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Michael A. Jacobs

Michael A. Jacobs

General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Intellectual Property
International & Cross-Border
Life Sciences
Professional Liability
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Michael A. Jacobs joins JAMS after establishing a reputation at the international law firm of Morrison Foerster as one the country’s leading trial attorneys for complex technology and life sciences litigation. Mr. Jacobs tried numerous high-profile cases to juries, judges and arbitrators, and co-founded and led his firm’s intellectual property litigation group. He has been recognized by Chambers USA as a Band 1 (California) and Band 2 (US) intellectual property trial attorney, and he won the California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) award three times for his work in trailblazing cases. One client describes him as “a terrific strategist with a very strong understanding of commercial trends.” Another commented that he is “extremely smart and strategic. He works well with and doesn’t alienate opposing counsel. He manages cases very cost effectively. He gets great results.”

In his trial practice, Mr. Jacobs also gained substantial experience in alternative dispute resolution, both as an advocate and a neutral. Early in his career, he led a team in the arbitration of a complex cross-border operating system software dispute, a matter in which conventional arbitration hearings, med-arb, baseball arbitration and post-negotiation negotiation tools were employed. Later, he represented claimants and respondents in arbitrations and mediations of numerous high-profile life sciences and technology matters, appearing before AAA, ICDR, JAMS and ICC panels and neutrals. He served as a sole arbitrator or panel chair in a dozen arbitrations involving attorney-client or attorney-attorney fee disputes, and he evaluated and mediated another dozen IP and technology disputes. His practice often involved non-U.S. parties and the application of foreign law.

All matters below were handled by Mr. Jacobs as an advocate except as indicated otherwise. 

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Mediator for contractual dispute over currency applicable to price of Canadian wine imports
      • Mediator for dispute involving auctioneer seeking multimillion-dollar payment from winning bidder on porcelain jar
      • Mediator for dispute arising out of termination of aviation scheduling software strategic alliance agreement
      • Mediator for case involving collection of default judgment against bar owner for showing boxing match without license
      • AAA arbitration of medical device distribution agreement
      • AAA arbitration of shareholder dilution claim
      • Dispute over nonpayment of independent contractor compensation
      • Claim of co-founder of startup company to share of stock based on idea contribution
      • Right of publicity dispute over collectible stamps
      • Trespass to chattels claims over scraping of domain names
      • AAA arbitration of claims relating to exclusivity clause in biotechnology agreement
  • Intellectual Property
    • Technology

      • Widely publicized copyright and patent dispute involving the Java programming platform
      • Trade secret and patent dispute involving self-driving automobile technology
      • Design patent, utility patent and trade dress dispute between world’s leading smartphone manufacturers
      • Ownership and “slander of title” dispute over copyrights to Unix software and alleged infringement by Linux operating system
      • License agreement dispute involving PC BIOS software
      • Patent infringement dispute between stock exchanges regarding electronic stock trading
      • Copyright and related claims involving artificial intelligence LLMs
      • Patent infringement lawsuit involving mobile phone location sharing and tracking
      • Trade secret, license and antitrust dispute involving rental property management software
      • Patent infringement dispute over rights to high-end barcode scanners
      • Patent case related to firewall technology
      • Mediator for trademark dispute involving wearable fitness products
      • Patent dispute over online fantasy football game
      • Patent dispute over portable keyboard design
      • Copyright and state law tort case over rights to open-source web server software
      • Copyright dispute over application of first-sale doctrine to packaged software
      • Copyright dispute over application of public performance right to hotel in-room video systems


      • Copyright dispute regarding reversionary rights between famous musician and record label
      • Patent dispute over refrigerator filter designs
      • Copyright and trade secret dispute over aftermarket brake part designs
      • Design patent dispute over camera designs
      • Mediator for wedding dress supplier’s copyright dispute against internet service provider
      • Mediator for photographer’s copyright claim against InfoWars publisher
      • Mediator for employment dispute over covenant not to compete
      • Mediator for copyright dispute over motivational video programs
      • Mediator for copyright dispute over photograph of Stanford/UC Berkeley football game’s “The Play”
      • Copyright dispute over after-school math worksheets
      • Trademark dispute over financial services logos
      • Patent dispute over artificial Christmas trees
      • Patent dispute over bingo markers
  • International & Cross-Border
      • ICC arbitration of dispute involving copyrights in Linux software
      • ICDR arbitration and U.S. court litigation of rights to antibody-drug conjugate technology
      • Litigation in German courts over viral effect of open-source software licenses
      • Global litigation over design patent, trade dress and utility patents in smartphones
      • ICDR arbitration of royalties under human serum albumin co-development agreement
      • ICDR arbitration of contractual dispute involving macular degeneration diagnostic devices
      • LCIA dispute over patent directed to tumor necrosis factor alpha
      • U.S. court, ICDR and SCC arbitration of human resources software license dispute
      • ICDR arbitration of license dispute involving treatment of Japanese consumption tax
      • ICDR arbitration of copyright dispute relating to operating system software
      • U.S. court litigation over copyright reversionary right to music for English musician
      • U.S. court litigation over breach of warranty claims under UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods
  • Life Sciences
      • Breach of contract dispute involving a university inter-institutional agreement and valuation of patent for kidney drug
      • Antibody-drug conjugate contractual ownership arbitration and patent infringement action
      • Patent infringement suits regarding high-frequency spinal cord stimulation medical device
      • Patent infringement claim involving antibody-drug conjugate cancer treatment
      • Patent infringement case and state law tort claims regarding induced pluripotent stem cell products
      • Patent infringement dispute over HCV protease invention
      • Trade secret and breach of contract claims relating to central nervous stem cells
      • Trade secret and breach of contract claims over immune-neurology technology
      • Patent dispute over prenatal testing protocol
      • Patent dispute over vaccine administration schedule
  • Professional Liability
      • Arbitrator for attorney-attorney dispute between fired and newly retained personal injury attorneys handling auto accident claim
      • Arbitrator for attorney-client dispute over whether interest was properly chargeable on overdue amounts
      • Arbitrator for attorney-client dispute over abandoned personal injury case
      • Arbitrator for attorney-client dispute over representation in landlord-tenant case
      • Arbitrator for attorney-client dispute over handling of trade dress claim
      • Arbitrator for attorney-client dispute over patent prosecution strategy for mattress design
      • Arbitrator for attorney-client dispute over domestic partnership dissolution and attorney disqualification
      • Expert witness in malpractice case over patent license agreement
      • Expert witness in malpractice case of default judgment in patent case

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association 1984–2024
  • Member, California Lawyers Association, 1984–2024
  • Member, Bar Association of San Francisco, 1984–2024
  • Member, American Business Trial Lawyers Association, 1990–2000

Selected Awards and Honors

  • John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award Recipient, American Bar Association, 2024
  • IP: Patent Litigation, Band 1; Nationwide, Band 2; Chambers USA; 2021–2023
  • California Lawyer of the Year, California Lawyer, 2003, 2012, 2014
  • Law Dragon Hall of Fame, 2023
  • Legal 500 U.S., 2022, 2023
  • Leader Lawyer, Patent Litigation
    • Recommended, Trade Secrets, 2010–2024
    • Hall of Fame, Patent Litigation, 2023
  • Leading Attorney for Intellectual Property, Chambers Global, 2021
  • Ranked among the world’s leading patent professionals, IAM Patent 1000, 2021–2023
  • Best Lawyers, 2006–2024
    • Litigation: Intellectual Property
    • Litigation: Patent
  • Patent Star, LMG Life Sciences, 2020, 2022
  • Benchmark Litigation 2022–2024
    • National Practice Area Star
    • California Litigation Star
    • Local Litigation Star
  • Managing Intellectual Property’s World IP Survey, 2018–2021
  • Copyright, Patent and Trademark Star
  • San Francisco Lawyer of the Year, Intellectual Property, Best Lawyers, 2018 

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Recurring Speaker, Trial by Jury, Practising Law Institute, 2011–2023
  • Recurring Faculty Member, Annual FJC-BCLT IP Education Program for Federal Judges, 2008–2019
  • “Inter Partes Review Strategy and Trends in the Life Sciences Industry: Implications for Patent Prosecutors and Litigators,” Morrison & Foerster Seminar/Webinar, 2015
  • “How to Protect Your Intellectual Property in an Era of Cyber Attacks,” Israel IP Seminar, 2015
  • “Important Developing Copyright Issues for Software and the Internet: Oracle v. Google and Beyond,” USC Gould School of Law 2015 Intellectual Property Institute, 2015
  • USPTO Design Day, 2014

Selected Publications

  • “Obama Puts Stamp on Patent Litigation with Northern District of California Appointees,” The Recorder, Feb. 21, 2017
  • “Breaking Down Four Big Changes In Patent Litigation,” New York Law Journal, April 4, 2016
  • “In Practice: The Injunctive Relief Pendulum,” The Recorder, Oct. 3, 2013

Background and Education

  • Associate and Partner, Morrison Foerster LLP, 1984–2024
  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1983
    • Senior Editor, Yale Law Journal
  • Foreign Service Office, U.S. Department of State, 1977–1981
  • B.A., With Honors, Stanford University, 1977
    • Phi Beta Kappa


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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