Sebastian Kaplan


Area of Specialization

  • Appeals and Critical Motions
  • Intellectual Property and Technology
  • Interactive Entertainment and Video Games
  • Litigation and Trial

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2007


  • Stanford Law School, Juris Doctor, 2006
  • Wesleyan University, B.A. in the College of Social Studies, 2002

Sebastian Kaplan


Sebastian Kaplan litigates disputes concerning trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and complex commercial transactions. He represents clients in both federal and state courts and has successfully resolved claims at all stages from pre-litigation settlement negotiations through trial. In addition to intellectual property litigation, he represents technology innovators in complex disputes involving breach of contract and corporate control. Sebastian’s work has earned him recognition by SuperLawyers as a Rising Star for Intellectual Property Litigation and Business Litigation in 2015–2019.

Representative cases include:

  • Suing a video game publisher in arbitration on behalf of a game developer after the publisher attempted to terminate the developer’s royalty stream for a successful game, which resulted in a beneficial settlement for the developer.
  • Suing a software developer for breach of implied warranties based on defective performance, which settled shortly after defeating developer’s summary judgment motion.
  • Defending a data storage company from allegations of trade secret misappropriation and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act brought by a significantly larger competitor.
  • Defending a leading Mexican cleaning products manufacturer and its American subsidiary against trademark infringement and dilution claims brought in federal court and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) by one of the largest American cleaning manufacturers.
  • Winning provisional relief to enjoin a competitor’s efforts to gather competitive intelligence and trade secret information through pretexting and corporate espionage.

Sebastian is an active member of local and national bar associations. In 2016, he was appointed by the President of the American Bar Association to sit on the Advisory Commission of the Standing Committee on Public Education. He is a Board Member of the Bar Association of San Francisco (“BASF”) and Chair of the BASF Intellectual Property Section. In 2013, he served as the President of BASF’s Barristers Club, comprised of BASF attorneys with less than ten years of practice, and was named Outstanding Barrister of the Year in 2016.

Sebastian frequently writes and speaks on issues of trade secrets litigation, including the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as trademark litigation and copyright issues. Sebastian launched the IP BYTES series of presentations under sponsorship of the BASF Intellectual Property Section, which showcases brief talks by corporate counsel, outside attorneys, and experts on developments in the areas of trademark, trade secrets, copyright, and patent law.

He is also committed to pro bono homelessness prevention and regularly represents indigent tenants facing eviction. In 2015, Sebastian was awarded BASF’s annual Housing Justice Award for first-chairing a four-day unlawful detainer trial.

Before joining Gerard Fox Law, Sebastian litigated at the San Francisco offices of Fenwick & West LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP, and clerked for the Honorable Carlos T. Bea at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. While attending Stanford Law School, Sebastian was the Submissions Editor for the Stanford Journal of International Law. After a sojourn to the East Coast, where he graduated from Wesleyan University’s interdisciplinary College of Social Studies, Sebastian returned home to the East Bay where he now lives with his wife and three daughters.

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