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Silicon Valley is not just a place. It’s a spirit of innovation. It’s a spirit that drives entrepreneurship and engineering excellence, far surpassing other tech centers around the globe. From new ventures to multinational corporations, businesses flock to Silicon Valley to try and capture that spirit.

Silicon Valley Law Group understands that spirit. And we help our clients solve the problems that sometimes stand in the way of delivering on the promise of that spirit. For over 20 years, SVLG’s seasoned attorneys have provided sophisticated legal services to businesses and individuals throughout Silicon Valley and beyond. From our offices in San Jose, California, we serve not only Silicon Valley but also the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area, all of California, the United States, and other parts of the world.

Business and IP Litigation

We have represented clients in contract disputes, licensing disputes, securities disputes, trade secret misappropriation actions, unfair competition claims, information security breach liability claims, software ownership disputes, lender liability claims, information technology defect claims, product liability claims, and more. Often, business litigation involves disputes over contracts. For an agreement to be deemed a valid, enforceable contract, there must be an offer, acceptance, a bargained-for exchange of promises, and sufficiently definite contract terms that would allow the court to enforce them. Business litigation also can require the interpretation and application of intricate federal and state laws that implicate IP, privacy, and unfair competition. For example, a case could involve the Copyright Act, the Lanham Act, and privacy statutes, along with state common law. As Silicon Valley business attorneys who are deeply familiar with information technology, we do not need to spend as much time or money to get up to speed on your case as a firm with less IT experience would.

Corporate & Securities

Business formation can have a huge impact on the success of technology companies and other entities. We can advise you on which form of organization would be best for your business, whether that is a C corporation, an S corporation, a limited liability company, a limited partnership, or a sole proprietorship. Similarly, the jurisdiction in which you organize can have an impact on your objectives, and we can help you select the jurisdiction in which to form your business. We assist clients with venture capital, private placements, PIP transactions, mergers and acquisitions, reverse mergers, corporate governance, and aspects of initial public offerings. We counsel clients on complex securities issues, including compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We assist clients with starting new ventures and provide ongoing advice as their businesses grow.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Our firm has represented buyers, sellers, private equity groups, and other investors in transactions ranging in value from $2 million to $200 million. We have been involved in many middle market mergers and acquisitions. These transactions have been both domestic and cross-border, and they have involved many industries, including semiconductors, software, capital equipment, networking, natural resources, agriculture, manufacturing, distribution, and services. Acquisitions can be structured in four ways: mergers, asset purchases, stock purchases, and joint ventures. In addition to making sure that your deal is structured appropriately, the business attorneys at our Silicon Valley firm can explain the legal consequences of the financing method that you choose.

Criminal and White Collar Defense

Our firm has represented individuals and companies that are faced with criminal charges. Often, we defend clients against charges involving white collar crimes. White collar crimes are non-violent crimes that are motivated by financial gain, and we can provide a strong defense against these charges. In addition to representing you in state and federal courts in California, we can conduct investigations on your behalf and handle issues as they arise. Our criminal law practice is led by Ed Kraus. He previously served as Deputy Public Defender from 1995-1998 in the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office, and he has tried many jury and bench trials.

Employment Law

Our attorneys can help you successfully and cost-effectively navigate employment rules and regulations. We emphasize cost containment and cost reduction. We often represent employers in disputes related to employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), along with federal laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, may govern these disputes. We also advise clients about recruiting employees who are subject to restrictive agreements with their former employers, technology concerns in the workplace, the protection of intellectual property, and preventing competition from these employees after they leave the company. We help companies seeking to protect their trade secrets from departing employees who steal technology before leaving. We also defend employees and new employers from abusive trade secret lawsuits by former employers attempting to stifle legitimate competition.

Environmental Law

Our Silicon Valley business lawyers have substantial experience in a wide range of environmental issues facing 21st-century businesses. We counsel clients regarding air permits and variances, the Brownfield Revitalization statutes, project definition and exemption analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act, the investigation and cleanup of contaminated property, and the management and recycling of electronic waste under the Electronics Waste Recycling Act of 2003. We defend clients who face civil actions and criminal prosecution by the EPA, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the BAAQMD, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, county agencies, district attorneys, and city attorneys. We also advise clients on how to comply with local, state, and federal laws related to the use and disposal of hazardous substances. We litigate lawsuits under state and federal environmental laws.

Data Privacy

Technology companies must comply with complex data privacy laws to protect customers’ personal information. We can help you comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act, which gives Californians the right to learn which kinds of personal information larger companies have collected about them and request that the personal information be deleted and not sold. The Act also requires these businesses to create privacy policies covering their employees and job applicants. Failing to abide by this law can result in fines of $2,500 per violation, or $7,500 if a violation is intentional. Companies must also comply with other privacy laws, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and other foreign laws. Our firm can help you create a privacy program, write privacy policies, negotiate privacy agreements, handle privacy lawsuits, and investigate and respond to privacy breaches.

Information Security

We assist clients in establishing effective programs for protecting personal information and vital company trade secrets. The business lawyers at our Silicon Valley firm go beyond the kind of advice that you might receive from traditional lawyers who focus on more conservative approaches, such as simple confidentiality agreements, passwords, and locked cabinets. Our firm can help your business manage an information security program, oversee security audits and assessments, maintain compliance with data security laws, negotiate security contracts, and provide incident response assistance following a breach, including handling appropriate breach notifications. To prevent trade secret misappropriation, we work with our clients alongside data security firms with information security programs, coordinating traditional technical and detailed policies with more sophisticated approaches. If someone steals your IP, our firm can assist by seeking an injunction to order the individual or company to stop the theft. We may be able to litigate on your behalf to recover damages arising from the theft. It is important to act right away in connection when you suspect that someone has stolen your trade secrets or confidential information.

Artificial Intelligence & Robotics

Artificial intelligence and robots can provide benefits for society, but they also raise complicated legal issues. Often, hard questions are asked by various stakeholders when development occurs in AI and robotics, and businesses conduct AI impact assessments to gauge the impact of its technology on its customers, their workers, and society. In addition, AI and robotics companies can manage their legal risks of being sued by developing and maintaining governance policies. Whether there is a data breach, an accusation of bias in AI software, or an accident with a robotic vehicle, it is crucial to retain a business attorney in Silicon Valley with experience in handling these types of problems. We can help you run an investigation on data exfiltration or an accident, and examine options for defending your business or seeking relief from other people or businesses that might be responsible. We also help prevent liability arising from algorithmic bias, “black box” systems, and the lack of transparency.

Technology Transactions and Compliance

We work with technology companies to sell their products and services, as well as procure the products and services from vendors. Our attorneys have experience negotiating and drafting technology transactions, domestic and international licensing agreements, and transfers regarding technology development, OEM, VAR, marketing and distribution agreements, and related joint ventures. We also represent clients in the healthcare and financial services sectors whose businesses are highly regulated and adversely affected by misuse of personal information. We can negotiate and draft agreements to protect your business and intellectual property interests in transactions with other businesses or independent contractors, and the business lawyers at our Silicon Valley firm can help you comply with regulations and laws as necessary to safeguard your rights.

Trademark and Copyright Applications and Licensing

We represent clients in connection with trademark and copyright applications, along with assignments and licensing. We can seek federal registration for your trademarks to obtain protection across the U.S. Trademarks are words, phrases, symbols, designs, or combinations of these that identify a source of goods and distinguish it from others. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examines each trademark application for compliance. Your application may be refused registration if there is a likelihood of confusion between your mark and a mark that is already registered or pending. There is a likelihood of confusion if the marks are similar, and the goods or services of the parties are related, such that a consumer would inaccurately think that they were from the same source. Similarly, it is important to apply for copyright in your work. Copyrights protect books, articles, movies, songs, and pictures from others copying them, translating them, or making other derivatives works from them. You can proceed with a copyright infringement lawsuit only if your copyright is registered.

Consult a Silicon Valley Attorney

The business attorneys at our Silicon Valley firm have a stellar reputation, sophisticated practice, and deep understanding of local courts. In addition to representing companies based in this region, we are often asked to serve as local counsel for large out-of-state firms, or to make special appearances. In all its practices, Silicon Valley Law Group provides practical solutions for a complex world. Call us at (408) 573-5700 or contact us via our online form.

Service Groups
Corporate & Securities Law
Corporate & Securities Law

Our business law lawyers help clients start up, obtain financing, and conduct complex mergers and acquisition transactions.

Business & IP Litigation
Business & IP Litigation

SVLG's litigation and trial attorneys handle a wide variety of disputes in state and federal court, arbitrations, and mediations. Their practice emphasizes business and trade secret cases.

Financial Services
Financial Services

SVLG represents financial institutions and other lenders; real estate developers...

Technology & IP Transactions
Technology & IP Transactions

Our Technology & IP attorneys draft and negotiate technology product, service, licensing, and marketing deals, as well as apply for and obtain trademarks and copyright registrations.

Employment Law
Employment Law

Our Employment Group represents companies and executives in employment discrimination, harassment, termination, and compensation disputes. It also provides compliance counseling for employment issues.

  • The litigation team gave me the muscle, organizational skills and attention to detail I needed against our major competitor and got us a great result.
  • For creative solutions to complex legal issues, I often turn to the attorneys at Silicon Valley Law Group. They are one of the law firms I have come to trust for providing consistently superior, responsive legal services.
  • I expected legal competence from SVLG and they delivered on that expectation. But they went beyond my expectations in two important ways.
  • Frank is a formidable negotiator and has gone to bat for us many times and won. I would highly recommend him for any real estate work or as personal counsel. If I ever have my own company, I wouldn't want anyone else but Frank Maiorana to represent me.
Go to Testimonials
  • Michael W. Stebbins - Attorney Profiles
    Michael W. Stebbins

    Michael Stebbins is a shareholder with Silicon Valley Law Group and the Chair of its Business and IP Litigation and Employment Groups. His practice focuses primarily on employment, intellectual property and commercial disputes. He has extensive litigation/arbitration experience involving trade secret theft, employee solicitation, technology licensing, IP infringement, false advertising, earn-out disputes, unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty, trade libel, harassment, discrimination, wage and hour issues, and wrongful termination.

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  • Edward A. Kraus - Attorney Profiles
    Edward A. Kraus

    Edward Kraus is a shareholder with Silicon Valley Law Group and a member of its Business Litigation and Criminal Law Groups. For over 20 years, Ed has represented individuals, small and large companies in a variety of civil and criminal litigation matters. Ed has handled a variety of civil litigation matters in areas such as employment matters, real estate, construction and commercial disputes. He also has handled a wide variety of criminal matters, representing individuals and businesses in cases involving charges such as grand theft, fraud, and environmental violations.

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  • Kathryn E. Barrett - Attorney Profiles
    Kathryn E. Barrett

    Kathryn E. Barrett is a member of the firm's Business and IP Litigation Group. Her areas of expertise include complex commercial disputes including fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, partnership and corporate disputes, employment litigation, real property disputes, and litigation in the bankruptcy courts.

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  • Marc G. Van Niekerk - Attorney Profiles
    Marc G. Van Niekerk

    Marc van Niekerk is Special Counsel with Silicon Valley Law Group's Business and IP Litigation Group. His practice focuses on business litigation, with special emphasis in the areas of intellectual property disputes, business torts and commercial contract disputes. He has extensive litigation/mediation experience involving trade secret theft, employee solicitation, technology licensing, IP infringement, false advertising, earn-out disputes, unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty, U.C.C. issues, and commercial lease disputes.

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  • Stephen S. Wu - Attorney Profiles
    Stephen S. Wu

    Stephen Wu is Of Counsel with Silicon Valley Law Group and former Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Science & Technology Law. His practice focuses on transactions, compliance, risk management, and litigation in the most cutting edge technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Big Data. He reviews and writes sophisticated information security and privacy policies for large enterprises, and assists in data security regulatory compliance, incident response, breach notifications, and establishing secure electronic commerce systems.

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  • William L. Bretschneider - Attorney Profiles
    William L. Bretschneider

    Bill Bretschneider is Special Counsel with Silicon Valley Law Group. As a Member of firm's Corporate & Securities and Intellectual Property Transactions practice groups, Bill's practice focuses on corporate/business formation and governance, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and joint ventures, private placements, and corporate finance, as well as commercial and intellectual property transactions.

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  • Jeffrey Lawson

    Jeff Lawson is a shareholder of Silicon Valley Law Group, where his practice focuses on compliance and litigation related to environmental law and land use. He also litigates complex commercial and employment cases. Jeff serves the petroleum, manufacturing, water, agriculture, transportation, financial services, real estate, and semiconductor industries. He also serves as a mediator in environmental and commercial disputes. Jeff has been recognized by Law & Politics Media and San Francisco Magazine as one of "Northern California's Super Lawyers" from 2004 to the present and has been named one of the top 100 lawyers in Northern California in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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  • Bernard Vogel III

    Bernie Vogel is a shareholder and the CEO and President of Silicon Valley Law Group. His practice emphasizes complex corporate transactions, investment financings, mergers and acquisitions, as well as the formation and maintenance of partnerships and limited liability companies. He provides ongoing business counseling to a variety of entities, ranging from venture capital firms and start up high tech and biotech companies.

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