has engaged in significant complex litigation on behalf of private clients and civil liberties organizations for over 35 years. He has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer from that recognition’s inception.
Mr. Gross has an extensive focus on the changing face of copyright, trademark and media law in the digital age. Mr. Gross’ first degree and career was in computer science and his experience as a systems programmer for IBM, a systems analyst at University of California Medical Center and as the director of data processing for a local governmental agency gave him early expertise in the developing computer field. Since that time, and aided by his educational and professional experience, Mr. Gross has been an active force in the field of Internet law. He was the first general counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization focusing on first amendment issues surrounding Internet-based technology. He represented Think Secret, an online journalist improperly sued by Apple for trade secret misappropriation, counterattacking by seeking sanctions against Apple for filing a lawsuit without merit, establishing in a seminal case that under the First Amendment bloggers are considered journalists and have the right to disseminate information lawfully obtained by them. He has successfully defended an internet service provider sued by a software industry group for copyright infringement, represents content providers in negotiations with networks, and litigates jurisdictional issues raised by Internet activity. He advises and litigates extensively in the blockchain and cryptocurrency area, representing blockchain luminaries in various litigation and business matters, and is General Counsel and a founding director of the EOS Alliance, a nonprofit addressing governance issues in EOS cryptocurrency.
Mr. Gross has extensive experience in matters of intellectual property. As General Counsel to Burning Man, the internationally known arts festival, he has negotiated, advised and litigated numerous trademark, copyright and privacy matters on its behalf, including a successful defense of a lawsuit challenging the event’s major trademarks. Other significant engagements include representation of one of the world’s largest watch manufacturers in a trademark infringement action; the Estate of Norma Millay Ellis relating to the sale of the literary properties of Edna St. Vincent Millay; and a French biotechnology company in litigation relating to the sublicense of patent rights, and in contract negotiations about the sale of biotechnology development rights. Mr. Gross actively advises and litigates on trademark and copyright issues. He also represents authors, artists, performers and their agents in negotiating contracts for publication, performance, and sale of motion picture and television rights.
Mr. Gross regularly represents journalists and media organizations. In 2008, he represented The New York Times and several Business Week journalists against Hewlett-Packard, seeking and obtaining damages when HP illegally obtained private telephone records of the journalists in an attempt to learn the trade secrets of the identities of the journalists’ sources. He represents journalists in lawsuits against the police concerning media access to and ability to cover breaking news events. He also advises media entities on defamation and libel clearance, and actively represents plaintiffs in defamation cases involving national and local news media. Mr. Gross represents clients prior to the publication of potentially inflammatory articles in negotiations with news media to ensure the publication of accurate information.
Mr. Gross has a varied practice in public international law. He represented the national telephone company of Bolivia, and in proceedings in New York and London successfully overturned attachment orders of the telephone company’s assets, issued after the telephone company had been nationalized. Among other engagements, he has been lead counsel and adviser to the Republic of Panama, its agencies and its Mission to the United Nations; represented the Cuban national telephone company and successfully overturned the attempted garnishment of its assets to satisfy a judgment against the Republic of Cuba; and represented the Republic of South Africa in lawsuits concerning Internet activity and domain names. Mr. Gross represents foreign companies in contract negotiations with U.S. companies and in matters relating to their U.S. subsidiaries, and provides advice and obtains licenses for transactions with countries subject to trading restrictions.
Mr. Gross is also active in class action cases, predominantly in the areas of antitrust and consumer fraud, including the following: Chair, Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, In re DRAM Antitrust Litigation, a nationwide class action concerning price-fixing of computer memory; Liaison Counsel for the end-user class, In re Automotive Paint Antitrust Action; Liaison Counsel and Settlement Class Counsel, Perish v. Intel Corporation, a winning consumer fraud class action; Co-Chair of the Steering Committee, Microsoft Antitrust Class Action Litigation, based on Microsoft’s monopolization of the personal computer operating systems and software market; Co-Lead Counsel, Lea v. Pacific Bell, a consumer fraud and unfair competition class action; Executive Committee, Old Republic Title Company Class Action Litigation, an unfair competition and consumer fraud class action; Executive Committee, Flat Glass Antitrust Litigation, Sanitary Paper Antitrust Litigation, Vitamin Cases Antitrust Litigation, and Cosmetics Antitrust Litigation, antitrust actions challenging price-fixing in the glass, sanitary paper, cosmetics and vitamin industries; Executive Committee, Providian Class Action Litigation, an unfair competition, false advertising and consumer fraud action; and counsel in numerous class actions challenging price-fixing, particularly in the technology and travel industries.
Mr. Gross has an impressive background in defending constitutional rights. He has represented several non-traditional religions in various types of litigation raising issues of religious freedom, due process, and improper government activity, both in affirmative lawsuits and in defending damage lawsuits by ex-members. He has also served as special counsel in criminal cases concerning constitutional issues. Mr. Gross has an active practice representing victims of clergy abuse and sexual abuse. He was on the Executive Committee in The Clergy Cases III, a coordinated action involving all the cases of clergy abuse against the Roman Catholic Church in Northern California, and achieved the single highest settlement on behalf of an individual in those coordinated cases.
A native New Yorker, Mr. Gross is counsel to, and formerly a partner at, Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman, P.C., of New York, the noted constitutional and international law firm. B.S., Computer Science, Brown University; J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley; Associate Editor of the California Law Review; Clerk, the Honorable Otto R. Skopil, Jr., Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals