Widely recognized as one of Silicon Valley’s leading intellectual property lawyers, Sasha Rao has an established record of success for some of the world's top companies.
Chair of Maynard Nexsen’s nationwide Intellectual Property Practice, Sasha regularly leads intellectual property and commercial litigation for her clients, including cases involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, unfair competition, and complex commercial disputes. Sasha also advises her clients, ranging from tech start-ups to the largest multinational companies, on a wide range of legal issues including, corporate, transactional, policy, regulatory, IP strategy, patent and trademark prosecution, and IP aspects of mergers and acquisitions.
Sasha has tried cases in district courts throughout the U.S. Her strong science background has enabled her to develop effective courtroom strategies for cases involving technologies ranging from pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biotechnology to computers, the Internet, Web 3.0, and software. In the technology realm, Sasha has defended some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent companies in cases brought by competitors and non-practicing entities. In life sciences, Sasha has extensive experience in Hatch-Waxman/ANDA litigation and has represented generic and branded pharmaceutical companies in numerous patent cases.
Sasha's enthusiasm for cutting-edge technologies has led to her being recognized as one of the leading practitioners in the emerging fields of blockchain and crypto, artificial intelligence, and autonomy and robotics, including autonomous vehicles, uncrewed aerial vehicles (drones), advanced air mobility, and connected and artificially intelligent systems. Her legal concentration includes regulatory, policy, intellectual property, data rights, and legal strategy.
Sasha is registered to practice in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She also represents clients in Patent Office trials, including inter partes review (IPR) and other post-grant invalidity challenges available under the America Invents Act.
Sasha stands out as one of the top practitioners in her field. Chambers USA has recognized Sasha as a Leading Individual in Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation since 2020. In 2023, the Recorder recognized Sasha as one of the “Women Leaders in Tech Law” for the fifth time. She was also named by the Daily Journal in 2023 as one of California’s Top Intellectual Property Lawyers (having previously received this recognition five times). Sasha was also featured in Law.com as a Woman of Legal Tech in July 2023.
Community & Professional
Stanford Program of Law, Science & Technology, Advisory Board
South Asian Bar Association – Northern California, Life Member
Equal Rights Advocates, Member of Board of Directors
Saguaro Capital Management, Advisory Board Member
Notable Cases and Successes
Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC v. Snapfish LLC (N.D. Cal. 2022)
Represented Snapfish in a patent infringement lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California by Rothschild Patent Imaging relating to various products and services offered by Snapfish. Case settled favorably after early motion practice.
Cedar Lane Technologies Inc. v. HP Inc. (W.D. Tex. 2022)
Represented HP in a patent infringement lawsuit filed in the Western District of Texas by Cedar Lane relating to products and features in HP computers. Case settled favorably.
- Largan Precision Co. Ltd v. Ability Opto-Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. et al. (E.D. Texas 2019) Represented HP in a patent infringement lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Texas by optical lens maker Largan Precision Inc. Largan claimed that the lenses used in various HP webcams allegedly infringe four Largan optical lens patents. After successfully petitioning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for a Writ of Mandamus transferring the matter from the Eastern District of Texas to the Northern District of California, HP filed a motion for summary judgment of non-infringement in early 2021, leading to favorable settlement of the case.
- High Sec Labs Ltd. v. iPGARD Inc et al. (D. Nev. 2020): Represented defendants iPGARD Inc. and SmartAVI Inc. in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by High Sec Labs Ltd., asserting infringement of four patents relating to cybersecurity products that are purchased by the U.S. government for cybersecurity compliance. Developed defendants’ case strategy, including filing counterclaims against High Sec Labs asserting non-infringement and invalidity of the asserted patents and alleging antitrust violations. The case settled favorably in 2021.
- Scanning Technologies Innovations LLC v. Square, Inc Represented Square in a patent infringement lawsuit relating to inventory tracking and point of sale systems. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case after Square moved to dismiss the case for unpatentable subject matter.
- Cypress Lake Software, Inc. v. HP Inc. Represented HP in a patent infringement lawsuit relating to five patents concerning various computer functionalities. After the case was successfully transferred from the Eastern District of Texas to the Northern District of California, the case has been stayed.
- Square, Inc. v. Unwired Planet, LLC Represented Square in a covered business method petition related to mobile payments technology. Obtained PTAB decision invalidating all claims as unpatentable abstract ideas.
- Broadband iTV, Inc. v. Hawaiian Telcom, Inc. et al Represented Hawaiian Telcom in a multi-defendant patent infringement suit brought in the District of Hawaii by a non-practicing entity involving delivery of video-on-demand content over the Internet. Obtained summary judgment opinion invalidating all of the asserted claims as unpatentable abstract ideas which was affirmed by the Federal Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court later denied cert., sealing the win for Hawaiian Telecom.
- Digital Verification Systems v. Square Inc. Represented Square in a 2017 patent infringement case related to Square’s mobile payment platforms, achieving a dismissal with prejudice for Square.
- North Star Innovations v HP Inc. Represented HP in an NPE case related to software components of HP mobile products, achieving an early exit for HP via a successful indemnity claim.
- Cypress Lake Semiconductor v. HP Inc. Represented HP in an NPE case related to software components of HP mobile products, achieving an early dismissal for HP.
- Progme v. HP Inc. Represented HP in an NPE case related to software components of HP mobile products, achieving an early dismissal for HP.
- MiMedx Group, Inc. v. NuTech Medical Inc. Ongoing representation of NuTech in a patent infringement lawsuit in the Northern District of Alabama relating to placental tissue grafts.
- Gametek LLC v. Gameview Studios, LLC Represented Gameview Studios (a subsidiary of DeNA) in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Gametek involving in-game advertising and purchasing technology. The case settled favorably after a successful transfer from the Southern to the Northern District of California.
- Confidential client Represented a prominent Mountain View-based technology company in securing a summary judgment ruling of non-infringement in a Central District of California case involving four patents related to geolocation technology. Following a favorable claim construction ruling for our client that led directly to summary judgment motions, the Court granted our client’s summary judgment motion of non-infringement of all asserted claims.
- Eolas v. Adobe et al Represented a prominent Mountain View-based technology company-defendant in securing victory in a case brought by Eolas Technologies Inc. on two patents that it contended cover all websites containing interactive content. After an invalidity trial involving multiple defendants, an Eastern District of Texas jury returned a verdict finding all asserted claims of both patents invalid.
- Software Research Int’l v. HP Inc. Represented HP in a patent infringement lawsuit involving testing software for websites in the Northern District of California. Case dismissed by plaintiff after initial discovery.
- Compaq Computer Corp. v. eMachines Represented Compaq in patent infringement action asserting computer systems patents in the Southern District of Texas. Obtained summary judgment of infringement of nine patents relating to personal computer subsystems. Obtained permanent injunction before trial against further infringement of two patents. The damages claim was in excess of $200 million before trebling. The case settled favorably through mediation two weeks before trial.
- Lucent v. Periphonics Represented Lucent in patent infringement action asserting patents regarding interactive voice technology in the District of Delaware. The case settled favorably through mediation after the Markman hearing.
- Tria Beauty, Inc. v. Radiancy, Inc. Represented Tria Beauty, an FDA-regulated medical device manufacturer, in a false advertising lawsuit brought against a competitor marketing an unregulated device with false claims. The case settled favorably before the scheduled trial in the Northern District of California.
- Purdue Pharma Products L.P. v. Par Pharmaceuticals Represented Purdue Pharma and associated companies in a Hatch-Waxman patent infringement lawsuit involving controlled-release tramadol in the District of Delaware.
- Rexall Sundown, Inc. v. Weider Nutrition International, Inc. Represented Rexall in a patent infringement lawsuit involving glucosamine and chondroitin nutraceuticals in the Western District of Wisconsin. The case settled after initial discovery.
- Warner-Lambert Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in ANDA patent infringement litigation brought under the Hatch-Waxman Act involving quinapril ACE inhibitor in the District of New Jersey. The case tried for inequitable conduct issues and the Court found no equitable conduct. The decision was affirmed on appeal.
- Chambers USA: Leader in the area of Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation (2020-present)
- Chambers USA: Recognized Practitioner in the area of Intellectual Property (2018 - 2019)
- Daily Journal, Top Intellectual Property Lawyers (2013, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)
- Daily Journal, Top Artificial Intelligence Lawyers (2019)
- Daily Journal, Top Women Lawyers (2019)
- National Law Journal, Intellectual Property Trailblazers (2019)
- Women Leaders in Tech Law, The Recorder (2013-2014, 2017-2018, 2023)
- Top 50 California Super Lawyers® (2019)
- Most Influential Woman in Intellectual Property Law 2019 - USA (Acquisition International)
- The Best Lawyers in America© for Litigation: Intellectual Property (2017 - present)
- IP Star, Managing IP (2013 - present)
- Patent Star and Trademark Star, Managing IP (2017 - present)
- Who's Who Legal - Patents (2013 - present)
- Top 250 Women in IP, IP Stars (2013 - present)
- Trailblazer, South Asian Bar Association, Northern California (2016)
- California Super Lawyers® for Intellectual Property Litigation (2014 - present)
- Woman of Influence, Silicon Valley Business Journal (2013)
- Rainmaker, MCCA’s Diversity & The Bar (2012)
- Women of Legal Tech: Early Client Responsibilities Can Be Pivotal in Accelerating Your Upward Career Trajectory, Says Sasha Rao in Legaltech News (July 19, 2023)
- Getting Tech Off the Ground by Carlos Harrison in Super Lawyers (July 7, 2021)
- 09.28.2023 | Media Mention
- North Carolina Advanced Mobility Symposium 2023, Panel Moderator "Navigating Policy and Regulations for the Mobility Revolution” in Raleigh, NC (October 6, 2023)
- Practising Law Institute, Speaker on "Section 102 Conditions for Obtaining a Patent; Novelty: Inside and Outside the PTO – Cases and Decisions" Webinar (May 22, 2023)
- TiE Chandigarh and IISER – Raising Innovative & Sustainable Enterprises, Fireside chat on “Women and Entrepreneurship”in Chandigarh, India (February 28, 2023)
- World IP Forum Bengaluru 2023 "Inventions, patents and value in the sixth wave of innovation (2020-2045)” (February 23, 2023)
- World IP Forum Bengaluru 2023 “How did we get into the IP mess we are in, and what can we do about it?” (February 23, 2023)
- Auto IP & Legal USA Summit, Panelist, “SEPs and FRAND, a perspective from OEMs, Suppliers and SEP holders” in Detriot, MI (December 7, 2022)
- Practising Law Institute, Speaker on "Section 102 Conditions for Patentability; Novelty: Inside and Outside the PTO – Cases and Decisions" Webinar (May 23, 2022)
- JAMS, IP Cross Border Disputes Virtual Roundtable, (September 29, 2021)
- Practising Law Institute, Speaker on "Section 102 Conditions for Patentability; Novelty: Inside and Outside the PTO – Cases and Decisions" Webinar (May 10, 2021)
- Practising Law Institute, Speaker on "Section 102 Conditions for Patentability; Novelty: Inside and Outside the PTO – Cases and Decisions" Webinar (May 11, 2020)
- ChIPs Global Summit, Panelist on “Future of AI and Autonomous Vehicles” in Washington, D.C. (September 26, 2019)
- International IP Skills Summit (IIPSS), Panelist on “US Patent Prosecution and Responding Under 35 U.S.C. 101 Subject Matter Rejection” Hyderabad, India (August 13-14, 2019)
- Unmanned Systems Canada Conference, Speaker on “Personal Airborne Transportation” in Toronto, Canada (November 3, 2018)
- AIRBUS Leadership University, IP Seminar, Panelist on “Technology-Centric M&A: The Specifics from Aerospace and Defense” in Toulouse-Blagnac, France (December 7, 2018)
- World IP Forum, Panelist on “Section 101 and its Implications on Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals in New Delhi, India (November 14-16, 2018)
- Daily Journal Patent Disputes Forum, Panelist on “The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Patent Litigation” in Menlo Park, California (April 18, 2018)
- General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s Spring 2018 Policy and Legal Issues Committee, Speaker on “Electric Propulsion, Automation, and Liability: Regulatory and Legal Considerations” in Washington, D.C. (March 13, 2018)
- State Bar of California Office of Education, Speaker on “Envisioning Passenger Urban Air Mobility: Legal and Policy Considerations for Personal Aerial Vehicles” via webinar (January 16, 2018)
- AIAA SCITECH 2018 Conference, Panelist on “On Demand Mobility: Regulatory and Operational Challenges” in Kissimmee, Florida (January 10, 2018)
- Unmanned Systems Canada, Speaker on “Personal Air Vehicles” in Toronto, Canada (November 3, 2017)
- ITS World Congress, Speaker on “Automated Flying Cars” in Montreal, Canada (November 2, 2017)
- Drone World Expo, Panelist on “The Role of IoT, Software & Platforms in the Commercial Drone Ecosystem” in San Jose, California (October 3, 2017)
- AUVSI’s Xponential Conference, Panelist on “NASA and the First Steps Toward Widespread UAS Integration” in Dallas, Texas (May 9, 2017)
- TSG Drone Seminar, Panelist on “Air Traffic Panel” in San Francisco CA (January 24, 2017)
- Tech Talk for Drone World Expo, Speaker on “The Intersection of Technical and Legal Considerations in Commercial Drones” in San Jose, California (November 16, 2016)
- 13th Annual Stanford E-Commerce Best Practices Conference, Panelist on “Patent Litigation Update” at Stanford Law School in Palo Alto, CA (June 6, 2016)
- 12th Annual Stanford E-Commerce Best Practices Conference, Panelist on “Patent Best Practices” at Stanford Law School in Palo Alto, CA (June 8, 2015)
- The PTO and the Courts co-sponsored by the Stanford Program in Law, Science, & Technology, Samsung Electronics, and the Stanford Technology Law Review, Panelist on “Legal Differences in the PTO and the Courts” at Stanford Law School (April 17, 2015)
"The future of artificial intelligence in law firms” in Daily Journal (December 23, 2022)
- “Patent invalidity post-Arthrex: much ado about nothing” in Daily Journal (November 19, 2019)
- “Electric Urban Air Taxis: Science Fiction or Legal Matter of Fact?” in Daily Journal (May 23, 2019)
- “Hikma v. Vanda Exaggerates Treatments’ Patent Eligibility” in IPLaw360 (March 15, 2019)
- Mentioned in Law360 article, “5 Insights From Airbus Group’s Joshua Walker” (December 2, 2016)
- Quoted in Daily Journal article, “High court to consider challenge how patent agency handles appeals” by Kevin Lee (January 19, 2016)
- "Claim Construction: the PTAB versus district courts” in Daily Journal (April 17, 2015)
- 2015 Roundtable Series, Intellectual Property in California Lawyer (March 2, 2015)
- 09.08.2023 | Blog Post
- Blog, 11.07.2019
- Blog, 07.23.2019
- Blog, 07.23.2019
- State Bar: California, New York
- U.S. District Court: California (Central, Northern, Southern), New York (Eastern, Southern, Western), Texas (Eastern)
- U.S. Court of Appeals: Federal Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Patent & Trademark Office