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David J. Tsai



David J. Tsai is a counsel in the firm's Litigation practice and focuses on trade secret and patent litigation involving the Internet, software, semiconductors, set-top boxes, smartphones, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies, and medical devices. His legal experience also includes successfully second chairing a trade secrets arbitration case involving silicon technology, litigating in the areas of copyrights and trademarks, preparing and prosecuting U.S. electrical engineering patent applications, drafting patentability, freedom-to-operate and non-infringement opinions, as well as patent interference in the area of biotechnology. David has written and lectured on Internet software applications, Hatch-Waxman/ Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) litigation, and stem cell gene therapy. He is the Immediate Past President of the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association.

Prior to his legal career, David worked in product management at Internet/software startups Zaplet Inc., and, funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and the Mayfield Fund, respectively. He focused on developing platforms for online collaborative communications. David also previously led the U.S. product management team for Corbett's Rotor-Gene (real-time PCR) product line and helped develop the first online problem sets at Stanford University.

David is committed to serving pro bono clients. He has represented pro bono clients at settlement conferences through the Northern District Court Assisted Settlement Conference Program. He has also worked on civil rights and immigration pro bono matters with the Asian Law Caucus and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, including successfully representing an HIV+ transgender Mexican client in immigration court.

David has been recognized as a top 50 California Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Recorder, Super Lawyer in Intellectual Property Litigation, Best Lawyer Under 40 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and one of the Daily Journal’s Top "Five Associates To Watch" in California. He is the recipient of the Bar Association of San Francisco Barristers Club "Diversity Award," the Minority Bar Coalition "Rising Star Award," and the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s "Outstanding Subcommittee Chair Award."

David is fluent in spoken Taiwanese and Chinese Mandarin and has successfully represented numerous Taiwan and China-based companies. He also co-chairs the firm’s Asian Pacific Islander Affinity Group.

Professional Recognition

  • Northern California Super Lawyer, 2013 & 2014
  • Selected by The Recorder as a "Lawyer on the Fast Track," 2013
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Best Lawyer Under 40 Award, 2013
  • Selected by Daily Journal As One of Top “Five Associates To Watch” in California, 2013
  • Inaugural Santa Clara University School of Law Young Alumni "Rising Star Award,” 2013
  • Listed in Super Lawyers Magazine as a "Northern California Rising Star," 2009 - 2012
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association “Barrister of the Year," 2010

Professional Leadership

  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation Committee Co-Chair, 2009 - 2012 
  • Asian American Bar Association, Board of Directors, 2012 - present 
  • Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF), Board of Directors, 2010 & 2011
  • BASF Barristers Club, Board of Directors, 2009 - 2011; Diversity Director, 2009 - 2010 
  • BASF Justice & Diversity Center (JDC), Board of Directors, 2013 - present
  • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), Board of Directors, Co-Chair, 2010 - 2012; Treasurer, 2008 - 2010 
  • Minority Bar Coalition, Co-Chair, 2009 - 2010 
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, Board of Trustees, 2007 - 2009 
  • Santa Clara University School of Law, Law Alumni Board of Directors, 2009 - present 
  • Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association (SVIPLA), Board of Directors, 2008 - present, President
  • State Bar of California's Legal Services Trust Fund Commission, 2014 - present
  • William A. Ingram Chapter (American Inns of Court), Executive Committee, 2012 - present, Treasurer

Community Involvement

  • AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP), Board of Directors
  • Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, Pro Bono Attorney 
  • Phillips Exeter Academy, Alumnus Admission Representative

Related Employment

  • Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP (Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP), San Francisco, CA, Associate, Litigation; Summer Associate
  • Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA, Law Clerk
  • Judicial Extern to The Hon. Howard R. Lloyd, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose, CA
  • Perkins Coie LLP, Menlo Park, CA, Summer Associate


  • Santa Clara University School of Law, J.D.
  • Stanford University, M.S.
  • Harvard University, A.B.

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California


  • Chinese - Mandarin
  • Taiwanese