William F. Abrams


Bill Abrams protects his clients’ intellectual property by providing advice on strategy, management, and risk in litigation as a first-chair trial and appellate lawyer.

Bill represents an array of companies, including public and private, start-ups and emerging, and individuals across the technology industry, bringing extensive experience to meet his clients’ needs. In addition, he has represented companies in confidential arbitrations and provided advice on IP management and strategies to businesses and institutions on a confidential basis.

Bill’s extraordinary commitment to public service is evident through his large portfolio of pro bono cases. These have involved representation of death row inmates, and cases involving wrongful convictions, special education, foster care, First Amendment issues, privacy, prison conditions, affirmative action, asylum, adoption, immigration, and civil rights.

Bill graduated from Santa Clara School of Law and received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Stanford University. He is also a member of the Stanford faculty, where he has taught courses since 1996.

Chambers has reported comments by peers and clients describing Bill as “frankly brilliant at what he does; he finds the fight his client can fight, and performs very well,” “a courageous litigator who understands both the broader picture and the social context surrounding issues,” and having “a wealth of experience in IP trials, appeals and arbitrations arising from issues such as trade secrets, licensing, patent infringement and trademarks.

IAM in its Patent 1000 list commented, "William Abrams is a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer who has successfully quarterbacked many notable litigation campaigns. This has given him an acute understanding of IP risk, which he parlays into a superb counselling practice."



  • Lead counsel in over 100 federal and state trade secret, patent, competition, and other intellectual property cases since 2000.

Memberships & Awards


Washington State Bar Association, Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation (2020)

Youth Law Center, Unsung Heroes 2020 Honoree

Chambers USA

  • Intellectual Property (Washington) (2018-2019)
  • Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (California) (2011-2013, 2015-2017)
  • Intellectual Property: Patent (California) (2006-2007)

Best Lawyers in America

  • Best Lawyers 2019 Technology Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Seattle Technology (2014-2021)
  • Litigation – Intellectual Property (2019-2022)
  • Litigation – Patent (2019-2022)
  • Technology Law (2022)

Washington Super Lawyers (2004-2018, 2020-2021)

Northern California Super Lawyers (2004-2017)

The Legal 500 U.S., Litigation: Commercial Litigation; Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation – Full Coverage; Intellectual Property: Trade Secrets (2016-2017)

IP Stars USA, IP Star for Washington (2019)

Daily Journal’s “Top Intellectual Property Attorneys in California” (2009-2014, 2016-2017)

IAM Patent 1000

  • Litigation: Washington (2018-2021)
    • Recommended Individuals – Silver Tier
  • Litigation: California (2014-2017)

Managing Intellectual Property’s “Stars” in California (2013-2017)

“Silicon Valley’s Top 300 Lawyers” and “Silicon Valley’s Top Legal Eagles,” San Jose Magazine (2001-2013)

“Top 100 Lawyers in California,” Daily Journal (2010)

American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Award for Exceptional Service, 2016 (awarded to Steptoe & Johnson for supporting work on Mr. Abrams’s death penalty cases and other death penalty cases undertaken by the firm)

California Lawyer of the Year Award (CLAY), California Lawyer Magazine (2010)

John J. Curtin Jr. Public Service Award (2009)

Top California Defense Verdicts, Daily Journal (2003)

Resources & Ideas


Community Activities

Community Activities

  • Washington Appellate Project, Board of Directors (2020-present)
  • The Southern Center for Human Rights, Board of Directors (2013-present)
  • Youth Law Center, Board of Directors & Chair of Audit and Litigation Committees (2003-present)
  • Silicon Valley Campaign for Legal Services, Board of Directors and Co-Chair (2001-2010)
  • Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Pro Bono Counsel
  • National Center for Youth Law, Pro Bono Counsel
  • American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project, Steering Committee
  • Stanford Law School Youth Education Law Clinic, Pro Bono Counsel
  • Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, Pro Bono Counsel
  • Northern California Innocence Project, Pro Bono Counsel




Washington State Courts

California State Courts

United States District Courts

  • Central District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • Northern District of California
  • Southern District of California
  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • Eastern District of Texas
  • Western District of Washington

8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

United States Supreme Court

Outside The Office