Clara J. Shin

Clara J. Shin

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Covington & Burling LLP
One Front Street
San Francisco, CA 94111-5356
Tel: +1 415 591 7058



  • Stanford Law School, J.D.
    • Stanford Law Review, Editor
    • Environmental Law Journal, Articles Editor
  • Smith College, B.A.

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Dorothy W. Nelson, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1999-2000

Bar Admissions

  • California

Clara Shin advises clients in complex technology, intellectual property, unfair competition, and other commercial disputes.  The Daily Journal has recognized her as one of California’s top intellectual property litigators and for obtaining one of the top verdicts in the state.

Most recently, Ms. Shin secured a unanimous jury verdict for a Covington client on all causes of action—including willful federal trademark infringement, common law trademark infringement, and federal unfair competition—and punitive damages.  Ms. Shin also won a Ninth Circuit ruling for Autodesk defining the scope of software licensing and the first sale doctrine under copyright law as well as a Federal Circuit victory for Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. and Abbott Laboratories in a precedential opinion that affirmed the district court’s denial of attorneys’ fees.

Ms. Shin’s practice includes expertise in securities litigation.  She has represented defendants in securities class actions, derivative litigation, and investigations and proceedings commenced by government and regulatory agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, and FINRA.

Representative Matters

  • Representation of Microsoft in breach of contract and copyright infringement suits in various federal courts across the United States.
  • Representation of UK-based private equity companies in asserting breach of contract claims related to earn-out payments due under a Share Purchase Agreement.
  • Representation of an apparel company against Quiksilver in securing a unanimous jury verdict on willful federal trademark infringement, common law trademark infringement, and federal unfair competition claims; punitive damages; and attorney’s fees and costs.
  • Representation of an investment bank in asserting trade secret, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. After arguing and winning a summary judgment ruling of fiduciary duty liability, defendants settled the case.
  • Representation of Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. and Abbott Laboratories in securing an affirmance by the Federal Circuit of the district court’s denial of supplemental fees sought by Becton Dickinson & Co. and Nova Biomedical.
  • Representation of Autodesk in a successful Ninth Circuit appeal of an adverse ruling regarding the Copyright Act's first sale and essential step doctrines.
  • Representation of a management association in a federal trial over ERISA claims for breaches of fiduciary duty in an employee benefit plan.
  • Representation of an investment advisor in securing a dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty and suitability claims following an arbitration before the American Arbitration Association.

Previous Experience

  • Ms. Shin served as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant in the White House Office of the Chief of Staff.  She also helped to design and launch the AmeriCorps national service program.

Honors and Rankings

  • Daily Journal, Top Intellectual Property Attorneys (2014)
  • Daily Journal, Top Verdicts (2013)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Top 50 Women (2015)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation (2013-2015)
  • Legal 500 US, Intellectual Property - Copyright (2013-2015)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • State Bar of California
  • American Bar Association
  • Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery, Commissioner
  • National Partnership for Women and Families, Director
  • Rosenberg Foundation, Trustee
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