Ian C. Ballon - Greenberg Traurig LLP

Ian C. Ballon

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2001
Phone: 650-328-8500

Ian Ballon is an intellectual property and Internet litigator who represents clients in copyright, DMCA, trademark, trade secret, right of publicity, privacy, security, software, database and Internet disputes and in the defense of data privacy, behavioral advertising and other Internet-related class action suits.

Mr. Ballon, who splits his time between the firm's Silicon Valley and LA offices, is the author of the four-volume legal treatise, E-Commerce and Internet Law: Treatise With Forms 2d Edition, Thomson West 2012 Cum. Supp. and the earlier first edition, which has been cited in state and federal court opinions. He is also the author of The Complete CAN-SPAM Act Handbook (West 2008) and The Complete State Security Breach Notification Compliance Handbook (West 2009). In addition, Mr. Ballon serves as Executive Director of Stanford University Law School's Center for E-Commerce and previously served as an Adviser to the American Law Institute's Intellectual Property: Principles Governing Jurisdiction, Choice of Law, and Judgments in Transactional Disputes (ALI Principles of the Law 2007).

Mr. Ballon was named as the Lawyer of the Year for information technology law in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America and was recognized as the 2012 New Media Lawyer of the Year by the Century City Bar Association. In 2010, he was the recipient of the California State Bar Intellectual Property Law section's Vanguard Award for outstanding legal professionals who are spearheading new developments in the world of intellectual property. He has also been named one of the top 100 lawyers in California and one of the Top 75 intellectual property litigators in California by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal. Mr. Ballon previously has been recognized as one of the top new media lawyers in the United States by CyberEsq. magazine, one of the 100 most influential lawyers in California by California Law Business, one of the top 100 lawyers in L.A. by the Los Angeles Business Journal, one of the top 50 IP Litigators in California and one of the top 25 copyright, trademark and patent lawyers in California by The Daily Journal. He is listed in Legal 500 U.S., The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of intellectual property and information technology and Chambers and Partners USA Guide in the areas of privacy and data security as well as IT and outsourcing.

In 2009, Mr. Ballon also was recognized by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal for obtaining the third largest plaintiff's verdict in California in 2008 in MySpace, Inc. v. Wallace (over $230,000,000), which was one of a number of cases in which he and his team created new law applying the CAN-SPAM Act to social networks, construing California's anti-phishing statute and enforcing provisions in Internet Terms of Use agreements.

Mr. Ballon is admitted to practice in California, the District of Columbia and Maryland and before the U.S. Supreme Court and has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute. He also holds a C.I.P.P. certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Tufts UniversityBA 1983The George Washington University Law SchoolJ.D. 1986Georgetown University Law CenterLL.M 1987
American Law Institute American Bar AssociationThe Cyberspace Lawyer, The Journal of Internet Law, E-Commerce Law Report and The Privacy and Information Law ReportGRAMMY® Foundation's Entertainment Law Initiative Advisory Committee, 2005 to 2010Stanford University Law School Center for E-Commerce, 2002 to presentStanford University Law School's Program in Law, Science and Technology, 2007 to present

Case History

Other Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Second, Fourth, Ninth and Federal Circuits
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Areas of Concentration
  • Intellectual property litigation, including secondary copyright and trademark liability, and federal safe harbors and exemptions
  • Complex federal litigation and civil procedure, including the defense of class action suits
  • Copyright, DMCA, trademark, domain name, unfair competition, trade secret and right of publicity litigation
  • Internet and mobile-related litigation, including the defense of data privacy, behavioral advertising and other class action suits
  • Privacy and security litigation, including security breach litigation, compliance, mitigation and prevention
  • Digital and mobile advertising litigation, including suits under the CAN-SPAM Act, TCPA and state law
  • Database protection and screen scraping
  • Phishing and identity theft litigation
  • Technology, media and entertainment litigation
  • Software performance, intellectual property and licensing litigation

Significant Representations

  • Lead Counsel to The McClatchy Company (formerly to Knight-Ridder, before its acquisition by The McClatchy Company) in Reed-Elsivier, Inc. v. Muchnick, 130 S. Ct. 1237 (2010). The case involves putative copyright class action suits brought by freelance authors against database companies and newspaper publishers over the digitization of works in electronic databases.
  • Represented the prevailing defendant in Obodai v. Cracked Entertainment Inc., 522 Fed. App’x 41 (2d Cir. 2013) (affirming summary judgment based on the defendant’s entitlement to the DMCA safe harbor for material stored at the direction of a user).
  • Represented eNom, Inc. in submitting an amicus brief in support of the prevailing party in Petroliam Nasional Berhad v. GoDaddy.com, Inc., 787 F.3d 546 (9th Cir. 2013) (holding that the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act does not allow claims for contributory liability).
  • Represented Google in Oracle America Corp. v. Google, Inc., 872 F. Supp. 2d 974 (N.D. Cal. 2012) (holding that Google's use of application programming interface (API) packages in connection with original code for the Android operating system did not infringe Oracle's copyrights in Java).
  • Successfully represented defendants in TCPA putative class action suits brought over confirmatory text messages, including Ibey v. Taco Bell Corp., 2012 WL 2401972 (S.D. Cal. 2012).
Part 2
  • Lead counsel for eBay, Inc. in Inman v. Technicolor USA, Inc., 2011 WL 5829024 (W.D. Pa. 2011) in obtaining judgment in a toxic tort and product liability case brought in the Western District of Pennsylvania based on federal preemption under the Communications Decency Act (CDA).
  • Lead counsel in successfully defending an Internet network in a data privacy putative class action suit in 2011 in enforcing a venue selection clause in an Internet Terms of Use agreement and then obtaining a voluntary dismissal after the case was transferred from California to New York.
  • Lead counsel in obtaining judgment for Yahoo! in Brendan N. Fleming, LLC v. Duncan, Case No. 2010CV0966 (Columbia Cty., Ga. Sup. Ct. 2010), a defamation case brought in state court in Georgia, based on federal preemption under the CDA.
  • Represented Yahoo! and Microsoft in defense of a copyright infringement suit involving digital music which settled on confidential terms after two favorable rulings: MCS Music America Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., 2010 WL 500430 (M.D. Tenn. 2010) (limiting the number of copyrighted works at issue); MCS Music America Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., 2009 WL 4348593 (M.D. Tenn. 2009) (dismissing MCS America's copyright infringement claims against Yahoo! and Microsoft with prejudice).
  • Represented eNom, Inc., the world's largest domain name wholesaler, as lead counsel in successfully defending claims arising out of the transfer of domain names pursuant to a court order.
Part 3
  • Lead counsel to MySpace, Inc. in MySpace, Inc. v. Wallace, 498 F. Supp. 2d 1293 (C.D. Cal. 2007) (enjoining a defendant under the CAN-SPAM Act and resulting in 2008 in a judgment of over $230,000,000).
  • Represented Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. in a copyright infringement suit involving user generated content.
  • Lead counsel in obtaining a $6 million judgment for an Internet company following a one week arbitration trial in a case involving Lanham Act and federal and state anti-spamming and breach of TOU claims.
  • Lead counsel to eBay, Inc. in copyright infringement, DMCA, and Lanham Act cases in the Central District of California.
  • Represented Cafe Press in defense of a privacy and right of publicity case involving the issue of federal preemption of secondary liability claims, in Curry v. Amazon.com, Inc., 86 U.S.P.Q.2d 1784 (S.D.W. Va. 2008).
  • Lead Counsel to MySpace, Inc. in MySpace, Inc. v. TheGlobe.com, Inc., 2007 WL 1686966 (C.D. Cal. 2007) (granting summary judgment under the CAN-SPAM Act, California's anti-spamming statute and for breach of MySpace's Terms of Use, including its $50 per email liquidated damages clause). The case settled on confidential terms in 2007.
Part 4
  • Lead Counsel to clients in sponsored link cases brought under the Lanham Act in federal courts in California and Virginia.
  • Lead counsel to the prevailing plaintiff in Garden of Life, Inc. v. Letzer, 318 F. Supp. 2d 946 (C.D. Cal. 2004), one of the only cases where domain names were transferred to a plaintiff on motion for preliminary injunction, rather than following trial or summary judgment.
  • Lead IP Trial Counsel to Hewlett Packard Co. in FoodMarketPlace.com, Inc. v. Hewlett Packard Co., a case brought in the Central District of California in which the plaintiff sought $100 million for the alleged copyright infringement of the source code for a web-based business, among other claims. The case eventually settled.
  • Lead Counsel to the prevailing party in MCSi, Inc. v. Woods, 290 F. Supp. 2d 1030 (N.D. Cal. 2003), which for many years was the only reported decision in California in which a company prevailed in the defense of an anti-SLAPP motion brought by a DOE defendant in a case involving anonymous Internet misconduct.
  • Represented Fox Group and Vivendi Universal Entertainment LLLP (and briefly Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Columbia Tri-Star Film Distributors Int'l, Inc.) in the defense and settlement of Not the Enemy Media v. Universal Studios Consumer Products, Inc. in federal court in San Francisco.
Part 5
  • Amicus counsel to a group of organizations of copyright owners in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 380 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2004), vacated, 545 U.S. 913 (2005).
  • Litigated disputes involving anonymous and pseudonymous Internet tortfeasors and infringers, phishing, Internet and computer privacy rights, the First Amendment and deleted e-mail communications and other electronic evidence.
  • Represented GTE Service Corp. (now Verizon) in defeating a nationwide injunction in a copyright infringement suit alleging infringement of hundreds of alleged works. The case settled on confidential terms.
  • Lead Counsel in litigating novel, Internet-related claims in Visto Corp. v. Benchmark Print Supply (pernicious spoofing and spamming) and San Jose Mercury News, Inc. v. Royal (wrongful diversion of Internet traffic).
  • Lead Counsel for GTE Government Systems in GTE Government Systems v. Patrick (Santa Clara County Superior Court, 1998) in obtaining one of the only temporary restraining orders ever entered in California based on the inevitable disclosure doctrine.
  • Represented clients in numerous computer software copyright and trade secret cases, and in the defense of copyright and internet-related putative class action suits.

Office Locations

1840 Century Park East, Suite 1900
Los Angeles, CA 90067
United States

1900 University Avenue, Fifth Floor
East Palo Alto, CA 94303
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Information Technology Law of the Los Angeles Metro Area2013 Lawyer of the Year in Information Technology Law of the Los Angeles Metro Area
Ian C. Ballon has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!Ian C. Ballon has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!

Featured Publications

Practice Areas

Information Technology Law (Cyberpiracy, Cyberpiracy, E-Commerce, E-Commerce, Internet, Internet, Litigation, Litigation, Privacy, Privacy)
Technology Law (Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Litigation, Privacy, Privacy)