Harold J. McElhinny - Morrison & Foerster LLP

Harold J. McElhinny

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006

Harold McElhinny is a trial lawyer who handles complex civil litigation on behalf of some of the world's leading companies, and was recently named one of the most influential lawyers in America.

In 2012, Mr. McElhinny served as lead trial counsel in Apple's billion-dollar victory over Samsung Electronics in the Northern District of California and in Apple's victory over Samsung in the U.S. International Trade Commission. In the Northern District of California case, after the judge vacated a portion of the damages and ordered a new trial, Mr. McElhinny lead the Apple team in the 2013 patent damages retrial against Samsung, securing $290 million for Apple and bringing the total damages to nearly $930 million. He also recently served as lead trial counsel for Nikon Corporation in defeating a significant claim by Anvik Corporation in the Southern District of New York.

In previous cases, Mr. McElhinny won $59 million for Pioneer Corporation from Samsung Electronics in a trial in the Eastern District of Texas, $36.3 million for Hansen Medical Company in a trade secret trial in Santa Clara County California Superior Court, and $33 million for SRI Industries in the Northern District of California.

On behalf of Target Corporation, Mr. McElhinny has defended ADA claims concerning access to physical stores and to websites.

Early in his career, Mr. McElhinny was part of the team that represented Fujitsu against IBM in a landmark copyright case in the 1990s. The resulting settlement helped define rules for protecting, developing, and sharing computer software.

Mr. McElhinny has served as the Managing Partner of the firm, Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department and Co-Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property practice. His trial expertise has been recognized by the most distinguished legal organizations in the United States, including the American College of Trial Lawyers, which inducted him as a fellow of the College in 2007.In 2014, Mr. McElhinny was named a Litigator of the Year by The American Lawyer, and he also received a California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) award by California Lawyer. In 2013, TheNational Law Journal named Mr. McElhinny to its list of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” and Chambers & Partners named him one of the top 11 patent attorneys in the United States in Chambers Global 2014.

While earning his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Mr. McElhinny was a contributing author of the law review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

Santa Clara UniversityBA 1970University of California, BerkeleyJ.D. 1975
American College of Trial Lawyers

Case History

Pioneer v. Samsung — Patent infringement case in the E.D. Tex. Our client, Pioneer was awarded almost 60 million. One of the top 100 jury verdicts in the U.S. in 2008.
Hansen v. Luna — Trade Secret jury trial. Our client, Hansen was awarded almost 40 millon dollars. One of the 10 largest jury verdicts in California in 2009.
IBM v. Fujitsu, Ltd — An arbitation that lasted over 10 years concerning allegations that Fujitsi had violated IBM copyrights in its operating systems. The eventual settlement preseved Fujitsu''s ability to compete in the world market for computers.
Apple v Samsung — Patent infringement case in  N.N. California in which jury awarded Apple over one billion dollars in damages.
Anvik v Nikon — Papent case in S.D. New York

Office Location

425 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2482
United States


Practice Areas

Litigation - Intellectual Property
Litigation - Patent

Other Information

Gender: Male