William Sterling is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's San Francisco office and a member of the firm's Intellectual Property Group. Mr. Sterling focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation, representing clients in patent, copyright and trade secret matters, as well as related contractual matters and state law claims. He has counseled clients in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, network management software, wireless communications technology, industrial logistics, video game software, and children's toys and games. Mr. Sterling is well-versed in intellectual property litigation, with particular experience in motion practice, fact and expert discovery, claim construction proceedings, summary judgment briefing and inter partes review proceedings.

Mr. Sterling has also made public service and charitable work a focus of his practice. In addition to working yearly with the Boston Public Law Association to evaluate and highlight the extraordinary contributions of local inventors, Mr. Sterling has engaged in pro bono representation on matters ranging from defending access to public housing, to working with diversity-oriented start-up companies in implementing policies to protect their intellectual property and assets.

At Boston University School of Law, Mr. Sterling served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Science & Technology Law, where he researched issues related to the transmission and performance of broadcast television content under the Copyright Act.

Representative Matters

Arrows Up LLC et al v. SandBox Logistics LLC et al (S.D. Tex.). Represented Arrows Up, a bulk material logistics provider, in a patent enforcement action against SandBox; the dispute implicated the structure of SandBox's bulk materials containers, in addition to numerous ancillary issues under federal and state law; the dispute was settled following lengthy and complex motion practice

Arrows Up LLC v. Oren Technologies LLC, IPR2018-1230, IPR2018-1231, IPR2018-1232, IPR2018-1233 (PTAB). Represented petitioner Arrows Up, a bulk material logistics provider, in four related petitions for inter partes review of patentee Oren Technologies' patents; the challenged patents concerned various methods of accomplishing the transfer of bulk materials; following institution, the PTAB issued a final written decision determining that substantially all of the challenged claims were invalid, including all of the challenged independent claims

Dialware Communications LLC v. Hasbro Inc. (Fed. Cir.; C.D. Cal.). Represented Hasbro in a patent dispute regarding Hasbro's line of Furby toys, both before the district court and on appeal; in the district court, Hasbro moved to dismiss the action, arguing that the patents-in-suit were directed to an abstract idea, thus claiming unpatentable subject matter under an abstract idea under 35 U.S.C. § 101; the court agreed, holding that the patents were directed to the abstract idea of communication between devices, and granted Hasbro's motion to dismiss; on appeal, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's determination following oral argument

Wi-LAN Inc. v. Ericsson Inc. (S.D. Fla.). Represented Ericsson in a telecommunications patent dispute involving 4G LTE base station technology; the dispute implicated wireless standards relating to connection maintenance between base stations and in-transit user equipment, as well as the user equipment's measurement and reporting of data usage; the parties reached a mutual settlement for all disputes prior to trial

Shapiro v. Hasbro Inc. (C.D. Cal.). Represented Hasbro in an inventor dispute regarding the design of certain dolls in Hasbro's My Little Pony line; the case included claims for trade secret misappropriation under both the California Uniform Trade Secret Act and the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, as well as breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing; after securing summary judgment on the primary trade secrets claims, the case was settled prior to trial

Avaya Inc. v. SNMP Research Inc. (D. Del.; Bankr. D. Del.). Represented Avaya, a leading provider of business communication solutions, in copyright infringement, breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation suits against SNMP Research Inc. and SNMP Research International Inc.; the case concerned whether Avaya infringed SNMP Research's copyrights and whether the success of Avaya's products and services was attributable to the alleged infringement; the parties reached a mutual settlement for all disputes prior to trial

Representative Experience


  • Boston University School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Tennessee, B.A., cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • Massachusetts
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Honors & Awards
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021