Jonathan H. Blavin

Jonathan H. Blavin

Jonathan Blavin is a partner in the San Francisco office of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Jonathan represents the world’s leading technology and media companies on some of their most novel and challenging legal issues. His recent representations include matters for Facebook, Snap, Airbnb, Disney, and Square.

Jonathan has substantial experience in Internet and privacy-related litigation, including matters involving Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. He also has significant experience in high-technology intellectual property disputes, including claims brought under the Copyright and Digital Millennium Copyright Acts, the Lanham Act and state trademark statutes and trade secret laws. Additionally, he has litigated federal antitrust actions, consumer class actions, and constitutional matters.

Jonathan has been named a Top Cyber Lawyer by the Daily Journal in 20222020 and 2019, a California Trailblazer by The Recorder in 2020, a top attorney under 40 in the field of technology law by Law360, and was chosen for the National Law Journal's inaugural list of "50 Intellectual Property Trailblazers & Pioneers." Jonathan has served as co-chair of the Legal Frontiers in Digital Media Conference, sponsored by the Media Law Resource Center and The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. He also has served as chair of the San Francisco Barristers Intellectual Property and Internet Law Section, and is on the board of the San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Association. Jonathan is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, and is a panel attorney for California Lawyers for the Arts.

Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Jonathan served as a law clerk to Judge Richard R. Clifton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he served as a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review. Jonathan received his B.A. in history with highest distinction from the University of Michigan, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa.


Key Representations

  • OpenSea, the NFT marketplace, in obtaining dismissal of claims in one of the first of its kind cases seeking several million dollars in damages arising from stolen Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.
  • Facebook, in obtaining denial of a temporary restraining order and dismissal of an action seeking to enjoin Facebook from applying its “Russia-state controlled media” label to a media entity’s pages and posts.
  • Snap, in obtaining dismissal on personal jurisdiction and Communications Decency Act grounds of action seeking to hold Snap liable for the sharing of images of an attack on Snapchat app.
  • Disney, in putative class action regarding the collection of user data for alleged advertising purposes on apps; case settled with no monetary payment to class and modest changes to apps. 
  • Facebook, in obtaining dismissal of First Amendment and state law claims in action brought by Russian news agency concerning Facebook’s removal of its content following the Special Counsel’s investigation of foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election.
  • Square, in obtaining dismissals of cases challenging under the Unruh Act Square’s prohibitions on transactions on its platform involving the sale of firearms and bankruptcy-related services.
  • Airbnb, in obtaining dismissal under the Communications Decency Act of lawsuit brought by real estate investment trust company alleging that Airbnb interfered with its lease agreements and aided and abetted trespass.
  • Facebook, in putative class actions challenging advertisers’ use of audience selection tools on Facebook’s advertising platform as violating the Fair Housing Act, Title VII and other federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
  • Airbnb, in obtaining dismissal of putative class action asserting claims that Airbnb facilitated the violation of San Francisco short-term rental laws; affirmed on appeal.
  • An online service provider, in matters before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit challenging government restrictions on disclosure of government requests for member data. This representation led the government to alter its rules on Jan. 27, 2014 to permit greater transparency of the number of such requests.
  • An online service provider, in action against website scraping the provider's site data and reposting the data on its site. Representation led to a consent judgment in the provider's favor that permanently bars the defendant from scraping the provider's site and orders it to destroy all the data it obtained. 
  • An online service provider, in putative nationwide class action challenging the importation and use of email addresses from members’ external email accounts as violating California’s right of publicity and unfair competition law, as well as the Federal Wiretap Act and Stored Communications Act.
  • Facebook, in an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the use of cy pres in privacy class action settlement.
  • HTC, in nationwide class actions concerning alleged installation of data collection software on smartphone devices, asserting claims under the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and related state law causes of action.
  • Emeco Industries, Inc., in pursuing trade dress and trademark infringement claims against Restoration Hardware, Inc. for copying the design of its iconic aluminum chair, “The Navy Chair.” The action settled with Restoration Hardware agreeing to permanently cease sales of its chairs and having its existing inventory of chairs recycled.
  • Microsoft, against device manufacturer Datel, alleging copyright infringement of the Xbox 360’s source code and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act stemming from Datel’s circumvention of the Xbox 360’s technological protection measures.
  • Electronic Arts, in copyright litigation against Zynga in which EA alleged that Zynga's online social game "The Ville" infringes EA's copyrighted game "Sims Social."


Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Scraping by with the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, Legal Frontiers in Digital Media Conference, May 2018
  • Speaker, Cybersecurity Roundtable, Daily Journal, November 2017
  • Speaker, IP Bytes: Hot Topics in Copyright Law, Bar Association of San Francisco, January 2015
  • Speaker, Recent Developments in Privacy and Data Security Law, 26th Annual All Hands Meeting, November 2014
  • Speaker, Scraping Content: the CFAA, DMCA, and Terms of Use, Legal Frontiers in Digital Media Conference, May 2014
  • Speaker, Everyone’s Doing It, But Is It Legal? Web Scraping and Online Data Harvesting, PLI Conference on Social Media, February 2014
  • Speaker, Does Technical Architecture Matter? Cablevision, Aereo, and the Public Performance Right in the Cloud, Intellectual Property Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, January 2014
  • Speaker, The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act since U.S. v. Nosal, San Francisco Barristers Intellectual Property and Internet Law Section, August 2013
  • Speaker, Developers! Your App May Be Subject To the EU's Privacy Rules If Downloaded In Luxembourg, The Future of Privacy+Innovation, UC Hastings Privacy and Technology Project, April 2013
  • Speaker, Recent Legal Issues in Social and Online Gaming, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology and the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, March 2013
  • Speaker, Legal Threats to Game Developers, Game::Business::Law 2013 International Summit on the Law and Business of Video Games, January 2013
  • Speaker, Cloud Governance: Avoiding Pitfalls & Respecting Compliance, Microsoft Corporation, November 2012
  • Speaker, The Law and Privacy-By-Design, UC Hastings Privacy Project: Privacy Tools for Startups, August 2012
  • Speaker, Google+ for Attorneys, Bar Association of San Francisco Tech Tuesdays, November 2011
  • Speaker, Battles in Social Networking: Liability Issues Arising from New Social Networking Tools, San Francisco Barristers Annual Meeting, October 2011
  • Speaker, CYA Your Startup, Black Founders Startup Ventures, July 2011
  • Speaker, The DMCA 12 Years Later: Pitting Copyright Protection against Technological Innovation?, San Francisco Barristers Intellectual Property and Internet Law Section, December 2010
  • Speaker, A Discussion of Primary Jurisdiction and PUC Code Section 1759, 2009 Conference for California Public Utility Counsel Annual Meeting