Stephen Y. Chow

Partner

Boston, MA
D: 617.345.3263

"Full-spectrum experience is crucial for recognizing and seizing opportunities in a world of advancing technology and changing business models and relationships."

Overview
Bar Admissions

Massachusetts

New York

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals First, Second and Federal Circuits

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and Southern District of New York

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Certified Information Privacy Professional/US by International Association of Privacy Professionals (2015)

Education

J.D., Stone Scholar, Columbia University School of Law, 1979

Guggenheim Fellow, Princeton University, 1975

S.M., Applied Physics, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1975

A.B., cum laude, Physics and Philosophy, Harvard College, Physics and Philosophy, 1974

A partner in Burns & Levinson's Intellectual Property, Business and Business Litigation Departments, Steve Chow applies his advanced training in physics and experience in business systems analysis to efficient resolution of legal disputes and development of intellectual property assets and business processes. Having provided these services to technology companies from start-up to Fortune 50, and appreciating their respective operational constraints, Steve provides substantial negotiation advantage in sophisticated matters by going toe-to-toe with a lean staff or solo against adversaries with expensive and ineffective lines of communications. He is a leader in the development of intellectual property, information privacy and electronic commerce law.

Practice of intellectual property and business law and business litigation inform each practice and provides not only efficiencies but insights that might escape notice with longer lines of communication.

Over forty years, including stints at State Street and Wall Street firms then the second and seventh largest firms in the country, Steve has developed numerous patent portfolios and strategies for chemical, electrical, information technology and life sciences enterprises, litigated patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, antitrust, unfair competition, international trade, telecommunications and e-commerce cases before state and federal courts and agencies – and most recently inter partes reviews before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

He has also advised manufacturers, telecommunications carriers, commercial exchanges and educational, financial and research institutions on commercial, legislative and regulatory matters, particularly in internal policies and development of new services and products, as well as in early-stage financing.

Steve sees himself as a strategist and trouble-shooter for technology companies in financial, governance and intellectual property disputes and development. In particular, he offers integrated patent, technology and business prosecution, assessment and enforcement with the commensurate benefits.

Appointed by Governor Weld in 1995, and reappointed by subsequent administrations, as a Massachusetts Uniform Law Commissioner, Steve served on the National Conference's drafting committees on the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (formerly UCC 2B), the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act, the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act and the Uniform Employees’ and Students’ Online Privacy Protection Act, its study committees on Internet taxation, protection of genetic information, discovery of electronic evidence, payment systems, identity management in electronic commerce, and serves its Technology Committee coordinating technology-related laws. Steve served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on security interests in intellectual property.  Through these efforts and as a member of the American Law Institute elected in 1997, Steve is at the forefront of developing the interface between intellectual property, information privacy and commercial law, for example, in online contract terms.

Experience

Experience

  • Litigated image-processing patents of UK video surveillance systems developer Grandeye Ltd. in federal courts and inter partes review and re-examination in U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, including against Google Inc.; developed intellectual property protection mechanisms for online services including coordination of trademark strategy.
  • Litigated "electronic library reserve" issue in copyright infringement action by publishers.
  • Managed technology and corporate control transfer from founder of Zulahoo, Inc., a secure internet platform from private communities, and developed online contracts.
  • Litigated exclusive Ukrainian distributorship of Genzyme Corp. melatonin in U.S. federal court and in Cyprus courts.
  • Defended scientist accused by Biogen Idec. of trade secret misappropriation in China.
  • Defended HVAC-engineering spin-off in suit by prior employer.
  • Litigated software copyright dispute in federal district and state court over Cyrano Inc. properties involving U.K. and French claimants and parallel actions.
  • Worked out debts of Custom One Design Inc. (fabless semiconductor design shop), negotiating and closing $25 million venture capital infusion.
  • Defended early mobile telephone manufacturer Novatel Ltd. of Canada and its Hong Kong and Korean (Hyundai Electronics) in federal district court and U.S. International Trade Commission patent infringement proceedings by Motorola Inc.
  • Wrote patent applications for network inventions, asserted patents, litigated trade secret cases, wrote strategic papers for, and defended antitrust actions against, Digital Equipment Corporation.
Honors & Awards

Honors & Awards

The Best Lawyers in America©- Patent Law (2018)

AV® Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel

Association for Continuing Legal Education - Award of Outstanding Achievement in Publications (2016)

Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2004-2006, 2013-2017)

Boston Magazine Best Lawyers (2015-2016)

Community Involvement

Community Involvement

Asian-American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts

  • Board Member

MassChallenge

  • Mentor

Memberships

American Law Institute (1997-present)

American Bar Association

  • Cybersecurity Legal Task Force (2015-present)

American Intellectual Property Law Association

  • Annual Lecturer (1998-2001)

Asian-American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts

  • Director (1998-present)

Boston Bar Association

  • Council (1995-97)

Boston Bar Association

  • Intellectual Property Law Section (Founder 1992, Steering Committee 2006-2013)

Boston Patent Law Association

Copyright Society of the USA

  • Trustee (2002-2005)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

  • National Intellectual Property Committee (2013-present)

International Association of Privacy Professionals

  • Certified Information Privacy Professional

Licensing Executives Society

  • Boston Chapter Co-Chair (2012-present)

Massachusetts Bar Association

  • Business Law Section Council (1994-present, Co-Chair 2008-2010)

Massachusetts Bar Association House of Delegates

  • Executive Management Board (2009-present)

Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission (2003-2005)

Massachusetts Uniform Law Commission (1995-present)

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

"Are You Protected?: Maintaining Confidentiality & Enforcing Trade Secret Rights in China," Panelist,  American Bar Association Webinar, June 2017

"Trade Secrets," Speaker, MCLE 20th Annual New England Intellectual Property Conference, June 2017

"How to Respond Effectively When A Company Becomes A Victim of American Intellectual Property Theft," Faculty, Trade Secrets Protection Briefing, June 2017

"190th General Court Bills, Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act 'Preemption'?," Program Chair and Speaker, Boston Bar Association’s 9th Symposium on Non-Compete Agreements and Trade Secrets, June 2017

"Data Security 2.0: The Cloud, Mobile Devices and Encryption," Chair and Speaker, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Program, June 2017

"Trade Secrets and Cross-Border Transactions," Speaker, American Bar Association International Law Section Spring Meeting, April 2017

"The New Landscape of Trade Secrets," Speaker, American Bar Association 32nd Annual Intellectual Property Conference, April 2017

"From Software Sold as a UCC 'Good' to Contracts Limiting Use ('License')," Speaker, Twenty Years After ProCD: Has Private Law Trumped Public Law in Intellectual Property? March 2017

"Data Security and Privacy for Risk Managers, Paralegals & Support Staff," Chair and Speaker, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Program, February 2017

"Current Challenges with Payment Systems," Speaker, New England Law - Selling Goods into Foreign Markets Conference, October 2016

"Cybersecurity and Fraud Panel Discussion," Panelist, Marcum Cybersecurity and Fraud Forum, October 2016

Articles & Publications

Articles & Publications

articles

"The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and Its Coexistence with Massachusetts Law," Boston Bar Journal, January 2017

"A Spring Thaw in the Availability of Patents for Software Inventions?" Burns & Levinson Intellectual Property Update, June 2016

"DTSA: A Federal Tort of Unfair Competition in Aerial Reconnaissance, Broken Deals, and Employment," Washington and Lee Law Review Online, January 2016

Various chapters, MCLE Data Security and Privacy in Massachusetts, November 2015

"The Defend Trade Secrets Act Exposes, but Little Benefits, U.S. Businesses," Bloomberg BNA Electronic Commerce and Law Report, October 2015

"Trade Secrets Law: 'Well Established' in 1939 Notions of 'Use,'" Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, March 2014

"Data Security and Privacy in Massachusetts," MCLE, Inc., 2015

"The Law of the Internet," Matthew Bender/Lexis-Nexis Publishing, 2009-present

"International Computer Law," Matthew Bender/Lexis-Nexis Publishing, 2008-present

"E-Commerce and Communications," Matthew Bender/Lexis Nexis Publishing, 2002-2008

“DTSA: A Federal Tort of Unfair Competition in Aerial Reconnaissance, Broken Deals, and Employment,” Washington and Lee Law Review Online, January 7, 2016

“The Defend Trade Secrets Act Exposes, but Little Benefits, U.S. Businesses," Bloomberg BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report, October 9, 2015

“Trade secrets law: ‘well-established’ in 1939 notions of ‘use’,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, March 20, 2014

quotes

"Alphabet Adds Trade Secret Law to Self-Driving Car Wars," Bloomberg BNA, February 2017

"Action on Non-Competes Eyed Before Session's End," Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, June 2016

"Senate Judiciary Committee OKs Federal Trade Secret Bill," Bloomberg BNA, January 2016

"Trade Secret Law Knocks Out Much of Oculus Rift Complaint," Bloomberg BNA, January 2016

"Market Basket: What's It Worth?" NECN, July 2014

"When You Die, Does Your Facebook Go, Too?" WSJ Live, August 2013

“States, Uniform Law Drafting Team Ponder Access Rules for Decedents' Digital Estates,” Bloomberg BNA, February 2013

“Jurors on federal patent case not the usual suspects,” New England In-House, October 2012.

“Drug makers braced for long-term IP battle with generics,” Boston Business Journal, September 2012.

“Jurors on patent case not the usual suspects,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, August 2012.

Apple v. Samsung case, New England Cable News NECN, August 2012

Resources
Stephen Y. Chow
Practices
  • Intellectual Property & IP Litigation
  • IP Transactions
  • Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Business, Finance & Transactions
  • IP Litigation
  • Life Sciences
  • Patent
  • Privacy & Data Security
  • Venture Capital & Emerging Companies
Education

J.D., Stone Scholar, Columbia University School of Law, 1979

Guggenheim Fellow, Princeton University, 1975

S.M., Applied Physics, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1975

A.B., cum laude, Physics and Philosophy, Harvard College, Physics and Philosophy, 1974

Admissions

Massachusetts

New York

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals First, Second and Federal Circuits

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and Southern District of New York

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Certified Information Privacy Professional/US by International Association of Privacy Professionals (2015)

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