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Joe Farris is a seasoned trial attorney and trusted advisor to technology companies based in San Francisco who represents clients in a broad range of business and intellectual property disputes. He has significant experience in state and federal courts, private arbitration, and a variety of cross-border disputes.

His clients often face emerging legal issues at the intersections of law and technology, including trade secret, copyright, trademark, patent, and unfair competition litigation. He has recently represented a medical technology company in federal court litigation against an internationally-based competitor that sought to raid the client’s U.S. operational staff and intellectual property. Before that, he defended an international electronics manufacturer against parallel federal and state litigation asserting trade secret misappropriation and trademark infringement.

His work frequently involves complex forensic investigations of digital evidence in disputes and litigation involving trade secret theft, source code copying, hacking and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), subpoenas for Internet content and communications, online defamation and harassment, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), works-for-hire disputes, and use of web-crawling bots. Joe also has experience in a variety of business litigation matters such as breaches of commercial contracts, licensing and royalty disputes, founders' disputes, violations of fiduciary duties, and false advertising. He regularly advises and counsels clients on issues related to employee mobility, including cases involving breaches of employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, non-competition agreements, and non-solicitation agreements.

Before joining Arnold & Porter, Joe was an Assistant District Attorney for the San Francisco District Attorney's Office where he was lead trial counsel in 10 jury trials, nine of which resulted in a conviction.

He is a 2008 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law where he was a member of the Board of Advocates and served as an article editor on the Ecology Law Quarterly journal.


  • Technology company in trade secret and breach of contract action related to network infrastructure operation centers in Santa Clara Superior Court.
  • Beverage retail chain in purported class action brought under California's Unfair Competition and False Advertising laws in Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • Technology company in copyright litigation asserting infringement of highly successful mobile video game by competitor in the Northern District of California.
  • Cybersecurity company in defending trade secret misappropriation claims brought by competitor in the Northern District of California.
  • Network infrastructure company in defending claims for trade secret misappropriation claims claim and breach of non-solicitation agreements brought by competitor in Santa Clara Superior Court.
  • Identity management company in breach of contract action against former business partner in the courts of the United Kingdom.
  • Hadoop company in defending claims of trade secret misappropriation and breach of non-solicitation agreements brought by competitor in Santa Clara Superior Court, which was later removed to private arbitration.
  • Investment management company asserting trade secret misappropriation against former employees based on dispute over investment algorithms in San Francisco Superior Court.
  • Video game company defending claim of trade secret misappropriation by competitor related to hire of key manager related in San Francisco Superior Court.
  • Toy company in successful trademark litigation regarding the use of the color yellow on water slide toys. SLB Toys USA Inc. v. Wham-O Inc., 330 Fed. Appx. 634 (9th Cir. 2009).


Best Lawyers
"Ones to Watch" — Intellectual Property Law (SF) (2024)



  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, 2008
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin, 2003, cum laude


  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California


  • Spanish