Sy Damle is a seasoned litigator, a former software engineer, and the former General Counsel of the US Copyright Office. He primarily handles high-stakes matters involving copyright law and new technology.

Mr. Damle is one of the nation’s foremost practitioners in copyright law. He joined Latham & Watkins after serving as General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights at the US Copyright Office. In this role, he was responsible for the agency’s litigation, regulatory, and other legal work.

Mr. Damle represents a wide range of technology and new media companies in high-stakes litigation and regulatory matters. He represents leading music streaming services, online commerce platforms, software companies, and medical device manufacturers in their most important copyright infringement litigation.  He also represents a wide range of companies and trade organizations in regulatory proceedings before the US Copyright Office and Copyright Royalty Board.

Mr. Damle teaches copyright law at George Washington University, and is an adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Copyright Law project.

Previously, he served as a litigator in the US Department of Justice, focusing on IP, administrative law, and constitutional matters.

Mr. Damle earned his JD from the University of Virginia, where he graduated first in his class. He served as a clerk for Judge Sandra L. Lynch of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. 

Mr. Damle also holds systems engineering and business degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He worked as a software engineer before attending law school.

Mr. Damle's experience includes representing:

  • Oracle in winning a US$30 million jury verdict in copyright infringement suit against HPE
  • Apple in software copyright infringement and Digital Millennium Copyright Act litigation against a company that sells virtual web-based versions of the company’s mobile operating system
  • Apple in defense of copyright infringement claims relating to diverse emoji
  • Johnson & Johnson in a software copyright infringement dispute against its main competitor for theft of code for an ophthalmic laser surgery system
  • A cloud-based email security provider in defense of software copyright infringement claims
  • An online resume building company in copyright infringement litigation against a copycat service
  • Digital Media Association (DiMA) in a variety of copyright-related regulatory proceeding

Recent Thought Leadership

  • Repair of Software-Enabled Devices, Practicing Law Institute, September 2022
  • Panelist, Pauline Newman IP Inn of Court, Google v. Oracle at the Supreme Court, February 2021
  • Advisor, American Law Institute, Restatement of the Law, Copyright
  • Panelist, “Google v. Oracle,” American University, October 2020
  • Panelist, “Copyright in the Supreme Court,” Copyright Society of the USA, February 2020
  • Panelist, “Georgia v. Public. Resource.Org Supreme Court Case,” Federalist Society Intellectual Property Teleforum, December 2019
  • Panelist, “Copyright Registration,” NY State Bar Association, November 2019
  • Speaker, “Google v. Oracle and Computer Software Interoperability,” Columbia Law School, March 2018

Bar Qualification

  • District of Columbia
  • New York

Education

  • JD, University of Virginia, 2005
  • BS in Economics & Jerome Fisher M&T Program, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, 1999
  • BS in Systems Science Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, School of Engineering and Applied Science, 1999