Joseph G. Pia is a partner at Pia Hoyt. Over the course of his 20-year practice, he has obtained extensive experience in intellectual property and entertainment law matters, including patents, trademarks, trade dress, trade secrets, copyrights, contracts, unfair business practices, partnership disputes, and related complex litigation matters. He is known for prevailing in a $60 million securities case through appeal to the Utah Supreme Court; and tens of millions of dollars in multi-jurisdictional intellectual property cases. His peers have rated him a Legal Elite and he has received the designation of Super Lawyer.
In addition to his law degree, Joe obtained an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. At the time of his admission, Wharton was ranked the #1 business school in the world. His deep legal and business knowledge has made him a favorite of C-Level executive teams across many industries.
Joe was rated by Super Lawyers two years in a row: in 2021 and 2022
Joe and the PIA HOYT team brought sophisticated intellectual property claims in both Federal and State Court against a former founder who started a competitive business, obtaining a substantial settlement for assertions of theft of trade secrets, unfair competition, breach of confidentiality, breach of contract, breach of non-solicitation, breach of good faith, violation of Utah Trade Secret and Unfair Competition Acts, interference with economic relations, breach of fiduciary duties, and so forth. See Gabb Wireless, Inc. v. Troomi Wireless, Inc. et al., Case No. 210300057 (Utah Fourth District 2023); Gabb Wireless, Inc. v. Troomi Wireless, Inc. et al. Case No. 2:21-cv-253 (Utah Dist. 2023) Hon. J. Campbell.
Joe obtained a Temporary Restraining Order and a Preliminary Injunction against a Company's ex-partner who attempted to set up a competing business in Breach of a Non-Compete Agreement, Non-Solicitation, and Partnership Agreement. The Court found a likelihood of success on the merits after an extensive evidentiary hearing that showed the partner took trade secrets, solicited employees, solicited customers, misappropriated proprietary information, and misused customer lists. The case is multijurisdictional with the acts occurring in Texas. Outsourced Associates & Staffing v. Vinyarskiy, Case No.; 190905316 (Utah Third District 2019).
In a similar Theft of Trade Secret and Breach of Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation case, Joe obtained a Temporary Restraining Order and a Stipulated Injunction with stipulated findings that the employee be Restrained and Enjoined from working with any competitor during the non-compete period, Restrained and Enjoined from soliciting any company employee or customer during the non-compete period; and a finding that the company’s proprietary training materials are trade secrets. The case was multijurisdictional with the acts occurring in Denver. Now CFO Denver III, LLC et al. v. Rice, Case No. 190905637 (Utah Third District 2019).
Intellectual Property Litigation
Joe has substantial experience in the technology sectors of medical devices, integrated circuits, computer hardware, online platforms and content streaming, gaming, fitness and exercise equipment, vehicle tracking, automated watering, diesel filters, coal and clean energy, and printing, among others. Joe represents both plaintiffs and defendants and his team works under hourly, hybrid, and contingency fee arrangements.
Joe and his partner Robert Aycock led the litigation team that successfully won a hard-fought jury verdict before the Hon. Judge Guilford in the Central District of California after three years of patent litigation against a leading international supplier of Keyboard Video and Mouse switches (“KVM”). ATEN TECHNOLOGY, CO. LTD. v. UNICLASS TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD., et al., Case No. 2:15-cv-04424-AJG-AJW (C.D. Cali. 2017). In representing the Defendants, Joe and Robert’s team obtained a jury verdict of non-infringement on all counts, and a finding of invalidity on two of ATEN’s patents.
The plaintiff ATEN is a Taiwanese-based manufacturer and supplier of branded and OEM computer electronics, including KVM switches, with reported earnings in excess of $160,000,000 US and more than 500 patents and patent applications. Joe and Robert represented the Defendants Uniclass Technology Co., Ltd.; Electronic Technology Co., Ltd of Dongguan Uniclass, Airlink 101, Phoebe Micro Inc., Broadtech International Co., Ltd. D/B/A Linkskey, Black Box Corporation, and Black Box Corporation of Pennsylvania. The principal Defendant Uniclass Technology is located in Taiwan and China and is a manufacturer and supplier of OEM KVM switches.
During the course of the litigation, ATEN sued the Defendants on 6 patents, 72 claims, and over 125 different types of accused products representing thousands of sales of KVM switches in the United States. ATEN was represented by notable IP law firms including Fish & Richardson, Finnegan Henderson, Holland and Knight, Farney Daniels, Orrik, and Mei & Mark. ATEN originally sued the Defendants in the Eastern District of Texas, and the case was successfully transferred to the Central District of California.
The briefing and hearing on claim construction were extensive, involving over a dozen claim terms. After claim construction and further briefing, ATEN voluntarily dismissed 2 patents. Of the 4 remaining patents, more than half of the claims were reduced before trial through successful dispositive and pretrial motions. The team won summary judgment on non-infringement of key claims as well as lost profits, lowering potential liability by more than 2/3rds.
This multinational jury trial, including translators and experts from around the world will continue to be a hallmark career victory.
Joe has structured a multitude of film, television, and music deals, including in production and distribution. His experience includes the world-wide licensing and distribution more than 3000 hours of media content. Joe has represented production and distribution companies, producers, directors, writers, and musicians. He has worked in national and international film finance, including equity, debt, tax credits, bridge, and gap.
Joe began his career as an associate producer of PBS documentaries including Ancestors, a 10-part series; Call of Story, a PBS special on storytelling in America; Helen Foster Snow: My China Years, a one-hour PBS documentary; and Le Afi Ua Mu, a PBS documentary about Samoan gangs in Los Angeles. Mr. Pia clerked in New Line Cinema’s business and legal department during production of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Rush Hour 2, Blade II. Mr. Pia regularly provides representation for feature films such as Gentleman Broncos directed by Jared Hess’ (director of Napoleon Dynamite); Shannon’s Rainbow staring Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black), Louis Gossett Jr. (Academy Award Winner Officer and a Gentleman); My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (in production) starring Alyssa Milano; House of Fears (directed by Ryan Little, Saints and Soldiers, Forever Strong); and Blank Slate, a TNT pilot for a proposed series, produced by Dean Devlin (producer of Independence Day, The Patriot).
Speaker (with the Hon. Attorney General of Vermont): Intellectual Property Issues and Patent Trolls – Conference of Western Attorneys General
Panelist: Are the Bridges to Commerce Safer? A Panel Discussion of Federal and State Anti-Troll Measures
Presenter: Patent Infringement Amendments – Utah Legislative Session HB117
Contributing Author: Intellectual Property Damages (Supplement)
Key Note Speaker Corporate Alliance: Negotiation - Creating Objective and Subjective Value
Presenter NowCFO: Negotiation Distributive and Integrative Bargaining
Author: Distinguishing Publishing from Producing in the Music Industry, hg.org
Author: Film Tax Incentives, hg.org
Wharton School of Business, MBA
J. Reuben Clark School of Law, Brigham Young University / J.D. cum laude
Moot Court Board and Regional Traveling Team
Brigham Young University / B.A. (Major Philosophy, Pre-Med Chemistry emphasis, Minor Film & Media Studies)
Harvard Negotiation Masters Class
Harvard Mediating Disputes Course
State Bar of Utah
State Bar of Texas
Federal District of California
Federal District of Delaware
Federal District of New York
Federal District of Tennessee
Federal District of Texas
Federal District of Washington
Federal District of Utah
Top 5% America's Most Honored Professionals
Legal Elite: The State's Top Lawyers As Voted by Their Peers
Intellectual Property Law Top Attorneys: The Mountain States Outstanding Young Lawyers
Utah's Top Lawyers Intellectual Property Law
Top Lawyers Named by Their Peers Utah Business
Intellectual Property Litigation
-Litigated and favorably settled suits against companies such as Fitcorp USA, Inc., Lifecore Fitness, Kettler USA
-Litigated and favorably settled suits against companies such as Entra Health Systems, Petsmart, Bosch, Alere, Filter Service & Testing Corp., Tunstall Healthcare
-Litigated and favorably settled suits against companies such as Honeywell, Phillips, Cardiocom/Medtronic, and Click4Care
-Litigated and favorably settled suits against GenerationOne, Kable Media Services, The News Group, Bauer Media, and Better Sourcing Worldwide
-Favorably settled suits against TV Guide, Torny International, Anthem Publishing, Linux New Media, and Imagine Publishing
-Litigated and favorably settled suits against Future US, Bohning
-U.F.O. - Alien Uprising - (Jean Claude Van Damme, Bianca Bree) (E.P.)
-Age of the Dragons - (Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones)(Business & Legal, E.P.)
-My Girlfriend's Boyfriend - (Alyssa Milano, Chris Gorham) (Business & Legal, E.P.)
-Blank Slate - TNT pilot (Business & Legal Utah, Co-producer) (Producer Dean Devlin)
-Gentleman Broncos - Feature Film (Business & Legal Utah) (Director Jared Hess)
-Amazing Racer - Feature Film (Business & Legal)
-House of Fears - Feature Film (Business & Legal, Producer's Rep)
-The Killers - "Human" Music Video (Business & Legal, Producer)
-Heber Holiday - Feature Film (Business & Legal)
-Le Afi Ua Mu - PBS Documentary (Producer narrative portion)
-Ancestors II - 13 Part PBS Series (Associate Producer)
-The Call of Story - PBS Special (Associate Producer)
-"Helen Foster Snow: My China Years" - PBS Documentary (Production Manager) (KBYU)
-"Divination: The Mystic Tradition" - KBYU Ethnographic Documentary Film (Producer)
-"The Vision for a Cure" - Promotional Film for Cancer Research (Producer)