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Covington & Burling LLP

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Clara Shin

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Covington & Burling LLP

Work Department



Clara Shin is an experienced first-chair trial lawyer who focuses her practice on intellectual property and complex commercial disputes. Clients frequently call on her when they need to replace counsel before trial or when they need to turn cases around. According to one such client, “Clara combines exceptional intelligence with strategic business focus in a way that sets her apart from other top trial lawyers.” Recognized for delivering one of California’s top verdicts by the Daily Journal and as one of California’s top intellectual property lawyers, Clara has helped to make law in emerging areas. Her recent victories include a $34 million judgment for a class of venture capital funds in a software contract dispute, a unanimous jury verdict and punitive damages award in a trademark infringement trial, and an appellate ruling defining the scope of software licensing and the first sale doctrine under copyright law.


Stanford Law School, J.D., 1998. Smith College, B.A., 1992.

United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state)

Within: Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state)

Robert Long, John Hall and Mark Mosier lead the appellate practice at Covington & Burling LLP. Paul Schmidt, George Pappas and San Francisco-based Clara Shin defended Autodesk before the Federal Circuit in patent infringement proceedings brought by East Coast Sheet Metal Fabricating Corp seeking $800m in damages. Other highlights included serving as co-counsel with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP to Microsoft in an appeal brought by the US government in the Second Circuit challenging the lack of extraterritoriality of search warrants under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act; the decision effectively barred the government during criminal investigations from accessing emails stored on servers abroad. The group filed an amicus brief on behalf of financial trade associations, including the American Bankers Association, in Spokeo v Robins. Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Beth Brinkmann joined the Washington DC office.

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United States: Intellectual property


Within: Copyright

Covington & Burling LLP’s practice is very experienced in online piracy and DMCA liability issues and regularly assists clients with their anti-piracy programs and targeted copyright enforcement. For example, it continues to assist the NFL in combatting the unauthorized re-transmission of game telecasts over the internet. Other recent work includes representing Microsoft in a software copyright infringement suit against Weidmann Electrical Technology and acting for PBS and its member stations in matters before the CRB regarding the distribution of statutory copyright royalties. The practice is chaired by Simon Frankel in San Francisco and of counsel Ronald Dove in Washington DC. Clara Shin, also in San Francisco, focuses on technology-related disputes.

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