(818) 382-6200

John R. Yates

(818) 382-6200 Ext. 117

John R. Yates is an Associate with Greenberg & Bass. Mr. Yates is a litigator and trial lawyer who has tried more than 30 civil cases to verdict or judgment in California’s state Superior courts and federal district courts, on behalf of clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 500 corporations. Mr. Yates has extensive experience in matters involving copyright, trademark, trade secret, and business competition law, and regularly litigates cases and counsels clients concerning these subjects.


Representative Matters

Plaintiff dismissed federal district court action for trade dress infringement, unfair competition, and 8 separate copyright infringement claims. Plaintiff also agreed to voluntary dismissal 3 weeks after receiving proposed Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions that would be filed if plaintiff refused to dismiss. Both actions occurred as a result of using image search technology and the services of an internet expert to date when images were posted online, amassing evidence demonstrating that most of plaintiff’s copyrighted works were actually either slightly modified copies of previously existing works, or arrangements made by plaintiff from design elements copied from other sources.

Defeated an anti-SLAPP motion against client’s cross-complaint in a state court action, and obtained award of $8,500 sanctions (now paid) by demonstrating frivolousness of the anti-SLAPP motion.

Obtained $15,578 sanction award against a deponent/defendant who refused to obey SDT for attendance at deposition and production of documents.

Defeated summary judgment motion by defendant in a partition action, and then resolved the case during trial by obtaining a buy-out by the client’s co-tenant at full current appraised value.

Kept jury verdict against client in a negligence and breach of fiduciary duty action to $61,000, as opposed to the $1.7 million suggested by plaintiffs’ counsel, and followed up with a successful motion to set-off the verdict against prior $500,000 by co-defendant and a finding by the court that client was the “prevailing party.” Result: client had a “net zero” verdict entered against him, was declared the prevailing party, and obtained a judgment against plaintiff for $7,000 in costs.

Obtained a complete stay of a San Diego Superior Court action pending for 15 months, based on the existence of a New York action between substantially the same parties concerning the same real estate transaction, which action has been pending for 4 ½ years.  Stay obtained under California’s forum non conveniens statute  (CCP 410.30), despite the fact that plaintiffs and defendants in the California action are all resident in California, and the transaction at issue occurred in California.

Represented website owner accused by six major movie studios of contributory copyright infringement, and settled case for a tiny fraction of sum originally demanded. (Case ID Confidential)

Member of litigation team for an action which resulted in a published Federal District Court opinion permitting client to use defendant’s violations of third parties’ publicity rights as a basis for client’s unfair competition claim, and in a substantial confidential settlement. (Perfect 10, Inc. v. Cybernet Ventures, Inc.)

Obtained temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against use of confidential customer and pricing information after client’s sales employee accepted employment with client’s major competitor. (Poma Companies v. General Petroleum Corporation)

Prepared direct and cross-examinations for all major witnesses in unfair competition and trade secrets case tried in McAllen, Texas – notorious as one of the worst venues for defendants in the U.S. Jury verdict of $1 million awarded after plaintiff’s counsel requested $200 million. (Americana Juice Imports v. Nestle-USA)

Lead trial counsel for Honeywell in three-week trial in which plaintiff’s 1,000-unit senior citizens’ residential facility alleged fraud, breach of warranty and breach of contract, and requested punitive damages. Jury verdict for Honeywell on fraud and breach of express warranty causes of action, and total verdict of $356,000 after plaintiff’s counsel requested award of $7 million plus punitive damages. (Angelus Plaza v. Honeywell Inc.)

Professional and Community Activities

Member, State Bar of California
Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
Member, San Fernando Valley Bar Association
Member, All Cities Resource Organization
Member, Los Angeles Copyright Society
Member, California Fashion Association

Publications and Presentations

Publications available online at www.losangelescopyrightlaw.com
Speaker, Risk Management Association
Speaker, Acordia Insurance Services


B.A. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Carleton College, 1976
M.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1980
J.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1985


State of California
District of Colorado
District of Kansas
Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California