Boutin Jones INC., Attorneys at Law

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Chris Gibson [Retired] / Of Counsel

Detailed Practice Description

Chris Gibson is a founder of the firm and has devoted much of his practice to intellectual property. He has tried more than sixty cases in state and federal courts throughout California, including actions for patent, copyright and trademark infringement, trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, antitrust and breach of contract.

Chris entered law school at the University of California at Davis and graduated in 1976 after teaching, working in construction, running a political campaign, and leading wilderness expeditions. Chris has been married since 1977 to Dr. Patrice Gibson, a professor of anthropology.  They have two sons, one a lawyer in Sacramento, and the other a professor at the University of Hong Kong.

Honesty is an important part of my law practice. That includes being honest with myself, my colleagues, and my clients, nurtured by open communication.

The Basics

I focus on intellectual property litigation. I have tried many cases involving patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.

Delivering for Clients

Early in my career, I tried a software patent infringement case with antitrust counterclaims that went to the Federal Circuit.  The trial judge gave each side only 15 hours to try its case—even though it was extremely complicated. That made me focus with precision on what was important. Moving forward in my practice, I was always careful not to waste time on anything that wasn’t critical to the case.

I recently returned to Stanford and earned a master’s degree in liberal arts, taking seminars and writing papers. My program began with the Bible and Koran, and studying Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism. It ended with my thesis on Charles Darwin’s religious beliefs.

  • Practices
  • Education
  • Stanford University, M.L.A., 2014
  • University of California at Davis School of Law, J.D., 1976
  • Stanford University, B.A., 1970
  • Honors
  • Sacramento Magazine 2016 Top Lawyer
  • Northern California Super Lawyer in intellectual property litigation, 2006
  • University of California at Davis: Law Review member and recipient of the Hopkins Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to Law Review
  • Bar Admissions
  • California
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • All California District Courts
  • Professional Associations and Memberships
  • Former Member, Board of Directors of the Sacramento Young Lawyers’ Association and the Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Charter Member and Master, American Inn of Court Chapter at the University of California at Davis (regularly met with local judges, law professors, and prominent attorneys to promote legal professionalism)

Articles and Presentations



Note, “Co-Conspirator Declarations: Constitutional Defects in the Admission Procedure,” 9 University of California at Davis Law Review 63


Teacher for courses at University of California at Davis, Law School

Presented programs on intellectual property issues for California Continuing Education of the Bar and other groups

Seminar speaker for local business organizations including the Chamber of Commerce

I like litigating cases with good, experienced lawyers on the other side. We can avoid fights over egos and cases becoming about the lawyers instead of the clients. Being contentious with a counterpart is a distraction that doesn’t benefit the clients and wastes time and money.

Representative Experience

Trade Secrets

After a six-week state court trial, obtained judgment for defendants sued for misappropriation of trade secrets. The Court of Appeal affirmed an award of attorney’s fees in excess of $500,000.

Copyright Infringement

Represented software manufacturer in copyright infringement action against former employee. A federal court trial concluded with a permanent injunction from publishing and marketing software, damages, and an attorney’s fees award.

Patent infringement

Represented defendant in patent infringement lawsuit. After federal court jury trial, obtained judgment that patent was unenforceable because of patentee’s inequitable conduct before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Confidentiality Agreements

Obtained directed verdict after seven-week jury trial upholding enforceability of confidentiality agreement in trade secrets case.


Prosecuted and defended numerous motions for preliminary injunctions in trademark matters.

Reported cases include:

Wordtech Systems, Inc. v. Integrated Networks Solutions, Inc., 609 F.3d 1308 (Fed. Cir. 2010). Patent case reviewing award of royalties and liability of corporate officers for infringement by corporation.

Cabinet Vision v. Cabnetware, 129 F.3d 595 (Fed. Cir. 1997).  Reviewing Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial in patent case involving defense of inequitable conduct and antitrust counterclaim.

Valley Engineers, Inc. v. Electric Engineering Co., 158 F.3d 1051 (9th Cir. 1998).  Affirming dismissal of complaint as sanction for discovery violation.

International Billing Services, Inc. v. Emigh, 84 Cal. App. 4th 1175 (2000). Reviewing award of attorney’s fees under written confidentiality agreement.

Kapusta v. Gale Corp., 457 F.Supp.2d 1051 (E.D. Cal. 2006).  Obtained summary judgment of patent infringement after remand from Federal Circuit.

Meridian Project Systems, Inc. v. Hardin Const. Co., LLC, 426 F.Supp.2d 1101 (E.D. Cal. 2006).  Order on summary judgment in software copyright infringement action.