“In complex, high-stakes and highly technical intellectual property litigation, the rational, analytical approach doesn’t always succeed,” says Nabil Abu-Assal. So he works to transcend the largely level logical playing field to win the hearts and minds of judges, juries and opposing counsel with psychologically affecting arguments and briefs that “re-envision” what’s being battled over.

“Opposing lawyers are often equal on the facts and analytical aspects,” says Nabil. “We work to move the judge or jury psychologically, to elicit a visceral response that makes them see things our way.”

Nabil also loves the intellectual challenges presented by IP litigation. Some of his favorite cases involve “unbelievably complicated” software issues.

“It often requires lawyers to put on a new brain to grasp how the functionality of software can be copied without copying the actual software,” says Nabil, “to understand how others can expropriate ideas embedded in the software.”

Nabil is seasoned in many other areas of civil litigation, having spent more than 20 years helping technology, entertainment, real estate and other business clients efficiently and successfully resolve complex business problems. He has conducted highly complex real estate, banking, partnership and probate trials. Clients seek his general counsel and advice as a legal and business troubleshooter.

In addition to handling complex business litigation and IP matters, Nabil has a thriving family law practice which began in 1992 when several of his well known entertainment and business clients asked him to guide them through their divorces.  His clients appreciate the rich and diverse trial background he brings to the table, especially when matters involve complex asset distribution and valuation of IP.

Nabil cites his Egyptian background (he came to the U.S. at age seven) as a “huge advantage” in his trial approach, enabling him to see issues from two different cultural traditions. He also credits his wife, clinical psychologist Coco Owen, for being “an asset during complex negotiations,” says Nabil.


  • Successfully handled a plaintiff’s patent lawsuit for server designer and manufacturer, Epicenter, Inc. against several server manufacturers.
  • Prosecuted a patent-infringement lawsuit for Ring Plus, Inc. against AT&T and Cingular Wireless.
  • Defended the Hong Kong company Stone-Sapphire in a large copyright infringement case, where $10 million in damages was alleged.
  • Led an investigation by Amp’d Mobile into misappropriation of its trade secrets.
  • Handled lawsuits against video game companies Namco Bandai and Midway for distribution and copyright infringement issues.
  • Acted as outside intellectual-property counsel for Fidelity National Title, handling copyright and patent cases, and trademarks and copyrights for Kilroy Realty Corporation and Mammoth Mountain, Inc.
  • Represented creative talent such as Joe Eszterhas and Matt Groening in cases involving copyrights.
  • 1988 grad UCLA Law School. Undergrad degree summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College. M.A., English literature, University of Chicago.
  • Born in Cairo, Egypt; conversant in Arabic
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