Sarah Piepmeier is a partner in the San Francisco office and a leader of Kirkland & Ellis’ Bay Area intellectual property litigation practice. Sarah’s practice focuses primarily on patent litigation, but she also has significant experience in trade secret, copyright, trademark, false advertising, anti-trust, technology-related commercial litigation, and constitutional law. Sarah’s cases have involved a variety of technologies and industries, such as semiconductors, wireless standards, relational databases and data aggregation, online video games, social networking, electronic books, anti-virus and encryption software, hard drives, high-voltage switchgears, and various home appliances. Sarah has also achieved successful results for major clients on cutting-edge legal issues relating to standard essential patents and FRAND, and she has significant experience working with German counsel on patent matters before courts in Germany.
This year, the Daily Journal recognized Sarah and her team in The 2019 CLAY Awards: Intellectual Property for their successful representation of Cisco in its long-running IP battle: Cisco Systems Inc. v. Arista Networks Inc. Sarah is recommended in The Legal 500 for patent and ITC litigation, which noted client feedback that Sarah is “a great lead counsel.” Sarah was also recognized by The Recorder as a 2018 Woman Leader in Tech Law, a recognition given to California-based lawyers who practice in the technology industry. Earlier in 2018, Sarah was named one of the Top Women Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal. In addition, Sarah was honored as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” for Intellectual Property Litigation each year from 2013 through 2015. Previously, from 2010 through 2012, she was named a “Rising Star” in Intellectual Property Litigation, a distinction awarded to less than 2.5% of Northern California lawyers under the age of 40. In 2011, Sarah was named a “Best LGBT Attorney Under 40” in the United States by the National LGBT Bar Association.
Sarah’s clients rely on her more than fifteen years of experience litigating patent and other IP matters across the United States, including dozens of district court cases and more than ten Section 337 Investigations before the International Trade Commission. Sarah has significant first chair experience and routinely leads teams of lawyers, including joint defense groups, in high profile matters from case inception through successful resolution. An accomplished trial lawyer, Sarah has tried more than ten cases in federal district court and before the International Trade Commission.
Prior to joining Kirkland, Sarah was a core member of the team that obtained a landmark decision invalidating California’s Proposition 8, an amendment to the California Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, on the grounds that it violates the United States Constitution. Sarah’s work on this case has been profiled and mentioned in corresponding media coverage, as well as in the documentary and book that trace the litigation. Today, Sarah maintains an active pro bono practice that focuses primarily on civil rights litigation. Prior to law school, Sarah spent several years as a complex database designer.
Sarah is a member of the Firmwide Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the LGBT Subcommittee, the Pro Bono Management Committee, and co-chair of the Bay Area Recruiting Committee. She is also a member of the Bay Area Associate, Paralegal, and Secretarial Review Committees.
ITC Section 337 Investigations: Patent Infringement Claims
ITC Section 337 Investigations: Patent Infringement Claims (2012), selected for publication in a special edition of PLC Intellectual Property & Technology
Panelist, Centerforce Women, Diversity and Change Conference — Topic: Sponsors, Influencers & Career Engineering (2019)
Panelist, Centerforce Women, Diversity and Change Conference — Topic: Sponsors, Influencers & Career Engineering (2018)
Panelist, Berkeley Center for Law and Technology — Topic: Selected Topics in FRAND (2015)
Speaker, Streetlaw Webinar — Topic: Supreme Court Review of Same-Sex Marriage Cases (2015)
Speaker, Georgetown Outlaw — Topic: Litigating the federal challenge to Prop. 8 in district court and the Ninth Circuit (2011)
Speaker, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedoms — Topic: The Ninth Circuit oral argument in the federal challenge to Prop. 8 (2010)
Speaker, Berkeley ACLU — Topic: Litigating the federal challenge to Prop. 8 in district court (2010)
Speaker, Tides Foundation — Topic: Litigating the federal challenge to Prop. 8 (2010)
Moderator, AIPLA Annual Meeting — Topic: The Impact of Venue, Jurisdiction, and Local Rules in Patent Litigation (2010)
Speaker, Bar Association of San Francisco — Topic: Patent Law Updates (2007)
Woman Leader in Tech Law, The Recorder, 2018
Top Women Lawyers in California, Daily Journal, 2018
Northern California “Super Lawyer” in Intellectual Property Litigation, 2013–2015
Northern California “Rising Star” in Intellectual Property Litigation, 2010–2012
Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 in the United States, 2011
Admissions & Qualifications
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States District Court for the Northern District of California
- United States District Court for the Central District of California
- United States District Court for the District of Delaware (pro hac vice)
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida (pro hac vice)
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (pro hac vice)
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (pro hac vice)
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (pro hac vice)
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (pro hac vice)
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (pro hac vice)
- United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (pro hac vice)
- United States International Trade Commission
- New York University School of LawJ.D.2003Annual Survey of American Law, Articles Editor
- Wellesley CollegeB.A.cum laude1996