Laura Wytsma

Partner

An experienced litigator and tenacious advocate, Laura Wytsma represents clients in high-profile, high-stakes litigation, focusing on intellectual property proceedings in federal court, with an emphasis on patent and appellate litigation. Laura has significant trial experience as lead counsel and excels in presenting complex patent disputes to judges and juries. She is recognized by colleagues, clients, and opposing counsel for her strong oral arguments, unique writing style, creative litigation strategies, and comfort in any courtroom.

Prior to joining Venable, Laura amassed significant experience representing clients in high-value and high-profile litigation matters, often serving as lead counsel at trial. She is well respected by clients for her ability to achieve positive results not only in trial courts, but at the appellate level as well. She has principally authored dozens of appeal briefs in federal and state courts and has argued eleven appeals in the Ninth and Federal Circuits and the California Court of Appeal. She is frequently called upon to take over cases on the eve of trial.

Laura began her career in the U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) Honor Program, where she represented the government in criminal and civil deportation proceedings, advised the United States Attorney’s Office, and ultimately provided legal guidance to field offices at Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) headquarters.

After leaving the Honors Program for civil practice, Laura began working on her first patent case in 1999. The matter lasted over a decade and greatly influenced her decision to become a patent litigator at a time when few non-technical lawyers and women practiced in the field. Ultimately, that case reached the United States Supreme Court.

Deeply committed to pro bono work, Laura has represented dozens of asylum seekers from around the world. And as an active participant in organizations supporting this work, she has been a recipient of pro bono and community service awards throughout her career.


Experience

Representative Matters

  • Represented a global industrial company before the Supreme Court in a much-lauded case that erased a decades-old antitrust doctrine impeding businesses from using intellectual property rights to market and sell unpatented products
  • Supervised the defense of the largest advertising and digital communications agencies in the United States in a class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
  • Served as co-lead trial counsel in a patent infringement suit involving automotive transmission and intake systems, ultimately securing a finding of willful infringement for her client
  • Defended an international charting and trading software leader against patent infringement claims in a nationally prominent trial
  • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended a prominent sporting goods manufacturing company in a critical patent infringement suit
  • Served as lead counsel in a suit alleging that an online marketplace had induced and contributed to patent infringement by promoting third-party discounted products on its website, successfully securing a dismissal of claims against her client before trial
  • Represented the estate of a famous individual in a series of highly publicized federal lawsuits challenging the individual’s postmortem right of publicity, seeking to cancel trademarks, and alleging infringement of copyrighted images
  • Assisted in defending a billionaire media tycoon in a nationally covered lawsuit challenging his mental competency. In a stunning victory, the team secured dismissal of the suit on the first day of trial based on videotaped testimony from the client
  • As lead counsel, obtained a preliminary injunction against a billion-dollar defense contractor in a trade secret misappropriation case
  • Defended a satellite company against allegations of trade secret misappropriation in a case where the plaintiff dismissed claims with admission that the case had “no merit”

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. with distinction George Mason University School of Law 1996
    • Graduated with distinction
    • Ranked in the top 10% of graduating class
    • Best brief writer, Upper Class Moot Court Competition
    • Member, Inn of Courts
    • Vice president, Student Bar Association
    • Contributor, George Mason Law Review
  • B.S. Public Administration George Mason University 1993
    • Graduated with high distinction
    • Presidential scholar

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, Chancery Club
  • Member, Board of Directors, Public Counsel
  • Member, Board of Directors, Public Counsel Emergency Fund for Torture Victims
  • Member, Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • Member, Litigation Section Executive Committee, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2001 – 2006

Recognition
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  • Super Lawyers, Southern California, 2012 – 2021
  • Managing Intellectual Property, IP Star, 2013 – 2020
  • District of Columbia Courts, Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2020
  • Daily Journal, Top 100 Women Lawyers in California, 2014
  • California State Bar, President's Pro Bono Service "Law Firm Team" Award, 2011
  • Los Angeles Business Journal, Women Who Make a Difference Award Nominee, 2006, 2011
  • Loeb & Loeb, Professional and Community Service Award, 2010
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Star, Intellectual Property, 2007
  • California Lawyer Magazine, Inaugural Angel Award, 2006
  • Sonnenschein
    • Pro Bono Leadership Award, 2005
    • Rothschild Award, 2005
  • Public Counsel Immigrants' Rights Project, Advocate of the Year, 2004