Cleary Gottlieb Continues Bay Area Expansion With Addition of Angela Dunning

October 16, 2023

Cleary Gottlieb announced today that Angela Dunning has joined its Bay Area offices as a partner.

Angela litigates copyright, trademark, trade secrets, and unfair competition cases, as well as complex commercial disputes. She has tried numerous cases to a jury verdict and has substantial experience in the federal appellate courts, including successful arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Angela is a leader in the bar including with respect to litigation issues over generative artificial intelligence.

“We are delighted to welcome Angela to the firm, especially in the midst of such growth in the Bay Area,” Cleary Managing Partner Michael Gerstenzang said. “Since our launch in 2021, we have quickly established a presence to meet the growing demands of our clients, including in the tech sector, to handle the most complex disputes and transactions. Angela’s experience as a litigator focusing on IP will be a vital part of our dynamic Bay Area team that handles transformative matters for clients.”

Angela is an experienced and successful trial lawyer for major global corporations, including Google, Blurb, 23andMe, Meta, and eBay. She represented Google in an important genericide trademark suit, Elliott v. Google, in which the Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed summary judgment that the GOOGLE trademark is not generic. Angela served as lead counsel for 23andMe in a trademark dispute with over rights to the term “ancestry.” She also obtained the dismissal and affirmance for eBay on copyright preemption grounds of claims asserted under the California Resale Royalty Act, Close v. Sotheby’s. And she co-led a team that procured dismissal with prejudice of two different cases against Meta Platforms – one of which, Dfinity Foundation v. Meta Platforms, was recognized by Law360 as a top trademark decision of 2022. World Trademark Review describes Angela as a “high-caliber trial lawyer,” as well as a “great writer and strategist.” She also has been repeatedly named one of the Top 100 Women Lawyers in California by Daily Journal and a leading lawyer for commercial disputes by The Legal 500 U.S.

Notably, Angela represented Blurb in the “monkey selfies” copyright suit, Naruto v. Slater, procuring affirmance of the lower court’s dismissal order on the ground that animals, as non-humans, lack statutory standing under the Copyright Act. Naruto is a case that is frequently cited in the current disputes over ownership of content generated by AI. She is also currently representing several leading developers of generative AI platforms, including Midjourney, a prominent AI art platform, in connection with class action lawsuits asserting copyright, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and right of publicity claims. Angela’s experience with generative AI has made her a thought leader and she regularly speaks on this topic, including as a panelist at the McCarthy Institute’s IP-Con 2023 panel “The Coming Vortex (The Convergence of AI, IP, and Regulation)”; “Back to the Future: Liability and Protection Challenges Posed by the Emergence of Generative AI Content” at the Copyright Society Annual Meeting; and the Synthetic Media Summit on Generative AI, hosted by the Entertainment Technology Center, USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, and USC School of Cinematic Arts.

“Cleary is a preeminent advisor to leading technology companies and regularly counsels clients on their highest-profile matters and highest-stakes cases,” said Victor Hou, co-practice group leader of Americas litigation. “Angela is a trailblazer, and her arrival strengthens Cleary’s unique position as a go-to firm for IP disputes.”

“Angela’s arrival underscores Cleary’s commitment to California as a cornerstone of the firm and strengthens our existing deep bench of talent within our Bay Area offices,” said litigation partner Jennifer Kennedy Park. “Angela’s arrival, along with the additions of Heather Nyong’o, Maureen Linch, Marcela Robledo, and Chris Moore, continues our momentum in the Bay Area.”

“Cleary has a proven track record in high-profile litigation, and I am thrilled that I can leverage my experience and Cleary’s platform to help achieve outstanding results for our clients,” Angela said. “I am looking forward to joining a firm of Cleary’s caliber, where I can use my experience at the forefront of IP litigation work to help our clients navigate complex and cutting-edge issues.”

Prior to joining Cleary, Angela was a partner at another major international law firm. Angela received her J.D. from the University of California at Davis King Hall School of Law and her B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.