ANTHONY J WEIBELL
Anthony (Tony) Weibell is a partner in the Palo Alto office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He represents leading technology companies in diverse areas of complex civil litigation involving consumer class action, e-commerce, intellectual property, privacy, antitrust, false advertising, and contractual disputes. He also advises companies on Internet law and strategy, including compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the Wiretap Act, the Stored Communications Act, and consumer protection and privacy laws. The following is a sample of his current and past representations in various practice areas:
Privacy and Data Breach Litigation
- Google in In re Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation. Secured dismissal (affirmed on appeal and petition for certiorari denied by the U.S. Supreme Court) of all federal claims and most state law claims in two landmark opinions in this multidistrict litigation made up of more than 20 consumer class actions arising from allegations that Google improperly placed tracking cookies on Safari and Internet Explorer web browsers. The case examined issues of first impression involving the Wiretap Act, the Stored Communications Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and alleged invasion of consumer privacy.
- BJC HealthCare in Smith v. Facebook, et al. Obtained dismissal of all claims in this privacy class action brought on behalf of a putative class of Facebook users against Facebook and several hospitals and healthcare entities. The plaintiffs alleged that the healthcare defendants violated the Wiretap Act and state privacy laws by placing Facebook "like" buttons on their web pages and thereby sending the plaintiffs' HIPAA-protected communications with those websites to Facebook.
- Turn in Michael v. Verizon Communications, Inc. et al., Henson v. Turn, and Kay v. Turn. In these consumer class actions, the Verizon subscriber plaintiffs challenged Turn and Verizon's use of so-called "super cookies" or "zombie cookies" to deliver targeted advertisements to Internet web browsers. The plaintiffs alleged the creation and use of such cookies was an invasion of privacy, trespass to chattel, and violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), and state consumer protection laws.
- Security software provider in In re Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation and In re The Home Depot, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation. Represented a non-party security software provider in investigating and responding to litigation involving two of the largest consumer data breaches in history involving its clients Target and The Home Depot.
- Netflix in In re Online DVD Rental Antitrust Litigation. Won summary judgment for Netflix in this consumer class action brought by current and former Netflix and Blockbuster subscribers that alleged violations of federal antitrust laws arising from a 2005 promotional agreement between Netflix and Wal-Mart. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment and more than $400,000 in costs awarded to Netflix against the class plaintiffs.
- Live Nation in In re Live Concert Antitrust Litigation. Won summary judgment for Live Nation in this multidistrict litigation consisting of more than 20 consumer class actions alleging violations of federal antitrust laws arising from alleged anticompetitive promotion of live concerts.
- Netflix in In re Netflix Antitrust Litigation. Secured dismissal with prejudice for Netflix in this consumer class action alleging violations of federal and state antitrust laws arising from alleged enforcement of fraudulently obtained patents.
- Rambus in In re Rambus Antitrust Litigation. Obtained voluntary dismissal in this multidistrict consumer class action alleging consumers paid higher prices for electronic devices because Rambus allegedly engaged in an anticompetitive patent "hold-up" of the DRAM industry after its patented technology was adopted by the DRAM standard-setting organization.
False Advertising and Consumer Product Defect Litigation
- SanDisk in Stanfield v. SanDisk. In this consumer class action alleging that SanDisk should have warned consumers of potential defects in certain flash memory cards that could cause them to fail when used in Samsung Galaxy III phones, successfully defended SanDisk against claims for breach of warranty, false advertising, misrepresentation, and violation of consumer protections statutes (CLRA and Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§17200 et seq.).
- Align Technology in Buckley v. Align Technology. Obtained dismissal with prejudice of this consumer class action involving claims for breach of warranty, false advertising, and violation of consumer protection laws arising from allegations that the Invisalign aligner system prescribed by the plaintiff's dentist did not work as anticipated by the plaintiff. The case involved unique issues under the learned intermediary doctrine whereby the duty to warn for a prescription product runs to the doctor and not to the patient.
- Symantec in Gross v. Symantec. Obtained withdrawal of the original complaint and dismissal with leave to amend of the first amended complaint in this consumer class action involving claims for breach of warranty and violation of consumer protection laws arising from allegations that certain registry-cleaning software developed by a subsidiary of Symantec did not perform as advertised.
- DJI Technology in Howard v. DJI Technology. In this consumer class action alleging that certain drones sold by DJI were falsely advertised as having video capabilities they did not have, Tony obtained a stipulated dismissal of the complaint after demonstrating that the plaintiff's allegations were unsupportable.
Copyright and Internet Litigation
- YouTube in Viacom v. YouTube and English Premier League v. YouTube. Tony was part of the team that won summary judgment twice for YouTube (the second time following remand from the Second Circuit), as well as a denial of the class plaintiffs' motion for class certification in copyright infringement actions that challenged YouTube's operations under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The case remains a landmark case for DMCA jurisprudence.
- Google and YouTube in Zombie Go Boom v. Google and YouTube. In this putative class action lawsuit arising out of the alleged YouTube "Adpocalypse" of March 2017, the plaintiff YouTube users challenge changes made to YouTube's video monetization system that made it possible for advertisers to opt out of having their ads displayed alongside videos with potentially offensive content.
- Zazzle in Greg Young Publishing v. Zazzle. In this copyright infringement action brought by the alleged copyright owner of a number of paintings uploaded to Zazzle's print on demand service, Zazzle obtained landmark rulings that the DMCA immunized the image-uploading side of the business even if it did not immunize the printing side of the business; and that there was no willful infringement where the company prohibited copyright infringement by its users and took steps to keep infringing materials off of its service.
- Dolby in GDC Technologies v. Dolby Laboratories. Defended Dolby in this action brought by a competitor seeking declaratory judgment that Dolby could not claim copyright infringement when the plaintiff's theater management software made use of Dolby's "interoperability codes" and related software in order to control Dolby products. The suit also asserted claims for unfair competition and tortious interference with contract.
- Seagate in Pragmatus v. Seagate v. Enghouse. In this complex patent infringement litigation, Tony successfully represented Seagate in obtaining summary judgment on Seagate's third-party claims against the software vendor responsible for the alleged infringement for breach of the vendor's duty to defend and indemnify Seagate in the patent litigation.
- Via Technologies in Computer Cache Coherency Corporation v. Via Technologies. Obtained summary judgment of non-infringement—affirmed on appeal—in this patent infringement action against Intel and Via Technologies alleging infringement of a patent claiming an interface circuit that can maintain coherency between corresponding data in the main memory and cache memory.
- Google in Glassey v. Google. Obtained dismissal of all claims brought by an alleged inventor of technology allegedly misappropriated by a third party, published in a patent application, and thereafter incorporated into technology used by Google and others in alleged violation of the plaintiff's rights.
- Rudolph Technologies in Nikoonahad v. Rudolph Technologies. Obtained summary judgment for Rudolph Technologies in this action brought by a former consultant asserting claims arising from an alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and patented technology after his technology was not commercialized as he had hoped.
Trade Secret Litigation
- Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (ISSI) in GSI Technology v. United Memories, et al. Obtained dismissal of federal antitrust and RICO claims and later helped win a jury verdict in favor of ISSI in this sour grapes competitor lawsuit brought by GSI after it lost a bid to ISSI to provide high-performance chips to a high-profile customer. The jury verdict completely rejected GSI's claims that ISSI colluded to engage in various anticompetitive acts aimed at GSI.
- Salebuild in Salebuild vv Flexisales. Following a successful appeal to the Ninth Circuit to overturn a dismissal for forum non conveniens, obtained settlement from defendant on behalf of client whose trade secrets were taken by its former employees and used to start a competing company.
- Salebuild in Nexsales v. Salebuild. Obtained dismissal with leave to amend and a subsequent voluntary dismissal with prejudice in this trade secret misappropriation and employee-poaching action brought by a competitor.
- Shaklee in Shaklee Corporation v. HarperCollins Publisher. Obtained settlement from defendant in this trademark infringement action over the defendant's unauthorized use of Shaklee's CINCH mark.
- AccuraGen in Asuragen v. AccuraGen. Defended client's use of the ACCURAGEN mark as not likely to cause confusion with the ASURAGEN mark for hypothetical customers of DNA sequencing services.
Pro Bono Cases
Tony also litigates pro bono matters for indigent and nonprofit clients in various matters such as VAWA cases, low-income housing, nonprofit intellectual property cases, and other areas. He is a recipient of multiple awards for pro bono service, including an Impact Award from the Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach for his work with victims of abuse and trafficking.SELECT CLIENTS:
- J.D., J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University
With Honors; Member, Moot Court Team and Trial Advocacy Team; Repeat recipient, Best Oral Advocate and Best Brief awards in moot court competitions
- M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering (minor in Engineering Management), Brigham Young University
Master's Thesis: "Engineer Liability and Litigation Avoidance Strategy as Applied to the 1989 Failure of the Quail Creek Dike," (on file at Lee Library, BYU)
- B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Brigham Young University
- Named to the 2013, 2014, and 2015 "Rising Stars" list published by Northern California Super Lawyers
- Co-author with R. Strickland and M. Reed, "U.S." chapter, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Sixth Edition, Global Legal Insights, 2017
- Co-author with R. Strickland and M. Reed, "U.S." chapter, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Fifth Edition, Global Legal Insights, 2016
- Co-author with R. Strickland and M. Reed, "U.S." chapter, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Fourth Edition, Global Legal Insights, 2015
- State Bar of California
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court