Ian C. Ballon: Lawyer with Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Ian C. Ballon

Los Angeles,  CA  U.S.A.

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Practice Areas

  • IP
  • Technology
  • Internet and Entertainment Litigation
  • Intellectual Property & Technology
  • Internet and Computer Software
  • Privacy and Data Security
  • Appellate
  • Class Action Litigation
Contact InfoTelephone: 310.586.6575
Fax: 310.586.0575
University Tufts University, B.A., Economics/Political Science, magna cum laude, 1983; Articles Editor, 1985-1986; and Member, 1984-1985, The George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics
Law SchoolThe George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1986; Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M.
AdmittedCalifornia; District of Columbia; Maryland; U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado; U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Second, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Federal Circuits; U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California; U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; Supreme Court of the United States

Professional & Community Involvement

• Advisory Board, Stanford University Law School's Program in Law, Science and Technology, 2007 to present
• Executive Director, Stanford University Law School Center for E-Commerce, 2002 to present
• Leadership Council Member, RAND Institute for Social Justice, 2010 to present
• Advisor, American Law Institute International Jurisdiction Project, 2002 to 2007
• Council Member (and previously Computer and E-Commerce Division Co-Chair), American Bar Association Section of Science and Technology, 2003 to 2005
• Member and contributing author, American Bar Association Cyberspace Jurisdiction Project. The committee's Report on Global Jurisdictional Issues Created By Information Technology Networks and proposals for new international standards were published in London, England in July 2000
• Co-Chair, Internet Subcommittee, ABA Section of Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation Committee, 1997 to 2000
• Programs Chair, ABA Section of Litigation, Computer and Online Litigation Committee, 1995 to 2001
• Member, GRAMMY Foundation's Entertainment Law Initiative Advisory Committee, 2005 to 2010
• Editorial Board, The Cyberspace Lawyer, The Journal of Internet Law, E-Commerce Law Report and The Privacy and Information Law Report
• Member, American Bar Association
• Elected to membership in the American Law Institute
• Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)

BornMontreal, Quebec, Canada, 1962

Ian Ballon is an intellectual property and Internet litigator who represents clients in copyright, DMCA, trademark, trade secret, right of publicity, privacy, security, software, database and Internet disputes and in the defense of data privacy, security breach, behavioral advertising, TCPA and other Internet-related class action suits.

Mr. Ballon, who splits his time between the firm's Silicon Valley and LA offices, is the author of the four-volume legal treatise, E-Commerce and Internet Law: Treatise With Forms 2d Edition, Thomson West 2012 Cum. Supp. and the earlier first edition, which has been cited in state and federal court opinions. He is also the author of The Complete CAN-SPAM Act Handbook (West 2008) and The Complete State Security Breach Notification Compliance Handbook (West 2009). In addition, Mr. Ballon serves as Executive Director of Stanford University Law School's Center for E-Commerce and previously served as an Adviser to the American Law Institute's Intellectual Property: Principles Governing Jurisdiction, Choice of Law, and Judgments in Transactional Disputes (ALI Principles of the Law 2007).

Mr. Ballon was named as the Lawyer of the Year for information technology law in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America and was recognized as the 2012 New Media Lawyer of the Year by the Century City Bar Association. In 2010, he was the recipient of the California State Bar Intellectual Property Law section's Vanguard Award for outstanding legal professionals who are spearheading new developments in the world of intellectual property. He has also been named one of the top 100 lawyers in California and one of the Top 75 intellectual property litigators in California by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal. Mr. Ballon has been listed in Variety's Legal Impact Report: 50 Game-Changing Attorneys (2012), and was recognized as one of the top new media lawyers in the United States by CyberEsq. magazine, one of the 100 most influential lawyers in California by California Law Business, one of the top 100 lawyers in L.A. by the Los Angeles Business Journal, one of the top 50 IP Litigators in California and one of the top 25 copyright, trademark and patent lawyers in California by The Daily Journal. He is listed in Legal 500 U.S., The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of intellectual property and information technology and Chambers and Partners USA Guide in the areas of privacy and data security as well as IT and outsourcing.

In 2009, Mr. Ballon also was recognized by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal forobtaining the third largest plaintiff's verdict in California in 2008 in MySpace, Inc. v. Wallace (over $230, 000, 000), which was one of a number of cases in which he and his team created new law applying the CAN-SPAM Act to social networks, construing California's anti-phishing statute and enforcing provisions in Internet Terms of Use agreements.

Mr. Ballon is admitted to practice in California, the District of Columbia and Maryland and before the U.S. Supreme Court and has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute. He also holds a C.I.P.P. certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Areas of Concentration

• Intellectual property litigation, including secondary copyright and trademark liability, and federal safe harbors and exemptions
• Complex federal litigation and civil procedure, including the defense of class action suits
• Copyright, DMCA, trademark, domain name, unfair competition, trade secret and right of publicity litigation
• Internet and mobile-related litigation, including the defense of data privacy, behavioral advertising and other class action suits
• Privacy and security litigation, including security breach litigation, compliance, mitigation and prevention
• Digital and mobile advertising litigation, including suits under the CAN-SPAM Act, TCPA and state law
• Database protection and screen scraping
• Phishing and identity theft litigation
• Technology, media and entertainment litigation
• Software performance, intellectual property and licensing litigation

Awards & Recognition

• Listed, Daily Journal, one of the 75 Top IP Litigators in California, 2009-2015
• Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2009-2015
• Listed, Chambers Global, Privacy & Data Security (USA), 2008-2015
• Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Information Technology Law; Technology Law, 2001-2016
• Listed, Lawyer of the Year in Information Technology Law, Los Angeles, 2013 and 2016
• Listed, Los Angeles' Best Lawyers, 2012
• Listed, The Legal 500 United States, 2007-2015
• Listed, Managing IP Magazine's World IP Handbook and Survey, IP Stars, 2013-2014
• Listed, The International Who's Who of Internet & eCommerce Lawyers, 2008-2014
• Listed, San Francisco Magazine, Northern California Super Lawyer, 2004-2015
• Recognized, Los Angeles Business Journal, Most Influential Lawyers: Digital Media and E-Commerce Law, 2014
• Listed, Variety, Legal Impact Report: 50 Game-Changing Attorneys, 2012
• Recipient, New Media Lawyer of the Year Award, Century City Bar Association, 2012
• Recognized, Los Angeles Business Journal, Who's Who in L.A. Law: Angelenos to Know in Intellectual Property Law, 2012
• Recipient, Vanguard Award, State Bar of California Intellectual Property Law Section, 2010
• Listed, IAM 250 - The World's Leading IP Strategists, 2009-2010
• Recommended, PLC Which Lawyer?, 2009 Yearbook
• Listed, Los Angeles Daily Journal, list of Top Verdicts for obtaining the third largest plaintiff's verdict in California, 2008
• Named, Daily Journal, one of the 50 Top IP Litigators in California, 2008
• Named, Daily Journal, one of the Top 100 Lawyers In California, 2008
• Listed, Los Angeles Magazine, Southern California Super Lawyer, 2007-2008
• Named, Technology, Media and Telecommunications Expert Guide, one of the world's leading lawyers, 2005-2006
• Named, Daily Journal, one of the top 25 copyright, trademark and patent lawyers in California, 2003
• Named, California Law Business, one of the 100 most influential lawyers in California, 2001
• Listed, Daily Journal's CyberEsq. magazine, one of 16 top new-media lawyers in the United States, 2001
• Named, California Law Business, one of the top 20 California Lawyers under the age of 40, 1999
• Rated, AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5

AV, BV, AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Associated News & Events

Press Releases

10.22.15 Greenberg Traurig's Ian Ballon to Speak on Social Media and DMCA Trends at the 2015 AIPLA Annual Meeting
10.21.15 Greenberg Traurig's Ian Ballon to Speak at Privacy + Security Forum
08.19.15 26 Greenberg Traurig California Attorneys Recognized in 2016 Best Lawyers in America
08.18.15 24 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Listed as 2016 ' Lawyers of the Year' by Best Lawyers in America
07.09.15 16 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Included in 2015 Edition of Northern California Super Lawyers & Rising Stars
07.06.15 Head of Silicon Valley IP Transactions Group Joins Greenberg Traurig
06.15.15 12 Greenberg Traurig California Attorneys Recognized in 2015 Legal 500 United States Guide
06.08.15 100-Plus Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2015 Guide to Outstanding Lawyers
05.27.15 Greenberg Traurig Intellectual Property Shareholders to Speak at 2015 Rocky Mountain IP & Tech Law Institute
05.26.15 10 Greenberg Traurig California Attorneys Recognized in 2015 Chambers USA Guide

Published Articles

07.01.11 Suing over data privacy and behavioral advertising
01.28.09 One-Sided Battles
09.14.06 Virtual Litigation: Why Internet Business Disputes End Up as IP Litigation


10.06.15 UPDATE:U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Invalidated by European Court of Justice
03.23.09 FTC Revises Online Behavioral Advertising Principles
09.26.08 Best Practice Guide for Protecting Minors on Social Networking Sites

Articles, Publications, & Lectures


• Author, four-volume legal treatise, E-Commerce and Internet Law: Treatise With Forms, 2d (Thomson West 2009 & 2012 Annual Supp., www.IanBallon.net )
• Author, The Complete State Security Breach Notification Compliance Handbook (West 2009)
• Author, The Complete CAN-SPAM Act Handbook (West 2008)
• Author, four-volume legal treatise, E-Commerce and Internet Law: Treatise With Forms (LegalWorks/WestPublishing 2001 & Annual Supplements) (Also published in Chinese in the P.R.C.)


• American Hustle: Challenges and Opportunities in Internet Law, The American Lawyer, January 30, 2014
• Cybersecurity Specialists in Short Supply, Los Angeles & San Francisco Daily Journal, August 19, 2013
• Ten Hot Issues in Trademark Law: No Rote Fix for Rogue Sites, Interview Session (with Sheri Qualters), The National Law Journal, October 22, 2012
• Expert Q&A on Keyword Advertising After Rosetta Stone, PLC Intellectual Property & Technology, July 2012
• Defending Data Privacy and Behavioral Advertising Putative Class Action Suits, ABA Class Action Reporter, 2011 (with Wendy Mantell)
• National Guard Photo Leads to New Decision on Privacy, Publicity and the CDA, Spring 2008 (with Wendy Mantell)
• Virtual Litigation: Why Internet Business Disputes End Up as IP Litigation, Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, September 2006
• Reconsidering the Winners and Losers in MGM Studios v. Grokster, Los Angeles Lawyer, September 2005
• Ninth Circuit Grokster Decision Changes the Law of Secondary Copyright Liability, California Copyright Conference Newsletter, September 2004 (also published in Mealy's Litigation Report, September 2004)
• Ninth Circuit Grokster Case Challenges the Applicability of Traditional Copyright Principles to Digital Media and the Internet, Intellectual Property Today, February 2004 (with Robert Begland)
• Assessing and Limiting E-Commerce Liability Through Website Audits, California Business Law Practitioner, Fall 2001
• Bots, Screen Scraping, Content Aggregation and the Evolving Doctrine of Database Trespass, The Cyberspace Lawyer, May 2001
• Napster Ruling Clarifies and Expands the Law Governing Third Party Copyright Liability in Cyberspace, The E-Commerce Law Report, May 2001
• Spoliation of E-Mail Evidence, Committee on Pretrial Practice & Discovery, American Bar Association, Vol. LX, No. 1, Winter 2001
• Rethinking Cyberspace Jurisdiction in Intellectual Property Disputes, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Economic Law, Fall 2000 (Also at East Palo Alto Office)

Reported CasesSignificant Representations: Lead counsel to The McClatchy Company (formerly to Knight-Ridder, before its acquisition by The McClatchy Company) in Reed-Elsivier, Inc. v. Muchnick, 130 S. Ct. 1237 (2010). The case involves putative copyright class action suits brought by freelance authors against database companies and newspaper publishers over the digitization of works in electronic databases.; Lead counsel to Yahoo, eNom and Neustar in obtaining dismissal with prejudice before the trial court and prevailing on appeal to the Third Circuit in Obado v. Magedson, No. 14-3584 (3d Cir. May 11, 2015), aff'g, Civil No. 13-2382 (JAP), 2014 WL 3778261 (D.N.J. July 31, 2014) (granting judgment under 47 U.S.C. 230(c)(1) on multiple tort and privacy claims arising out of the publication and distribution of, and links to, various blog posts).; Lead counsel to the prevailing defendant in defeating a putative TCPA class action suit in Marks v. Crunch San Diego, LLC, 55 F. Supp. 3d 1288 (S.D. Cal. 2014).; Represented the prevailing defendant in Thomas v. Taco Bell Corp., 582 F. App'x. 678 (9th Cir. 2014), the appeal of a TCPA case alleging both direct and vicarious liability for the transmission of text messages.; Lead counsel to Yahoo! in obtaining summary judgment in Dominguez v. Yahoo!, Inc., 8 F. Supp. 3d 637 (E.D. Pa. 2014), a putative TCPA class action suit.; Lead counsel to the prevailing defendant in Obodai v. Cracked Entertainment Inc., 522 Fed. App'x 41 (2d Cir. 2013) (affirming summary judgment based on the defendant's entitlement to the DMCA safe harbor for material stored at the direction of a user).; Represented eNom, Inc. in submitting an amicus brief in support of the prevailing party in Petroliam Nasional Berhad v. GoDaddy.com, Inc., 787 F.3d 546 (9th Cir. 2013) (holding that the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act does not allow claims for contributory liability).; Represented Google in Oracle America Corp. v. Google, Inc., 872 F. Supp. 2d 974 (N.D. Cal. 2012) (holding that Google's use of application programming interface (API) packages in connection with original code for the Android operating system did not infringe Oracle's copyrights in Java).; Successfully represented defendants in TCPA putative class action suits brought over confirmatory text messages, including Ibey v. Taco Bell Corp., 2012 WL 2401972 (S.D. Cal. 2012), appeal dismissed, No. 12-56482 (9th Cir. 2012).; Lead counsel in successfully representing the advertiser defendants in Bose v. interclick, Inc., 2011 WL 4343517 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) in obtaining dismissal with prejudice of a putative privacy and behavioral advertising class action suit involving alleged use of flash cookies and browser sniffing.; Lead counsel for eBay, Inc. in Inman v. Technicolor USA, Inc., 2011 WL 5829024 (W.D. Pa. 2011) in obtaining judgment in a toxic tort and product liability case brought in the Western District of Pennsylvania based on federal preemption under the Communications Decency Act (CDA).; Lead counsel in successfully defending an Internet network in a data privacy putative class action suit in 2011 in enforcing a venue selection clause in an Internet Terms of Use agreement and then obtaining a voluntary dismissal after the case was transferred from California to New York.; Lead counsel in obtaining judgment for Yahoo! in Brendan N. Fleming, LLC v. Duncan, Case No. 2010CV0966 (Columbia Cty., Ga. Sup. Ct. 2010), a defamation case brought in state court in Georgia, based on federal preemption under the CDA.; Represented Yahoo! and Microsoft in defense of a copyright infringement suit involving digital music which settled on confidential terms after two favorable rulings: MCS Music America Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., 2010 WL 500430 (M.D. Tenn. 2010) (limiting the number of copyrighted works at issue); MCS Music America Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., 2009 WL 4348593 (M.D. Tenn. 2009) (dismissing MCS America's copyright infringement claims against Yahoo! and Microsoft with prejudice).; Represented eNom, Inc., the world's largest domain name wholesaler, as lead counsel in successfully defending claims arising out of the transfer of domain names pursuant to a court order.; Lead counsel to MySpace, Inc. in MySpace, Inc. v. Wallace, 498 F. Supp. 2d 1293 (C.D. Cal. 2007) (enjoining a defendant under the CAN-SPAM Act and resulting in 2008 in a judgment of over $230, 000, 000).; Represented Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. in a copyright infringement suit involving user generated content.; Lead counsel in obtaining a $6 million judgment for an Internet company following a one week arbitration trial in a case involving Lanham Act and federal and state anti-spamming and breach of TOU claims.; Lead counsel to eBay, Inc. in copyright infringement, DMCA, and Lanham Act cases in the Central District of California.; Represented Cafe Press in defense of a privacy and right of publicity case involving the issue of federal preemption of secondary liability claims, in Curran v. Amazon.com, Inc., 86 U.S.P.Q.2d 1784 (S.D.W. Va. 2008).; Lead Counsel to MySpace, Inc. in MySpace, Inc. v. TheGlobe.com, Inc., 2007 WL 1686966 (C.D. Cal. 2007) (granting summary judgment under the CAN-SPAM Act, California's anti-spamming statute and for breach of MySpace's Terms of Use, including its $50 per email liquidated damages clause). The case settled on confidential terms in 2007.; Lead Counsel to clients in sponsored link cases brought under the Lanham Act in federal courts in California and Virginia.; Lead counsel to the prevailing plaintiff in Garden of Life, Inc. v. Letzer, 318 F. Supp. 2d 946 (C.D. Cal. 2004), one of the only cases where domain names were transferred to a plaintiff on motion for preliminary injunction, rather than following trial or summary judgment.; Lead IP Trial Counsel to Hewlett Packard Co. in FoodMarketPlace.com, Inc. v. Hewlett Packard Co., a case brought in the Central District of California in which the plaintiff sought $100 million for the alleged copyright infringement of the source code for a web-based business, among other claims. The case eventually settled.; Lead Counsel to the prevailing party in MCSi, Inc. v. Woods, 290 F. Supp. 2d 1030 (N.D. Cal. 2003), which for many years was the only reported decision in California in which a company prevailed in the defense of an anti-SLAPP motion brought by a DOE defendant in a case involving anonymous Internet misconduct.; Represented Fox Group and Vivendi Universal Entertainment LLLP (and briefly Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Columbia Tri-Star Film Distributors Int'l, Inc.) in the defense and settlement of Not the Enemy Media v. Universal Studios Consumer Products, Inc. in federal court in San Francisco.; Amicus counsel to a group of organizations of copyright owners in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 380 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2004), vacated, 545 U.S. 913 (2005).; Litigated disputes involving anonymous and pseudonymous Internet tortfeasors and infringers, phishing, Internet and computer privacy rights, the First Amendment and deleted e-mail communications and other electronic evidence.; Represented GTE Service Corp. (now Verizon) in defeating a nationwide injunction in a copyright infringement suit alleging infringement of hundreds of alleged works. The case settled on confidential terms.; Lead Counsel in litigating novel, Internet-related claims in Visto Corp. v. Benchmark Print Supply (pernicious spoofing and spamming) and San Jose Mercury News, Inc. v. Royal (wrongful diversion of Internet traffic).; Lead Counsel for GTE Government Systems in GTE Government Systems v. Patrick (Santa Clara County Superior Court, 1998) in obtaining one of the only temporary restraining orders ever entered in California based on the inevitable disclosure doctrine.; Represented clients in numerous computer software copyright and trade secret cases, and in the defense of copyright and internet-related putative class action suits.

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UPDATE:U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Invalidated by European Court of Justice
Ian C. Ballon,Viola Bensinger,Luke Dixon,Françoise Gilbert,Radboud Ribbert, October 19, 2015
On Oct. 6, 2015, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) released its final judgment on the closely-watched U.S.-EU Safe Harbor (Safe Harbor) case, ruling that national Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) in the European Union (EU) retain the right to investigate complaints relating to the Safe Harbor...

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Office Information

Ian C. Ballon

1840 Century Park East, Suite 1900
Los AngelesCA 90067-2121


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