Sasha Rao is Chair of Maynard Cooper & Gale’s nationwide Intellectual Property Practice, which includes an experienced team of IP lawyers and professionals located in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Huntsville, and Birmingham. Sasha is a seasoned intellectual property lawyer with an established record of success for some of the world’s leading companies.
Sasha regularly leads intellectual property and commercial litigation for her clients, including cases involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, unfair competition, and complex commercial disputes. Sasha has tried cases in district courts throughout the U.S. Her strong science background in physics has enabled her to develop effective courtroom strategies for cases involving technologies ranging from pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biotechnology to computers, Internet, and software. In the technology realm, Sasha has defended some of Silicon Valley’s leading companies in cases brought by competitors and non-practicing entities. In the realm of life sciences, Sasha has extensive experience in Hatch-Waxman/ANDA litigation and has represented generic and branded pharmaceutical companies in numerous patent cases.
Sasha also advises clients on corporate, transactional, policy and regulatory matters, including IP aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Sasha’s enthusiasm for cutting-edge technologies has led to her being recognized as one of the leading practitioners in the emerging field of autonomy and robotics systems, including autonomous vehicles, drones, and UAVs, urban air mobility, and connected and artificially intelligent systems. Her legal subject matter expertise includes regulatory, policy, intellectual property, data rights, and legal strategy.
Sasha is registered to practice in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She also represents clients in Patent Office trials, including covered business method (CBM) and inter partes review (IPR) post-grant invalidity challenges available under the America Invents Act.
Chambers USA recognized Sasha in 2020 as a Leading Individual in Intellectual Property: Patent. She was also named by the Daily Journal in 2020 as one of California’s Top Intellectual Property Lawyers (having previously received this recognition in 2019 and 2013) and in 2019 as one of California’s Top Women Lawyers and Top Artificial Intelligence Lawyers. Sasha was selected as an Intellectual Property Trailblazer for 2019 by the National Law Journal. The Recorder has recognized Sasha as one of the “Women Leaders in Tech Law” four times (2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018). Sasha’s success and talents in the IP ﬁeld have also earned her recognition by The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Litigation: Intellectual Property (2017-present). She was also recognized as a “Trailblazer” by the South Asian Bar Association – Northern California (2016); an “IP Star” by Managing IP magazine (2013–present); and one of the “Top 250 Women in IP” by IP Stars (2013–present).
“I completely trust Sasha, she is a total professional. She knows the law thoroughly and she passionately attends to your matters.”
“She has consistently been able to convey complex patent and IP concepts and strategy in ways we were able to digest. We are very pleased with her service.”
“Sasha is fabulous. She is a wonderful, salt of the earth person who cares about the relationship she has with us. She truly has our best interests in mind.”
“Her abilities to respond almost 24/7 and to address the business issues versus just the legal protection is very impressive.”
“She is one of the hardest working people I know who also gets our overall business needs and works hard to make our business successful.”
Notable Cases and Successes
- Scanning Technologies Innovations LLC v. Square, Inc Represented Square in a patent infringement lawsuit relating to inventory tracking and point of sale systems. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case after Square moved to dismiss the case for unpatentable subject matter.
- Cypress Lake Software, Inc. v. HP Inc. Represented HP in a patent infringement lawsuit relating five patents concerning various computer functionalities. After case was successfully transferred from the Eastern District of Texas to the Northern District of California, the case has been stayed.
- Square, Inc. v. Unwired Planet, LLC Represented Square in a covered business method petition related to mobile payments technology. Obtained PTAB decision invalidating all claims as unpatentable abstract ideas.
- Broadband iTV, Inc. v. Hawaiian Telcom, Inc. et al Represented Hawaiian Telcom in multi-defendant patent infringement suit brought in the District of Hawaii by non-practicing entity involving delivery of video-on-demand content over the Internet. Obtained summary judgment opinion invalidating all of the asserted claims as unpatentable abstract ideas which was affirmed by the Federal Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court later denied cert., sealing the win for Hawaiian Telecom.
- Digital Verification Systems v. Square Inc. Represented Square in a 2017 patent infringement case related to Square’s mobile payment platforms, achieving a dismissal with prejudice for Square.
- North Star Innovations v HP Inc. Represented HP in an NPE case related to software components of HP mobile produces, achieving early exit for HP via successful indemnity claim.
- Cypress Lake Semiconductor v. HP Inc. Represented HP in an NPE case related to software components of HP mobile products, achieving an early dismissal for HP.
- Progme v. HP Inc. Represented HP in an NPE case related to software components of HP mobile products, achieving an early dismissal for HP.
- MiMedx Group, Inc. v. NuTech Medical Inc. Ongoing representation of NuTech in a patent infringement lawsuit in the Northern District of Alabama relating to placental tissue grafts.
- Gametek LLC v. Gameview Studios, LLC Represented Gameview Studios (subsidiary of DeNA) in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Gametek involving in-game advertising and purchasing technology. Case settled favorably after successful transfer from the Southern to the Northern District of California.
- Confidential client Represented a prominent Mountain View-based technology company in securing a summary judgment ruling of non-infringement in a Central District of California case involving four patents related to geo-location technology. Following a favorable claim construction ruling for our client that led directly into summary judgment motions, the Court granted our client’s summary judgment motion of non-infringement of all asserted claims.
- Eolas v. Adobe et al Represented a prominent Mountain View-based technology company defendant in securing victory in a case brought by Eolas Technologies Inc. on two patents that it contended cover all websites containing interactive content. After an invalidity trial involving multiple defendants, an Eastern District of Texas jury returned a verdict finding all asserted claims of both patents invalid.
- Software Research Int’l v. HP Inc. Represented HP in a patent infringement lawsuit involving testing software for websites in the Northern District of California. Case dismissed by plaintiff after initial discovery.
- Compaq Computer Corp. v. eMachines Represented Compaq in patent infringement action asserting computer systems patents in the Southern District of Texas. Obtained summary judgment of infringement of nine patents relating to personal computer subsystems. Obtained permanent injunction before trial against further infringement of two patents. Damages claim was in excess of $200 million before trebling. Case settled favorably through mediation two weeks before trial.
- Lucent v. Periphonics Represented Lucent in patent infringement action asserting patents regarding interactive voice technology in the District of Delaware. Case settled favorably through mediation after the Markman hearing.
- Tria Beauty, Inc. v. Radiancy, Inc. Represented Tria Beauty, an FDA-regulated medical device manufacturer, in a false advertising lawsuit brought against a competitor marketing an unregulated device with false claims. Case settled favorably before scheduled trial in the Northern District of California.
- Purdue Pharma Products L.P. v. Par Pharmaceuticals Represented Purdue Pharma and associated companies in a Hatch-Waxman patent infringement lawsuit involving controlled-release tramadol in the District of Delaware.
- Rexall Sundown, Inc. v. Weider Nutrition International, Inc. Represented Rexall in a patent infringement lawsuit involving glucosamine and chondroitin nutraceuticals in the Western District of Wisconsin. Case settled after initial discovery.
- Warner-Lambert Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in ANDA patent infringement litigation brought under the Hatch-Waxman Act involving quinapril ACE inhibitor in the District of New Jersey. Case tried for inequitable conduct issues and the Court found no equitable conduct. The decision was affirmed on appeal.
- Chambers USA: Leader in the area of Intellectual Property: Patent (2020)
- Chambers USA: Recognized Practitioner in the area of Intellectual Property (2018 – 2019)
- Daily Journal, Top Intellectual Property Lawyers (2013, 2019, 2020)
- Daily Journal, Top Artificial Intelligence Lawyers (2019)
- Daily Journal, Top Women Lawyers (2019)
- National Law Journal, Intellectual Property Trailblazers (2019)
- Women Leaders in Tech Law, The Recorder (2013-2014, 2017-2018)
- Top 50 California Super Lawyers® (2019)
- Most Influential Woman in Intellectual Property Law 2019 – USA (Acquisition International)
- The Best Lawyers in America© for Litigation: Intellectual Property (2017 – present)
- IP Star, Managing IP (2013 – present)
- Patent Star and Trademark Star, Managing IP (2017 – present)
- Who’s Who Legal – Patents (2013 – present)
- Top 250 Women in IP, IP Stars (2013 – present)
- Trailblazer, South Asian Bar Association, Northern California (2016)
- California Super Lawyers® for Intellectual Property Litigation (2014 – present)
- Woman of Influence, Silicon Valley Business Journal (2013)
- Rainmaker, MCCA’s Diversity & The Bar (2012)
Sasha's Affiliations and Civic Involvement
- Stanford Program of Law, Science & Technology, Advisory Board
- Bay Area IP Inn of Court
- South Asian Bar Association – Northern California, Life Member
- “Patent invalidity post-Arthrex: much ado about nothing” in Daily Journal (November 19, 2019)
- “Electric Urban Air Taxis: Science Fiction or Legal Matter of Fact?” in Daily Journal (May 23, 2019)
- “Hikma v. Vanda Exaggerates Treatments’ Patent Eligibility” in IPLaw360 (March 15, 2019)
- Mentioned in Law360 article, “5 Insights From Airbus Group’s Joshua Walker” (December 2, 2016)
- Quoted in Daily Journal article, “High court to consider challenge how patent agency handles appeals” by Kevin Lee (January 19, 2016)
- “Claim Construction: the PTAB versus district courts” in Daily Journal (April 17, 2015)
- 2015 Roundtable Series, Intellectual Property in California Lawyer (March 2, 2015)
Sasha's Speaking Engagements
- Practising Law Institute “Conditions for Patentability; Novelty: Inside and Outside the PTO – Cases and Decisions” Webinar (May 11, 2020)
- ChIPs Global Summit “Future of AI and Autonomous Vehicles” in Washington, D.C. (September 26, 2019)
- International IP Skills Summit (IIPSS) “US Patent Prosecution and Responding Under 35 U.S.C. 101 Subject Matter Rejection” Hyderaba, India (August 13-14, 2019)
- Unmanned Systems Canada Conference “Personal Airborne Transportation” in Toronto, Canada (November 3, 2018)
- AIRBUS Leadership University, IP Seminar “Technology-Centric M&A: The Specifics from Aerospace and Defense” in Toulouse-Blagnac, France (December 7, 2018)
- World IP Forum, “Section 101 and its Implications on Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals in New Delhi, India (November 14-16, 2018)
- Daily Journal Patent Disputes Forum “The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Patent Litigation” in Menlo Park, California (April 18, 2018)
- General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s Spring 2018 Policy and Legal Issues Committee “Electric Propulsion, Automation, and Liability: Regulatory and Legal Considerations” in Washington, D.C. (March 13, 2018)
- State Bar of California Office of Education “Envisioning Passenger Urban Air Mobility: Legal and Policy Considerations for Personal Aerial Vehicles” via webinar (January 16, 2018)
- AIAA SCITECH 2018 Conference “On Demand Mobility: Regulatory and Operational Challenges” in Kissimmee, Florida (January 10, 2018)
- Unmanned Systems Canada “Personal Air Vehicles” in Toronto, Canada (November 3, 2017)
- ITS World Congress “Automated Flying Cars” in Montreal, Canada (November 2, 2017)
- Drone World Expo “The Role of IoT, Software & Platforms in the Commercial Drone Ecosystem” in San Jose, California (October 3, 2017)
- AUVSI’s Xponential Conference “NASA and the First Steps Toward Widespread UAS Integration” in Dallas, Texas (May 9, 2017)
- TSG Drone Seminar “Air Traffic Panel” in San Francisco CA (January 24, 2017)
- Tech Talk for Drone World Expo “The Intersection of Technical and Legal Considerations in Commercial Drones” in San Jose, California (November 16, 2016)
- 13th Annual Stanford E-Commerce Best Practices Conference “Patent Litigation Update” at Stanford Law School in Palo Alto, CA (June 6, 2016)
- 12th Annual Stanford E-Commerce Best Practices Conference “Patent Best Practices” at Stanford Law School in Palo Alto, CA (June 8, 2015)
- The PTO and the Courts co-sponsored by the Stanford Program in Law, Science, & Technology, Samsung Electronics, and the Stanford Technology Law Review “Legal Differences in the PTO and the Courts” at Stanford Law School (April 17, 2015)
New York University School of Law (1996, J.D.)
Randolph Macon Woman’s College (1993, B.A., magna cum laude)