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Robin D. Gross

Attorney at Law
Robin (at) ImagineLaw.com
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Phone: +1 (415) 857-0231

1388 Haight St #130
San Francisco, California 94117

Professional Experience

Attorney, IMAGINE LAW: Law Offices of Robin D. Gross
San Francisco, California ~ 2003 - Present
Intellectual Property and Internet Law Firm in San Francisco. I have 20+ years experience working on cutting-edge intellectual property rights, cyberspace, and technology legal issues.

I handle a variety of transactional and litigation-related matters for clients of all sizes, from individuals and Internet start-ups to Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and overseas.

I enforce the intellectual property rights of my clients including through litigation, UDRP domain name arbitration, notice-and-take-down proceedings, demand letters, negotiation and other means of enforcement, and I vigorously defend my clients against claims of infringement or misappropriation of the intellectual property of others.

I have litigated cases brought under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)'s anti-circumvention rules and advised technology businesses on exemptions and defenses available to the general ban on bypassing "digital locks". I've counseled Internet businesses on the DMCA's "safe harbor" provisions for claims of copyright infringement and how to meet them.

My transactional legal work includes drafting, reviewing, and negotiating a wide range of agreements and licenses for clients, as well as registering and maintaining copyrights and trademarks both nationally and internationally.

I advise clients on their legal rights to use and distribute the intellectual property of others, and counsel online platforms on how avoid intermediary liability for the illegal activity of third parties on their platforms, including under CDA Section 230.

I have significant experience with other cyberspace legal issues including online jurisdiction, e-commerce, encryption, privacy and data protection, domain names, cybersecurity, advertising, market-place, and freedom of expression legal issues. I also have experience with entertainment legal issues and compliance requirements.

I advise companies on Internet governance policy issues including domain name legal and policy requirements and mechanisms related to the protection of intellectual property and consumer privacy on the Internet. (www.ImagineLaw.com)


Executive Director, IP JUSTICE
San Francisco, California ~ 2002 - Present
Founded and manage (pro bono) an international civil liberties organization that promotes balanced intellectual property rights and protects freedom of expression in a digital world. I advise policy makers throughout the world on Internet policy matters and the impact of intellectual property rules before national legislatures and in international treaties and trade agreements. I publish policy papers and organize events and campaigns on intellectual property and cyberspace legal issues. I lecture at international seminars, law schools and universities on cyberspace legal issues including domain names, copyright, fair use, freedom of expression, open source software, Digital Rights Management (DRM), and Peer-2-Peer (P2P) file-sharing. I am also involved in Internet policy discussions at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), where I served as the Chair of the Non-Commercial Users Stakeholder Group (NCSG) and Non-Commercial Users' representative on ICANN's GNSO Policy Council. I have participated at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Treaty official discussions. I was appointed to the first Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to represent civil society and have twice testified before the US Copyright Office. (www.ipjustice.org)


Staff Attorney for Intellectual Property, ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION (EFF)
San Francisco, California ~ 1999 - 2002
* Director of EFF's Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression (CAFE)
I was EFF's first Staff Attorney for Intellectual Property in 1999. While at EFF, I litigated several precedent-setting cases dealing with legality of online music file-sharing software and the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions. In 2003, I represented P2P file-sharing software companies in litigation against the recording industry. In 2000, I led the EFF's First Amendment defense of 2600 Magazine over the Internet publication of a DVD decryption tool. I represented Princeton scientists threatened under the DMCA for publishing weaknesses in the recording industry's technology in 2001. Filed a Declaratory Judgment lawsuit on behalf of Replay TV customers to clarify and protect home-taping rights of consumers to use digital VCRs in June 2002. Defended First Amendment rights of Web publishers in precedent-setting California trade secret misappropriation case in 1999-2002. Developed EFF's Open Audio License, a general public license for music sharing in 2001. Testified before the US Copyright Office on anti-circumvention provisions of DMCA in May 2000. (www.eff.org)

Education

Juris Doctorate, Santa Clara University School of Law, May 1998

  • Editor, Santa Clara Computer & High Technology Law Journal
  • Editor-in-Chief, The Advocate, Santa Clara University Law School Newspaper
  • Awarded “Certificate in High Technology Law

Bachelor of Arts, International Relations, Michigan State University, James Madison College, August 1995

Bachelor of Arts, Political Philosophy, Michigan State University, James Madison College, East Lansing, August 1995
Overseas Study Program in Caribbean and South America, Summer Semester 1994
Vice-President, MSU Adventure Club

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

California Bar Association

San Francisco Bar Association

American Bar Association

Other Affiliations
  • Board Member, Internet Society (ISOC) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (since 2020)
  • Lecturer-in-Law, Santa Clara University School of Law, "International Intellectual Property Rights" (Spring 2019)
  • Executive Committee of the Non-Commercial Users Stakeholders Group (NCSG) at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) www.icann.org (Since 2014)
  • Member of the Executive Committee of FreeMuse, an independent international organization advocating freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide (www.freemuse.org). FreeMuse is based in Copenhagen (2009 - 2016).
  • Advisory Council Member to the Public Interest Registry (.ORG), www.pir.org (2012 - 2014).
  • Chair of the Non-Commercial Users Stakeholders Group (NCSG) at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN), www.icann.org (2011-2013).
  • Member of the Advisory Group of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) www.intgovfoum.org (2006-2008).
  • Representative of Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) to the ICANN GNSO Policy Council www.icann.org (2004-2008) and then Chair of NCUC (2008-2010).
  • Lecturer-in-Law, Santa Clara University School of Law, "International Copyright Law Treaties and Enforcement" (2005).
  • Member of Board of Directors for the Union for the Public Domain, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the public domain in intellectual property matters (www.public-domain.org). UPD is based in Washington, D.C. (Since 2004).
  • Member of Advisory Board of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR-Peru) (2004 - 2014).
  • Member of High Technology Legal Advisory Board, Santa Clara University School of Law (2004-2006).
  • Guest Lecturer at International Summer School "How to Protect IP in the Digital Age?" a mini-course for European law students held in Sinai, Romania, organized by Romanian Ministry of Justice and European Law Student Association (Summer 2004).
Media Experience
  • Selected by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine in July 2004 as one of "The World's Top 50 Figures in IP".
  • Named one of California's "Top Ten Most Influential Attorneys in 2001" by the editors of California's legal newspaper The Daily Journal.
  • Appeared as a guest legal expert on news programs covering intellectual property and cyberspace legal issues for CNN, BBC, NPR, PRI, Tech TV, NHK, DRS, VOA, and CBC.
  • Quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Business Week, BBC, IP-Watch, Wired News, Associated Press, Reuters, Financial Times, Billboard, La Repubblica, Heise and other international media outlets.
Select Publications
  • "'Tragedy of the Commons': Intellectual Property Rights in the Information Age" in Human Rights in the Information Society, published by MIT Press (2006)
  • "Database Legal Protections" in MultiNational Monitor, July 2004
  • "Copyright Zealotry in a Digital World: Can Freedom of Speech Survive?" in Copyfights: The Future of Intellectual Property in the Information Age, edited by Adam Theirer and Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr. published by the CATO Institute, 2002
  • "DMCA's Impact on Freedom of Expression, Science, & Innovation" in Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 26, 2002
  • "Welcome to the Digital Dark Ages" in The Daily Journal, November 7, 2001
  • "Audio Freedom: Future of Open Licenses" in Internet Audio, June 2001
  • "DMCA Takes Full Effect: Millions of Americans Become Criminals" in Cyber Tech Litigation Report, Feb. 2001
  • View all Select Publications
Personal Interests
Enjoy music, dance, traveling, hiking, yoga, classic movies, sourdough baking, playing basketball, the ballet, and the forest.
Justia Lawyer Rating
Badge - State Bar of California
Badge - The Bar Association of San Francisco
Badge - ABA
Badge - ICANN
Badge - Daily Journal, Part of USA Today Network
Badge - Managing Intellectual Property
Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Nearly every online business in the world needs a California intellectual property rights lawyer at some point in its growth. Fortunately, Robin Gross is ours." William
★★★★★
"Nearly every online business in the world needs a California intellectual property rights lawyer at some point in its growth. Fortunately, Robin Gross is ours." William
★★★★★
"Nearly every online business in the world needs a California intellectual property rights lawyer at some point in its growth. Fortunately, Robin Gross is ours." William