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  • J.D., Boston University, 2008; Staff, American Journal of Law and Medicine
  • University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law, Visiting Student, 2007
  • B.A., Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2000
  • Interned for the Honorable Daniel Chun of the Kings County Supreme Court, New York, NY, 2006
  • All State and Federal Courts of California
  • Eastern District of Texas
Thought Leadership


Lai Yip is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm's San Francisco and Palo Alto offices.

Areas of Practice

Lai is an experienced intellectual property litigator, handling a broad range of complex disputes, from high-stakes litigation regarding FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) licensing of standard-essential patents (SEP), to trademark infringement disputes, to trade secret misappropriation matters. She has served a range of key roles in high-profile trials, including in the TCL v. Ericsson trial, obtaining a major victory on behalf of TCL, which sought a FRAND license to Ericsson's 2G/3G/4G SEP portfolio. This case was named a Milestone Case of the Year by Managing Intellectual Property magazine. Her litigation experience covers all major aspects of the life cycle of a case, including dispositive motion practice, trial, post-trial proceedings, appeal, and enforcement of judgments. She is Leader of the firm’s China IP Team, and Leader of the firm’s eDiscovery Team. She has represented leading global businesses in the technology, automotive, finance, and retail industries, among others.

Lai understands the client perspective, having gained in-house experience in a year-long secondment to one of the world’s largest automakers. 

Lai has a computer science background. After graduating with a degree in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley, she joined George Lucas’s special effects company Industrial Light + Magic, where she helped create the digital images in the Star Wars prequels, the Harry Potter series, Jurassic Park III, and many other movies. She also developed camera layout software tools. Her name appears in the movie credits of Men in Black II and Ang Lee’s The Hulk. In addition to her technical background, she has experience in investigative reporting, delivering stories on-air for NPR-affiliate KQED Public Radio on the news magazine Pacific Time.

Lai was selected by The Recorder as one of its 2018 Women Leaders in Tech Law, Next Generation Honoree.  She serves as a San Francisco City Lead for the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD), and was selected for the LCLD’s 2017 Fellows Program.  She is Co-Chair of Sheppard Mullin’s San Francisco Women Lawyers Group, a member of the firm’s Women Attorneys Leadership Council, and a former Co-Chair of the firm’s bi-annual retreats for its women attorneys practicing on the West Coast.  She is a former member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers’ Leadership Development Committee.

Lai also provides various pro bono legal services, including for matters involving prisoner civil rights with the Federal Pro Bono Project, disabled veteran benefits with Swords to Plowshares, and child adoption with Public Counsel.  Before practicing law, Lai volunteered at Foundation for Human Rights Initiative in Kampala, Uganda, where she advocated for death penalty reform.

Thought Leadership


Intellectual Property Law Blog Posts

Class Action Defense Strategy Law Blog Posts

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory: What Does FRAND Mean for You in 2019?" ACC-SFBA Patent Committee Meeting, May 23, 2019
  • Moderator, "Altered Beast: How Recent Supreme Court Decisions and PTO Rule Changes Under Director Iancu Have Dramatically Changed the Patent Landscape," ACC-SFBA Patent Committee Meeting, March 28, 2019
  • "Obtaining Electronic Data," National Business Institute Seminar, August 24, 2012