experience leading this case is reflective of her deep knowledge of copyright law as it applies in the software industry.
    • Williams-Sonoma, Inc. v. a Multinational Tech Company (U.S.) (N.D. Cal.). Annette served as lead counsel in this design patent and trademark infringement case brought by specialty retailer WSI against a multinational tech company. In a widely reported ruling, WSI’s trademark claims challenging the tech company's business practices were approved by the Court to proceed when it denied the tech company's motion to dismiss. The case was successfully settled.
    • Humu v. Hulu (N.D. Cal.). Annette was lead counsel for Humu in seeking a declaration that it does not infringe Hulu’s trademark. The case was successfully settled.
    • Amarin Pharma, Inc. v. ITC (ITC, Fed. Cir.). Annette led the Orrick team representing Pharmavite and DSM in this false advertising challenge by pharmaceutical manufacturer Amarin, a leader in the fish oil supplement industry. After Annette crafted an aggressive strategy that resulted in a rare order by the ITC refusing to institute an investigation, Orrick partner Mark Davies successfully defended that result on appeal at the Federal Circuit.
    • Quest Software, Inc. v. Nike, Inc. (D. Or.). Annette served as lead counsel in this software copyright infringement case alleging that one of the nation’s largest retail companies engaged in widespread unauthorized installation and use of Quest’s software in running its business. The case was successfully settled.
    • Hill-Rom, Inc. v. Tellisense et al. (S.D. Ind.). Annette led the Orrick team representing the Helvetia Defendants in this suit alleging trade secret misappropriation and related business torts arising from technology developed for the incontinence detection market.
    • AARC v. DENSO Int’l Am., Inc. et al. (D.D.C.). Annette led the Orrick team representing infotainment system supplier DENSO in this Audio Home Recording Act challenge to in-dash devices brought by the music industry. The team obtained summary judgment that was affirmed on appeal by the D.C. Circuit.
    • Fox Networks v. DISH (C.D.Cal.). After beating back two preliminary injunction motions, Annette successfully argued summary judgment of fair use on copyright claims brought by Fox against the award-winning Hopper DVR and its Sling, PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop features.
    • Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons (U.S.). Annette served as co-counsel and architect of the copyright strategy used to secure a 6-3 vote in favor of Orrick client Supap Kirtsaeng. The Court held that the doctrine of first sale under U.S. copyright law, which allows for legally acquired copyrighted works to be resold by their owners, applies to works made overseas. This ruling has broad implications for an estimated US$60 billion in copyrighted goods manufactured abroad.
    • Brocade Networks v. A10 (C.D.Cal.). Annette second-chaired the trial team that secured a $112M jury verdict in August 2012 in this patent, copyright, trade secret and business torts case.
    • MGA v. Mattel (C.D. Cal.). Annette led the team that made a successful turnaround of this copyright, trademark, trade secret and business torts case, successfully defending against Mattel’s copyright claims and obtaining an affirmative judgment of $309 million against Mattel in 2011 as well as the largest ever award of fees to a defendant in copyright litigation.
    • SLB Toys USA, Inc., v. Wham-O (C.D. Cal.). Annette obtained a $6 million jury verdict for counter-claimant Wham-O on trademark infringement, dilution and false advertising claims, with enhancement for willful infringement and an additional $1.7 million attorneys’ fee award.
    • Sky Technologies v. Ariba (D. Mass.). Annette obtained a great settlement for Ariba after two weeks of jury trial in this software patent infringement case.

    Annette's published decisions include the following:

    • Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 133 S.Ct. 1351 (2013) (on the brief)
    • Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 886 F.3d 1179 (Fed. Cir. 2018) (on the brief)
    • Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 750 F.3d 1339 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (on the brief)
    • Fox Broadcasting Co. v. Dish Network LLC, 747 F.3d 1060 (9th Cir. 2013) (on the brief)
    • Fox Broadcasting Co. v. Dish Network LLC, 905 F. Supp. 2d 1099 (C.D. Cal. 2012) (argued)
    • Mattel v. MGA Entertainment, 616 F.3d 904 (9th Cir. 2010) (successful reversal of injunction against MGA) (on the brief).
    • Mattel v. Walking Mtn. Prods., 353 F.3d 792 (9th Cir. 2003) (argued for appellee and cross-appellant) (successful affirmance of summary judgment of fair use of copyright and trademark; successful reversal on cross-appeal from denial of attorneys’ fee award).
    • DVD Copy Control Ass’n, Inc., v. Bunner, 31 CAl.4th 864 (2003) (brief amicus curiae of IEEE-USA).
    • Sony v. Connectix, 203 F.3d 596 (9th Cir. 2000) (brief amicus curiae of IEEE-USA).
    • Catchpole v. Brannon, 36 Cal.App.4th 237 (1995) (argued for appellant) (successful reversal of defense verdict in sexual harassment case on the ground of gender bias of the trial judge).

    Other notable representations include the following:

    • Pharmavite v. Del Monte Fresh Produce. Annette represented Pharmavite in protecting its flagship brand NATURE MADE in a successfully settled trademark infringement case against Fresh Del Monte.
    • Sky v. Microsoft. Annette represented Microsoft in a successfully settled patent infringement matter.
    • Office Live LLC v. Microsoft. Annette represented Microsoft in a successfully settled trademark infringement matter.
    • Laureate Education, Inc., v. Teachscape. Annette represented the Laureate Education and Canter & Associates in dual actions alleging copyright infringement and trade secrets misappropriation in the online distance-learning field.
    • Gymboree. Annette represented Gymboree and Gym-Mark, Inc. in copyright infringement actions brought against Babies ‘R’ Us, Mervyn’s and Children’s Apparel Network.
    • VEW Ltd. Annette represented Vera Wang’s licensing entity in a trademark dispute concerning the mark SIMPLY VERA.