Rudi M. Brewster

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Rudi M. Brewster (May 8, 1932 - September 7, 2012) was a United States Federal Judge, best known for 2006 ruling in a patent infringements suit against Microsoft tied to the licensing of the MP3 format.

Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Brewster received a B.A. from Princeton University in 1954 and was in Navy ROTC there. He was in the United States Navy as an aviator from 1954 to 1957, and thereafter attended Stanford Law School while in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He earned a J.D. from Stanford in 1960, and went into private practice in San Diego, California, at the law firm of Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye. He left the Naval Reserve in 1981.

On May 24, 1984, President Ronald Reagan nominated Brewster to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, to a seat vacated by Howard B. Turrentine. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 15 and received commission the same day. While on that court he tossed out February, 2006 ruling against Microsoft for patent infringements tied to the licensing of the MP3 format, worth $1.5 billion. He also ruled in United States v. Bauer. He assumed senior status on July 1, 1998. He died on September 7, 2012.

Brewster held a fellowship with the American College of Trial Lawyers, was an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates and served as President and chancellor: Louis M. Welsh Inn of Court. He was also a member of the J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court.


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Legal offices
Preceded by
Howard Boyd Turrentine
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
Succeeded by
M. James Lorenz