Robert D. Fram

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Covington & Burling LLP
One Front Street
San Francisco, CA 94111-5356
Tel: +1 415 591 7025
Fax: +1 415 955 6525



  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1985
    • magna cum laude
    • Harvard Law Review, President
    • Sears Prize
  • Princeton University, A.B., 1979
    • magna cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. J. Skelly Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • District of Columbia

Robert Fram is one of the leaders of the firm's patent litigation group, having served as co-chair from 2008 through 2013.  He resident in the firm’s San Francisco office.  He has substantial experience litigating patent, copyright, trade secret, and licensing cases.  Mr. Fram’s trial experience includes proceedings in federal and state courts in California, New Jersey, Texas, and the International Trade Commission.

Mr. Fram has been recognized by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America as a leading IP lawyer, and the San Francisco and Los Angeles Daily Journal named him one of the "Top 50 IP Litigators in California."  He is a past President of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Northern California).

Representative Matters

  • CCP Systems AG v Samsung Electronics Corp. Ltd. et al. (D. New Jersey).  Led the trial team representing Samsung in a suit alleging copyright and patent infringement relating to software used by printers.  The trial resulted in a defeat of all of CCP’s claims against Samsung.   
  • Mobile Device Litigation.  Mr. Fram led the team that decisively wiped out a half-billion dollar damages and injunction claims, part of Covington’s successful defense of one of the world’s largest smartphone and tablet manufacturers.  The case involved the assertion of six allegedly standards essential patents.  In a notable victory for our client, the Court ruled that an injunction cannot be obtained to enforce a patent that declared essential to a standard and is subject to a FRAND commitment.
  • Bockstar Technologies, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc.  Represented Bockstar Technologies against Cisco Systems in patent litigation in Delaware. Bockstar alleges infringement by Cisco of fundamental switching and routing patents.
  • In the Matter of Certain Electronic Devices, Including Handheld Wireless Communications Devices, Investigations Nos. 337-TA-667 and 337 TA 673Represented Samsung in this ITC investigation.   

Honors and Rankings

  • IAM Patent 1000The World’s Leading Patent Professionals (2015)
  • IAM Strategy 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists (2014)
  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers (2004-2015)   
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation (2004-2015)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2010-2016)
  • Legal 500 US (2015) 
  • Daily Journal, Top IP Litigators in California (2008-2011)
  • Euromoney's Benchmark Litigation, Intellectual Property Local Litigation Star - CA (2013-2015) and Litigation Star - US (2013-2015)
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America

Pro Bono

  • Hepting, et al. v. AT&T (N.D. California).  Represented plaintiffs in this landmark case concerning alleged mass electronic surveillance of Internet and telephone communications by the NSA.  Over the objections of the Department of Justice, Mr. Fram successfully persuaded the District Court that the case should not be dismissed on the basis of the State Secret privilege.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • State Bar of California
  • Board Member, Jewish Family & Children’s Services
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, President, Northern California Chapter (2002)

Publications and Speeches

  • "The New IEEE Standards Association Patent Policy: A Look Beyond the Blogs," Covington Advisory (February 2015), Co-Author
  • "SEP Litigation - Emerging Issues," Advanced Patent Law Institute (December 2013 & 2014)
  • "A Public Advocate for Privacy," InsidePrivacy Blog (6/5/2014), Author
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