Tessa J. Schwartz
Managing Partner, Morrison & Foerster
Tessa J. Schwartz has an active practice counseling companies on intellectual property issues, and negotiating complex intellectual property and commercial agreements. She advises on a range of strategic transactions, including key patent licenses and acquisitions, technology procurement agreements, and complex development, collaboration, joint-venture and distribution deals. Tessa also regularly advises companies on the IP aspects of their M&A transactions.
In addition to maintaining an active practice and working with clients on a daily basis, Tessa currently serves as a firmwide managing partner.
Tessa advises clients primarily in technology and data intensive sectors, representing software, SaaS, cloud computing, hardware, consumer electronics and products, social media, Internet, mobility and wireless, e-commerce, advertising, healthcare, fintech, transportation, semiconductor, and other companies. Tessa’s M&A experience includes advising Autodesk, BlackBerry, Fortive, Honeywell, Salesforce, Uber, Unilever, Unity, VMware, Walmart, and others on the IP aspects of strategic transactions. She also focuses on matters related to energy-efficiency, renewable-energy, and sustainability.
Tessa provides clients with prelitigation and litigation advice. She frequently advises executives and senior management on strategic business, legal and commercial issues, including the structuring of transactions, risk management and contract compliance. She also counsels clients with respect to a wide variety of IP issues, including patent exhaustion and implied licenses, standing and standards, the protection of data and other trade secrets and the development and distribution of open-source software.
In addition to her transactional expertise, Tessa’s litigation background includes representing clients in arbitration, as well as in state and federal courts in such areas as antitrust, false advertising, unfair competition, breach of contract, securities, trademark, copyright and trade secret law. Her litigation experience includes complex, multidistrict and class action litigation, as well as appellate advocacy.
Tessa’s pro bono efforts have included work for The Biomimicry Institute, Goodwill, Common Sense Media, Business for Social Responsibility, The World Wildlife Fund, Build Change and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). She also provides IP advice to a variety of cultural, media and arts organizations; and other assistance for nonprofits. She recently received the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services from the State Bar of California.
Tessa received her B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1991. In 1996, she earned her J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif.