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Robert Fram
Robert D. Fram
Senior Counsel
San Francisco +1 415 591 7025 rfram@cov.com Download V-card

Robert Fram is one of the leaders of the firm's litigation group, having served as a partner in the firm for many years.

Mr. Fram focuses on civil rights litigation, with a particular emphasis on voting rights.

Before focusing on civil rights cases, for thirty years Mr. Fram litigated patent, copyright, trade secret, antitrust, licensing and insurance cases. He was the co-chair of the firm's Patent Litigation Group.

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) and volunteer District Attorney in San Francisco.

Mr. Fram is married to Jeanne Blamey, the father of Nick Fram (Victoria Fram) and Claire Fram (Jim Stephenson), and the grandfather of Peter Fram.

Public Interest Practice

  • Greater Birmingham Ministries et al v. State of Alabama et al. Mr. Fram serves as Covington’s lead counsel in a challenge to Alabama’s Photo ID Law. Our case contends that the Alabama statute violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act as well as the United States Constitution. The case was filed in December 2015 and is presently pending.
  • Missouri State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People et al. v. Missouri et al. Mr. Fram serves as Covington's lead counsel in a challenge to Missouri's Photo ID law. Our case contends that Missouri has failed adequately to implement the law in the manner required by the law itself. The case was filed in June 2017 and is presently pending.
  • International Refugee Assistance Project v. Donald Trump et al.; State of Hawaii v. Donald Trump et al. Mr. Fram assembled a broad interfaith coalition to file a series of briefs in support of the plaintiffs challenging the administration's Travel Ban. The case is pending.
  • Hepting, et al. v. AT&T (N.D. California). Represented plaintiffs in this 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.

Commercial Practice

  • 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. 
  • Computer Associates v. Simple.com, et al. (E.D. New York). Represented Computer Associates before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in this patent infringement case relating to Internet portal technology, in which Computer Associates was seeking declaratory judgment of invalidity, unenforceability, and non-infringement. Secured a Report & Recommendation of non-infringement from the Special Master.
  • RSA Data Security, Inc. v. Cylink Corporation, C96-20094 SW (N.D. California). Represented RSA Data Security, Inc. in litigation involving patent and license rights to public key and related encryption software, technology that has become central to electronic commerce over the Internet.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board, Jewish Family and Children Services (2014-2017)
  • Member, The Kitchen San Francisco

Previous Experience

  • Labor organizer, five years, in New York and Detroit
  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers (2004-2017)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation (2004-2017)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2010-2018)