Neel Chatterjee is a partner in Goodwin’s Intellectual Property practice and formerly served on the firm’s Executive Committee. An internationally recognized technology litigator and trial lawyer, Neel has a proven track record of wins in hard-to-win technology cases. Neel has a passion for representing entrepreneurs and disruptive technology companies, even at their earliest stages. His cases often break new ground in undefined areas of the law. Clients frequently turn to Neel shortly before trial to take over complex technology cases. A key strategist on complex litigation spanning multiple venues, Neel simplifies extremely complex concepts to ensure that judges and juries understand the key issues in each case. Neel has substantial expertise handling disputes related to patents, trade secrets, copyrights, internet law, and complex commercial technology issues.
Neel represents companies and individuals at the cutting edge of new and disruptive technologies in their most significant technology disputes. Neel has led matters for some of Silicon Valley’s most legendary companies in their most significant technology disputes. He has handled groundbreaking cases for Facebook, Oracle, eBay, NVIDIA, LinkedIn, Logitech, and many others. He defended Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook in the famed Winklevoss case that later served as the inspiration for the Academy Award winning film “The Social Network.” He helped develop and then later defended eBay with respect to its online transaction business model, creating important fundamental law that validated internet business models related to user generated content. He has prosecuted, defended and tried cases involving global patent litigation for NVIDIA as part of the smartphone patent wars.
Most recently, he is representing Anthony Levandowski, the star engineer at the center of the complex intellectual property dispute between Google/Waymo and Uber related to self-driving car technology. Through a pro bono engagement, he handled internationally followed litigation involving civil rights issues for same sex couples seeking to adopt through online adoption services. He is currently handling pro bono cases related to ICE detainees, rally protests, and Silicon Valley homelessness. Neel has also handled numerous pro bono cases seeking to advance the law to protect victims of domestic violence.
Areas of Practice
Neel serves or has served on numerous highly influential nonprofit boards. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley and the Asia Pacific Fund. He also serves on the National Advisory Committee of the National South Asian Bar Association. In addition to his board-level work, Neel has served on the Magistrate Selection Committee, the Patent Local Rules Committee, and the Federal Practice Program for the Northern District of California. He is also active in the Sedona Conference Patent Litigation section. As a passionate proponent of diversity, he founded the Bay Area Diversity Career Fair, one of the most successful diversity career fairs in the US, and Neel is a regularly invited speaker on the issues of intellectual property, internet law, litigating high-profile cases, diversity and inclusion, and mentorship.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Honorable Patricia V. Trumbull
Colorado Supreme Court, Honorable Mary Mullarkey, Chief Justice
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
Recognition & Awards
Neel has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for his work in Litigation - Intellectual Property, Litigation - Patent and Trade Secrets Law 2022-2023.
Neel has been selected for inclusion by The Legal 500 in 2021 and 2022. Chambers USA & Global 2021 and 2022 recognize Neel in Intellectual Property: Patent. Benchmark Litigation recognizes Neel as a 2021-2023 Litigation Star in California for his work in Intellectual Property.
In 2022, Neel was recognized by Chambers USA for Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation – California.
Neel has been recognized as a top IP litigator and trailblazer by Intellectual Asset Management, Managing IP, Chambers, Benchmark Litigation, National Law Journal, the Daily Journal and the IAM Global Leaders Guide. Chambers USA has described him as being “singled out for his abilities acting for hi-tech companies in patent infringement claims,” with “the ability to think outside the box” as well as having “in depth knowledge of patent law.” In addition, Chambers USA refers to him as being “knowledgeable, quick to learn, and truly innovative,” with providing “practical, business-minded patent advice” and a sensitivity “to the business objectives of patent litigation." Chambers Global recently recognized Neel as being “sought-after” and “valued for his strategic approach to contentious matters and his strong courtroom advocacy.” Chambers Global further stated that his peers say, “He is an outstanding lawyer who is beloved by his clients. He always puts in extra effort and really knows the law.” Most recently, IAM 1000 highlighted Neel as someone who “gives terrific legal advice and has seen a lot of success in court,” also remarking that “he exudes friendliness and confidence, and has the right personality to remain at the top.” Neel has also been recognized by U.S. News — Best Lawyers in the field of patent and intellectual property litigation. In 2019, “Best Lawyers” named Neel the Trade Secret Lawyer of the Year. He was also named to the 2020 Lawyers of Color Power List and recognized by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association as a 2019 MCCA Rainmaker. That same year he was recognized for lifetime achievement by Narika, a Bay Area-based organization that promotes women's independence, economic empowerment, and well-being by helping domestic violence survivors with advocacy, support, and education.
- “Breaking the Algorithm,” Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2022
- Author, “In Role Reversal, Celebrities Must Now Defend Against Paparazzi Lawsuits,” The Daily Journal, August 2019
- Co-Author, “Insight: The Happytime Murders Lawsuit,” Bloomberg Law, August 2018
- Co-Author, “SpongeBob and the ‘oh, please!’ standard of trademark foolishness,” ABA Journal, August 2018
- Co-Author, “Intellectual Property Considerations and Protectable Content in Mobile Apps,” Westlaw, June 2018
- Interviewee, “Neel Chatterjee Talks Intellectual Property in Silicon Valley,” HSU Untied (Podcast), December 2017
- Author, “Patent ‘Gold Rush’ to Blame for Patent Sharks, Patent Trolls,” IP Watchdog, August 2017
- Co-Author, “10 Intellectual Property Strategies for Technology Startups,” Forbes, May 2017
- “5 Secrets Of Successful Patent Litigators,” Law360, December 2015
- Panel moderator, “Litigating High-Profile Cases,” 2015 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, November 2015
- “Neel Chatterjee Discusses Impending Changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and How They Will Affect Patent Litigation,” Corporate Counsel, October 2015
- “For Patent Trolls, a Time of Reckoning,” Corporate Counsel, April 2015
- “IP Partner Discusses Government Surveillance of the Internet,” The Wall Street Journal’s Digits Blog, June 2013
- Co-Author, “No Getting Around It: Courts Begin to Rule Against Acts of Circumvention,” The National Law Journal, October 2000
- Author, “Digital Millennium Copyright Act: A New Balance for a New Era,” The Journal of Proprietary Rights, November 2000
- Author, “Admitting Computer Animations: More Caution and New Approach Are Needed,” Defense Counsel Journal, January 1995
- Author, “Imperishable Intellectual Creations: The Limits of the First Sale Doctrine,” Court Review, Winter 1995
- Author, “Should Trade Secret Appropriation be Criminalized?,” Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, 1997