Sy Damle is a partner in the Copyright Practice of the Litigation & Trial Department. A former software engineer, Mr. Damle specializes in high technology matters, including those involving computer systems and networks and artificial intelligence. He is also an accomplished music lawyer.

Mr. Damle represents large and small technology and new media companies, including leading streaming services, software companies, and online commerce platforms, in high-stakes trials. He also represents companies and trade organizations in regulatory proceedings before the US Copyright Office and Copyright Royalty Board.

Mr. Damle is regularly called upon by private industry and government agencies to advise on cutting edge issues of law and technology. He has testified before Congress and the US Copyright Office on issues around generative artificial intelligence and copyright law. 

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

Mr. Damle teaches copyright law at George Washington University, and is an adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Copyright Law project. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Children’s Museum.

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. 

Mr. Damle's experience includes representing:

  • Oracle in winning a US$30 million jury verdict in copyright infringement suit against HPE
  • Johnson & Johnson in a software copyright infringement dispute against its main competitor for theft of code for an ophthalmic laser surgery system, which resulted in a nearly US$200m settlement for J&J. 
  • Spotify in litigation to establish the rates it pays for musical composition licenses
  • A major venture capital firm in hearings before the US Copyright Office regarding generative AI technologies
  • 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
  • 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

  • Witness, “Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property: Part I — Interoperability of AI and Copyright Law,” House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, May 2023
  • Panelist, Artificial Intelligence and Artists’ Rights, American University Intellectual Property Brief Symposium, March 2023
  • Panelist, Web 3 & IP: Understanding the NFT and IP Connection, January 2023
  • 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
  • Panelist, “Google v. Oracle,” American University, October 2020
  • Panelist, “Copyright in the Supreme Court,” Copyright Society of the USA, February 2020
  • 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 Systems Science Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, School of Engineering and Applied Science, 1999
  • BS in Economics & Jerome Fisher M&T Program, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, 1999
Justice
February 16, 2024Recognition

Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and Shout Outs — Telefónica and OpenAI

Two Latham teams were recognized for getting a summary judgment win for multinational telecom company Telefónica in a busted deal suit involving the client’s operations in Costa Rica, and for securing an important early win for OpenAI in a proposed copyright class action brought by Sarah Silverman and other authors.