Zachary Briers is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on intellectual property litigation and technology-related disputes. Mr. Briers also counsels clients regarding licensing and acquisitions involving intellectual property assets.
Mr. Briers has significant experience representing both alleged infringers and patent owners in all stages of patent infringement litigation. He has particular expertise working with technologists to develop infringement and invalidity theories; collaborating with economists on issues concerning the determination of a reasonable royalty; and litigating issues concerning the assertion of patents declared essential to industry standards. Examples of Mr. Briers’ work in this area include the following representations:
- Verizon as defendant in an action in the Eastern District of Virginia alleging infringement of five patents pertaining to fiber optic network components.
- Ericsson as patentee in the Northern District of California in a case involving numerous patents declared essential to the LTE cellular communications standard.
- Panda Express as defendant in the Eastern District of Texas in a case pertaining to induction heating technology.
- Takeda Pharmaceuticals as patentee in ANDA litigation in the Northern District of California involving patents relating to a proton pump inhibitor.
Mr. Briers also has significant experience litigating trademark and trade dress cases. He is an expert on the factually intensive issues that often arise in trademark litigation, including distinctiveness and secondary meaning; the likelihood of consumer confusion; trademark dilution; and the use of statistical surveys in federal court. He has represented both trademark owners and alleged infringers in industries including fashion, online advertising, retail and consumer food products.
As one example of his work in this area, Mr. Briers represented Versace, the Italian fashion designer, in successfully obtaining a permanent injunction in a trademark case against another apparel company using the Versace name. Versace obtained summary judgment on all of its claims, including trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition.
Mr. Briers has particular expertise regarding issues arising from the use of trademarks on the Internet. He regularly represents domain name registrants in litigating domain name disputes before ICANN, the organization responsible for managing the global domain name system. Mr. Briers also counsels clients regarding the use of trademarks in the context of online advertising. In 2016, Mr. Briers was part of the team that represented 1-800 Contacts in a six-week trial at the Federal Trade Commission related to the antitrust and trademark consequences of using competitor trademarks to trigger keyword advertising on search engines.
Technology-Related Disputes and Class Actions
Mr. Briers has represented technology companies in complex litigation involving a wide variety of products and services, including medical devices, networking equipment, pharmaceuticals, restaurant equipment, social media, software and semiconductors. He has particular expertise defending corporate clients in consumer class actions, including successfully defeating class certification in state and federal court. Mr. Briers’ experience also includes litigating disputes concerning Internet-based regulations, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Communications Decency Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Intellectual Property Transactions
In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Briers counsels corporations and individuals regarding transactions involving intellectual property. He has particular experience negotiating intellectual property licensing agreements; advising on mergers and acquisitions that involve patents and trademarks; and counseling clients regarding strategies to avoid allegations of intellectual property infringement. As one example of his work in this area, Mr. Briers advised Siggi Hilmarsson, the founder of siggi’s yogurt, in the sale of his business to French dairy firm Lactalis.
Outside the firm, Mr. Briers is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, where he teaches Internet Law. He obtained his J.D. from NYU School of Law, magna cum laude, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and named a Florence Allen Scholar.