Robert Barnes concentrates on commercial and intellectual property litigation, and on resolving employment-related disputes.

Mr. Barnes' commercial litigation experience covers aerospace, securities, pharmaceutical, and entertainment clients in a broad range of contract and tort disputes in federal and state courts and arbitrations. Clients include Boeing Corporation and Warner Bros. He has written on expert witness standards and the reach of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Mr. Barnes's intellectual property practice focuses on copyright, trademark, and patent litigation arising from the entertainment and bioscience industries. Clients include Warner Bros., Kelley Blue Book, ABC, and Sequenom, Inc.

Mr. Barnes represents corporate clients seeking advice on complex human resources issues or engaged in employment disputes. He advises and litigates for employers on numerous aspects of state and federal wage and hour, discrimination, lay off and wrongful termination, and other labor and employment laws, and in structuring the employment-related aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions. 

Mr. Barnes has directed and personally conducted many in-house investigations of harassment, discrimination and employee misconduct allegations. Mr. Barnes has written on the enforceability of restrictions on competitive activity in employment contracts.

While attending UCLA School of Law, Mr. Barnes was Editor of the UCLA Law Review.


  • Owners of the James Bond copyright in the landmark case of MGM v. American Honda, establishing that the James Bond film character was itself a copyrighted property that could not be mimicked without a license from the owners of the copyright.
  • Equatorial Congo Airlines in defeating a claim to seize its aircraft in the United States to satisfy the debt of its sole shareholder, the Republic of Congo.
  • ABC and Granada Television against CBS's claim to broad copyright protection in "Survivor," a case that set the standard for producers' rights in reality television programming.
  • Sequenom in a series of precedent-setting patent infringement disputes raising Section 101 issues arising from the breakthrough discovery that fetal DNA circulates in a pregnant woman's blood.
  • Hildes v. Arthur Andersen LLP, 734 F.3d 854 (9th Cir. 2013) (securities fraud).
  • Meinhold v. U.S. Dept. of Defense, 123 F.3d 1275 (9th Cir. 1997) (civil rights).
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. v. American Honda Motor Co., 900 F. Supp. 1287 (C.D. Cal. 1985) (copyright infringement).


  • JD, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1985, Order of the Coif
  • BA, MA, University of Oxford, Wadham College, 1974
  • California
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • US District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, The Honorable Harry Pregerson
  • Member, California Bar Association

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