Brian Willen is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His practice focuses on Internet-related litigation and counseling. Brian advises some of the world's most innovative online services—including Google, Dropbox, Flipboard, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube—on a range of complex and sensitive matters. He has significant expertise in copyright and trademark law, the DMCA safe harbors, the Communications Decency Act, online privacy, government requests for user data, and the First Amendment. For nearly seven years, Brian was one of the lead lawyers for Google in the landmark Viacom v. YouTube litigation, and he has represented clients in many other copyright and Internet law disputes, including cases under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Video Privacy Protection Act, and the Wiretap Act.

Prior to joining the firm, Brian worked in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, where he advised the Executive Branch on complex issues of constitutional law and national security. He clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (2001-2002) and for Judge Ellen S. Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (2002-2003).

  • Counsel for Google and YouTube in several important copyright cases, including Viacom v. YouTube and Ark Promotions v. YouTube
  • Counsel for Google in nationwide consumer privacy class actions, including Joffe v. Google and In re Google Android Consumer Privacy Litigation
  • Counsel for Google in cases involving CDA § 230 and application of the First Amendment to search engine results
  • Represent Google in cases challenging ex parte orders requiring removal of content
  • Counsel for Meltwater in Associated Press v. Meltwater, an important case involving fair use and "hot news" misappropriation
  • Represent major consumer-electronics company in global privacy investigation
  • Represent online services in cases defending First Amendment right of anonymous speech
  • Counsel for Ferrari in dispute over control of branded pages on Facebook
  • Represent Dropbox and Google in cases under California automatic-renewal law
  • Counsel for Twitter and other online services in TCPA class actions
  • Filed amicus brief for Dropbox in First Amendment challenge to gag order prohibiting online services from disclosing information about national-security orders
  • Filed amicus briefs for Google, Pinterest, Twitter, and other clients in significant copyright cases, including Capitol Records v. Vimeo, Columbia Pictures v. Fung, and Disney v. Hotfile
  • J.D., Yale Law School, 2001
    Member, Yale Journal of Law and Humanities
  • B.A., English, Yale University, 1998
  • "Ruling in Yelp Case Was First of Its Kind," Daily Journal, July 11, 2018
  • "Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons: The Supreme Court Saves the First Sale Doctrine," CPI Antitrust Chronicle, May 28, 2013
  • Co-author with G. Poe, "Tailored to the Crime: Sentencing Case Shows Need to Defend Judicial Discretion," Legal Times, October 8, 2007
  • Bar of the District of Columbia
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • State Bar of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Contact Information

1301 Avenue of the Americas
40th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Phone | 650-849-3340

Email | Brian

Areas of Expertise

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